Archive for March, 2015

Trim Your Workout This Summer Without Sacrificing Results

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Workout This SummerIf you’re running short on time this summer due to your involvement in many other activities such as volleyball teams, long cycle rides, or just getting out and going for a game of Frisbee with a buddy, chances are good that you’re looking for ways to cut down on gym-time.

It’s perfectly normal to find your motivation to get into the gym during the summer start to slip as there are just so many other things that you’d rather be doing outdoors.

Fortunately, you don’t have to let your workouts slip while you free up some spare time. You just need to know how to trim your workouts wisely so that you can cut back on your time investment without sacrificing results.

Let’s have a quick look at a few of the main things to know.

Exclude Isolation Exercises, Not CompoundWorkouts-for-Intermediates

The very first thing that you need to do if you’re going to trim your workouts for the coming summer season is to make sure that you drop out the isolation exercises, not the compound movements.

Compound movements are those exercises that are going to offer you the best overall results for your time invested, so you will want to make sure that you’re getting these in.

Perform your squats, deadlifts, lunges, rows, shoulder presses, bench presses, and so on.  Leave out the bicep curls, tricep extensions, lateral raises, or leg extensions. Those won’t bring you optimal results, so you can easily do without them.

Perform Full Out Sets

Phuong-1Second, also consider performing full out sets when you do perform the sets you do in the gym.

If you can make sure that the intensity stays high, you really only have to do one or two sets of each exercise. You can theoretically cut back on half the volume that you’re doing right now, as long as you maintain the weight on the bar, and still keep your fitness level intact.

You may not make as much progress as you otherwise would, but you will still see good results at preventing a loss in fitness level.

Decrease Your Rest PeriodsA-little-sweat-wont-hurt-a-bit-Its-the-sign-of-a-great-workout-03

Finally, the third thing that you can do to spare some extra time for yourself this summer is decrease the amount of rest you’re taking during those workouts as well. This tends to be great itself since it’ll help to boost your metabolic rate, which will then mean further fat loss at the time you need it the most – beach season.

Plus, by reducing your rest, you’ll get in and out of the gym faster, which is the primary goal during this time.

So there you have the main things to take note of this summer season. Focus on these with your workouts and you can still stay in great shape without having to devote hours and hours to gym workouts. 

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Get Washboard Abs With These Three Exercises

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Get Washboard Abs With These Three ExercisesIf you’re looking to get a flat stomach this summer, it’s important that you take into account which exercises are going to go the distance.  Far too many people resort to crunches or other sit-up variations, thinking these will bring them fast results, but then find themselves quickly disappointed when this isn’t the case.

The trick to really uncovering a set of chiselled abs is always going to be in following a proper diet plan, but then once that’s in place, you need to utilize core exercises that will work as many muscle fibers at once as possible.

The more intensely the entire abdominal region has to contract, the faster you’re going to see the progress you’re looking for.

Let’s have a quick peak at three different exercises that you should consider adding to your ab workout routine if you want to see fast and effective results.

The Plank On An Exercise Ball

The very first movement that is a must-haThe Plank On An Exercise Ballve in any good abdominal workout routine is the plank on an exercise ball.  The plank itself is perfect for building up strength the abdominal core as well as along the spinal column.  By placing yourself on the exercise ball, you’ll be less stabilized, which will force the muscles to sit up and contract that much harder.

When placing the hands on the exercise ball, be sure that you’ve found your balance there first before extending the legs behind you.

The Half Decline-Sit Up With A Twist

The Half Decline-Sit Up With A TwistThe second exercise that you’ll want to consider adding into the mix is the half decline sit-up with a twist.

This one is excellent for stimulating the oblique muscles and for adding extra tension on the rectus abdominal muscles that typically wouldn’t be there.

To perform it, place the legs under the foot pads and then slowly lower yourself down until your back is against the bench.  Pause at the bottom of the movement, come up to the halfway point, and then twist to one side.

