by Heathy Menu Mailer
How many times have you said to yourself that you just don’t have the time to exercise? Don’t feel bad; it’s my favorite excuse as well. We all have busy lives and not much time for anything in our schedule. That’s why I wanted to share some of my favorite ways to sneak some exercise into everyday activities with you.
Get Up Earlier - Did you know that you are much more likely to stick with any type of exercise program, if you do it in the morning? Makes sense, doesn’t it. The day is new, and you haven’t had a chance yet to get burned out from long meetings at the office or running around town all day. It’s hard to get motivated to work out after a long day, so why not get it out of the way first thing in the morning?
Set your alarm to go off 20 – 30 minutes earlier than usual and ride your exercise bike, go for a brisk walk through the neighborhood, or get an exercise tape and work out with it in the morning. Exercise is a great way to start your day and you’ll feel energized throughout the rest of your day.
Walk During Commercial Breaks - You just settled down on the couch to watch your favorite TV show, and it goes to commercial. That’s the perfect time to get in a little exercise. Just get up and march in place right in front of the TV until the commercial break is over. Doing this even just once or twice a day will start making a big difference. You can even wear a pedometer to get an idea for how much walking you get done during your favorite TV shows.
Once you get used to your commercial workout, step it up a notch by marching through the entire show. Now that’s a workout! Plus you don’t have to feel guilty about watching Desperate Housewives anymore instead of doing the dishes – you’re exercising.
Work On Your Abs While You Wait In Line - One of my least favorite things to do is to stand in line. Whether it’s at the grocery store, the pharmacy or the DMV, it just seems like such a waist of time to just stand there and wait. That is unless you are working out at the same time. You can get a great abs workout standing in line and best of all, no one has to notice.
Here’s how you do it: Stand up straight and suck in your stomach as hard as you can. Hold and count to ten before you release. Repeat. Each of these counts as one sit-up and is just as effective. Just imagine how many sit-ups you can do just while waiting in line each week.
Go For A Family Hike Or Bike Ride - Instead of just hanging out on the weekends, take the family for a hike or go on a bike ride. You get to spend some quality time with your family and get some great exercise at the same time.
If your life is as busy as mine, give a few of these exercise tips a try and see if you can’t start to find time to work out a few times a week.
Susanne Myers is the co-creator of Healthy Menu Mailer. Busy Moms love the easy-to-prepare healthy dinner recipes, grocery lists and encouragement to stay healthy every day of the week. To learn more and get your free sample menu visit Healthy Menu Mailer.
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by Heathy Menu Mailer
Core work is the key to a great set of abs. Try this balance move to help tighten your abs and get the six-pack you've always wanted.
These exercises can help you shed excess weight and help you get rid of belly fat.
For this exercise, you will need to lie on a flat surface, such as the floor. You will be lying in your stomach, so you may want to use a mat or towel to cushion your knees. Prop your upper body up on your forearms so that your elbows make a ninety degree angle and are positioned directly below your shoulders. Now lift your body up off the floor so that your lower body is supported by your toes, while your upper body remains supported by your elbows. Your body should basically be a straight line, with no arch or drooping through your back. Hold this position for twenty seconds, then lower your body back to the floor. One repetition is sufficient.
2. Side Plank
This stomach exercise is a variation on the previous one, and begins in the same starting position. Once you are positioned properly, roll to your right side, keeping your torso supported with your right forearm. You will have to raise your hips and roll your feet so that your left foot is on top of your right. As in the plank, your body will be a straight line, but this time you will be on one side. Place your left hand on your hip and hold the plank position for five seconds. Return to start and repeat on the left side.
3. Ball Roll
In this exercise you are the ball! First, sit on the floor and hug your knees to your chest. Roll back slightly so you are balancing on your tail bone and your feet are off the floor, toes pointing downward. Pull your abdominals inward while rolling onto your lower back and the upper part of your butt. Contract your abdominals and pull yourself back to the starting position. Loosening your arms up may help if you find this exercise too difficult at first.
4. Standing Crossover
As the name implies, you will need to stand up for this stomach exercise. Position your feet a few inches apart. Put your arms out to the sides and bend your elbows at a ninety degree angle so your fingertips are pointing to the ceiling and your palm are facing forward. Contract your abdominals and lift your right knee toward your left elbow, while at the same time bringing your left elbow down toward your right knee. Touch the two joints together, pause, then return to start. Switch sides and repeat for an entire set.
