Fit Forever with Kathy!

Don’t Do Another Crunch Until You Try This 1 Move For Lean Abs

by Kathy Smith

You can stop with the crunches! I may be exaggerating – but there’s still a kernel of truth to this. Traditional crunches have their value - they’re great for helping to define the abdominal muscles, especially the rectus abdominus (the part of our abs that can form the ‘six pack’). But there are several effective exercises for strengthening the core that are completely crunch-free. Today, I’ll show you one move takes the ab-sculpting power of the reverse crunch and turns it on its side by providing an additional oblique rotational challenge…. 

Windshield Wipers:
windshield-wipers

How to do it:

  • Start on your back, with your hands on the floor for support and legs lifted up off the floor.
  • Using your core muscles to support you and protect your lower back, keep your knees over your hips as you slowly drop both knees to the right side, forming a 45-degree angle with the floor. Then, fire up your obliques as you drive your knees back to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Beginners:

  • Start with a limited range of motion. To start out, just take your legs a few inches to one side and then use your abdominals to bring them back to center.
  • If you feel any pressure on your back, bring your knees closer to your chest as you rock side to side.

Advanced:

  • Add an extension: So as you rotate, extend your legs to straight. Then bend them back to a 90-degree angle as you return to the starting position.

Kathy

 

By Collage Video | | Abs, exercise, fitness, goals, Kathy Smith, practice, Weekly Blog | 0 comments | Read more

6 Ways To Protect Your Joints As You Age

by Kathy Smith

According to the Harvard Health Publications, close to 20 percent of people in the United States have arthritis. As we age, joint movements like gliding, rolling, bending, and rotating are no longer performed with ease. Instead, our joints creak and resist movement, causing aches and pains. So how can you protect your body from experiencing this as you get older?

Try these 6 tips to help protect your joints from injury as you age:

salmon-salad

1. Add Omega-3 Fats To Your Plate

Foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, olive oil and flax seeds help promote joint comfort. These omega-3s get incorporated into joint cartilage cells, where they allow joints move smoothly. To increase your intake of omega-3s, try cooking with olive oil, taking a daily fish oil supplement, or add flax seeds to your morning smoothie.

2. Eat Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Studies have shown that seniors with better joints also have more antioxidants in their blood and joint fluids. So eat plenty of antioxidant-rich fresh fruits and vegetables daily, along with a daily multivitamin will protect your joints. Foods that are high in anti-oxidants include the berry family: cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries.

3. Have a regular exercise program

Exercise is the fountain of youth, because it keeps your muscles well oiled and your joints fluid and supple. Exercises that are specifically gentle to joints are cycling, swimming, and stretching. Also, remember to include a warm-up before all of your aerobic and strength training activities. Tendons, ligaments and muscles tend to tighten with age and need a longer warm-up before engaging in physical activity. A simple marching in place can do the trick.

4. Keep Your Weight Down

The greater your weight, the more wear and tear your joints go through. Over time, your joints are unable to bear your excess weight, and there are minute tears in tissue of your joints can get inflamed leading to further complications. Also, obesity can trigger osteoporosis and arthritis, both of which can lead to ultimate joint degeneration.

5. Keep moving!

Sitting is the new smoking! Keep your body moving and avoid sitting in one place for more than a half hour. When you remain seated, your joints have to take a great deal of your seated weight, leading to more wear and tear.

6. Maintain proper posture

It’s time for a posture check! If you’re sitting, make sure your legs are straight and let your body make a 90-degree angle with your knees; do not stoop. Let your weight rest on your hip and leg bones. Use adequate back support and ensure proper height alignment to a counter, table or desk, keeping both feet on the floor.

When you stand, distribute your weight and stress evenly on both feet. Keep your head level; avoid holding the head bent forward nor to one side.

Remember, protecting your joints as you age should become a high priority in order to maximize your ability and function as long as you can.

Here’s to your health!

