The Fitness Guide

Rosie Gomez's Guide to Getting Fit!


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Bikini Season and How to Get Ready for It

Bikini WeatherIt’s getting closer and closer to that time of year again! While it’s true that much of the United States is still blanketed in snow, the days of sun, vacations, and bikinis are just around the corner. While this might seem like a great time to freak out about the state of your body after a winter of less exercise than normal, there are plenty of things that you can do now to ensure that you’re ready. Obviously the first step is to choose your bikini, unless you plan to recycle the one from last season. In some ways this can be beneficial because you already know what your toned body looks like in that particular suit. If you decide to buy a new one perhaps keep it similar to the style of the old one. While you may already have a tried and true exercise regime, specific workouts can target those areas that are more prominent when you’re in a bikini. Try some of these moves to be certain that everything stay in places and looks fab when you’re on the beach this summer.

1. Squats

Squats are a bikini girl’s best friend. This exercise targets your quads, glutes, and calves and ensure that you look good both coming and going when you’re clad in your bikini. While these exercises are tough and may have you ready to give up, if you keep with it, the rewards are worth the effort. Start by standing with your feet hip distance apart, and sit back like you’re going to sit a chair. Ensure that your knees never extend beyond your toes, and then squeeze your glutes as you return to standing. Start by doing 20 reps in sets of three if you can, then increase the reps by 10 each, day after day. As always, be sure that your form is correct or you may risk injury.

Working out your abs2. Crunches

Crunches can feel like an exercise that the devil himself came up with, but there is really no better way to ensure that your abs are toned and ready for summer. Again, the proper form is crucial when performing crunches, otherwise the proper muscles won’t be targeted and you could hurt your neck or back. Lie on the floor on a yoga mat or blanket and bend your knees. Clasp your hands behind your head and keep your eyes focused on the ceiling. This can help keep your neck from rolling forward. Raise up, contracting your abs and keeping your back straight, until you are about eight inches from the floor. Keep your abs contracted as you return to a flat position. Start with three sets of 15 reps and increase that amount daily. While it’s certainly not the easiest of workouts, crunches are the fastest way to get that slim and shapely torso that you’re looking for.

3. Yoga

If an all-around workout is more your style definitely consider a yoga class. The movements and poses in yoga target the whole body and can help you develop long, lean muscles that will certainly get you, and your bikini, noticed. Shop around for yoga studios in your area and arrange to meet with the instructors. If you can be clear about your fitness goals they can help you choose the right class that can help you succeed. If you attend the classes regularly you’ll find that results come rather quickly. You can also combine yoga with other targeted exercises to see results even faster. Summer is closer than you think so now is the time to prepare. Pull that bikini out of the closet and get ready for some hard work, but you’ll be thanking yourself later.


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Stay Fit While Working an Office Job

shutterstock_82313836Losing weight and becoming more fit is not an easy task, but it can be especially difficult if you’re stuck behind a desk all day with limited time to exercise. In fact, this is one of the biggest complaints of office workers who want to lose weight and become more physically strong and healthy.

Not only is inactivity a problem, but offices are not exactly known to be bastions of healthy eating. The snacks and sweets that are constantly present and vending machines packed with sugary drinks combine to make maintaining a health regimen particularly difficult. Add to this the fact that sitting all day is certainly not conducive to adequate exercise and you have a recipe for disaster.

Luckily, there are ways to navigate around this sedentary office trap, and here are a few ideas that will help you begin or maintain your fitness journey while working a desk job.

1. Walk as Much as You Can

If you’re busy while you’re at work it can feel counterproductive or downright wrong to get up for a brief walk, but that’s exactly what you should do. If it’s at all possible you should be leaving your desk and moving around at least once per hour, even if it’s just a walk to a colleague’s office or to the coffee machine.

Try to take five or 10 minutes per hour to walk. Make a circuit around the cubicles, or walk up and down the stairs. Not only can this help you get your blood moving and help you feel better, but it can also clear your head and leave you more focused for the next hour of work.

2. Design a Desk Workout Routine

Exercise and workouts don’t have to take place in a gym; they can take place anywhere and at any time. One easy way to ensure that your fitness doesn’t suffer because you work in an office is to design a workout routine that you can complete at your desk. This can be a lifesaver in that, like walking, a mini-workout can help relieve stress and clear your mind.

Bring hand weights to the office and use them while you’re on a phone call. Try an office chair workout for tricep dips and squats, although you may want to close your office door for this one. Also, consider recruiting some of your coworkers to join you. A group is always a great motivator.

shutterstock_2263706083. Rethink Your Route

If you live near your workplace and you drive or take public transport, you are doing yourself a great disservice. If at all possible you should try to walk or bike to work as often as you can.

As with walking during your breaks, walking or biking to work serves double duty. You’ll find yourself energized and relaxed after a walk to the office, and a walk home at the end of the day will help clear your mind of work-related thoughts and help you be more present for the family that is waiting for you at home.

And the fitness benefits of walking aren’t too shabby either.

