Supersets for a Super Fast Workout

So, we’ve heard it all before and maybe we’re even guilty of it ourselves too – that all-too-common phrase, the biggest stumbling block in almost anyone’s workout routine – I don’t have the time.

plank

If you have a crazy schedule like most people these days, there’s lots of things you can do to maximize your time. Even if you have five kids and appointments all day long, you can employ the Tabata method and exercise while you’re vacuuming or brushing your teeth. The principle behind the Tabata method is to perform as many 20-second sets of exercises in four minutes. It’s a method used by the Olympic Japanese speed skating team and is really effective.

If you’re a commuter, try performing isometric exercises while you’re stuck in traffic.

Another way to get the most out of your time is through supersets. I’m a firm believer in supersets and I love to work out in the morning. Even though I’m not a typical morning person, it really sets up my day perfectly. I go into the office feeling strong and tall and ready to take on anything. Working out in the mornings is also a great way to burn up that nasty hormone cortisol that is especially high in the early hours. It’s what gets you out of bed and causes fat accumulation around the belly area.

When you perform a superset, you move from one exercise straight into the next with no rest in between. It increases muscle tear, which means leaner (bigger) muscles as a result.

I have two workouts that I do on separate mornings that take about 20 to 30 minutes.

Workout #1

  • Bicycle Crunches – 3 sets of 40 and 1 last set to finish the entire routine as active recovery
  • Incline push-ups – 3 sets of 10 (I use the edge of the bath tub – just make sure your hands are flat and not on the edge as this can cause bruising)
  • Dips – 3 sets of 10 (again, I use the edge of the bath tub)
  • Side Squats with side lateral and front shoulder raises – 3 sets of 12 reps each side. For this one, I stand with feet together, step out to one side (alternating sides) and squat while holding small weights and performing side lateral raises for 12 reps, finishing with 12 reps of front shoulder raises for the remaining 24 reps.
  • At the end of each circuit, rest 1 minute and repeat.

Workout #2

  • Plank – hold for 30 seconds
  • Push-ups – perform 3 push-ups, then move straight into Mountain Climbers for a count of 24 (12 each leg) and finish with one Burpee
  • Rest 1 minute after each set and repeat 3 times.
  • Reverse lunges with light weights – 3 sets of 12 each leg
  • Rowing with resistance bands – 3 sets of 12
  • Standing, alternating bicep curls – 3 sets of 12 each arm
  • Rest 1 minute and repeat.
  • Curtsey Lunges – bending your front leg at a 90-degree angle, while your other legs goes behind the other, as if you’re curtseying – 3 sets of 12 each leg
  • Back raises on an exercise ball – 3 sets of 12
  • Triceps extensions with dumbbells – 3 sets of 12
  • Rest 1 minute and repeat

You can customize your own workout to suit your own needs. Make sure to include some of your favorite exercises, since this will give you motivation and make it easier to face this workout challenge first thing in the morning. Go on, I dare you!

 

Cinnamon for Weight Loss

Cinnamon is one of those spices that has many health benefits:

cinnamon

  • Helps prevent breast cancer
  • Has a high thermic effect on the body
  • Helps in prolonging the digestion process in the stomach
  • Relieves diarrhea and nausea
  • Aids in peripheral circulation
  • Enhances digestion
  • Promotes the metabolism of fats

Recent studies have shown that cinnamon also affects blood glucose levels. It does this by prolonging the digestion process of the stomach, which helps to reduce spikes in insulin levels after eating a meal.

This effect it has on blood sugar levels helps in weight loss as you feel fuller longer, so you’re less likely to give into food cravings and you won’t feel so hungry all the time. It also boosts your metabolism and helps to control blood sugar levels.

I use cinnamon on my oatmeal in the morning and on top of yogurt or in my protein shake. I often make a Chai Tea with almond milk and will add a cinnamon stick just for fun and flavor. All you need is just 6 g of cinnamon a day to improve overall health.