Pause, twist back, and then lower yourself down.  Once you’re back down with the black flat against the back pad, repeat the process only this time you’ll want to twist to the other side instead.

This constant twisting action with the brief pauses in there will produce an extremely high level of tension on the core muscles and really get you seeing results quickly.

The Circular Lying Leg RaiseThe Circular Lying Leg Raise

Finally, circular lying leg raises are the last movement that you should consider adding to your workout program.  Lying leg raises are often used on their own to target the lower abs, but by adding the circular movement pattern to them, you’ll boost the intensity that much further.

The key thing to remember when doing these is that you must always make sure that your lower back stays pressed flat against the floor.  If at any point you let it rise upwards, you’ll be placing yourself at a very high risk for developing lower back pain.

So keep these points in mind.  If you’re serious about getting abs, make sure that you’re adding them into your workout on a regular basis. 

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Four Spring Foods To Add To Your Diet

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Four Spring Foods To Add To Your Diet As the spring season comes upon us, it’s time to lighten up your diet, adding in some of the seasonal fair that you can enjoy this time of year.

Most people will have turned to some comfort foods that may be a little higher in calories over the winter months and are now paying the price of this.  Fortunately, spring foods are lighter, lower in calories, and if chosen wisely, are jam-packed with good nutrition so will serve you very well as far as your body weight is concerned.

Let’s take a look at four great spring foods that you should consider adding to your diet.

Sea BassSea Bass

To change things up on the protein front, turn to sea bass. This is a very low fat form of fish that will pack in plenty of protein for a low calorie intake.

Serve it up with some lemon juice and a small sprinkling of basil if desired and you’ll have a tasty main course that works great with any side you choose.

Grapefruit

grapefruit2To change things around for your morning meal, consider grapefruit.  Grapefruit is very rich in vitamin Co content, coming very close to that of what an orange would provide.

Grapefruits offer a sweet yet tart taste, so if you can’t eat them alone, consider adding them to a fruit salad instead.

This food will help to strengthen your immune system so that you are able to recover from each workout session as quickly as possible.

 

 

Sweet Potatoesmaple-mashed-sweet-potatoes

Sweet potatoes are another classic hit at this time of year.  They’re going to offer a much nicer taste than the regular potato and can be prepared regular-style for your main course meals, or turned into a sweet treat for desserts or snacks.

Try sprinkling a little cinnamon with sweetener over sliced sweet potatoes and then placing them in the oven to prepare sweet potato fries.

Or, if you really want to get creative, consider making sweet potato pancakes for a unique and healthier twist on this classic weekend breakfast meal.

Apricots

ApricotsAnother fresh fruit that’s in season right now that you might want to check out is the apricot.  Somewhat like a peach, this fruit works excellent eaten on its own or added into other dishes.

Apricots baked over chicken are one of the best ways to serve them, or consider slicing them and adding them to your favorite spinach salad.

Apricots are very high in vitamin A content and will also offer a dose of vitamin C as well, so will work towards keeping your body healthy and your immune system strong.

So there you have four great spring foods to add to your diet plan this season.  Giving your diet a make-over is one of the best ways to encourage your healthy eating efforts and make sure that you don’t get bored with the regular meals you’ve been feeding yourself all winter long. 

 

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Four Spring Foods To Add To Your Diet Plan

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Four Spring Foods To Add To Your Diet Plan As you get gearing up for the spring season, it’s worth your while to think about some new foods that you can add to your diet to liven it up a bit, while enhancing your nutrition.

With the winter months over, it’s time to lighten up, going for fresher fare that not only tastes great, but makes weight loss a breeze.

Let’s have a look at four spring foods that you might consider adding to your diet plan over the coming months.

ArtichokesArtichokes

Artichokes are a food that is often forgotten about by many people but can offer some serious health benefits that you should definitely note.  Artichokes contain 10 grams of fiber per serving, so are easily rated as one of the highest fiber containing foods out there.

They also only have 64 calories per cup, so are an easy add to the diet if you are looking to watch your body weight.