If you feel that you have to choose between your fitness and your job, these tips can help. Take charge of your health, try some of these exercise tips, and find yourself more energized, both at work and in your personal life.


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Adopting a Dog Can Make You Healthier

It’s no secret that owning a pet is good for you. PhysiciansRunning and other scientists have for years said that there are numerous health benefits. One of the ways that humans benefit from sharing their lives with dogs is increased physical activity.

If you’ve ever wondered how the simple act of adopting a dog can help you become fit and healthier, read on to learn more about the ways that dogs help their humans get into shape.

Go for a Walk

Dogs need exercise to keep their brains active and engaged and their bodies fit and healthy. However, modern dogs are often confined to a house or small yard for much of the time, so they depend on their humans for access to exercise. Because your dog can’t walk himself, you’ll need to help him.

Long walks benefit you as much as they do your canine companion. Most dog experts recommend at least 45 minutes per day of vigorous walking. Wearing a heart rate monitor can help determine how much effort you’ve put into the exercise with your pup. The harder you walk, the better it is for you and your dog; as a result, owners often find themselves losing weight and becoming more fit in the process. Additionally, if you’re ever feeling less than motivated, a pair of sad puppy eyes gazing at you from a position near the front door should be all the encouragement you need to get out and get moving.

Exercising with dogPlay Ball

Dogs are hunters, and while many of their bloodthirsty tendencies have diminished over the process of domestication, they still share a strong prey drive with their wolf ancestors. This is one of the reasons why your dog loves to chase balls and toys when they are thrown. You can use this instinctive drive to the advantage of your dog’s health, and yours as well.

Spend 30 minutes a few times a day playing with your dog in your yard or other safe enclosure. As you throw the ball and engage your dog in an active round of chase, you’re not only getting his heart pumping, but you’ll likely find that you’ve broken a sweat in the process too.

Boot Camp

Boot camps that focus on intensive physical training have become very popular ways for people to get into shape, and many personal trainers have taken this concept one step further. In cities across the country you can now take your dog to boot camp sessions with you.

A combination of activities that challenges both human and canine, these boot camps offer exercises that will whip both of you into shape. Boot camps also have the added benefit of socialization with other dogs for your furry friend, which will help make him a great deal happier.

These are just a few ways that dog ownership can have a positive impact on your fitness. The increased activity that comes with dog ownership is a great way to be more active in many areas of your life. Visit your local animal shelter or rescue group today to find a pup that is perfect for your lifestyle. Giving a forever home to a shelter dog is a great way to change two lives for the better at the same time.


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Saddle Up: Why Horseback Riding Is Great Exercise

riding a horseAlmost everyone has ridden a horse at some point in their lives, whether it was a trail ride during a mountain vacation, hopping on a friend’s horse during a visit, or a riding lesson at a local barn. Almost everyone is familiar with the day after that horse ride, as well: the aching thighs, the sore abdominal muscles, and the stiff back and shoulders.

Many people might eschew horseback riding as a serious workout. Those same people might think that the horse does all the work while the rider is just, well, along for the ride. This could not be further from the truth. Horseback riding requires serious muscle control, balance, and coordination in order to stay on the horse’s back and maintain control.

If you’re a horse lover and would like a new and unique way to work out, learn more about the incredible physical benefits of a day in the saddle.

Strength

Staying atop a 1,200 pound animal and making it go where you want it to go is no easy feat. It requires incredible balance and muscle control at all times, the likes of which some athletes didn’t even know they had.

To maintain the proper position in the saddle the rider must engage the entire lower body. Abs, hips, glutes, thighs, and calves must all work together to ensure that the rider stays in place even if the horse has other ideas.

Add activities like jumping or barrel racing to the mix and the workout becomes even more intense.

horseback riding is funFlexibility

Moving with a horse instead of against it is one of the cardinal rules of riding, and it has the added benefit of increased flexibility for the rider. Stretching and flexing while riding comes naturally after a while, but for the beginner it can be as intense as some yoga workouts.

Stretching before you climb aboard is key to prevent muscle soreness, but stretching while in the saddle helps as well. Many trainers will ask that their students perform specific stretches while they are warming their horses up at the beginning of a lesson.

Cardio

One of the best health benefits of horse riding is the cardio workout that you’ll receive. Wear your heart rate monitor during your next lesson and you’ll be convinced. Holding your muscles in place while bending and stretching for an hour is an intense workout. Kick your feet out of the stirrups or ride bareback for an even bigger cardio blast.

Don’t end your day when your lesson is done; helping in the barn is a great cardio workout as well. Cleaning stalls, carrying hay and sacks of grain, cleaning saddles and bridles, and thoroughly grooming the horses will get your heart and lungs pumping, as well.

If you’re looking for a fun and different way to work out then you should definitely consider horseback riding, but don’t expect it to be easy. Learning to ride a horse requires hours of practice and hard work, and a great deal of physical effort. However, the reward not only lies in toned muscles. You’ll also get to connect with a magnificent animal and learn a fun and rewarding skill.