"After giving birth to my second child, I ballooned to 215 pounds..."
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Three of the most popular forum threads:
Favorite weight workouts
Cathe Friedrich, pros and cons
A quirky list of exercise video "whys"
I try really hard to maintain a healthy fitness and eating regimen during the holidays. But, somehow, I always manage to pick up a few pounds. Any suggestions?
A. It's true, holiday weight gain does seem inevitable. No matter how hard we try, the scale always seems to go up during this time of the year. But don't panic.
Sure, small weight gains can be very frustrating. But don't fret over a few temporary pounds. As long as the excess weight doesn't accumulate over time, those two to three pounds can be easily lost when life returns to post-holiday normalcy.
However, your concern is absolutely justified. So let's discuss some ways to avoid that weight gain altogether.
1. Exercise Duration: The holidays are very busy. The natural inclination is to
find some extra time by shortening your workouts. You'd think that
missing a few minutes wouldn't be important. But, those reduced minutes can quickly add up. Let's say you've maintained your body weight by doing one-hour workouts three days per week (for a total of 180 minutes per week). However, if you reduce every workout by just 15 minutes, you're missing a total of 45 minutes per week. That's 180 minutes per month.
Now you're losing an entire week of exercise!
2. Food Selection: As everyone knows, it's extremely difficult to eat healthy during the holidays. At home, the office or with friends — we're constantly surrounded by rich, sweet delicacies
(just filled with calories and fat). Even if you consciously try not to overindulge, your diet almost certainly
"normal." Even if you only eat an extra 300 calories per day for 30 days, that's 9000 additional calories — a little over 2.5 additional pounds.
3. Irregular Meals: Surprisingly, we often forget to eat during the holidays. Between rushing from place to place and squeezing in errand after errand, it's easy to skip a meal or two. Seems like you'd lose weight, right? But that's not the case. Inconsistent eating often leads to fast food meals, overeating and a slower metabolism. Eating five smaller
meals per day is the best way to maintain energy and curb extreme hunger.
And here's the really bad news — many people combine all three of these unhealthy patterns for a triple whammy. Imagine
(1) limiting exercise, (2) choosing unhealthy foods and (3) eating
sporadically for an entire month. Weight gain would be unavoidable.
Conclusion: Try to keep some regularity in your schedule, indulge in moderation and aim to maintain your weight. If the scale tips slightly to the right, that's okay. Just
be sure to get yourself back on track in January!
Add these to your gift list!
New videos by Leslie, Denise, Kelly Coffey, Rodney Yee, Ballet Beautiful, Element, Biggest Loser & More
Leslie Sansone's Walk to the Hits Party Songs keeps you energized with mega-hit pop vocals.
Denise Austin's Latin Dance burns fat with four different salsa-dance techniques.
Kelly Coffey-Meyer's Shape Up features Tabata-style interval training using a step.
Amy Dixon has two new videos.
Amy's Breathless Body 3 Hiit It Big is
a Tabata cardio interval workout.
Amy's Raise Some Bell has fast-paced aero/tone intervals that use a kettlebell.
Ballet Beautiful Sculpt
& Burn Cardio Blast combines a classical piano soundtrack with graceful ballet movements.
Element Barre Conditioning is another dancers' workout that includes both ballet and Pilates exercises.
Rodney Yee's Yoga for Your Week is a new production with five goal-focused workouts.
has three new UFIT videos. Each one has two 20-minute workouts.
Ultra Lean is
aero/tone intervals — one upper-body and one lower-body.
Ultra Tight also
has aero/tone intervals — one total-body and one abs.
Ultra Burn has a
faster/slower cardio series and a toning/stretch program.
Shiva's Rea's Yoga in Greece is beautifully filmed on the hills and beaches of Santorini.
Two new Biggest Loser DVDs:
Six Week Cardio Crush is a fast-paced aero/tone interval program.
8 Minute Body Blasters is a solid toning program that fits anyone's busy schedule.
The BeFit series has new videos too.
30 Day Butt Lift shapes your backside with a varied sequence of lower-body moves.
The 90 Day Workout System is a comprehensive program that offers a different workout every day.
10 Minute Daily Yoga Fix is a fusion of yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi.
Other new programs include
Tracy Anderson's Dance Plus Cardio,
Mike Chang's Six Pack Shortcuts,
Dance Off the Inches Cardio Hip Hop Party,
The Everyday Workout for Every Woman. And more!
See ALL the new videos.
Keli Roberts was a
participant in one of the world's first-ever celebrity workout videos: "Cher's A New Attitude." We asked how she got that opportunity. "After moving from Australia, I was teaching at Karen Voight's studio. One of the people coming to my class was the woman who was going to direct Cher's video.
When I started working with her, I told her that she should do a step workout (at that time, I'd never taught a
but I'd done all the workshops to learn how...). Eventually, Cher and I fell in love with step. She asked me to do my own video with her. But, at first, I said no (I was scared!). Cher was very convincing and talked me into it! I'm
so grateful for that amazing opportunity. After the video, she hired me
as her personal trainer."