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

 

A New Twist On Strength Training

by Kathy Smith

A good balance routine changes everything. So today, take weight training, and add a balancing twist! The video move in the blog is a must-try, because it combines the core strengthening principles of balance, and adds upper body toning moves. After practicing this routine regularly, you’ll notice a big difference — not just in how you look, but in how you move, stand, and especially how you feel.

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

Maximize Your Snack Break

by Kathy Smith

  1. Whole-grain bread with 1/8 avocado spread on top. Choose from a variety of toppings including: sliced tomato, basil, vinaigrette, asparagus, black pepper, chives, baby greens, toasted walnuts, mango, raspberries, cucumber, almonds.
  2. Seedlander crackers of Flackers topped with cashew cheese
  3. Apple slices with 1 tablespoon almond butter and raisins
  4. Celery sticks filled with 1 tablespoon almond butter and raisins
  5. 1/2 avocado and 1 small tomato, shopped, with a squeeze of lemon
  6. 1/2 avocado with salsa and diced jicama
  7. Handful of raw almonds with 1/2 cup blackberries
  8. Handful of brazil nuts with a pear
  9. Handful of cashews with an orange
  10. 2 Lettuce leaves spread with 1 tablespoon hummus and raw vegetables wrapped up
  11. 2 Tablespoons hummus with celery sticks and bell pepper strips
  12. 3/4 Cup cooked shelled edamae

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

Ultimate Approach To Staying Young

by Kathy Smith

Spot some room for improvement? The more areas you found that need improving, the more you’ve got to gain!

But remember, making major lifestyle changes can seem pretty overwhelming. All all of a sudden, you’re supposed to sleep more, drink less soda, eat more veggies, and cut down on your sugar intake. But let’s be honest…you just can’t do everything at once. You could pull it off for a week or two, but soon you’d start feeling deprived of your old, familiar habits, and you’d feel yanked in a million directions. Eventually, you’d probably want to run from it all and just plop down on the couch with the remote control.

That, of course, isn’t the answer. Success comes down to one word…focus. The one surefire strategy is to focus your energy on one single healthy habit at a time. That way, you can learn why that particular habit is so important, and practice adapting it to your own tastes and preferences. After a while, you’ll incorporate that new healthy habit into your life without extra effort. It’ll just become second nature! Once you conquer one coal…whether it’s having more probiotics for healthy digestion, or strengthening your abs…you’ll be inspired to tackle another, and another. It’s like a domino effect. But a good one. Before you know it, you’ll have generated enough momentum to carry you through a complete transformation of your exercise and eating habits.

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

By Collage Video | | health, Healthy, healthy aging, Kathy Smith, live long, live strong | 0 comments | Read more

Is Decision Fatigue Making You Fat?

by Kathy Smith

The complete Barre Body Lift workout

No matter what time you choose to workout throughout the week, what’s most important is to have a routine so you don’t fall victim to decision fatigue and miss your exercise session.

Studies show that as you navigate through a world of choices, it’s natural that your mental capacity starts to wear down.

As you increase the number of decisions you make throughout the day, the more tired your brain becomes, and it warps your judgment. But, you may not notice when this is happening to you, because when you’re running low on mental energy, your mind isn’t consciously aware of being tired.

Here’s an interesting study reported in the New York Times…

“…Studies show that people with the best self-control are the ones who structure their lives so as to conserve willpower. They don’t schedule endless back-to-back meetings. They avoid temptations like all-you-can-eat buffets, and they establish habits that eliminate the mental effort of making choices. Instead of deciding every morning whether or not to force themselves to exercise, they set up regular appointments to work out with a friend. Instead of counting on willpower to remain robust all day, they conserve it so that it’s available for emergencies and important decisions.”

So, if you like to exercise in the mornings, then set your alarm clock knowing what you’re doing when you wake up in the morning…whether it’s a walk or a yoga routine. Or, if you prefer to workout in the afternoon, then schedule a new class at the gym after work with a friend. This way, you’ve made the decision ahead of time and won’t have to rely on willpower to get moving.