Before you start any workout routine, be sure to consult a professional before beginning and always warm up properly to avoid injury.
We shop on the internet, we pay bills on the internet, we talk to other people on the internet – why not increase your fitness on the internet as well?
While many of us have always thought of the internet as a very inactive part of our lives, there are more ways to use the internet to increase our fitness than ever before. Just run over to your nearest web browser to start the search for great fitness workouts.
One of the easiest ways to start bettering your body on the internet is through the various fitness websites. Some of these are sponsored by fitness personal trainers, while others are created by fitness magazines and other resources.
They can detail the correct ways of performing basic exercises or even set up programs that you can follow, based on your fitness goals. For example, Runner's World magazine runs a website that gives everyone from beginners to advanced runners programs for running their next 10K or even marathon.
Online fitness resources are also found through a number of fitness website programs. Much like online weight loss programs, you can sign up with various sites in order to reach certain fitness goals.
Simply enter in the goals that you wish to achieve, and a trained fitness counselor can prescribe the right training program, based on your current fitness level (provided that you give them an accurate picture of this) and body type.
For a monthly fee, you can follow the program and report your results as the trainer adjusts the program when you've hit higher levels.
Fitness resources can also be found through the many DVD clubs that are now available. Certain monthly DVD membership websites allow you to request fitness DVDs for as long as you like, giving you the ability to test out certain DVDs before you buy them, or just switch up your routine from time to time. You can also find a number of fitness downloads that you can then load into a digital music player.
And of course, there are plenty of outlets for fitness training gear on the internet as well, helping to suit you up for any sport imaginable. You can find every kind of shoe or outfit for whatever sport or activity you wish to enjoy – as well as all of the weight equipment you might ever need.
If you want to get in touch with other exercise and fitness enthusiasts, you can also find a number of message boards and interactive sites that allow you to converse with others that are trying to get into the fitness groove – inspire and motivate each other along the way.
Lynn VanDyke is a master trainer and fitness nutritionist. She has authored the wildly popular ebook called Melt the Fat , and she offers personalized online personal training at TrainerLynn.com.
Increase your core strength with this fundamental exercise.
A group of muscles that often gets neglected in stomach exercise routines are the transverse abdominals, the core muscles that lie below the rectus abdominus. Most abdominal exercises target the rectus abdominus and the vertical abdominals, ignoring the transverse abdominals. Even crunches, the staple of most abdominal workouts, do nothing for the transverse abdominals.
Any routine aimed at flattening the stomach should include the transverse abdominals as a focus. These muscles are actually the most important to target, as they connect to both the lower back muscles and the rectus abdominus and form a girdle for the entire abdomen.
Using the following stomach exercises, you can work out your transverse abdominals and really make progress on getting a flat stomach.
As with any workout routine, be sure to consult a professional before beginning and always warm up properly to avoid injury.
1. Pelvic Tilts
This stomach exercise requires lying on your back on a flat surface, such as the floor or a bench. Use a mat or towel to cushion your spine. Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Raise your pelvis (and only your pelvis) off the floor, hold momentarily, and then lower it back down. Repeat for an entire set. Maintaining a controlled movement is crucial to this exercise. This will allow you to use your abdominal muscles, rather than your body's momentum, to do the work on the exercise. Also, be sure to keep your upper body on the floor throughout.
2. Crunchless Crunch
This exercise is fairly simple but can also be fairly difficult. Essentially, it involves trying to pull the belly button in towards the spine. This can be tricky, as it involves using muscles which you may not be used to activating. To start, either lie or on your stomach or kneel. You might want to try both ways and see which helps you feel the exercise better. Relax your body as much as possible, then try to use only the lower abdominals to move your belly button toward your spine. Hold for ten seconds. If holding for ten seconds feels easy, hold for a longer period. The goal is to hold the contraction until you either cannot feel it, or you feel other muscles working harder than the transverse abdominus. When you feel this, let the contraction out.
3. Scissor Kicks
This stomach exercise also requires lying on the floor. Position your hands under your butt, keeping your back pressed against the floor. Slowly raise one leg to a height of about ten inches, then slowly lower it back to the floor. As your lower one leg, raise the other. Repeat this motion for an entire set. Maintaining control throughout is important, not allowing momentum to get the better of you. Your upper body should remain on the floor through the entire move.
There are plenty of other exercises that target the transverse abdominals, but these three should to be enough to get you started.
As a personal trainer I routinely field questions about flat stomachs and six pack abs. Men and women want the secret formula to a rock solid mid-section. There are 5 tips that can help anyone increase their chances of a slimmer, fat-free waistline.