For anyone who feels hungry on their diet and needs to control their blood sugar level, this is a food to check out.  Serve it as a side dish or consider making it into a dip.

Sugar Snap Peas

sugar snap peasOne excellent food to add to your stir-fries, chop up into your salad or simply snack on when the craving strikes is sugar snap peas.  These peas contain just 26 calories per cup and work great added to a wide variety of dishes.

The crunch that they provide will work to satisfy your craving when you desire something crunchier and sweet. 

They’re high in fiber, folate, and vitamin K, which is important to be consuming to maintain strong bones.

AsparagusAsparagus

Continuing on with the trend of green vegetables, asparagus is another food that you should think about adding to your diet plan.  Asparagus contains just four calories per spear, so load up on this food to keep your weight down.

Asparagus is easy to prepare simply by adding a small amount to some boiling water, steaming, and then adding some lemon juice and a small amount of olive oil if desired.

Serve it with some fresh dill and you’ll have an excellent side dish to accompany any meal.

Asparagus is awesome for boosting your immune system and will pack in some vitamin A, C, as well as important phytochemicals.

Cucumbers

Cucumber on WhiteFinally, cucumbers are another optimal choice during the summer months.  These work great added to salads or eaten on their own when hunger strikes but you don’t want to consume any of your calories for the day.

Since they contain just 16 calories per cup, you won’t even have to factor this into your diet plan.  Munch on them guilt free.  Their high water content is also going to fill you up, so will keep hunger levels down low.

So there you have four great spring foods to consider at this time of year.  Add these to your diet and you can soon kiss that winter weight good-bye. 

 

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Five Ways To Get Active This Spring

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Five Ways To Get Active This SpringWith spring right around the corner, one thing that you should consider doing is taking your workouts outside.  Getting some fresh air and doing something other than the traditional gym workout is a perfect way to add more energy to your sessions, challenge different muscle groups, and help to stimulate the mind to a larger extent as well.

The key is to learn which spring activities will burn the most calories and offer some clear strengthening benefits.

So which should you choose? Let’s go over five of the top ones to note.

HikingHiking

Hiking or brisk walking is a great way to get out doors, perform some lower impact activity and burn plenty of calories fast.  The nice thing about hiking is that it really doesn’t require much skill at all, so virtually anyone can do it.

If you don’t live in an area close to mountains, that’s no problem. Find a hilly trail around where you do live and make the most of it.

As long as there are some hills involved in your walk, you’ll be working the main muscles in the lower body and achieving firming and strengthening benefits.

Soccer

SoccerSoccer is the next spring activity to consider.  Soccer is a great group activity and due to the stop and go nature of it, it’ll be very similar to a sprint training workout session.

Because of the fact you have the end goal in mind of reaching the goal post, most people will find it far more motivating to sprint across the field than when doing typical gym workout sprints.

Plus, the group atmosphere of this exercise really provides some clear added benefits.

 

 

Boot CampBoot Camp

If you’re into group fitness in a major way, consider a boot camp.  Now is a great time to take part in boot camp workouts because the weather won’t be too uncomfortably hot, so you can exercise in an atmosphere you feel good in.

Boot camp workouts are great for boosting your cardiovascular fitness level as well as improving your strength also.  Plus, they’ll also pinpoint your balance and agility capabilities as well.

Touch Football

Touch FootballTouch football is the next group activity to consider. If you can round up a larger group of people and get a game going on a Sunday afternoon, this is a perfect way to burn off some added calories and maintain your body weight.

You’ll be working almost every single muscle group in the body with this activity, so that will definitely help provide all over conditioning.

 

 

CyclingCycling

Finally, if you want to really enhance your lower body strength, go for a long bike ride. If you can find hills to climb, even better.

Cycling is great for those who want a non-impact activity, but something that will still get your heart rate up.

Get outside this spring and consider all of these activities. Make them a regular part of your week and you’ll be seeing improvements in your fitness level. 