And before you start your workout, don’t forget the importance of a warm-ups. Try this 5-minute gentle and invigorating warm-up video…it’s is like a latte for your mind. A simple warm-up will increase the oxygen in your brain and help you concentrate better, recall information more quickly, and focus more throughout the day.

Own it on DVD for only $11.99!

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

The Best Workout For Your Body Type

by Kathy Smith

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 4.53.50 PM

We come in all shapes and sizes. The system of body types (also called somatotypes) commonly used in scientific and medical circles was developed in the 1950s by W. H. Sheldon and provides a convenient way of classifying the structural and performance differences between people. According to this system, there are three basic types: the slender ectomorph, the athletic mesomorph, and the soft endomorph. Each has its strengths and limits.

Most people don’t fit perfectly into any one type. However, as you read through the descriptions, I’ll bet you’ll be able to relate characteristics of one or more types to yourself or someone you know.

The Ectomorph: Thin, Little Fat or Muscle

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 4.25.40 PMEctomorphs have long, narrow, lean, lithe, angular bodies. Their muscles and connective tissues are loose, allowing more flexibility and mobility than other body types, and this general looseness and lack of muscle makes them more likely to have poor posture. Proportionately, ectomorphs are fine-boned, with narrow shoulders, a flat chest, and long limbs. What little fat they carry accumulates in the hips and thighs.


Ectomorphs tend to have inefficient cardiovascular systems and may have problems with low blood pressure, high heart rate, poor circulation, dizziness on standing, and poor endurance. They gain muscle slowly and with difficulty.

A well-developed and efficient nervous system makes ectomorphs highly sensitive and adept at activities requiring speed of movement. On the other hand, they have inefficient digestive systems, which helps them to stay thin but may leave them prone to hypoglycemia. There’s also some evidence that ectomorphs may be particularly susceptible to low back pain and osteoporosis.

The Mesomorph: Athletic and Muscular


Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 4.28.10 PMMesomorphs are high-energy people, with high levels of adrenaline and an efficient cardiovascular system. In general, they excel at strength and endurance activities and, men especially, tend to bulk up when they lift weights.Mesomorphs are nature’s athletes, with hard, muscular bodies and a solid, square appearance. They’re sturdily built, and their tight, short muscles and strong connective tissue give them a very upright posture, but limit their flexibility. They’re medium-to-large-boned, with shoulders broader than hips, short torsos, and a well-proportioned distribution of weight.

Depending on their diet and activity level, mesomorphs can gain or lose weight easily. Although they get into shape quickly and can eat large amounts of calories as long as they stay active, they can also lose muscle quickly and gain fat through lack of training. When they’re inactive, their blood pressure and heart rate rise. That, combined with a greater concentration of fat near the middle of the body, makes them more prone to heart disease and stroke.

The Endomorph: Excess Body Fat

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 4.28.43 PM

Endomorphs have soft, rounded, naturally curvy bodies, with excess body fat and underdeveloped muscles. Their shoulders are slightly wider than their hips, but this often goes unnoticed because they carry excess fat at their waist, buttocks, and thighs. Their posture is fairly good, and their muscles and cardiovascular system are more efficient than those of the ectomorph, though less so than the mesomorph. This gives them natural potential for strength, endurance, and flexibility. However, an overly developed digestive system and a naturally low metabolism cause them to gain weight easily and lose it slowly. The endomorph usually has a slow heart rate and low blood pressure, and can relax and fall asleep easily. 

Mix and Match

You hardly ever see anyone who is a perfect ecto, meso, or endo. Most of us have traits of at least two types: Usually, we tend toward one while having traces of the others. A good pole vaulter, for instance, might be an ecto-meso, since long limbs (ectomorph) are desirable for speed and grip height, while strong upper body muscles (mesomorph) are important in levering the body over the bar.

I classify myself as an ecto-meso. Although I have the mesomorph’s capacity to gain muscle and be athletic, my body’s natural tendency is toward thinness.

