blogspot visitor

You CAN Workout Every Day

Think you can’t fit a workout in today?  Think you are just to busy, don’t have any free time, or just not sure when or what to do?  Check out some of these fun, quick, easy, and effective ways to get a workout in any day of the week no matter what you are doing or where you are.  I totally understand not having time to hit the gym every day.  Sometimes it’s hard to find that 1 hour time slot to commit to a gym or fitness class.  But, there are so many things a person can do every day to just squeeze in that little workout every day.
A great list of things compiled by me and Theresa Roemer

1.      Sit up straight at your desk engaging your core muscles.  If your upper and lower abs are working, its like doing light crunches as opposed to sitting hunched over, which means no muscles are engaged and they are literally like Jello. 

2.      While up and straight, squeeze your glute muscles, pulsing up and down in your seat.  These are mini-squats in your chair.  Do three reps of ten each, you should feel the burn. 

3.      Alternate your glutes queeze, one side and then the next, rapid-fire for two minutes straight.

4.      Work your calve muscles by toggling your back and forth (up on your toes and then in a flex), in sync.  Put emphasis on the stretch forward and back, feel the muscles on the backs of your legs push and pull.  Do three reps of ten.

5.      If you have a chair with arms, lift your body up doing arm push-ups and hold your body weight up just two inches from the chair for 10-20 seconds before releasing.  You can also pulse in place doing three reps of ten.  This is great for the lateral muscles in your arms. 

6.      Leave your desk and go for a brisk 10-minute walk anywhere you feel comfortable.  This could be up and down a set of stairs in your building, or around the block.  As long as the walk is brisk and your heart rate goes up, you’ve achieved the goal. 

7.      If you have an office or can hop in to a private conference room, just 60 seconds of jumping jacks will do wonders for your heart and brain. 

8.      If you have a private space, do 5-10 pushups, or hold a plank for 10-20 seconds.  This will strengthen your core and improve your overall strength, while also speed up your heart rate.

9.      Stand about three feet from a wall, facing the wall, and place your hands on the wall shoulder width apart, chest high.  Lean forward and do push-ups off the wall, three reps of ten.

10.     If you are going somewhere and need to park, park far away and walk.   Just the extra walking to and from the entrance of the store will give you those few extra steps a day to help with your cardio.

11.     Do squats while you brush your teeth.  Might sound funny, but I do it every morning.  I have an electric toothbrush and get in 60 squats in, every morning and night.

12.    Take the dogs for a walk.  Kill 2 birds with one stone (as they say).   Exercise for you and your dog is a win win.  You most likely have to take the dog for a walk so they can go potty, right.. so why not get exercise for you both.

13.    Do counter push ups when cooking.  I do this all the time.  It is easy, like doing a pushup against a wall, but using a counter.

14.    Play with your kids.  A good session of playing catch, Frisbee, tag, hula hoop, or any other fun activity.

15.    Whatever you do, make it count and enjoy it.   Life is to short, and your health is too important.

Do any one of the above, or a combination of any of them each day and you will notice a difference in your attitude, performance, and overall strength.

Yoga For Beginners

yoga Copyright: andresr / 123RF Stock Photo

Yoga for Beginners ~ What to know

Have you tried yoga?  Do you do it at home in the comfort of your living room or do you do it at a local gym or community center with others.  Regardless of if you do it, or where you do it, these are some great tips to help you with your decision on how and where to try yoga.  Kendal Perez has covered every angle, I hope you enjoy her tips as much as I do.

1. Research Studios & Classes
Learn about the opportunities for yoga in your area. In addition to studios, check out gyms, wellness centers and community recreational facilities for classes. Even if your town doesn’t have a designated yoga studio, your local fitness club or rec center likely offers a class or two.

2. Get Free or Discounted Newbie Passes
Most yoga studios offer a free introductory yoga class, week of classes or deeply-discounted rates so you can test their facility and instructors. Take advantage of this by visiting as many studios in your area as possible for free or cheap. It’s a great way to learn about the different styles and teachers without busting your budget!

