Workout Tips and Fitness Advice

10-Minute Workouts

Finding time for exercise isn’t about your schedule, it’s about your priorities. Even if you’re the busiest person on the planet, you can set aside 10 minutes a day devoted to get your body moving! It’s time to drop the excuses and try one of these super quick workouts.  Plus, studies show that short workouts help improve your fitness level, it’s all about the intensity of your workouts.  As the old saying goes, work harder not longer – so step up and fit 10 minutes into your day:

Do two Tabata intervals. Tabata intervals can be incorporated into riding a bike, running, using your body weight, doing plyometrics and strength training. But there is one variable that doesn’t change – the formula. A Tabata interval consists of eight cycles of 20-second all-out effort, followed by 10 seconds of recovery. This cycle takes roughly four minutes. Start with a one-minute functional warm-up; do two Tabata intervals in a row, and end with a one-minute cool down.

Do 10 exercises for one minute each. Jog in place, do jumping jacks, do bicycle ab crunches, leg lifts, push-ups, a wall sit, high knees, lunges, a plank, and finish up with some squats. You can create your own 10-minute workout by doing 10 exercises for one minute each.

Try a 10-minute Pinterest workout. Got 10 spare minutes you don’t know what to do with? The fitness world on Pinterest has all sorts of 10-minute workouts with ideas for exercises you can do with your own body weight. The variety of ideas will surprise you!

Do a 10-minute power walk. It doesn’t get easier than this – justtake 10 minutes out of your day to power walk. Lace up and walk briskly for 10 minutes, even if it’s during your lunch hour or after dinner. Or, find 10 minutes three times per day and spread out your cardio burn when it’s most convenient for you. If you think in 10-minute increments, fitting in 30 minutes of calorie-burn time might be a possibility for you.

Time will no longer get in the way of your workouts if you just decide to dedicate 10 minutes a day to get moving! What are you waiting for?

Fit Tips are provided by Life Fitness, the leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality exercise equipment for fitness facilities and homes worldwide. For more information on Fit Tips and other fitness advice and expertise visit

Turn Daily Activities into Real Workouts

You can burn more calories throughout your day by looking for ways to turn daily activities into mini-workouts. If you workout an hour per day-congrats!  Just remember, a one-hour workout each day doesn’t cancel the negative effect of sitting for the next 10 hours.  Turn your regular daily routine into a significant calorie burn with these ideas and tips.

Clean with enthusiasm. Squat deeply, use your legs and not your back to pick things up, vacuum with vigor, dust with full arm movements, wash dishes (it burns more calories than the dishwasher since you stand up to do it!). You will burn calories and love your tidy house.

Take Fido out for a walk. Whether Fido is your dog or your neighbor’s, you are doing something for the pooch, the dog that is …

Almost sit down. It’s like a squat … almost sit down in your chair and then stand up again. Now repeat a few times. It’s a leg workout at home or at the office!

Take the long way. Don’t sigh when you plop down on the couch and realize you forgot something. Every time you get up and walk, you are increasing your steps for the day and burning more calories.

Stand up to talk on the phone, or better yet, pace. Standing burns more than sitting and it improves blood circulation.

Park further away. Don’t circle in your car waiting for the perfect close parking space. Park far away so you can log more steps.

Take the stairs. Work on the 15th floor? Take the stairs up and down each day.  You’ll be surprised how much more your heart pumps. Plus, your legs will feel the burn!

Have a dance party. Turn up your favorite tunes and dance around. It’s good for you and it’s fun.

Go to a farmer’s market. Pick up some fresh fruits and veggies at your local farmer’s market. Better yet, walk there if you can! Filling your reusable bags with healthy goodies gives you some hand weights for the walk home.

Volunteer for a cause that involves manual labor. Habitat for Humanity anyone? Okay, volunteering might not be an everyday thing. But if you can devote a few hours to volunteering every month, you can use your muscles to give back to your community. Can you say win-win?

Garden. Eating homegrown foods is good for your stomach and the physical activity put into gardening is good exercise.

Fit Tips are provided by Life Fitness, the leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality exercise equipment for fitness facilities and homes worldwide. For more information on Fit Tips and other fitness advice and expertise visit

How to Become a Morning Person

Okay, so you aren’t a morning person. We get it. But here’s the thing—if you aren’t fitting your workouts in because you run out of time and energy, then a morning workout may be the solution.  Yep, you read that right—you can become a morning person and get up and workout. We’ve already given you some tips to help but this is so important, we want you to know more.

Develop the behavior of a champion. When you do what you know you should do, regardless of how you feel at the moment, that’s the behavior of champions. You are committed, so you get up and work out early even on those days you are dragging. Plus, you are practicing discipline like a muscle—you will develop it every time you make the decision to follow through on your promises.