 

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Cool Down With This Water Workout

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Cool Down With This Water Workout If you’re looking for a fast and effective workout that will shed fat quickly, you’ll want to be sure you don’t overlook swimming.  Swimming can be an excellent way to get in shape that provides very little impact to the body, making it great for those who are looking to avoid injury.

Plus, swimming will also work the entire body, unlike some other forms of cardiovascular training that will only work the upper or lower body on its own.

If you think that swimming has to just entail you going into the pool and doing laps however, you’re strongly mistaken.  There are plenty of options that you can do with your swimming workout to add more variety and increase your interest.

Let’s get you started by providing you some tips for your first workout.

Use A Variety Of StrokesUse A Variety Of workout

The very first thing that you’ll want to do with your swimming workouts is to make sure that you use a variety of strokes.  Don’t let yourself just perform the front stroke – mix it up.

Go for the front stroke, the backstroke, as well as the butterfly stroke.  The different strokes will target different muscle fibers in the body, providing a more well-balanced workout plan.

Try and perform 3-5 minutes of each stroke and repeat twice for a 20-30 minute session.

Consider Doing Leg Raises

consider doing leg raisesIf you’re looking to build muscle strength while you burn off calories, stop every once in a while and perform some standing leg raises in the shallow end.

The nice thing about doing this is that the water will act as a form of resistance, so you’ll get far better toning benefits than you would if you were doing the raises outside of the water.

Perform front, side, as well as back leg raises to really hit those glute muscles well.  Aim for 15-20 on each leg of each variety.

Perform Jump SquatsPerform Jump Squats

Another great way to work the lower body while you’re in the water is to do jump squats.  For this one, you’ll lower yourself down into the water as low as you can go and then rebound up out of the water using all the explosive force you’ve got.

On land this is a perfect exercise to target the lower body muscles but in water, you’ll increase the intensity.  Again, you’ll have that added resistance working against you, which helps enhance the forces you’ll be working against.

If you want to build up your lower body power, make sure that you add this exercise in.

Tread Water For One Minute Intervals

Tread Water For One Minute IntervalsFinally, the last way to enhance your swimming workouts is to incorporate some water treading in to the mix.  Water treading is an excellent form of cardio that will also work the shoulders, chest, back, as well as the lower body, so it really can’t get much better than that.

Tread water at a vigorous pace and you’ll also burn up loads of calories, accelerating your fat loss results.

Don’t let your swimming workouts become dull. Instead, use these tips to help make your sessions more challenging and interesting at the same time. 

 

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Camping: Eat Right When In The Wilderness

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

camping: eat right when In The wildernessIf you’re a big fan of camping and plan to head out quite frequently over the coming summer months, one thing that you need to be giving some consideration to is the foods that you’ll be taking in while out in the wild.

Many people who go camping use it as an excuse to cheat on their diet plan and end up indulging in foods that they definitely should not be consuming.

But, if you plan to bring your own food and make sure that you select some wise choices, you will have more energy for all the camping activities that you want to do and will also not have to worry about falling off your diet plan entirely.

Let’s have a quick look at some of the best foods to bring with you as you go camping.

Canned Beans1306433307167

First up on our list of great foods for camping is canned beans. Beans are loaded with fiber, complex carbohydrates, along with protein, so will provide your body with many nutrients that it needs. Plus, all you have to do is open the can, put into a pot, and heat over the fire. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Just be sure to choose canned beans that don’t have a high amount of added sugars or you will run into problems in terms of calorie control.

Raw Oatmeal

Raw OatmealSecond on the list is raw oatmeal. Raw oatmeal can either be consumed on its own if you need to take something with you on the go (consider mixing it together with some dried fruit and nuts for a trail mix type of snack), or you can simply boil some water over the campfire and then poor it into your oats to cook them.

Either way, it’s a great way to get your day started off right and provide you with a high quality source of complex carbohydrates.

Canned TunaCanned Tuna

Canned tuna is next on the list of perfect camping foods. Since canned tuna essentially requires no prep work other than grabbing a can opener, you definitely can’t go wrong with this one.