3. Read Up on the Styles
People do yoga for a variety of reasons, so determine your goals and find a style that helps you achieve them. If you sit behind a desk for a living and want to sweat, consider a Power or Vinyasa class. Gentle or Yin yoga classes are great if your day job leaves you stressed and out of breath. For more information on yoga styles, check out this article from Gaiam.

4. Talk to Instructors
Let teachers know you’re a newbie and ask if they offer variations for beginners. Most do, but some classes are targeted specifically at intermediate or advanced practitioners, and instructors can point you to a more appropriate class or style of yoga for your needs. Know that teachers are the key to a yoga class — once you find one you like, you’ll feel more motivated to practice consistently.

5. Try At-Home Practices
I got my start with yoga using a “Yoga for Dummies” DVD. It may sound silly but I found it hugely helpful when I stepped onto my mat for the first time in a studio setting. The instructor calls out postures like “Mountain Pose,” “Warrior Two,” “Downward-Facing Dog” and the like, and knowing what these look like ahead of time made me feel better prepared.

6. Check Online
These days, online yoga videos are prolific at sites like YogaDownload.com and YogaSessions.tv. The site YogaJournal.com also offers free videos based on practices designed for their monthly magazine subscribers. Even YouTube offers some video tutorials, but be careful not to make this your exclusive method of practice. Going to a studio will help you better learn and internalize the right form for postures so you stay safe and avoid injury.

7. Go Basic for Gear
Lululemon dominates the yogascape in many studios across the country. Their pieces are cute but hard on the budget, and definitely not a necessary investment for beginners! As a frugal shopper, I use the Coupon Sherpa coupon app to save on yoga gear from Sports Authority, or hit up TJMaxx and Marshall’s for discounts on brands like Nike, Under Armour and New Balance.

8. Accessorize for Comfort
Most studios have props for student use, including blocks, straps and blankets. Take advantage of these items to help strengthen your practice or make challenging postures easier. For example, using a block during Half-Moon pose can help you balance better and focus on extending your lifted leg. Similarly, a strap can help you deepen the stretch in a Seated Forward Bend when you wrap it around your feet.

9. Don’t Skip the Variation
Teachers speak often about listening to your body and leaving the ego off the mat. This can be tough for competitive types, but beginners should definitely heed this advice. Variations are instrumental in creating a strong foundation for your practice, so drop that knee or use your strap as needed. Achieving the peak posture will feel all the sweeter and far more stable if you’re confident in the foundational steps.

 

Disclosure ~  I was given the ok to post these great tips from Kendal Perez for my awesome followers to enjoy.

Join the Buti Yoga Revolution

ButiLogo

 

Buti Yoga Join The Revolution DVD Set

BUTI is all about empowering females as a lifestyle brand. They fuse together yoga, tribal dancing and plyometrics in their approach to wellness. The word Buti is derived from the Marathi word meaning the cure to something that is hidden or secret. This is perfect because the goal at Buti is to make sure that women are guided towards their goals through movement, nutrition and wellness so that they can be transformed from the inside out. Wellness is not always about the physical. It is as much about the mental as well.

They have movement styles that are trademarked such as BUTI®, BUTI® Sculpt and HOT BUTI®.

Their BUTI® and HOT BUTI® classes go from 60-90 minutes long and are taught in a room that is either room temperature or hot. You’re going to sweat it out. It is all about spiral movements and unlocking the Shakti Spiral in the hips to release energy. BUTI® combines styles of Hatha yoga with tribal dance sequences that are sure to keep your heart rate up and pumping. You will also free your spirit and form a bond with those you workout with. The trainers and empowerers at Buti want to not only lead and train you but they want you to dive deep into practicing this and form a sisterhood and love yourself in a way that can empower you to do more.

This is a very energetic, fun, and will make you sweat and beg for the video to be over because you will be feeling every muscle in your body scream !   I love it!!

Check out the teaser ~

 

 

Found this on the DVD:

The Transformation Series is a 3 DVD box set complete with a 30 day workout schedule. The schedule is divided into Beginner, Moderate and Advanced workouts that scale to help you get the best results. This DVD set is perfect for all skill levels.