Reap the rewards. Morning workouts energize you for the day, jumpstart your metabolism and keep it elevated for hours afterward. They make you more productive for the rest of the day with improved clarity. When you get it done first thing, you fire up your motivation and can coast on your early morning momentum and get some more wins checked off for your day.

Later turns into never. When you tell yourself, “I will exercise later,” you are creating the opportunities for distractions and detours. Later easily turns into never. Even people who have more flexibility in their schedules often opt for the early-morning workout because it’s the early bird catches the worm thing. It just makes you feel good when you do it. And, if you are a business traveler, those late night client dinners can derail a well-intentioned workout. Morning exercise means it’s more likely to happen. No postponing until tomorrow for you!

Of course, the best time to work out is when you will actually do it.  A calorie burned is a calorie burned no matter what time of day. However, getting your workout done first thing in the morning helps you feel better about your entire day. P.S. There’s no secret formula for loving the wee hours of the morning or waking up super chipper to burn calories, but if you aim for consistency, those morning workouts will get better. We promise.

Fit Tips are provided by Life Fitness, the leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality exercise equipment for fitness facilities and homes worldwide.

WORKING OUT AT WORK

If you think you can’t get your workout into your day because of work—think again. If you are skipping your workouts due to a busy job and sitting in an office all day, that’s a double sedentary whammy. Sitting too much is detrimental to your health and can increase your risk for a cascade of health ills including obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and depression. Even a little is better than nothing. Here’s how to get a workout at work. Try one of these ideas:

Move at your desk. If you have to sit for your desk job, stand up when you take phone calls. Pace if you can. Stretch your legs under the desk. Do calf raises while you wait for your document to print. Reach up and stretch your arms or back once in a while. Walk to talk to a coworker instead of sending an email.

Plan a walking meeting. If your business or boss doesn’t mind, get coworkers and have your meeting on your feet. Walk and talk. Walking outside is thought to spark more creative thinking anyway.

Do a noon workout. Head off to the gym or go for a run during your lunch hour. Always keep a stocked gym bag in your car or office so you can workout at lunch when you have the time. A lunchtime workout can give you an energy boost for the rest of your afternoon and improve your mental clarity. Your boss will thank you!

Rally your coworkers. Have a walking lunch break with coworkers. Spend a short time eating and more of your time moving. As the saying goes, “You won’t get the butt you want by sitting on it.” Get some fresh air and burn some calories while you get in lots of steps during lunch hour.

Move more throughout your day. Creatively sneak movement into your day.  Park far away from your office and log some extra steps. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or walk the stairwell repeatedly on a break. Do some squats just above your office chair. Do pushups into your desk.

Don’t let work kill your workouts. Take control and get your workout while at work. Your body and mind will work better with those workouts!

Fit Tips are provided by Life Fitness, the leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality exercise equipment for fitness facilities and homes worldwide. For more information on Fit Tips and other fitness advice and expertise visitwww.lifefitness.com/blog.

COMMIT TO FITNESS

Planning to work out doesn’t count as a workout. Good intentions don’t show up on your body. If you currently live on someday-isle—where promises and hope are part of your fitness plan, you need a little tough love, don’t you? You won’t reap all the benefits to your body, energy level and mind until you commit to getting fit. Here’s your friendly kick-in-the-butt.

Build your healthy habits one brick at a time. If you feel you have a long way to go to create a healthy lifestyle, try and make one healthy new change per week. Every Sunday, take on one new healthy step. Maybe one week you decide to get some exercise into your day—even if  for just 15 minutes and the next week you have one less dessert each week, and the third week you start hydrating with water all day.  Keep adding healthy habits one brick at a time and build your healthy lifestyle week by week.

Work on your Stick-to-it-ness. Practice discipline. You can’t expect to wake up overnight and have rock solid willpower. Sticking to commitments comes from doing what you say you are going to do over and over again. The more times you follow through on what you say you are going to do, the more self-trust you build and the more discipline you acquire. Most people don’t feel too favorably about themselves when they don’t do what they say they are going to do—so following through becomes a promise that improves how you feel about yourself each time you successfully have discipline. Self-respect is the root of discipline.  What have you done today to make you feel proud?  Ask yourself this every day.

Create an environment that supports you. Don’t make temptation a game you play to see how much unhealthy stuff you can resist. Instead, be smart about creating an environment that supports you. Do you hang around others who want to get fit? Do you have friends and family supporting you and your goals? Do you buy foods that support your goals? Do you have an accountability partner or a group fitness class you love? Have you found an exercise you love and can’t live without? Get going on creating an environment that has your back!

