Love Notes by Jari Love

Workout Excuses You Cannot Use Anymore

by Jari Love

Being in shape and looking great makes our lives as women so much easier and more enjoyable. Working with many moms, young women, and even high school girls, I hear the same excuses over and over about why they can’t work out. 

Guess what? I’m about to blow away five of the biggest excuses we hear. No more excuses! You can do this — immediately. 

  1. I’m too out of shape to go to the gym 

With Clickbank, YouTube, the Internet, DVDs and outdoor yoga, you do not have to go to the gym to get in shape. In fact, you can get into good shape at home! Then, if you so choose, you can join a gym when you feel more comfortable. 

If you’re like me, you’ll work out at home forever — and love it! I exercise at home everyday with a kettle bell, medicine ball and dumbbells. Granted, I have some background knowledge, but with technology, you can follow along with online programs in the comfort of your own home every day. 

I blow everyone away with this fact from my physical therapy days: My oldest patient was 108. She did awesome booty squeezes and leg kicks, and excelled at riding the stationary bike. As we age, our bones become more brittle, and one way we can prevent fracture is exercise. Get started now. Within a few days, you’ll see a difference — you will! 

  1. I don’t have anyone to exercise with me 

When I hear this excuse, I know you’re grasping at straws. Someone in your circle of friends feels just like you do. The difference between your friend and you is that they are afraid to ask around… but I know you are motivated, strong-willed and ready to get healthy. Ask around and see who’d like to join you on your morning walk. You’ll be surprised at how many women will take you up on it! The bonding and exercise together will make your soul so much happier. 

  1. I don’t look good in workout clothes (or I don’t have anything to wear)!

There are so many cute exercise clothes out there, but seriously? Your fashion statement should not be a reason to stay out of shape. All those new yoga pants are adorable and comfortable, and I’m guilty of wearing them every time I get a chance. You do not have to look like a celebrity to start getting in shape. Throw on some old pants, a cozy top and tennis shoes, Google “yoga for beginners” and get moving. You’re exercising in your cozy clothes in your cozy home. Boom. 

  1. I don’t have time 

I hear this one more than all the others, but no one is ever “too busy” for 10 minutes of exercise. It’s not a lack of time, but a lack of planning and prioritizing. Ouch. Yes, that may have stung a little, but I was guilty of that excuse once, also. It doesn’t fly when you realize taking away 10 minutes of your morning show, 10 minutes of your evening show or 10 minutes of gossiping with a neighbor could be spent exercising.

The common myth is you must exercise 60 solid minutes every day or it doesn’t count. That’s simply not true. Any physical activity is better than zero, and popping in 10 minutes here and there throughout the day really adds up. Truly look at your schedule, and see where you can carve out time. Jog while the kiddos practice ball, get up 10 minutes earlier, do lunchtime yoga or go bike riding on the weekends. Finding time is possible with creativity, planning and dedication.

Regardless of your reasons to avoid exercise, there is a way to squeeze in time for yourself. You need exercise, you deserve exercise and you will love yourself once you get into a routine. Try some little changes for at least a month, and before you know it, they will become habit. Love your body, and your body will love you back!

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

When Heavy Weight Lifting Pays Off

by Jari Love

Weight lifting isn’t just for body builders. Everyone can benefit from adding resistance weight training to their exercise regime. 

Here’s why: 

#1: Stronger Bones

No I don’t mean your muscles! While of course your muscles will get stronger by lifting weights, your bones will get stronger too. Since weight-bearing exercise stimulates bone formation, bones, like muscles become stronger and denser when demands are placed on it. This is great news since it means that weight lifting reduces the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. 

#2: Improved Balance

Strength training strengthens and tones your muscles by contracting them against a resisting force. Increased strength and tone aids in better body mechanics resulting in better posture, balance and coordination. Improved balance can reduce your risk of falling by as much as 40 percent, which is a crucial benefit especially as you age since elderly people who lose their balance can often wind up with life-altering broken bones. Lifting weights can help you stay mobile and strong throughout your life. 