Mix your canned tuna with a little lemon juice and fresh dill for a calorie free way to add more flavor.

Natural Nut Butter

Natural Nut ButterNatural nut butter is a good solution for your healthy fat choices. If you are going to be doing quite a bit of hiking or other fitness related activities while you camp, you’re going to need to keep your energy levels up. Healthy fats are a great way to do this.

Natural nut butter can either be consumed on its own or smeared over some Ezekiel bread, which is a great choice to bring along as well.

 

 

 

Fresh FruitFresh Fruit

Finally, you can’t go wrong with fresh fruit. Fresh fruit will add some fiber to your day, pack in more nutrients, and help to satisfy your sweet tooth so you aren’t indulging in candy, chocolate bars, or whatever other junk foods others may have brought with them.

Don’t let your diet fall off track just because you’re camping. Choose your foods wisely and you’ll feel far better because of it. 

 

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Blast Fat On The Beach With These Tips

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

6Looking to burn fat quickly? If so, the beach is a perfect environment to do this at.  Beach workouts are an excellent way to enjoy the summer heat while taking your calorie burning up a level.

The nice thing about beach workouts it the fact that the sand will make them lower in impact, while also increasing your calorie burn as the leg muscles will have to work that much harder to keep you balanced at all times.

The end result is that you’ll get results faster and have fun while you’re doing it.

Let’s have a look at some of the best exercises to perform at the beach and incorporate into your workout program plan.

LungesIMG_0213

Perhaps the single best exercise that you could do for the lower body while going about your beach workout is the lunge.  The lunge is effectively going to target the glutes, the hamstrings, as well as the quads, while working the calf muscles as well.

What’s more is that because you will be slightly off balance while doing the lunges in the sand, this is going to call the core into play to a larger extent as well, making sure that you get a great ab workout at the exact same time.

For anyone who wants a great looking lower body, you simply can’t go wrong with lunges.

Beach Volleyball

Beach volleyballIf you’re looking to exercise in the company of others, a game of beach volleyball can be the perfect addition to your workout program.  Beach volleyball will give you a cardiovascular workout while working both the lower and upper body at the same time.

As an added benefit, it’s also going to help enhance your hand-eye coordination. For anyone concerned about sport performance, this is an excellent summer activity to take in.

To make the game of beach volleyball more intense, try and stay in the ready position as much as possible so there is constant tension on the lower body muscles.

Beach RunningBeach Running

Another good form of cardio training is beach running.  Beach running is going to help to work the calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core, so will also form a perfect lower body workout as well.

Beach running is going to get your heart rate up higher than treadmill or road running, so do expect it to feel more difficult than normal.

While you may be tempted to run bare foot on the beach, it is really best if you can wear running shoes instead as these will help to prevent an ankle roll that could potentially become very dangerous very quickly.

Push-Upspush-ups

Finally, the last must-have exercise for your beach workout is the push-up.  Push-ups are a great way to challenge the upper body muscles and the fact that you’re doing them on the unstable sand surface will ensure they target your core as well.

These can be performed regular-style or on your knees – whatever you’re best able to do.

Get started with your very own beach workout today. They are an excellent way to get in shape and will grant you a beach-worthy body in no time. 

 

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Beat The Heat: Your Guide To Swimming Strokes

Friday, March 13th, 2015

thestroke_LargeOne of the best summer time exercises that you can get involved with in the coming warmer months is swimming. Not only will swimming be an excellent way to help you cool down after a hot day in the sun, but it’s also a very good way to boost your calorie burn as well.

When diving into the pool, it’s helpful to know about the different summer strokes that you can perform as each is going to work a different set of muscles and offer a few different physical benefits.

Let’s have a quick look at the main strokes that you need to know about.

The Back Crawl20110506testedlel16

The very first stroke to consider is the back crawl. This one tends to be the easiest and is a good recovery stroke to do if you’re feeling fatigued from the other strokes that you’re completing.

Due to the nature of this stroke, you’ll best target the back and lat muscles as well as the hamstrings as you propel yourself through the water.