Purchase on Amazon

Check out Buti on YouTube

Facebook

Twitter

 

Disclosure ~ Living Smart Girl received product to facilitate a review. 

Healthy Snacking with thinkThin Bars

thinkThin2 Disclosure ~ Living Smart Girl received a gift card and thinkThin bars to facilitate this review post.
All opinions on the product are 100% that of Living Smart Girl’s.

thinkThin
Healthy Snacking with thinkThin Bars
#thinkproducts

I was so excited when I got to review the thinkThin bars.   I love snack bars, and healthy ones that taste good are hard to come by.   I am not sure why a company can’t make something healthy, actually taste good so someone wants to eat it.  I am all about keeping natural ingredients in things, but dang, if one can’t handle the taste then I would rather go hungry!  LOL!

Well, thinkThin has me sold!!   All the bars I was sent, get my highest approval rating!

thinkThin Lean Protein & Fiber bars pack a huge taste with only a few calories. With only 150 calories in the bars, it’s amazing that they also offer 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. This means that you will have energy, be full and satisfied, and all without the bad calorie count we worry about often with other bars.

These bars are made with 100% non-GMO ingredients in flavors that don’t make them seem super healthy. Their newer bars are low in sugar and are gluten-free. Just two more reasons to eat healthy yet delicious without all the guilt. There are five flavors that you have to choose from which are: Chocolate Almond Brownie, Chunky Chocolate Peanut Butter, Salted Caramel, Honey Drizzle Peanut and Cinnamon Bun White Chocolate.

If you really want to know what each of the flavors will provide you, here is the break down:

Lean and Protein: Cinnamon Bun White Chocolate, Chunky Chocolate Peanut, Chocolate Almond Brownie, Honey Drizzle Peanut Butter, Salted Caramel

Crunch Mixed Nuts: Chocolate Dipped Mixed Nuts, Chocolate Coconut Mixed Nuts, Caramel Chocolate Dipped Mixed Nuts

High Protein: Creamy Peanut Butter, Chunky Peanut Butter, Brownie Crunch

thinkThin1

I have to say my favorite one of all is.. Um..   Ok.. all of them!!   But if I had to pick one I say the salted caramel one.  YUM!!

thinkThin has everything that you are looking for in a bar that is easy and quick to snack on plus so much more. They have endless possibilities from high protein bars that are gluten-free all the way to mixed nut bars that are made with non-GMO ingredients. They want to use nothing but the best ingredients so that you can get the best source of protein with the best taste. They take on Weight Wellness, the balance between physical and emotional well being, when they are thinking of how to create the bars that will be the best for you.

Wanna give thinkThin a try for yourself?   Enter to win a $25 Visa gift card and a variety pack of thinkThin bars.

Open to US only.     Ends June 15th, 2014 at 11:59 pm CST

Become a Weight Guru

gurus Disclosure ~ Living Smart Girl received product as compensation for our review.  All opinions are 100% ours.

Become a weight guru with one of these great scales.  I was sent the gurus smartphone connected digital bathroom scale and the body fat scale.  Both are great, and now hubby and I each have our own scales for our personal fitness goals.

These stylish scales will keep you connected in a polite and beautiful way. You can view your weight normal or weightlessly. It is all you will ever want in a scale. The scale has Auto Step-on, Auto Off and Auto calibration. Another great featured is that the scale also has Auto user detect for up to an eight user memory.

The scale has a non-slip, scratch resistant footing and ultra-precision weighing sensors. Take the guesswork out of everything! The capacity limit is 400 pounds and the tempered glass construction is very durable. The scale has an LCD backlit display that is easy to read for anyone and everyone.

Weightless scales are the only scales that let you decide how to weigh yourself normally. They are just like a traditional scale and you can switch between weightlessly weighing and weight mode. The weightless mode will make weighing in encouraging! You can also AppSync if you want and it will automatically sync your measurements with your iPhone or Android device. This will store entries, let you view trends and chart your progress that you have been making towards your goal.