Reward your healthy behavior. Make your commitment to exercise fun by documenting it. Use fitness apps, or even rewarding yourself with health and fitness gifts. Buy yourself a new workout outfit, a new pair of running shoes, a reusable water bottle, a healthy eating cookbook or a new fitness DVD.  You know what will motivate you, so tell yourself you can have it when you commit to getting fit!

Tools of a Marathon Runner

There’s nothing like training to become a marathon runner. Where you start and where you finish are miles apart—26.2 miles to be exact. Watching how your body can increasingly cover more miles, at a faster pace when you stick to a training schedule, is an amazing transformation to experience. Here are a few more tools to complete the picture of YOU as a serious marathon runner.

Start with the S’s. Shoes, socks and shirts.  Runner’s World offers the complete run down of the best breathable, wicking fabric to wear and the best running shoes to take you places. Check it out here.

GPS Watch. Garmin is leader in GPS mapping for runners, but don’t disregard Nike, Timex and Polar to track miles, pace, elevation and route. Mobile apps have some of the same features. Check out Runtastic or MapMyRun, the most popular apps for both Android and Apple platforms.

Training Schedules. There are all sorts of apps that can help you with your marathon training. You can start with one of the most popular—the Couch to 5K program designed by Active.com trainers. This will you ease you into a regular running routine without going full tilt on your first time out the door and overdoing it. The app is available for $1.99 and comes with a great workout journal to log your progress.

Competitive much? Try Fleetly. You can earn points for completing your workouts, as well as compete against athletes at all levels. Runner’s World also offers a SmartCoach online where you can receive a customized training schedule based on your ability and goals.

Find your race. What could be more fun than running marathons and seeing different parts of the country at the same time? You can do that by finding where the races are across the United States on Runner’s World Race Finder. You also can search for races in your area on Active.com by signing up and entering your zip code.

So be prepared and don’t run outside of your current fitness level and then you can be injury free and you won’t find yourself on the sidelines.

How to Avoid Common Running Injuries

If you love running, you won’t be happy if you get an injury that leaves your running shoes sitting in the closet without purpose. The good news is you can prevent injury with a little bit of planning, a realistic weekly running regimen for your fitness level, and an awareness of some of the most common running injuries.  And don’t forget to cross-train. A strong overall body can prevent injuries in any sport or activity of your choice. Here’s what you can do to prevent these common injuries:

Runner’s Knee. It happens from overuse when the cartilage on the kneecap wears down from vigorous workouts. The pain is typically behind or around the knee cap.  If possible, keep to 15 miles total per week. We know for some of you that is hard to do; however, research shows that more than 15 miles per week can be excessive and tough on the body, causing injuries.  If runner’s knee does happen to you, rest, stretch and slowly return to running after you have given yourself several weeks to heal.

Shin Splints. When tiny tears occur around your shin bone, it results in shin splints, a common running injury. If you are a new runner or you stopped running for a while and now you are back, you are more at risk for shin splints. The best way to avoid them altogether is to go with baby steps as you get started with running. Gradually increase your mileage. Make sure you are wearing a good quality running shoe with the proper support. It’s always a good idea to go to specialty store to get your running shoes where they watch you run and fit you with the correct type of running shoes for you based on whether you have high arches or flat feet; and whether you tend to pronate or supinate.

Illotibial Band Syndrome. Many professionals incorrectly diagnose hip and thigh pain as ITBS.  However, ITBS is a knee pain condition on the outside of the knee. You are more at risk if you frequently run down hills, have a leg length variance, or put on lots of miles.  To prevent this injury, take a rest from running for a short while and cross train in the pool or on a bike.  Use a foam roller as a self massage tool; stay hydrated; and work on strengthening the glutes and hips.

Don’t run outside of your current fitness level to help stay injury free and you won’t find yourself on the sidelines.

Train For Your Best Time

If you are training to run a 5k, 10k or half marathon, you just might want to beat your number one opponent: YOU. Sure, the crowds and the like-minded runners around you are motivating, but there’s nothing quite as exhilarating as beating your own race time. Here are a few tips to help you improve your running time and establish that personal best.

Do some speed and interval work. You can do speed work as high intensity interval training—mixing short bursts of speed (or sprints) into your regular run or you can do longer speed work, running at a faster clip for 400 meters or so. If you are outdoors, you can simply pick a spot in front of you and sprint for a certain distance ahead or a certain time frame, like 15 seconds.

As the saying goes, the way to run faster is to run faster. If you like to follow a specific running plan, go to MapMyRun.com and select a running plan based on your fitness level. The schedule will tell you what days to run, how far to run and at what pace based you’re your current running level. http://www.mapmyrun.com/

(Need an app to time your intervals try: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tabata-pro-tabata-timer/id346432063?mt=8 )

Cross-train. On days that you don’t run, strength train. Opt for plyometric movements for the cardiovascular conditioning and muscle building. Or, work your entire body by surprising it with all of your cross-training options: the elliptical, exercise bike, group exercise or circuit machines.