By the way, other physical characteristics such as height, weight, or fitness level do not affect what type you are. You can be a meso, ecto, or endo of any dress size. Likewise, exercise won’t change your body type. You might go from an overweight endomorph to a more slender one; from a willowy ectomorph to a more contoured one, but the changes you experience will occur relative to your own physiology.

Body Type Self-Test

Here’s a quick way to gauge your body type: Take the middle finger and thumb of one hand, and encircle the wrist of the other hand. This is a simple way of making a length-versus-width comparison of the bones in your body. This ratio gives a clue as to which category you might fall into:

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 4.31.22 PM

Ectomorphs, endomorphs, and mesomorphs are like that game of rock, paper, scissors. Each can do something the others can’t, so there’s no better or worse type to be. And since your type was decided before you were born, your only job now is to accept and enjoy your body for its unique abilities, and learn to make the most of them.

The Mesomorph Myth

There seems to be a bias in our society in favor of the mesomorph. Most people feel that a more muscular, proportional physique is the ideal. The bias doesn’t stop there, though. Studies show we actually judge people with meso physiques more favorably than others.

In one experiment, a group of psychotherapists and grad students at Midwestern State University were shown drawings of three clients’ body types. Based on nothing but the outlines of the bodies, the subjects rated the clients according to various personal characteristics. Students and professionals alike all rated the mesomorphs more favorably than the others.

It’s true that mesomorphs have a definite edge in most physical pursuits. However, looking beyond athletics, the other body types have edges of their own. An ectomorph’s highly active nervous system may make her an exciting concert violinist. Likewise, an endomorph’s slow, relaxed demeanor may make her a more approachable and reassuring presence as a school counselor.

Even in the physical realm, though, each type has its strengths. The strengths and limitations of your body type (as well as your individual goals) help determine the type of training that’s right for you.

Here’s a summary and some training recommendations…

Training Considerations for Each Body Type

My program is designed to help everyone—no matter how you’re built—develop strength, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility. However, two people can have very different responses to the same training program. It helps to be as familiar as you can with your own body’s natural tendencies, so you know how to focus your efforts and assess your progress.

Ectomorph Focus

If you’re an ectomorph, you may have memories of leaving most of your elementary school classmates in the dust in the 50- yard dash. Ectomorphs are good sprinters, can become very flexible, and excel at sports involving quickness and agility. They’re not gifted in the strength or endurance departments, however, and while they don’t usually need to work to stay thin, they do need to work to stay strong.

The Role of Strength Training:

Ectomorphs need strength training to improve posture, create contour, protect joints from injury, and keep bones strong against osteoporosis.

While the ecto can improve muscle strength and endurance, the improvements may not be as great or come as fast as with the other types. An ectomorph trying to build muscle may feel at times like someone trying to grow vegetables in the desert. This is all the more reason why it’s so important for ectomorphs to train, and train consistently.

As for other aspects of training, ectos can usually maintain flexibility with minimal effort. And because they are often high-strung, they may benefit from relaxation and stress-reduction techniques.

Mesomorph Focus

If you’re a mesomorph, you’ve probably done well at most physical activities you’ve tried. If you haven’t been very active up to this point, you’ll probably find that your body responds quickly to training. Excess weight shouldn’t be a problem as long as you stay active and eat sensibly. Because mesomorphs tend to carry fat around the center of the body, they face a greater risk of heart problems than other types if they allow their weight to climb. The right combination of strength training, cardio, and a low-fat diet will minimize this risk and keep you looking your best.

The Role of Strength Training:

Your challenge is to find a level of strength training that allows you to tone up without building more muscle than you want. Weight lifting is a must for fighting age-related muscle loss and keeping your weight down, but you may want to do it at a lower intensity (using lighter weights, according to the guidelines in Chapter 5) to avoid building unwanted bulk. Since your muscles and connective tissues tend to be tightly strung together, you’ll probably need to spend extra time stretching in order to stay flexible.

