The heat is on. You want to look good this summer but you are running out of time fast.
We can't guarantee miracles. But we can dish out a few good tips and words of wisdom to help you look your best at the beach or pool... or when you simply want to go out on a hot summer's day.
In last week's first installment of our Summer Solutions series, we offered 5 tips for kick-starting your diet. This week, we turn our attention to your fitness.
TIP 1: Finding the Energy for Fitness
I know that a good workout helps build stamina and endurance. It's getting the initial energy to start -- and then make it through a workout -- is the issue.
We want to start quickly, not slowly and build up. Summer is 5 weeks away. We need to take action NOW!
5 Great Ways To Get More Energy
Get moving. The more oxygen that runs through your veins, brain and muscles, the more energized youâ€™ll feel. Walking â€" even if itâ€™s just around the block or to the other end of the building â€" is one way to feel alert and energized. The more physically active you are, the less fatigue youâ€™ll feel. Exercise releases hormones that make you feel alive, refreshed and energized all day.
Avoid simple carbohydrates. The sugar in soft drinks, chips, rice crisps, chocolate and anything white and processed causes your blood sugar levels to spike. You may feel like youâ€™re fighting fatigue by eating sugar, but your body then releases insulin, which makes you feel tired.
Eat complex carbohydrates. Food that breaks down slowly will help you feel energized all day. Healthy granola bars, bagels, muesli are complex carbs that release energy slowly, which helps fight fatigue and increases feelings of alertness.
Stay at a healthy weight! To stay energized all day, maintain a healthy weight. Achieving your weight loss goals doesn't just make you look good -- you'll feel great, too. Maintain your weight sensibly. Doing some form of exercise every day is good; alternate light and heavy exercise days to let your body rest.
FRS Energy Drink
Click here for more information on this drink that gets a big thumb's up from 7-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.
FRS was originally tested and refined by doctors at the Harvard University Dana Farber Cancer Institute as a fatigue-fighting and general health drink. It was then discovered by endurance athletes who found that it boosted and sustained their peak athletic performance while helping to keep them healthy. Now FRS is used by anyone who wants a sustained healthy energy boost.
BONUS: Make The Exhaustion Cure blog by Laura Stack regular reading!
TIP 2: Removing Diet From the Weight Loss Equation
Diet and fitness are the one-two punch that can knock out your weight problems. But when you have children or a stressful fulltime job -- or worse, BOTH -- where do you find the time to give both justice?
Why not simplify your diet while you key on finding time for fitness?
The simple act of shopping for food can put a damper on your free time. And that doesn't even take into consideration the time spent on preparing meals.
We've all seen the oodles of TV ads for the home-delivered foods from NutriSystem.
We're not here to bash anyone but wouldn't you rather have real frozen food delivered to your door rather than some unappetizing looking dried stuff? I know I would... and I did when I enjoyed the Diet-to-Go program a while back.
Diet-to-Go is great-tasting, fast frozen food that not only tastes great, but also saves you a wealth of time. You simply wait for your weekly delivery, place the foods in your fridge and freezer, then heat and eat while following the yummy weekly menu.
Diet-to-Go even provides your yogurts, desserts and snacks!
BONUS: If you don't mind cooking, but would like super-healthy, super-tasty meats shipped direct to your front door, then we recommend the find products from La Cense Beef. Burgers, steaks and more... at your door. And they're low-fat and high-taste to boot! Click here for more information or to place an order.
TIP 3: Fast, Effective Workouts
Got 6 minutes? Is that quick enough for you to see great results?
Then you want to make Tracey Mallett your best friend! Tracey is not only the author of Sexy in 6 -- the book and DVD series -- but she's also a Diet.com blogger. Click here to keep up with here weekly tips and workouts.
Tracey is an internationally-recognized certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist. She is the creator and star of the "3-In-1 Pregnancy System," for pre- and post-natal mothers. Her newest videos are "Renew Youâ€ť and "Super Body BootCamp.â€ť A proud mother of two, Tracey now lives in Los Angeles.
Recent blogs included Score A Sexy Middleâ€¦ In 6 Minutes! and Sexy Abs With Pilates: 6-Minute Workout.
BONUS FEATURE: Finding Time For Fitness: 10-Minute Tactics
TIP 4: A Great Fat-Burning Workout
To do a great fat-burning workout, warm up first by doing 5 or 10 minutes of cardio. You can warm up with either a bike or treadmill or even an elliptical trainer.
After you are well warmed start your fat-burning workout. The key to the fat-burning workout is both to use different muscles to failure and to not rest between sets. Here are the exercises you can try to start with
Bench press - sets of 10 repetitions
Military press (overhead presses) - sets of 10 repetitions
Lat pulldowns - sets of 10 repetitions
Leg Presses - sets of 10 repetitions
Leg Curls - sets of 10 repetitions
Bicep curls - sets of 10 repetitions
Tricep extensions - sets of 10 repetitions
Try to work all of these together as a 10-15 minutes set. This takes a lot out of you because you are working your whole body with almost no rest for yourself.
Once you have recovered for a couple of minutes do the whole set again. In fact a workout of circuit training like this will involve doing three full sets like this and will probably take about 45 minutes.
It's a tough workout but you will get a lot out of it so it is really worth it.
Not sure how to do certain exercises? Go to the Diet.com Fitness section and check out the animated demonstrations!
TIP 5: 5 Ways to Get The Most of a Home Gym
Home gyms require dedication. You may have all the desire in the world, but if you fail to develop a plan, and then work it, you will never see results.
1. Write your goals down. What is it that you truly hope to accomplish by purchasing a home gym? Do you just want to loose a few pounds? If so, you really donâ€™t need home gym equipment to do it. Perhaps a few small changes to your diet and walking a mile a day will get you where you want to go. Maybe you want to tone up a bit? You will not develop large muscular arms on a treadmill or strong thighs with an ab machine. Determine what it is that you hope to accomplish with a home gym... and write it down.
2. Make your goals reasonable. If your goal is not reasonable, you are in for a quick disappointment. If for instance, your goal is to loose 100 pounds, break it down into steps of 20 pounds at a time. If your goal is to add an inch to your biceps, donâ€™t measure them every day. Reasonable goals, taken in small steps, will return the most quality results over time.
3. Do your research. Decide what home gym equipment is going to get you there. If your goal is to lose a few pounds and improve your ... Continue
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