November 17, 2018

Strong Shoulders =Better Posture!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Strengthen your Shoulders!

Strong shoulders improves posture. Start with this Kneeling Reverse Fly exercise:

Begin on your hands and knees. Without weight, lift your right arm straight up to the side of your body. Keep your torso stable and don’t rotate your shoulders or hips. Do 10 reps, then release your right hand back to the floor. Next, lift and lower your left arm. Do 10 reps. When you have mastered correct form without weight, try lifting a small weight. This is an exercise where proper technique and form is paramount, not the amount of weight or even reps. Take your time, go slow and learn the proper movement pattern before progressing.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

 

Perfect your PushUp

Get Fit Quick Tip:

PushUps!

Do traditional exercises like pushups still have value in your exercise plan? The answer is a resounding yes! Here’s why. Pushups incorporate all muscles of the body. Pushups use the core muscles how they are required to work during your daily activities, in a stabilizing capacity. Pushups build upper body strength.

Find a form of pushups that works for you. For example:

Wall Pushups. Stand facing the wall. Place your hands flat on the wall in front of you, about chest-level high and shoulder-width apart. Bend both elbows and lean into the wall. Keep your feet flat on the floor and keep your torso straight. Extend both arms and return to your starting position.

Bench Pushups. Place your hands in the center of a stable bench, with your body straight and toes on the floor. Bending both elbows, lower your chest toward the bench. Extend your arms and return to your starting position.

Floor Full Pushups. Place both hands flat on the floor with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Tuck your toes under and lift your body up off the floor.  Bend both arms and lower your chest toward the floor. Extend both arms to return to your starting position.

Floor Modified Pushups. Kneel on the floor. Place both hands flat on the floor in front of you about shoulder-width apart. Move your knees back slightly until your body is straight, with only your knees and hands on the floor. Bend both arms and lower your chest to the floor. Extend both arms to return to your starting position.

*Always consult your physician before beginning exercise.

 

 

Plank for a strong core!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Plank!

Strengthen the many layers of your core musculature by adding Planks into your fitness routine.

From a prone position, place your forearms on the floor with your elbows directly below your shoulders. Tuck your toes under and lift your body up off of the floor so your body is parallel to the floor. Pull your shoulders down into your body. Pull your belly button up. Tuck your chin into your chest to maintain spinal alignment.

From the basic plank position, many options exist for progressions:

Alternate lifting your right foot, then your left foot up of the floor.

Lift and hold one leg up off the floor.

Perform a plank with your hands on the floor instead of your forearms.

 

*Always consult a physician before beginning exercise.

Invest in an Exercise Band!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Use an Exercise Band!

For just about $20.00 you can buy an exercise band at your local sporting goods store. Exercise bands are portable, adjustable and effective! Band thickness determines the difficulty. Choose the band intensity based on your fitness ability. Read the box for recommendations. A few additional points to keep in mind:

Safety is always the first priority, so be sure to read all instructions. For example, don’t put your body weight or lean on the band, don’t stretch the band more than three times resting length and always double-check the anchor point. Also, be sure to check the band integrity at regular intervals. Any holes, thinning or splitting means the band should be replaced immediately.

Effectiveness is insured by keeping tension on the band throughout the range of motion. What does this mean? Keep the band taut without slack to keep tension on your muscles.

Enlist the help of a Fitness Professional to outline exercises appropriate for you. The sky is the limit on the number of exercises at your disposal with an exercise band. A Fit Pro will also provide instruction how to properly anchor the band for each exercise. 

*Always consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Stay Moving on the Road by Brett Klika, C.S.C.S.

For those of us who strive to stay active when traveling, we can find ourselves in suboptimal exercise scenarios in regards to safety, time, and facilities.

Whether you use fitness as your fuel to perform or are merely trying to stay consistent on a program to improve your health, there are a few “hacks” I’ve found along the way that have helped me stay consistent (and safe), even in the most unpredictable situations.

1.    Workout pajamas
When you’re on the road, your schedule is often very concentrated and time is of the essence. I’ve made it a practice to go to bed in my workout clothes and set the alarm to give me an extra 30 minutes in the morning. When the alarm goes off, I pop out of bed and throw on my shoes.  I start slow, and build up to 20-30 minutes of sweat-inducing splendor either outside, in the gym, or even in my hotel room.

2.    Pack- hacks!
Becoming a master of packing for travel allows you to travel light while still having everything you need to stay active.  I now only need a school- sized backpack for trips up to 5 days with dress, casual, and workout clothes, in addition to all electronics.

a.    Thin, quick-drying workout shirts and shorts don’t take up much packing room and you only need 1 pair of each.  When you’re done working out, shower in them (with soap), then wring them out and hang them up. They’ll be dry by the time you come home in the evening.

b.    Get some minimalist shoes.  If you’re a distance runner and you plan to do mileage on the road, you may want to find another option depending on your needs.  However, these packable shoes take up very little space, can be crammed anywhere, and work great for basic workouts. They are often designed to be worn without socks, so there’s another bulky item you can forgo.

