Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bootilicious? I Think So!

Okay, these exercises can be done by themselves and/or with equipment. The equipment that is suggested is a two pound fitness ball but for the sake of keeping my customized workout plan FREE I am going to be doing it without the ball. If you feel that you are not challenged enough there is always the option of making your own resistance ball. Why not fill a sock with rice or dried beans? Although it may not be the prettiest thing to look at, it does the trick. This means that you can leave the balls at the store and save your cash.

Exercise One
Double Leg Raise

1) Lie on your stomach with our legs together and toes pointed. Use your arms to prop your chest up off of the ground (just a little bit). If you are using a make-shift ball place it between your heels. (The picture depicts proper body position, but think of it without the giant ball)

2) Now squeeze those buns and raise your legs a few inches off of the ground as far as you can and hold for 5 seconds.That’s one rep. Time to do three more sets of ten reps.

This exercise is not only great at working out your derriere, but will also work your lower back and that infamous spare tire in your mid-region

Exercise Two
Butt Lift

1) Start on all fours (if you are using a make-shift ball put the ball behind your right knee). Keeping your right leg bent at 90 degrees, raise it to the side so your leg is parallel to the floor.

2) Lift your right leg even higher on the diagonal so it is behind you. hold it for five seconds and then lower it back to the start position. That is one rep. Do three sets of ten reps and then switch sides.

You can also do this workout without a ball, pulling your knee into your chest and then extending it straight out and up as far as you can go.

Tired of your workout routine? Why not try some fun fitness activities!

Many recreational activities offer almost all of the benefits of an actual workout and just by enjoying it! So why not meet up with some friends and get some socializing in while you keep yourself looking good.

Fun Fitness Activity Ideas
For a more detailed explaination of why these workouts are great check out the hyperlink!

1) Swimming

2) Bicycling

3) Walking, jogging or hiking

4) Dancing!!!!!

5) Rollerblading

All of these activities work your body and test your endurance at the same time, even DANCING! So ladies and gents, put on those dancing shoes and shake that bootayyyyy to thinner you!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Put Down those Chips and Pick Up some Healthy Snacking Ideas!

Unfortunately today was grocery day and the once bare-boned shelves of my junk food cubbard are now stocked to the brim with 100% bad for you snacks. This is what inspired this little mini-post and well, this post inspired my willpower.

Healthy Snacking Ideas 101
There are a bunch more on the website but these are the ones that caught my eye!

1) 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce with 1 slice of wholegrain bread, toasted and cut into 4 strips for dunking

2) Frozen yogurt lollipops

3) 2 multigrain crackers with cheddar cheese and sliced green grapes

4) 1 small apple sliced, almond butter thinly spread on each slice, raisins sprinkled on top

5)1/2 cup of pure orange juice, frozen and eaten as sorbet

If you have any fun and healthy snacking ideas feel free to send them my way, Enjoy and Happy Snacking!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Spring is in the Air: Working out those abs for your tinnie-weenie, yellow, polka dot bikini!

As promised this week will focus on the abs. With spring just a few short weeks away it is essential to start working on the mid-region of the body so you can wear that bikini with pride.

Exercise 1

Inverted Oblique Lift

Alright, I could not actually find a picture that demonstrates this workout but this is quite similar, same idea but modified a bit.

1) Begin with your left leg straight on the floor and your right leg bent with your foot on the floor and angle your right knee inward. Rest your hands behind your head and pull in your abs.

2) Now lift your right leg and straighten it (still directing it inward) slightly across your body, keeping your left leg straight on the floor. Contract your abs and raise your body at the same time (your upper body does a normal crunch).

Hold this position for five seconds and lower to starting position. Thats one rep, now do at least 24 more and then switch sides so that your left leg is bent and your right is straight.

This workout is great for those who feel that regular side crunches are not as challenging because it adds the weight of your leg.

Exercise 2

Alternating Split Pike

1) Begin with both legs straight on the floor and your arms streched out past your head. Now contract your abs and crunch up while you lift your left leg straight off the floor so it is at a 90 degree angle. (Use bottom picture for reference)

2) Hold and lift your right leg up to meet your left leg into a pike position while raising your torso higher by reaching your hands towards your toes (Use the top picture for reference). Lower back to starting position.

