May 24, 2024

Small-Space Cardio

Fit Body:

Small-Space or Stationary Cardio!

Not all cardio has to cover miles, use expensive equipment and take up lots of time, to contribute towards a healthier cardiovascular system. Stack stationary moves to power up your heart and lungs, burn calories and even reduce stress and muscle tension. For example:

Jumping Jacks.

Jump Rope.

Jog in place.

Plyometrics or hopping in various patterns.

Body Weight moves performed at a faster pace and in succession without a rest period.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Is a home workout a good choice for you? By Gillian Stephen

Have you let your workouts slide because of your various commitments. Is your gym membership getting stale? Have you considered working out at home, as you may not always have time to go to the gym or to studio classes?

By working out at home, you can combine longer sessions when you have more time, with shorter sessions when time is tight. For example you should be able to find a 10 – 15 minute slot to workout, ideally 3 times a week.

As it is a short session you will want to maximize on your time, so that you can achieve similar benefits to a longer exercise session. One way to do this is to raise the intensity of your workouts. Research has found that bursts of high intensity training, followed by timed periods of less intense activities or rest, can burn more fat and increase your fitness level in a quicker time frame than steady state exercise. Another name for this type of training is HIIT, High Intensity Interval training.

You can mold your workout to your schedule and you don’t need a lot of equipment, just a mat/towel and your own body weight. At the same time if you have some dumbbells, a kettlebell, etc there’s no reason why you cannot incorporate them into your workout. Adding weights to your workout will also help to raise the intensity, as will compound exercises where you utilize more than one muscle group. For example, performing a squat with a shoulder press.

The ideal type of workout should include cardio exercises to keep your cardiovascular system strong and working efficiently, with resistance exercises to help build muscle, strengthen your bones and encourage a greater rate of fat burn. Exercises that will work the entire body should be chosen where possible, to encourage a balance in the development of muscles. Exercise the larger muscles first for example your quads, back and shoulders before the smaller muscles like, biceps and triceps, this will help to prevent you tiring too quickly.

Some of the following exercises are ideal to put into this type of workout as they get your heart rate up and keep those feet moving; squat jumps, mountain climbers, burpees and jumping jacks. (As always, please consult your physician before beginning exercise.) The following exercises also require effort; push ups, lunges, squats and planks. So for your shorter home workouts, pick some of the exercises stated above.

A workout may look like this for example: For a 10 minute workout choose 5 exercises, do them intensely for 50 secs followed by a 10 sec rest for 2 sets. Always make sure that you warm up beforehand and cool down properly.

How do you find time to fit in your workouts? Would you now consider working out at home? How can you fit HIIT into your schedule? Thanks for commenting.

Gillian Stephen is a Fitness and Nutrition coach and also a mother of two, a 2 year old and a 4 year old that keep her very busy. She supports individuals by helping them put together a strategy for weight loss. She incorporates making better food choices and fitting exercise into your busy schedule, so you lose the weight and keep it off, a lifestyle change. Follow Gillian on Twitter @Gillan_Stephen, and via her website

Should You Consider Exercising at Home? By Crystal Reia

Is working out at home for you? With lots of benefits, it just may be the right choice for your healthy living plan. Here’s a few benefits and challenges to consider:

Benefit: No travel time! Get your workout done with little or no equipment at all! You do not require a large space to get in a great workout. There are so many wonderful and challenging full-body exercises you can do right in the comfort of your own living room. For minimal expense and the most bang for your buck, I suggest a few pairs of dumbbells, a stability ball and a yoga mat! Easy peasy!

Challenge: You may not know where to start at home? What exercises should I do to get the best workout? There are many exercise DVD’s available and free videos on YouTube and the internet to help get you started. There are many personal trainers who will also come to your home! It is such a great service and convenient. A personal trainer will take the guess work out of the equation and teach you wonderful workouts you can do at home.

Benefit: Privacy. Many people feel shy or overwhelmed at the gym. They would rather workout in the privacy of their own home. They may not like crowds or just may feel hesitant to try new exercises that they do not know in front of others for fear of doing it wrong or looking silly.