3.    Plan
A little planning goes along way for the active traveler.  Hotel websites have their gym information.  I know some people who go as far as to pick their hotel based on the workout facility!

If you like getting out and about, spend 5 minutes on a Google search of the area for suggested running paths, safety information, and landmarks that may constitute cool areas to workout.  Beaches, trails, parks, and sometimes monuments are cool areas to break a sweat.

If you are short on time and need to exercise right in your hotel room, try this short, no equipment routine.

Humans are perpetual motion machines. Our mind, body, and soul work best when exercise is part of our day, even when we travel.  Use the 3 hacks above so strange lands, bad weather, or packs of wild animals never stand in the way of creating your best, most energetic self.

Brett Klika, author of the Underground Workout Manual- Fat Loss Results for Busy Adults (www.undergroundworkoutmanual.com) is an award winning personal trainer, author, and international motivational speaker.  He inspires men, women, and children around the world to create a culture of wellness in their home and live the best version of their life.

Contact Brett with questions or comments at brett@spiderfitkids.com.

How to Stay Fit when Traveling by Sarah Johnson

Exercising on the go can be difficult: you’re in an unfamiliar place, the equipment you’d usually use isn’t available and the time constraints can all interfere with your best intentions of fitting a workout in.

These 5 exercises can be done in a hotel room (or guest bedroom) and require no additional equipment. Always seek medical clearance before beginning exercise. Perform exercises at own risk.

Repeat the workout 2-3 times to get in a quick fix while traveling!

1. Bed Pushups: Place your hands on the edge of the bed, a little wider than shoulder-width, and your feet on the floor. Keeping your back straight and core engaged, slowly lower your chest toward the bed, bending your elbows out to the sides. Push yourself back up to the starting position.

2. Wall Sits: Find wall space clear of objects. Place your back against the wall, and your feet on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Slide your back down the wall, and walk your feet away until your knees are over your ankles (no lower than a 90 degree bend at the waist). Hold, keeping your toes loose and leg muscles contracted, for up to one minute.

3. Jumping Jacks: Cardio break! Perform jumping jacks for one minute continuously.

4. Towel Twists: Grab the bath towel with one hand at each end, lengthwise. Sit on the floor, knees bent, feet down. Extend your arms forward, at chest height. Tilt back slightly, keeping your core engaged. Slowly rotate toward your right, bringing your hand towards the floor. Exhale and return to the center and twist toward the left, alternating sides.

5. Burpees: Cardio break! (Make sure there is enough room on the floor to safely perform) Place hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Jump or step back with both feet, until you are in a pushup position. Quickly jump or step forward, towards hands, then reach both arms up towards the ceiling (add one more jump up for an extra challenge!)

Follow Sarah on Twitter via @SarahJChicago

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,  www.fitblok.com 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.

Pilates Anywhere By Chanda Fetter

Owning a Pilates and Fitness Studio, I often hear my clients offer excuses as to why they can’t seem to stick to their program.  We all tell ourselves stories that help us explain away why we haven’t gotten something done when in truth we always seem to find a way when we really want something.  So my first piece of advice would be to change your story!  Likely this is a pattern that follows you beyond exercise, you must stop making excuses and take the small steps needed to improve the quality of your life, you deserve it!

The following three exercises can easily be done at home, in a hotel room or even in an office break room!  They will give you a boost of energy, reduce your back pain and tighten your tummy.  As always, consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Forced Exhalation Breathing – Sit up tall in your chair or lie down on the floor.  Place your hands between your ribcage and your belly button.  Take a long deep inhale through your nose, then exhale through pursed lips, pulling your abdominals in towards your spine while contracting your Pelvic Floor Muscles (otherwise known as Kegel or bladder muscles).  When performing the exhale you should make a “shhh-ing” sound to ensure the pressure is great enough to create the contraction needed.  Do this a minimum of 10 times then use this breath when performing the remaining exercises.  This generous flow of oxygen will do wonders for your brain as well as your abdominals.  Each time you perform this breath you will be engaging 80% of your abdominal wall!

Hundreds – Lie on your back with your legs in one of the following positions – knees bent / feet on floor making sure your lower back is in neutral position, knees bent with feet off floor / table top, or legs extended away from body on a 45 degree angle so as to stress the lower abdominal section.  Reach your arms long down the side of your body, bring your head and shoulders into a tight curl and pump your arms up and down so as to engage your back muscles, ie Latissimus Dorsi.  Using the forced exhale technique above, inhale for 5 pumps, exhale for 5 pumps and do for a count of 100. The curl is a constant, high hold.