Run hills. If you want to run your best time, power up some hills. Now don’t go tackling a mountain after only running on a treadmill or flat roads, but opt for rolling hills, a gradual climb and work up to bigger hills. Doing hill work can get you stronger faster, lifting your knees higher, increasing your muscles and your power. Hills develop your aerobic capacity and your leg strength.

Be consistent. A key to running your best time is to run consistently. You change your fitness level when you have a regular running schedule, and if you fall off the running wagon for a while, your fitness level for running falls too. Then you will be spending your time just getting back to where you were before. Build up from your peak instead. When you start running at a good clip, keep it up.

Give these things a try and you’ll most definitely establish a new Personal Best!

Three Ways to Get a Better Run

I know what you are thinking: Tips on how to get a better run? How about being happy that you run at all, right?

We hear you. Running can be hard, especially if it’s new to you.  You can barely run a mile one week and the next, it seems like you can run for miles and miles. It can take some time and practice to get in that kind of running groove, but you could be making your runs harder if you aren’t following these tips.

Fine tune your form. Running form is something you can practice and master a little bit more every time you lace up and get going.  One key to improving your running form is to keep your body relaxed. Maintain a natural alignment and keep your eyes forward, hips under shoulders and neck and shoulders relaxed. Swing your arms by your sides and cup your hands in a relaxed way (don’t make tight fists) for better efficiency.  To maintain a proper cadence, take shorter, quicker steps  under your hips. Taking too long of a stride is a common running mistake.

Don’t go it alone. If you love your solo run, dial it up a notch by listening to some great tunes. Music motivates! Fast beats can up your pace or help you go a longer distance.  Plug in to a fitness app on your mobile device and track your route, distance or running pace.  Or try a running partner. Running in sync with someone can keep you going longer and push you when you have a hard running day. Plus, the social time can take your focus away from a challenging run.

Sign up. Fall is a great time for 5ks and 10ks. The weather is cooler and outdoor runs are available everywhere you look. Train and compete with yourself for your best time. Get motivated by joining other runners and people cheering on the sidelines. Mix it up by trying a mud run or a color run. A race can be just what you need to challenge yourself to get a better run!

Running is a form of exercise you may love or love to hate, but with a little time, patience and these tips, you can soon be on your way to a better run!

Fit Tips are provided by Life Fitness, the leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality exercise equipment for fitness facilities and homes worldwide. For more information on Fit Tips and other fitness advice and expertise visitwww.lifefitness.com/blog.

Five Ways to Blast Baby Weight

With the news of a royal baby, we’re reminded of all the amazing ways having a child changes your life, whether you’re the Duchess of Cambridge or the queen of your own castle. One thing that can be less than amazing? Getting your pre-pregnancy body back. Once you feel ready and your doctor gives you the green light, here are five great exercises that can help you get your workout routine back on track.

1.Start From the Ground Up. Literally, all the way to the pelvic floor. It contains the muscles that support your uterus, kidneys, bowels and bladder. Kegels are the best way to work this area of the body.

If you’ve never “Kegeled”, you can find the correct muscles by stopping and starting the flow of urine. Hold each contraction for one or two seconds before releasing. As the muscles develop, you’ll be able to hold the contractions longer. At first, try five sets. If it gets too uncomfortable, don’t push yourself.

2. Get Your Cardio Going. Even if you’re doing all the right strength training, sculpting and toning exercises, boosting your cardio is necessary to burn off the calories to put those muscles on display

3. Try Pilates. This could be your answer to reclaiming your pre-baby abs. Pilates focuses mainly on small movements that strengthen the abdominals, pelvic floor muscles and back, with an emphasis on contracting the transverse abdominis, which is the deepest layer of abdominal wall

4. Planks and side planks. These are a great way to work your entire core because they activate both your abs and back muscles. To get into plank position, lay with both forearms on the floor, keep your back straight, legs extended, and abs engaged. Work up to holding this position for a minute, and make sure to keep your abs tight and your back flat.

5. Strength training. Work all of your muscles, but focus on your lower body. Dead leg lifts are a great exercise for new moms, because they help prepare you for picking up and putting down your new baby.

To perform them, stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, with hand weights facing your body. Slowly lower yourself until your weights reach the height of your ankles. You should feel the movement in the back of your legs. Try several sets to help work your hamstrings and your butt.


Fit Tips are provided by Life Fitness, the leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality exercise equipment for fitness facilities and homes worldwide. For more information on Fit Tips and other fitness advice and expertise visitwww.lifefitness.com/blog.