Challenge: It can be easy to get distracted and forgo a workout at home. The TV, couch, children, spouse can all be distractions. We tend to put our family first of course! A great way to get around this is to either do your workout when they are not home, or involve them in your activity! There are so many options. Take your family biking, walking, hiking; get them off the couch! WiiFit can be a fun way to get moving and get children involved, if you find they are too sedentary, or join a sport together! Your community has so much to offer in the way of fun sports! Ultimate Frisbee, Dodgeball, Baseball, Volleyball… so many to choose from! Think outside the box!

Benefit: No Monthly Fee/Less Expensive. As mentioned above, you do not need a bunch of fancy equipment to get a great workout. There exists an endless number of full-body no-equipment moves you can do. Even heavy cans of food can be substituted for weights at home. A chair can be substituted for a bench etc.

Challenge: Motivation. Some people find it hard to go it alone or get up the motivation at home for their next workout. Asking a friend or family member to join you can help and is free! If your friend is coming over for a workout, you will be less likely to skip it! Hiring a personal trainer to keep you accountable and on track can also help. It might be a little more money to hire somebody to come in, however it is worth it if you are the type of person who needs a trainer knocking at your door to ensure you get in your workout.

By: Crystal Reia, Personal Trainer
Owner of Your Health-Your Choice

Home Gym Essentials by Brett Klika

Home gyms come in all shapes, sizes and most significantly, prices. It’s important to note however, the true worth of a home gym is not in how much it costs; it’s in how much it’s used.  Low cost, multi-functional, space saving equipment that is used regularly is a lot more effective than elaborate, expensive, space hogging machines that are used primarily as clothing hangers (can you even find that treadmill you bought under everything you have piled on top of it?) Odds are your exercise preference will change over the years. There is no one way you will want to exercise for your entire life. When you buy equipment that allows only a limited amount of exercise options, you’ll eventually get bored and quit. You will want to buy equipment that can adapt to new trends and keep you challenged no matter how you chose to get fit. Below are 4 must-haves for an effective, adaptable, and useable home gym that won’t break the bank. 

Selectorized dumbbells ($300-$500). Regardless of your goals or fitness level, dumbbells are hard to beat for adding resistance to your workouts. They can be used in any activity in a nearly un-ending variety of movement patterns to make an exercise more challenging. The only problem with dumbbells is that you often need to have quite a few of them because different activities require different resistances. This can get expensive as well as space-consuming.    

Selectorized dumbbells allow you to use one set of dumbbells and have the ability to change their weight, often from 5 up to over 100 pounds! Different brands use different mechanisms, but you chose the weight you wish to use and when you pick up the dumbbells, it only carries that amount of weight. This not only allows you to do literally thousands of different exercises, it allows you to progress over time.

TRX Suspension Trainer ($120-$150). The TRX is the most significant piece of fitness equipment to hit the market in many years. It’s an extremely simple design, but allows for thousands of exercise variations using your bodyweight as resistance. Developed by Navy Seals to stay strong while in the field, all you need is something sturdy to hang the adjustable nylon straps with handles and foot cradles from. There are an endless number of exercises for strength, power, core, endurance, cardiovascular, and even rehabilitation training. It can be stored in a small bag so you can take the TRX with you if you travel. Multiple videos are available that demonstrate different programs, and TRX constantly updates the information. You will never run out of ways to get fit with this piece of equipment.

Adjustable Weight Lifting Bench ($200-$500).  This is one of those no-frills pieces of equipment that has nearly endless uses.  A bench can be lied on, sat on, jumped on and stepped on. It can be used to modify exercises to make them harder or easier. It takes up little to no space and offers quite a few opportunities, from the creative to the traditional, to shape the body you want.

Resistance Bands with Handles ($15-$30 each, 3 different resistances are recommended).  Resistance bands allow for a unique method of training. Unlike what you can do with the other equipment, resistance bands allow you to work independent of gravity. This offers thousands of exercise options for beginners a well as advanced exercise enthusiasts. With bands you can rotate, push, pull, chop, and do a ton of varied movements, without having to lie on your back or position yourself against gravity. 

Seek professional advice to get started on the right foot. Enlisting guidance from a professional fitness trainer is a great way to learn proper techniques and new exercise methods. Additionally, they’ll keep you accountable in the years to come.

Brett Klika C.S.C.S., Director of Athletics at Fitness Quest 10, is a world renowned human performance specialist, motivational speaker, author, and educator. For a copy of his new e-book and exercise program “The Underground Workout Manual- Exercise and Fat Loss in the Real World” visit  To contact Brett, send correspondence to