#3: Improved Brain Function

Strength training helps us grow more muscle and bone cells and helps make the ones we have more powerful and effective. However, it is not just our body cells which receive these benefits. The same signals which increase muscle and bone cells also encourage growth, power and efficiency in our blood vessels and brain cells. Stronger blood vessels coupled with a stronger heart can also improve blood flow to the brain and has the potential to improve memory, slow the onset of dementia and boost overall cognitive performance. 

#4: Prevent Disease

Strength training not only improves the look of your body, but can also help you stay healthier. Studies have shown an overall improvement in your body’s ability to fight inflammation, including inflammation associated with colds and flu, as well as the body’s increased capacity for glucose control good news for those at risk for diabetes. Increased heart strength reduces the risk of heart disease and lowers blood pressure, while strength training has also been found to ease the pain of osteoarthritis and reduce depression.

 #5. Improved Mood

Lifting weights elevates the number of endorphins (your brain’s natural mood boosters) which makes you feel great, not to mention the self-esteem boost you receive when you look and feel strong.

 #6: Burns More Calories:

Lifting weights does so much for your physique. Strength training is crucial to weight control because increased muscle mass corresponds to an increased metabolic rate. Muscle burns calories even while at rest while stored fat uses very little energy. Strength training can provide up to a 15% increase in metabolic rate, which is enormously helpful for weight loss and long-term weight control.

 #7: You Eat and Sleep Better

Regular weight-lifting can make you more aware of what you put in your body. Better self-awareness makes it easier to say “no” to temptations, while people who lift weights regularly fall asleep more quickly, sleep more deeply, awaken less often, and sleep longer. Improved overall sleep quality is also key to maintaining weight loss.

 Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Top Tips for Firming Up a Saggy Butt

by Jari Love

If you ask people to identify the least favorite part of their body you will find that many get upset about a saggy bum or bottom. Although the lower body contains the largest muscle groups, we often have trouble keeping these muscles in top condition – and this is the primary cause to a saggy butt.

How do you get these muscles back in shape? You use “targeted” workouts and you partner them with fat burning exercises that help to define all of that gorgeous muscle you are working so hard to build. Keep in mind that you will not see changes overnight. It is going to take the average person from four to six weeks before they see and feel the major muscle groups begin to take shape. However, within eight to ten weeks most people have the “lifted” and rounded bottom they covet.

The Way to the Best Backside

What sort of exercises are needed? If you visualize the muscles of the buttocks, you already know that the “gluteus maximus” are the defining muscles in this area. That tells you that anything you can do to challenge and strengthen them is going to make a big difference. Additionally, you can always boost the effectiveness of any exercise by adding some hand weights when possible – such as five pound dumbbells, etc.

The exercises to use at least three times per week  to firm up a saggy butt are:

  • Squat - This is “the” exercise for lifting the butt. It is done by standing with the feet at shoulder width apart. Toes are pointing forward. Put your hands in “prayer position” in front of you or hold the arms straight out at shoulder height. Bend the knees and begin to squat until the thighs are parallel with the ground. Remember to squat downward – not forward. Pause for one breath when your thighs and shins are at a 90-degree angle and then lift to original position. Do three to five sets of eight to twelve squats.
  • Deadlifts - This benefits you by demanding that your butt muscles do most of the lifting of a heavy barbell from the floor. The most effective is the “straight-leg deadlift” done with a rack. The barbell is roughly three inches above the knee and this is a safer approach to the lift. You begin at the center of the bar with right palm facing towards you and left palm facing away and thighs touching the barbell you stand straight and use the legs to lift the barbell from the support pegs. Take two steps back, and tuck the navel towards the spine to ensure proper back position (flat back). Let your buttocks begin to project behind you as you lower the bar to the ankles (keeping knees slightly bent). Lift your head and look at the wall in front of you. Contract your butt muscles as you raise the bar and return to your initial position. The barbell is close to, but not touching the body. Do three to five lifts in sets of eight to twelve.
  • Lunges - When perfected, the lung is highly effective at butt lifting. The best version is the walking lunge and it is done by standing with the feet together (hold weights at the top of the shoulders for even greater results). Take a large step forward with the right foot, bend the knees and lower the body into the lunge. Check your form to be sure that the thigh is parallel with the floor and the knee is above or slightly behind the toe. Lift with the bent leg (standing up out of the lunge), and then step forward on the left foot. Repeat fifteen times on each leg.