Thats one rep, do at least 24 more and then switch sides so that your right leg is straight on the floor and your left is at the 90 degree angle.

This workout again is great for those who feel that they are no longer challenged by a regular sit-up as it adds the weight of both of your legs.

The bonus: it works out your obliques as well because you begin with one leg at a time and then continue to both legs which works your abs.

Note: be sure to keep your toes pointed, as this will keep your body stay tight and will not allow for your knees to bend. There is nothing worse than trying to work your abs and looking like a flopping fish because you do not keep your body tight.

Next week we are getting bootilicious, and working out that rear! Stay posted for some fun fitness facts in the meantime...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Some fun fitness facts and a funny cartoon I came across

Did you Know?

* Bodies are creatures of habit. The more you exercise, the more your body learns to burn fat rather than storing it

* The best way to judge whether or not you are exercisinf at too high of an intensity is to see whether or not you can carry on a conversation. If you can't, you may want to back off of the intensity just a little until you can

* If you are always in a bad mood then getting fit just may help. Regular exercise can enhance your mood and overall well-being

* The top three factors that determine whether or not you will stick to your exercise routine include having support, finding a workout plan that you like and knowing what you are doing

* Your recipe for fitness success just may be working out with a friend doing something you love after having recieved formal education on how to do it

* In spite of what you may have read, there is not "best time to exercise." It turns out that the best time to excerise is when it works for you!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Double Dose of Working it Out with Liz!

Today is a special double dose of Working it Out with Liz! Unfortunately, I was unable to post last week as I was bed-bound due to possibly the worst flu experience I have ever had in my life. Thankfully, my immune system is strong and I was able to fight it off quite quickly. So here we go!

I feel the best part of the body to start my personalized workout plan is the upper body. While I am quite comfortable and happy with my upper body, it never hurts to tone it up.  

Most interestingly, I found while researching that upper body exercises which focus on your chest muscles underneath the ‘ladies’ can actually make them look perkier. This really is not a problem for younger women, but hey, it can never hurt to start young.

Exercise 1

The Shoulder-Shrug Plank

1) Begin in a normal push up/plank position, making sure that your body is completely straight (no bums sticking in the air) and your hands and feet are shoulders-width apart.
2) Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for three seconds. (Your chest should change from hollowed out to pushed out towards the floor when you squeeze)

3) Return back to the normal push up/plank position and repeat nine times.

This exercise is nice because it tones the chest muscles without having to physically do a push up.  This means you can perk up without bulking up your arms. Also, holding a plank position works is great for your abs!

Exercise 2

Push-up with a Twist

      1) Starting in a push up position again, put your knees on the floor and arms shoulder-width apart.

      Slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself into a conventional push up.

      2) On the way up, instead of just extending your elbows back up normally, push back up, rotate your body to the right and raise your right arm so it is in line with your right shoulder.
      Hold for three counts, then, return to beginning push up position. Repeat four more times and switch sides.

For those days when you feel like working out your arms! This workout will not only great for  your arms and chest but for your core muscles as well.

So there it is, the double feature. Next week: abs, abs and more abs.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fun Little Fitness Fact!

While searching for my first addition to my customized workout plan for this week, I was drawn to this month's edition of Cosmopolitan. Right on the front of the magazine it stated "Flatten Your Belly."

I was pretty stoked about the idea of toning my stomach circumference, but when I flipped though to the fitness section I was pretty upset.

"Tone Your Booty-Fast" was the title of the section. What? How could Cosmo go and lie to me like that, especially when I was amped up for some serious core strengthening? I was in shock and awe.

Then, low and behold I flipped the page and there it was, not a workout tip, but something better; my fun fitness fact of the week.

In a three month experiment recently conducted at Virginia Tech, researchers found that drinking more water is a great diet/fitness aid. They found that participants who consumed about two cups of water anywhere from 15-30 minutes before a meal lost five more pounds than participants who did not.

The head of the research team, Brenda Davy, PhD, RN, stated that "The water drinkers consumed noticeably fewer calories at meals but still reported being satiated."

This is the first step of my customized workout plan, and is very important for me. After reading this article, I sat back and really thought about how much water I drink. The verdict: not a lot. Hell my cats drink more water than I do, which is weird because cats are notorious for not drinking enough water. Who is my new bestie, that's right, H20.