 

Kelly Ripa’s Workout Part One

If there’s one person you can take inspiration from it’s Kelly Ripa. Now a reformed smoker, Kelly used fitness to cure herself of this nasty habit and get herself into serious  shape.

kelly_ripa_workoutShe gave up the smokes for working out 5 days a week with a workout that combines some typical moves with some you may not be familiar with.

In an interview with Shape Magazine, Kelly shared some of her workout and nutrition tips. Now we will all know the secret to her fabulous, shapely arms.

Being a busy Hollywood celebrity, the main goal for Kelly was finding a workout that would fit into her busy schedule. Under the expert eye of personal trainer Keith Byard, Kelly has reduced her power workout into 45 minutes of strength training and cardio combined.

This workout is one that you can do at home. All it requires, besides stamina and determination, is a jump rope and medicine ball, lightweight dumbbells, resistance bands or tubing and a Swiss Ball.

Kelly Ripa’s Workout

Squat with Rotational Row

Grabbing hold of the handle of your tubing with one hand, start with feet shoulder-width apart and palm down. Flexing your elbow, pull the tube into your ribs, and rotate your arm to finish in a flexed bicep curl, palm facing up. Hold this position as you lower down into a squat. Slowly, releasing your bicep contraction, raise yourself simultaneously out of the squat to begin again. Perform 2 sets of 12-15 reps.

Rotational Lunge

Again with tubing, grab hold with one hand and flex your arm to work your biceps, lowering yourself down into a lunge. Keeping your bicep flexed, raise yourself up and rotate 180° to lower down into a lunge again. Flip around to the starting position and repeat 2 sets of 12-15 reps each side.

One Leg Hip Lift

Lying on your back with arms extended, palms down, place one foot on a medicine ball and raise your hips off the ground, squeezing your glutes and hold for a second or two. Lower your hips down again but do not touch the ground, raising yourself up immediately into the next rep, making sure you don’t move the ball. Repeat for 2 sets of 12-15 reps each side.

Abs with a Twist

Lying on your back, clutching a medicine ball to your chest, sit up as you swing your legs out to the side to stand up fully. Finish this move by lowering yourself down the same way you came up to begin again. Perform 2 sets of 12-15 reps each side.

Push-Ups with Rotation

You’ll need a couple of lightweight dumbbells for this move. Holding the dumbbells in your hands, perform a push-up, twisting into a side plank and raising your outer arm up and hold for a count of three. Flip down into a push-up and rotate out to the other side. Perform 2 sets of 8 reps.

Swiss Ball Push-Ups

With your feet resting on a Swiss Ball while you perform push-ups puts more demand on your core as you have to control the ball’s movement as you lower yourself down. You want to move forward ever so slightly, but in a controlled and steady manner. Perform 2 sets of 12-15 reps.

Jumping Pyramid

Depending on your intesity, jumping rope burns 11-20 calories per minute and jumping jacks burn 8-9 calories per minute.

Jump Rope – 20 revolutions
Jumping Jacks – 30 seconds
Jump Rope – 40 revolutions
Jumping Jacks – 30 seconds
Jump Rope – 60 revolutions
Jumping Jacks – 30 seconds
Jump Rope – 80 revolutions
Jumping Jacks – 30 seconds
Jump Rope – 100 revolutions
Jumping Jacks – 30 seconds
Jump Rope – 80 revolutions
Jumping Jacks – 30 seconds
Jump Rope – 60 revolutions
Jumping Jacks – 30 seconds
Jump Rope – 40 revolutions
Jumping Jacks – 30 seconds
Jump Rope – 20 revolutions

Perform 2 sets.

Originally published @ FITLODE.COM

Calorie-Pinching Pizza

When you decide to live a healthier lifestyle, one of the hardest things to do is giving up your favorite foods.

pizzaWho doesn’t love pizza? Some families make a night of it – a special event to be shared by the whole family and maybe a movie to go with it. Who wants to give up on all that fun?

