All workouts were not created equally. Sadly, many people simply waste time in the gym.
Here are 5 tips to ensure that every minute of your workout is well spent burning fat and toning your muscles…
Workout Smarter Tip 1: Use More Resistance
In order to get the most from each rep it’s important to challenge your muscles, and not to simply go through the motions. If you are able to complete 15 repetitions easily, then the weight is too light. On the flip side, if you aren’t able to perform an exercise through its full range of motion, and find yourself cheating on form, then the weight is too heavy.
The correct weights will feel challenging by your last few repetitions but won’t force you to sacrifice form.
Workout Smarter Tip 2: Keep it Fresh
You may have noticed that most people do the same exercises each time they visit the gym. Maybe you’ve been doing the same exercise routine as long as you can remember—if it isn’t broken then don’t fix it, right?
The truth is that exercise routines have expiration dates, and that is the date that they begin to lose their effectiveness. As a rule of thumb never use the same routine for more than 4 weeks.
Workout Smarter Tip 3: Never Skip the Warm Up
Most people consider warm up time to be wasted time—they’d rather jump right into the heart of the routine. What they don’t realize is that a good warm up will allow you to perform at a higher intensity, which means greater results.
The point of a warm up is to increase your muscle temperature. This increases blood flow, muscle contraction and reduces muscle resistance. Your warm up should last 5-10 minutes.
Workout Smarter Tip 4: Focus on Proper Form
Gyms are filled with people performing exercises with bad form. The two biggest reasons are that you aren’t concentrating on the exercise, or you’re trying to lift weight that is too heavy. Lifting with improper form almost always results in injury.
Take the time to achieve proper form, by doing so you’ll avoid injury and will reap the full benefit from each exercise.
Workout Smarter Tip 5: Together is better
People who exercise alone are less challenged, less accountable and typically see fewer results. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Why rush to the gym if no one is there waiting for you? Why push yourself if no one is watching? Exercising alone is a recipe for disaster.
The best way to avoid injury and to see results is to work with me. I am passionate about seeing my clients achieve results by working out smart and without wasting time, energy and effort on mistakes.
Don’t know where to start when it comes to exercise? Let me help you!
Improve your posture with these simple exercises.
You can tell a lot about a person by looking at them. One thing that often stands out is their posture. Do they stand tall or are they hunched over? Good posture is often associated with confidence and strength, while slouching makes a person look tired and insecure. But posture isn’t just about appearance. Good posture is important for many other reasons. It reduces lower back pain, headaches, and neck tension; increases your energy level; lowers the risk of abnormal wear on your joints; and improves circulation, lung capacity, and digestion.
So how do you go about improving your posture? Here are six simple exercises to help you stand up straight.
A common cause of poor posture is tight or tired chest muscles, which lead to rounded shoulders. The reverse fly strengthens your upper back and shoulder muscles to prevent or reverse this.
To perform a reverse fly, hold each end of a resistance band and extend your arms in front of your chest. While keeping your arms straight, extend your arms out to either side. Let the band stretch as you pull your shoulder blades together. Slowly return your hands to the starting position and repeat.
A strong core is essential to good posture, and planks are a great way to strengthen your core.
For a side plank, lie on your left side with your left elbow on the floor below your shoulder. Tighten your abs and raise your hips off the floor until your body is in a straight line from your head to your toes. Hold for 30 seconds, rest, and repeat on the right side.
Quadruped Hip Extension
This exercise works your lower back and glute muscles, which play an important role in good posture.
Start out on your hands and knees, with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Engage your abs and raise your left foot toward the ceiling, with the bottom of your foot facing up. Continue lifting and lowering your foot, while you squeeze your glutes. Avoid arching your lower back. Switch sides.
The Y Raise
The Y raise is an effective way to work your upper and middle back muscles to support proper posture. To do the Y, you’ll need light weight dumbbells and an exercise ball.
Lie on your belly on the ball. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, keep your palms facing inward. Straighten your legs behind you and spread your feet wide to keep your balance. Extend each arm toward the ground to make a “Y” shape. Now, lift your arms to shoulder height as you squeeze your shoulders together. Slowly lower your arms, relax, and repeat.
The Cobra Pose
For superior posture, you’ll need to strengthen and stretch the muscles that support your spine. The cobra pose does just that.
Lie face down on the floor and place your hands by your ribs, palms facing down. Using your back muscles—not your hands—raise your head and upper chest off the floor. Slowly lower back down and repeat.
Weak neck muscles pull your head forward instead of keeping your ears lined up with your shoulders. In other words, a weak neck leads to poor posture. Neck flexion can fix your weak neck.
It starts by lying on your back on the floor. Tuck your chin and raise your head just two inches off the floor. Hold for a few seconds and then lower your head to the floor, while keeping your chin tucked in. Repeat.
More Than Posture
While these core strengthening exercises help improve your posture, they also help reduce low back pain and prevent future back pain. So you can truly stand tall!
Best Mediterranean Salad
Here’s a salad recipe that serves as an entire meal. It’s filled with fresh ingredients that increase your fiber count for the day. The simple dressing tastes fantastic. Add a grilled chicken breast to increase the protein in the dish and enjoy leftover for lunch the next day. Enjoy!
Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com
What you need
For the Dressing:
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
For the Salad:
8 cups Baby Arugula
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 heirloom tomato, finely chopped
½ cup celery, minced
¼ cup fresh scallions, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
1. Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar. Close the lid and shake until fully combined.
2. Combine the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Toss with the dressing and serve immediately. Enjoy!
One serving equals: 196 calories, 8g fat, 25g carbohydrate, 262mg sodium, 1g sugar, 4g fiber, and 7g protein.