Swimming – Lie on your stomach with your arm and legs stretched out like Superman/woman.  Extend long through your spine as you lift your arms and legs off the floor.  Be careful not to arch extensively into your spine but rather lengthen out of it.  Using the forced exhalation technique above flutter your arms and legs up and down for total of 10 breaths.

Chanda Fetter
IM=X Pilates, Owner

www.imxsb.net

Staying Healthy On the Road by Tanya Memme

I’ve been traveling and living out of suitcases for the past 12 years as the Host of A&E’s TV Series “Sell This House Extreme.” 

12 years ago before all of this happened, I was a workout junkie, had a membership at Equinox Fitness Club in Santa Monica, loved my Tae-Bo classes Sherman Oaks, ate very healthy and overall had a pretty consistent healthy schedule.

From the very first episode, my crazy life on the road began. Suitcase, flight, hotel and car rental information in hand off I went and I’ve never looked back. It was a HUGE adjustment mentally, physically and spiritually. Never thinking I would ever have a problem keeping up my exercise and eating program, trip by trip, episode after episode, the pounds accumulated. 25 pounds later, I tried using the hotel gym, local yoga classes, jogging in various cities, I’d bring exercise videos, exercise bands, skipping ropes etc…but with the show growing in popularity and with early call times and long shoot days I became exhausted and totally defeated. I’d beat myself up for not being able to exercise consistently and eat right. Surrounded by restaurant food in small remote town where a green vegetable is unheard of!

This past year, I’ve had a busier travel schedule than ever, and became a new mom. I don’t always get to the gym consistently but I found a way to fit right back in to my pre-pregnancy pants and stay healthy. 

Whole Foods has become my tag team companion in staying healthy on the road and since healthy restaurants and organic food is more readily available it makes everything much easier. Every time I land in a new city and before I check in to the hotel, I make a stop at a grocery store. This way I can buy healthy snacks and lots of water so I don’t get tempted by the mini bar in the hotel room.  Always ask for a mini fridge in the room so you can store perishable items. Its worth the extra charge to stay healthy. 

When it comes to exercise, I do what I can and have stopped beating myself up when I’ve worked a 14 hour day and am just too exhausted and have to choose between sleep and exercise.  I work out when I can, as often as I can and always make sure I’m having fun and enjoying it. I recently started taking dance classes with my 67 year old mother too. It might sound crazy but I’m getting stronger, having a blast and laughing my way to getting back in shape. 

A friend also introduced me to online personal trainers. Now THIS IS AMAZING!  No matter where you are or what time zone you’re in, you can have a personal training session via Skype! We use things in my hotel room and customize it to what I have access to and what time I have available. We have fun, and he motivated me to stay on top of my working out when the last thing I want to do is workout. 

Eating right more than anything will keep you healthy and lean and proper exercise keeps you strong. Do your best, give yourself a break, have trust in your best and let it all go! Find that AMAZING YOU and enjoy traveling, enjoy life and enjoy staying healthy along the way. 

Tanya Memme is the Producer/Co-Host of the Emmy nominated, A&E’s Sell This House and Sell This House Extreme.  She is a new mom, pet lover, travel enthusiastic & lifestyle expert.  www.TanyaMemme.com

Travel Exercise Tips by Mollie Millington

Here’s how to incorporate exercise while traveling:
 
Walk around town. True, a cab or the subway can be faster, but by walking around you’ll get a better and authentic feel for the area via the shops and local businesses. You will also see more of the city, as well as discover interesting side streets to explore.
 
Plan ahead. Book a hotel that has a gym or pool you can use. Look for a YMCA or other fitness club that allows guest visitors or has a reciprocal program with your home gym. Cities such as Los Angeles, CA even have running tours that offer guided runs (so you know the neighborhood is safe.) Investigate the local area for a state park or natural wonder that needs to be explored with camera in hand. 

Pack a jump rope. Yes, a simple little jump rope can get your heart rate soaring quickly while putting a smile on your face. Most of us haven’t skipped rope since we were children, but it is still fun even as an adult. Jump ropes are light, portable and don’t take up much room in your bag. You can also share the fun with your travel companions by setting a competition of who can jump the most times in a row without stopping.
 
Put together a quickie workout. Look around your hotel room for items that may be used to add resistance as in strength training (for example, bottles of water, a backpack with a few books in it, a door frame, set of stairs). The creativity involved can almost be as rewarding as the workout itself.
 
Traveling is fun, but don’t forget to take your fitness with you. Make an effort to find down time when on the road during which you can sneak in a workout. Remember that the government recommends accumulating 30 minutes of activity a day. With the above tips, it shouldn’t be too hard.

Mollie Millington is a London-based personal trainer, available for in-person and virtual training. www.ptmollie.com. Mollie may also be contacted via @PTMollie on Twitter.