So you're from Australia?
"Yes. I grew up in Brisbane, the youngest of three kids. I was always athletic. I started competitive swimming
at the age of
five. In fact, there's an odd story about my first race. I had the far left lane. But the lane divider was covered in big fat cicadas that had fallen into the water. I was deathly afraid of crickets, so I swam the whole race against the wall! Naturally, I did very poorly. To this day I hate cicadas!
went on to become a very good swimmer, especially the breaststroke. I loved
to compete and I did all sports. I was captain of the synchronized
swimming team, a high jumper, long jumper, netball team player, a tennis
team player and a gymnast. I loved them all."
You've taught and traveled all over the world. What's your favorite country?
"Italy is by far my favorite. I lived inn Milan in the early 80's when I was working as a model. I actually learned to speak
Italian, so teaching there and visiting there feels like a second home. But I also
still love Australia. I'm
going home to Australia for Christmas this year. I plan to try kite surfing for the
Over your long
career, you've received many awards. You were an IDEA Instructor of the
Year. You've also been inducted into the American Fitness Hall of Fame.
Of all your awards and recognitions, which is the most memorable for
"I've been very fortunate. If I had to choose, I'd say the most
significant award is the one from IDEA since it was given by my peers. I
had seen many people receive that honor and had never thought it would
be me. It was a huge honor. Also my Lifetime Achievement award from
One Body, One World show was a big honor.
In your 20+ years, you've seen lots of changes in the exercise video arena. What's your sense of the industry?
"That's easy. It's become a big business, very professional. There
are so many videos and instructors that it's hard to stand out. That's especially true if you're not connected to a celebrity or
on your own TV show. It's
Speaking of "hard,"
you've overcome some personal challenges in your life. Could you talk a little about that?
"It's true. Most people see me and think I've never had a problem. But that's far from the truth. Over the years, I've dealt with anorexia and bulimia plus drug and alcohol addiction. I'm also bipolar and I've struggled with mental illness all my life.
"Fortunately, exercise has always been a stabilizing force for good. It has always helped me feel better. I've
overcome a lot to stand where I am. So now I use that experience to
understand and help others."
See all of Keli's workouts.
And enter our sweepstakes to win Leslie Sansone's new Walk to Hits
Pondering about what to put on your holiday wish list? If so, consider getting ahead of the New Year's resolution rush by adding a
few new videos to that list.
- Kettlebells: Kettlebell training isn't just another passing fad. The workouts are specifically designed to engage your core, strengthen your muscles and improve your balance. That's a result of the kettlebell's unique, single-handle design. You
have to use nearly every muscle in your body, so you're really boosting your functional and overall strength. The exercises work your body as one unit and require a great deal of hard work. Unlike traditional dumbbell programs, kettlebell exercises require that you carefully control the bell's momentum.
- HIIT: High-intensity interval training is just an amped- up version of traditional interval training (a format that alternates segments of higher and lower intensity exercises). This continuous mixture of high and low intervals allows you to train both the anaerobic and aerobic systems which maximizes the heart health benefits. Even better, you'll burn more calories in a shorter amount of time which makes it one of the most time-efficient exercises.
So what's the difference between "regular" interval training and HIIT? A regular interval workout might
include a 30-second section of a low-impact jacks with a 30-second marching recovery period. In the HIIT version, your low-impact jack becomes a full
45-second plyo-jack and your recovery segment becomes a
30-second high-knee march or jog. A HIIT workout's movements are more intense and their recovery time is shorter. Research shows that HIIT is one of the most results-driven workouts. But be
careful — some joints can't handle this
- Ballet and Barre: This style is super-popular. It's designed to give you the lean, strong body of a dancer (many are low impact and even done barefoot). They bring the grace and elegance of ballet to your home. While some of these workouts use a ballet barre (and some instructors use classical ballet terminology), most of them are doable with a simple high-back chair. Ballet exercise programs deliver results, often providing an effective blend of both cardio and toning.
- Kickboxing: This technique combines elements from boxing, martial arts, and aerobics to provide a thorough, heart pumping, total-body workout. Kickboxing burns fat and builds lean muscle as it boosts your sense of empowerment. Movements include a variety of punches, jabs, upper cuts, speed bags, knees and kicks. They're usually performed quickly and in high repetition. Kickboxing can be completely low-impact or highly rigorous and plyometric. It helps tone the entire body as well as increase strength, balance and flexibility.
- Oldies But Goodies: Don't neglect the classics! Maybe it's time to take another look at the programs, music or instructors that motivated you in the past. Step aerobics, The Firm and even Jazzercise are just as enjoyable
— and effective — as they were back in the day. And don't forget that great oldies music. Remember the songs that got you moving?
You'll keep yourself energized with workouts by Jazzercise, Christi Taylor, Tamilee Webb, Cathe and
even Richard Simmons' Sweatin'.
What a useful and cost-effective gift. Stock up now and you'll be able to hit the ground running come January.
Until then, Happy Holidays!