When performing this one make sure to think about keeping your abs tight at all times.

The Breaststroke

2004126914The second stroke to consider is the breast stroke. This one is going to have you moving through the water without lifting the arms overhead and is primarily going to hit your chest, lats, as well as the back.

This does tend to be a favorite among many swimmers and will burn slightly more calories than a back crawl would.

 

 

The ButterflyIMG_6897

Moving along, next we come to the butterfly stroke. This one could easily be considered the most intense stroke of them all and will require far more coordination on your part.

When doing this stroke you’ll need a powerful upper body and strong core to keep yourself in position throughout the movement.

When doing it you want to make sure both arms are coming up simultaneously and then driving through the water at the same time as well.

The Front Crawl

freestyle-stroke-2Finally, the last stroke is the front crawl. Like the back crawl this one isn’t quite as intense either, but is going to burn more calories than the back crawl itself.

It’s good for working the core, lats, chest, as well as the shoulders, and will help to enhance your mind-muscle coordination as well.

For best results, it would be good to alternate between all of these different swimming strokes as that is what would yield the best overall workout and also help to reduce any boredom that you may experience as well.

Getting started with swimming is a perfect way to liven up your workouts and challenge your muscles in a new manner. 

 

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Assessing The Calorie Burn Of Summer Activities: Where Will You Burn The Most

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

beach-volleyball-157591-360x225As summer rolls around, it’s important to consider all the many ways that you can get out and get active.  Moving away from the confines of your gym is a perfect idea to introduce more variety into your diet plan and ensure that you stay on track to success.

As you do so, it’s also worthwhile to note which activities are going to be burning the most calories as this is what will guarantee that you move along with your fat loss goals the fastest.

Let’s have a look at the main ones that you want to know about.

Beach VolleyballVolleyball cheerleaders rehearse before

Calorie Burn: 572/hour

Beach volleyball is a very calorie intensive activity and will be working each and every muscle in the lower body. It’s also an excellent way to boost your agility and balance, so not one to overlook.

Cycling

cycling_shutterstock_59593924Calorie Burn: 300-500 depending on intensity

Going out for a long bike ride one lazy afternoon is a great way to get some sun and enjoy the summer.  Your calorie burn is very much going to depend upon how hard you are biking, but you’ll still be in the 300+ range for an hour-long ride. 

 

 

 

 

 

RollerbladingJennifer Nicole Lee rocks bikini roller blading in bikini in Miami Beach

Calorie Burn: 450-650/hour

For those who can’t run due to impact, rollerblading makes for an excellent substitute.  Rollerblading will help to target the glutes, hamstrings, and quads and will also work your cardiovascular system as well.

To increase the intensity of this activity, remember to stay as crouched down to the ground as possible.  This will place more stress and strain on the leg muscles, causing you to work harder and burn more calories total.

Soccer

bondi-beach-soccer-on-the-beachCalorie Burn: 600/hour

A competitive game of soccer is the next activity to consider during the warmer summer months.  Soccer earns top marks for its calorie burning as you’ll burn up to 600 per hour provided you stay active most of the time.

With all the stop and go starts you’ll experience during the game, you’ll also experience a higher metabolic rate after the workout is finished as well.  This dramatically increases its overall fat burning potential.

Beach Running

RUNCalorie Burn: 500-800

The number of calories that you’ll burn while beach running depend largely on just how fast you go, but one thing you can assure yourself is that your lower body will be working.  Beach running is the perfect way to really target the calve muscles in particular as they’ll be working extra hard to propel you through the soft sand.

 

 

 

 

Kayaking

HCOkayakingCalorie Burn: 357

For something completely unique and original this summer, consider kayaking.  Kayaking is a great water sport that will target your upper body, so is a good method to give your lower body a break from the everyday cardio sessions you’re doing.

Kayaking will require a high amount of balance and control as well, calling your core into play as you perform each stroke.

Mix and match between these activities this summer and you’ll get leaner and leaner as each week passes by. 

 

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