These scales retail for ~ Smartphone Connected Bathroom Scale: MSRP $59.99  or  Smartphone Connected Body Fat Scale: MSRP  $79.99.  Both great prices for what you get with each scale.    Check them out on their social media pages.   Use this code on Amazon to get a $5 off discount on your scales ~ GURUS023  Can only ship to the US.   Here are the links to the scales tehmselves

 

FacebookTwitterYoutube,  Google Plus,  & Pinterest.

 

 

 

Juice Cleanse Round 2

juicebyjuliebag Here I go again for round 2.    I did a JusbyJulie cleanse in February, right before we took off on vacation.    Well, after all the vacationing, running around and lots of eating and eating and eating.. I thought I better do it again.    I have been so busy, and just need to get back on track with my food so here I go.. day one of 3.   I ordered my first cleanse thru Groupon and saved a lot of money.  If you want to give it a try check out Groupon and just search for “juice cleanse”.

The juices are made to order.  So, that means they make them and ship them in the same day and ship them overnight.   They are fresh, and should be consumed in 3 days.   That means, you need to put day 3 worth of juices in the freezer right away and take out at the end of day 2 and leave on the counter overnight to thaw.

These are not intended to be used to lose weight, even though that can happen.    During the cleanse you can also eat a moderate amount of steamed vegetables and also egg whites.  This is not necessary but only if you feel the need to chew.    I did eat some egg whites today as I had a bit of a rumbly in my tumbly feeling.

I have been trying to get back on track with my fitness but with life being so busy and me just putting everything else in front of my own health I will be getting back on track with my strength training as of Monday.   I wanted to get thru the cleanse first.   You can workout on the cleanse but I am choosing not too.   I am using this time to rest, and catch up on online stuff and house stuff.   Monday, a new start for this girl with fitness and food.

Here is a video I did this morning about the juices.   Check it out ~

Have you done a juice cleanse?    Share your thoughts or questions.

 

Getting Set up to do Pilates at Home

Setting up your at-home gym is all about creating a space and environment where you can pursue your desire to get fit and maintain your health. Whatever your budget is, or how big or small your space is, you can create a home pilates gym that works for you. Being able to work out at home, whenever you want can make the difference between reaching your fitness goals and giving up soon after you get started.

 

Part of planning your at-home pilates gym includes buying pilates gear that makes it easier to workout with ease and comfort. Check out the following pilates gear for yourself and the latest in fitness technology to aid you in your workout.

 

Pilates Floor Mats

Before you buy an exercise mat for your at-home gym, it is important to realize that there are differences between yoga mats, pilates mats and gym mats. Pilates mats are made to provide cushioning and protection from the floor, which is necessary to protect your back during specific moves and poses that you will be performing. Ensure that they mat you select is easy to wipe down, is non slip on the bottom and without any adhesion layer on the top, at least half an inch thick with firm foam and as long as you are with a width that is at least half your arm span.

 

Premium Pilates Mat

 

Pilates Videos, DVDs and Books

Finding the perfect pilates workout requires a little sampling, so before you commit to any pilates media make sure you try out different coaches, workouts and styles. If you are a beginner, make sure you look for DVDs or books that introduce you to moves, provides step by step instructions and also provides you with a challenge as soon as you are comfortable with the introductory moves.

 

Pilates Beginners Collection

 

Pilates Band, Balls and Magic Circle

Not everyone likes to use all three of these pieces of equipment, but even buying just one can radically enhance your workouts, and they are each very budget friendly. The Pilates band is perhaps the most inexpensive piece of equipment, and the most ideal for a home gym limited in space and storage. Pilates balls and rings, or magic circles, are equally helpful to your workout, but not every style of pilates uses them, so make sure any program you decide on offers instruction and the opportunity to put them to use.