Flat Stomach Tip 1) Eat plenty of fibrous foods. This helps aid digestion and elimination. All too often the protruding lower abdominals are caused by enlarged intestines. Aiding the body's digestion and elimination processes will help give a flatter appearance to the lower stomach area.
Flat Stomach Tip 2) Create a strength training routine that addresses all of the major muscle groups. A nice trick I learned along the way is to increase the musce in your shoulders. This gives the appearance of a smaller waist. Working your whole body is more advantageous for many reasons. A few reasons are:
- Working the entire body creates balance. Working just the abs will result in an imbalance and may lead to over-use, under-use or injury of certain muscles.
- Working the entire body will add more lean muscle. Women need to add lean, toned muscle to their body. They should not be afraid of bulking up or looking like men. The more muscle we have, the more calories we burn. Each pound of muscle burns 35-50 calories per day.
- Just working the abs usually results in over training. With a full body routine each muscle receives attention and proper rest.
Flat Stomach Tip 3) Drink plenty of fluids. Water and unsweetened teas are best. Keeping the body properly hydrated will aid in digestion and elimination.
Flat Stomach Tip 4) Participate in a cardio activity most days of the week. I recommend doing a mix of session lengths and intensity levels. The total workout time should typically be kept under an hour (including strength training). A few days should be medium intensity and medium length cardio sessions. A few days should be reserved for long sessions with low intensity. One day each for a higher intensity, shorter program and a rest day.
Flat Stomach Tip 5) Incorporate the Plank Pose into your ab routine. The Plank Pose works the transverse abdominis muscle. This muscle is responsible for holding the stomach in and supporting posture. This is one of the best ab workouts in my opinion. It really works the muscle responsible for a flat stomach. More info can be found on the Plank Pose at http://strength-training-woman.com/ab-exercise.html.
Combine these 5 tips for a flat stomach and get ready for results. Genetics play a role in the over all appearance of your stomach, but just about everyone can benefit from a reduction in body fat. The simplest way to a tight mid-section is to make a lifestyle change. Dieting is a quick fix that usually results in frustration and weight gain. Learn to achieve optimal health by applying positive habits.
Lynn VanDyke is the head trainer at http://www.strength-training-woman.com . Her wildly popular ebook, Melt the Fat, comes complete with over 100 exercises, 160 daily menus, 63 ways to stick with it, 100 strength training routines, 800 healthy meal suggestions and loads more. Learn more by visiting: Melt The Fat
1. Crunchless Crunch
This first exercise is fairly simple but can also be fairly difficult. Essentially, it involves trying to pull the belly button in towards the spine. This can be tricky, as it involves using muscles which you may not be used to activating. To start, either lie or on your stomach or kneel. You might want to try both ways and see which helps you feel the exercise better. Relax your body as much as possible, then try to use only the lower abdominals to move your belly button toward your spine. Hold for ten seconds. If holding for ten seconds feels easy, hold for a longer period. The goal is to hold the contraction until you either cannot feel it, or you feel other muscles working harder than the transverse abdominus. When you feel this, let the contraction out.
You will need to lie on a flat surface for this stomach exercise. The floor works best, using a mat or towel to cushion the spine. Lie on the floor and put your feet up in the air. Extend your right arm and use your lower abdominals to lift your shoulders off the floor. Touch your left toes with your right hand, then lower yourself back down. Switch hands and repeat. Keep your knees straight throughout and maintain a space between your chin and chest.
While you are still on the floor, try this stomach exercise. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor and position your hands behind your head. Keep your elbows back so you cannot see them-- do not put them alongside your head. Use your lower abdominals to lift your shoulders off the floor. Hold for ten seconds. You may increase the number of seconds you hold as it gets easier. Be sure to lift with your abdominals and not with your arms or neck.
This stomach exercise is a good natural progression from the sit-up hold, as it starts from the same basic position: lying down, knees bent, feet flat. You may have noticed when you did the previous exercise that there is a natural space between your lower back and the floor, created by the curve of your spine. In this exercise, you want to use your lower abdominals to push your lower back toward the floor and eliminate this space. Try to focus on pushing with only your lower abdominals and not your legs. Your pelvis will rotate slightly, which is fine so long as the lower abdominals are doing the work. Once you have got your back flat to the floor, hold the contraction for ten seconds. Again, you should continue to build on this time as your stomach muscles gain strength and endurance.