With a little innovation, you can still enjoy your favorite foods without sacrificing on flavor. Whenever I crave pizza, I throw some of my favorite ingredients together on a tortilla shell and slide it under the grill. Not only is it super quick and easy to make, it’s healthier and I’m not clutching my bloated belly and reaching for the Tums about half an hour afterwards.

Ingredients

  • 1 wholewheat tortilla shell
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 oz black olives
  • 1 oz skim milk mozzarella cheese
  • 1 sprig of fresh basil – sliced (chiffonade)

Preparation

Place your tortilla shell on an oven-proof pie dish or plate. Slice the tomatoes and spread out evenly on your tortilla shell. Top with black olives, basil and cheese and throw under the grill until the cheese has melted.

There are so many ways to prepare this pizza. Sometimes I make a sauce or sometimes I will mix the herbs with a little olive oil and fry that up with thick slices of tomato just for a few minutes to get them started or if I’m using lots of different vegetables, as the cheese will melt faster than they take to cook.

This recipe is the super-slimmed-down version. So go ahead and experiment and don’t let the black olives put you off if that isn’t your thing. Choose your favorite ingredients and if you’re a meat-loving pizza connoisseur, try substituting grilled chicken breast for pepperoni.

This baby, if you can finish it all, weighs in at about 330 calories, which leaves you lots of room to add more cheese if you wish. Considering your average pizza joint pie will set you back by as much as 1000 calories, this is a much more pleasing option.

Eating Stress-Free Burns more Calories

Having trouble losing weight and can’t figure out why? You might be engaging in stressed-out eating.

eating on the runWhat is stressed-out eating?

If you eat on-the-go while you’re in a hurry or running between meetings or classes, then you’re setting yourself up for extra poundage. The slower you eat, the faster you metabolize the foods you ingest.

It’s time to slow things down, relax and enjoy your food.

Monitoring your eating speed can also help you identify your relationship to food and emotional eating. This is where diet journaling comes in handy. By keeping a journal of your eating habits, you can help re-establish a healthy relationship with food.

You’ve seen those people who just wolf down their food without even tasting it or perhaps, even chewing it. Well, not only do you put an incredible drain on your digestive system and lose some of the nutrients from your food, but you set yourself up for weight gain.

In the 1800s in England, there was a man who developed a dieting system that required its participants to chew each mouthful of food for 40 times before swallowing. Now, this is the extreme, but by chewing your food slowly and thoroughly, you start the digestive process and relax the stomach to receive the food. This helps in the breakdown of the food and ensures you’re getting all the nutrients you can from your meals.

It’s important to be relaxed when you’re eating, because when you’re stressed out, you stimulate the hormone cortisol which is responsible for unsightly and unhealthy midriff weight gain. To your body, stress is stress and when it senses something is wrong, it will secrete cortisol hormone, which slows down your metabolism and tends to store what you’re eating as fat. It senses danger and that means famine. Digestion can even come to a complete stop, resulting in bloating, discomfort and constipation.

Here are some pointers from the book Slow Down Diet from Marc David:

  • Worrying about fat increases fat. Anxiety about weight loss causes your body to put fat on and retain it.
  • Slow down, relax your mind! This will burn food more efficiently if you breathe in more oxygen. So relax and take deep breaths while eating.

Here are some additional tips to help you get in the mood for food:

  • Take a look at the French, who have turned dining into an art form and whose lunches usually last for hours and hours.
  • Try reading a book or sharing your meals with family and friends with some relaxed conversation.
  • Create a comfortable atmosphere by lighting candles, laying the table and maybe even placing a vase of flowers on the table to instil calm.
  • You don’t have to dine out at a fancy restaurant to create the ideal mood for dining, just a few simple things like lighting and music can make all the difference.
  • Avoid eating in front of the TV or computer. If you’re watching an intense show, that stress will transfer to your body and it will sense that stress and your metabolism will slow down.
  • Breathe and savor each morsel.

By employing a few of these tips, you will re-establish a healthy relationship towards food and develop healthy habits towards eating.