 

Beginners Pilates Kit

 

Performance Clothing

Comfortable clothing is most important for a good pilates workout session, but performance clothing can improve and enhance your workout. Sweat wicking fabrics ensure that you are able to maintain positions and perform repetitive moves without slipping, falling or irritation. Contrast stitching and seams reduce skin irritation, but also help you with your posture. If sweaty feet are an issue, try non slip socks meant for pilates and yoga workouts.

 

(Recommendations: Patagonia, Rese Pilates, Gaiam, Lululemon)

 

 

Foods That Improve Your Workout Flexibility

Foods That Improve Your Workout Flexibility

Flexibility

Before working out, it is important to eat the right kinds of foods so that you can flex your muscles and joints easily and not suffer from cramps. Flexibility refers to the ability of different body parts to complete their motions. You need flexibility to perform regular activities like walking, lifting or bending and when you are flexible your muscles also remain active and mobile. This is why it is also important to introduce flexibility exercises when you are working out.

Stretching is a good way to make your body flexible before working out. But in order to improve your workout flexibility, it is not enough to simply stretch. You need to add certain foods to your diet that can improve your flexibility.

Foods which improve flexibility:

Green vegetables: Dark, green leafy vegetables like spinach, seaweed, kale, chard, collard greens and watercress can heighten your flexibility when you add them to your daily diet. They have high water content which is necessary to flush out acids from your body. Popular diet services emphasize adding fresh fruits and vegetables to the daily diet to rev up metabolism and enhance the supply of nutrients.

Spirulina: If you can mix this to your morning smoothie, you can increase your flexibility dramatically. This alga has many essential vitamins like beta carotene and B complex vitamins which boosts muscle strength. It can also prevent muscle cramps and let you stretch with ease.

Barley grass: You can use barley grass extract in your daily meals. This will contain beta carotene, high amounts of calcium and iron etc which all play an important role in increasing flexibility and promoting overall health.

Water: Perhaps there is no other food that can improve flexibility as much as water. You should always start your day with a glass of water and make it a point to drink well before you start an exercise routine. Water helps to lubricate the joints making you flexible in the process.

Proteins: Foods like fish and chicken, whole grains and beans, nuts and seeds, olive oil and avocados, fresh fruits or veggies are great for improving flexibility. For flexibility and to avoid injuries, you need to load up on foods that are known to have very high water content like vegetables and fruits. Protein drinks and fruit smoothies can also help to hydrate your body. Chronic inflammations may cause fluid retention that makes your muscles stiff. Alkaline conditions are known to reduce inflammations and foods which can increase alkalinity are mainly vegetables and fruits. Spices like turmeric and ginger also help because these have anti-inflammatory properties.

Foods containing sulfur or amino acids promote flexible joints. So high sulfur foods like garlic, cruciferous vegetables, onions, egg yolks, red peppers etc are recommended for increased muscular flexibility in workouts.

Apart from these healthy foods, you need to remember that junk foods should be avoided before a workout. Junk foods and packaged foods contain excess sodium which leads to joints becoming swollen. The body tries to hold onto more fluids to dilute blood. Coffee and alcohol can also dehydrate the body. Acid-forming foods like processed carbs and sugar rich foods should also be ideally avoided before exercising.

Image link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shaarka/6287548645/sizes/m/

 

Apartment Living Fitness

So, you live in a small apartment, on the 10th floor on your building and you have no room to exercise and can’t afford to hit the gym.  Well, let me tell you, I can’t help you with the money part for joining a gym, but I can give you some great tips on how you can get your sweat on, in your apartment.

Get your heart pumping with calisthenics. Doing calisthenics is a very apartment-friendly form of exercise, because you use your own body weight as resistance. Some popular calisthenics routines include sit ups, push-ups and squats. They might not sound exciting but these fundamental exercises will work wonders for your physique.  No equipment needed, except your own body.  Put the music on, and get your sweat on!

 

Strength training is great for everyone. And, you can get a set or a few of weights that will take up no space at all. These are very cost effective, and can be easily stored in a drawer, closet or under a bed. Using weights, apartment dwellers can work both upper and lower body muscle sets. From bicep curls, chest presses and deltoid raises to dead lifts, walking lunges and squats with weights. Similarly, resistance bands are easy to find, purchase and store and can be used for strength building routines or for Pilates.