Endomorph Focus

If you’re an endomorph, you may have memories of bringing up the rear when your classmates ran the track. Physical activity does not come easily for you, and you may find physical challenges frustrating. The main difficulty, though, is usually excess weight. Endomorphs, because of their tendency to store fat, may not seem to be natural athletes. But, surprisingly, they have the potential to develop strength and endurance more easily than the ectomorph.

With proper training, there’s no reason an endomorph can’t be toned and fit. Endos may tend to be a bit more voluptuous than other body types, but it’s possible to be voluptuous and be in great shape!

The Role of Strength Training:

The endomorph’s big challenge is her constant struggle with excess weight. Aerobic work, attention to diet, and strength training will all help. Strength training is vital, and will accomplish two things: First, it will help strengthen your joints and connective tissues to make your cardio work easier and less stressful. And second, it will help raise your metabolism so you can burn fat that much faster. Over the long run, you may want to do a little extra work on your upper body to help create a more symmetrical look. When it comes to cardio, start with low-impact varieties to minimize stress on the joints: good choices include walking or treadmill, swimming (or aqua aerobics), low-impact aerobics, bicycling on fairly level ground, or a stationary bike with low tension.

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

10-Min Ultimate Sculpt

by Kathy Smith

 

Own Ultimate Sculpt On DVD

For only $11.99!!!

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

6-Min Cardio + Barre Workout

by Kathy Smith 

Kathy Smith's Barre Body Lift Workout

Amp up your traditional barre workout by adding a cardio component! Popular studios across the country are beginning to offer cardio + barre classes that target-train muscles and give you the deepest burn you’ve ever felt, while incorporating gradually-paced cardio that leaves your body feeling alive.

And today, I’ve put together my own 6-minute cardio + barre fusion to target those hard-to-reach muscles and sculpt and define the back of your arms, buns and legs. The routine is so fun, that it will be the new reason you’ll want to jump out of bed in the morning.

This is NOT your standard workout! It’s a high energy, no impact routine that combines strength training with continual fat burning. You’ll be amazed how strong and full of vitality you’ll full after this 6-minute video!

Ready to give it a try? Grab a chair, and let’s go!

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

THIS IS YOGA FOR INFLEXIBLE PEOPLE

by Kathy Smith

 

Full workout here!

THIS IS YOGA FOR INFLEXIBLE PEOPLE. So you don’t think you’re flexible? You’re not alone! There are reasons why you may be less bendy…from genetics, to how cold it is outside, to your age.

But just because you haven’t passed the Flexibility 101 course doesn’t mean you should rule yoga out of your practice.

Today, I want to guide you through a 5 minute gentle yoga video routine for inflexible people to help you feel more peaceful, have a better sleep tonight, and yes…improve your flexibility 

The good news is, you don’t even have to be able to touch your toes to do these poses.

Today’s video is a clip from my newly-released video, YOGA BASICS: GENTLE YOGA!

Own it on DVD HERE!

Product Description:

If you want to feel the revitalizing benefits of yoga, this DVD is the place to start! This complete experience includes both standing and floor poses to help you release tension, improve flexibility, increase core strength, and create space and tranquility in your body. As you start to link fluid movement with breath, you’ll discover for yourself yoga’s time-honored power to restore the balance of mind and body.

Clear and effective 55-minute routine gives the beginner a complete yoga foundation; Floor poses to increase flexibility, especially in the lower back; Standing poses to build strength and improve alignment; Breathing techniques for more energy and vitality; Guided relaxation session to dissolve unwanted stress; Developed with Rod Stryker, one of the country’s leading yoga instructors and lecturers; Easy-to-follow. The DVD contains: Floor poses; Standing poses; Guided relaxation.

Kathy says “Welcome to my Timeless Collection! I hope you’ll enjoy these DVDs containing my favorite and most memorable workouts from the past. What was great then is still effective today, and I think you’ll agree that this transformative workout is indeed timeless!”

This Yoga routine includes:

  • Floor poses: 22 minutes
  • Standing poses: 22 minutes
  • Guided relaxation: 10 minutes
  • Total workout: Approx. 55 minutes

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

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