 

If you live in a high-rise building, try taking the stairs as much as possible. Avoid waiting for the elevator, burn calories and improve your cardiovascular fitness on the way up to your apartment. Alternate single-stair climbing with double-stair climbing to work different muscles. For those of you who live in walk-ups, you are already used to taking the stairs, so keep on climbing!  You can even grab your weights and just go do stairs, even if you are not planning to go anywhere.  Adding a bit of weight makes for a better workout.

 

A person can make any apartment into a yoga studio by purchasing a yoga mat, a set of scented candles and some relaxing music that will help you to find your inner peace and tranquility. This ancient form of exercise and meditation can easily be performed in any apartment, no matter how small. There are many online yoga videos and class subscriptions these days to give you inspiration and a routine to follow. Check out YogaVibes.com, DailyDownwardDog.com or MyYogaOnline.com and consider a monthly subscription to stay on track! Yoga is relaxing, energizing, and good for anyone.

 

Play ball ~ Purchasing an exercise ball chair will certainly make a unique decorative statement in your apartment.  Exercise balls are an effective way to develop core muscles, but they can be bulky and awkward to store in an apartment. An exercise ball chair, complete with detachable exercise ball, is a way to offer your guests a place to sit that will surely start a conversation. The chair can be also be used at your desk to develop core muscles while on the computer. Find great exercise ball workouts online at lifetime-fitness-routines.com and exercise-ball-exercises.com.

I am sure there are many more ways to get your sweat on if you live in an apartment, but these will help you get started.

 

 

Are You Still On Track With Your Fitness Goals?

We are entering our 3rd month of 2014, how are you doing with your fitness goals?   Have you given up already?  Did you try a new diet or fitness regimen that you haven’t done before ?   I think it’s kinda neat to see what is trending when it comes to diets.   Check out these stats for the end of 2013 and rising in popularity since 2012.

The Top Ten Diets (week ending 12/22/13):

1. Paleo Diet
2. Metabolism Miracle Diet
3. Atkins Diet
4. Gluten Diet
5. Diabetic Diet
6. South Beach Diet
7. Military Diet
8. Mediterranean Diet
9. Cabbage Soup Diet
10. Dash Diet

The Top Ten Rising Diets (The diets that have risen in popularity the most since 2012)
1. Metabolism Miracle Diet
2. Dash Diet
3. Heart Healthy Diet
4. Beyonce Diet
5. Bodybuilder Diet
6. Juice Diet
7. HCG Diet
8. Caveman Diet
9. ABC Diet
10. Master Cleanse Diet

- data comes from EMS access to information from the  68 most popular search engines. 

I myself have not tried any of these diets.  My hubby did the Atkins diet, did well but gained all the weight back.    How funny that there is a diet called the Beyonce diet.  Really?  How original is that!  LOL!!

I think I need to come up with a diet.  How about, eat to live diet.   Stop shoving crap in your mouth, boxed meals, foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce, things in jars and cans that will never go bad, over processes, loaded with fake sugar, msg, dye, etc.   Just eat clean, fruits, veggies, protein, nuts, whole grains, good carbs, and even a sweet treat every now and then.

It is so sad to see all these Mom’s shoving McDonald’s at their kids, or sending them off to school with what they think is a healthy snack because the TV said so, when in all reality it is something packed with sugar and ick.   People need to read labels more, and stop thinking that it is to expensive or to hard to feed a family healthy.   You can feed your family healthy, on a budget.

Don’t worry if you have slightly lost sight of your health goals for 2014.   Get up, brush yourself off and get back on track.   Don’t put yourself on a “diet”, put yourself on a life style change.  It is easier to keep up with and offers way more leeway so you don’t beat yourself up if you slip here or there.  But, all in all, aside from changing the way you eat, make sure you are grooving your body.   MOVE IT to LOSE IT!

Wanna join me in my fitness journey?  Check out what I do at Train Dirty Fitness Bombshell.