Perform these sets at least three times per week, and do at least 30 minutes of daily fat burning, cardio work and you could see your new and shapely butt in the next four weeks.

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

The Truth about Your Metabolism

by Jari Love

If we know how our metabolism works, we can get it to work for us. Sometimes, your metabolism works against you even when you think you’re doing everything right. It’s time you took a good, hard look at how your metabolism really works.

Your Metabolism Works ALL Day. Your metabolism works all day, it is what gives you energy. If your metabolism wasn’t working you wouldn’t have the energy to get out of bed. The quality of food you feed to your metabolism contributes to the quality of energy you experience. It’s what more then when you eat that contributes to weight gain, so if you think you can get away with eating that quarter-pounder with cheese, bacon, mayo, and bun; a large order of greasy fries; and a 32-ounce milkshake without any consequences—just because you ate it at lunch and not late at night—think again! Eat smart all day long, have a healthy snack at night if necessary, and then sleep well.

You Can Control Your Metabolism. Some people seem as though they can eat anything without gaining an ounce, while you feel that if you eat one potato chip it’s game over. You may think this is just the way you were born, but the good news is you can increase your metabolism by lifting weights, getting a good night of sleep, eating enough protein to power you through the day, and drinking plenty of water. Want something more than water? Here’s another smidgen of good news: a little caffeine in your daily intake will help you get rid of calories faster than going without. Just make sure your caffeine isn’t bathed in sugar and unnecessary calories. Green tea is especially high in antioxidants too!

Getting Older Doesn’t Mean Your Metabolism Has to Slow Down. As you age your metabolism will drop a tiny bit, but the good news is most of this decrease is due to a loss of muscle mass—which is something you can fix! In order to keep your metabolism high even as you get older keep up the weight training and your metabolism will remain strong and steady.

The Key to Achieving and Maintaining your Most Effective Metabolism is a Consistent and Challenging Exercise Routine. Sometimes you hear diet of fads that promote certain foods promising to boost your metabolism. However, these fad foods won’t do anything more than temporarily boost your metabolism. Approximately half an hour after consuming these supposed metabolism mega-boosters, the boost is over and you’re back to your normal metabolism. A normal, well-balanced diet is a much better option. You’ll keep your metabolism working throughout the day, and you will be receiving all the nutrients you need to help keep cravings at bay.

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

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4 Natural Ways To Soothe An Angry Gut

by Jari Love

It’s pretty much impossible to dodge the occasional upset stomach, diarrhea, or constipation. Tummy trouble is just a part of life. Fortunately, a cranky belly tends to feel better quickly if you keep hydrated and stick to easy-to-digest foods.

But for people with “functional bowel disorders”—doctor-speak for conditions that cause chronic stomach pain and other digestive problems—a stomachache isn’t just an every-now-and-then thing; it’s a debilitating ailment. The most common bowel disorder is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which affects roughly one in 10 Americans, according to H. Christian Weber, MD, a gastroenterologist at Boston Medical Center. For the millions of people with IBS, letting stomach pain run its course isn’t an option.

Fortunately, there are several drug-free methods proven to calm an angry gut.

1. Ditch these foods.
Whole wheat, honey, beans, and even garlic can cause trouble—or not. The tricky thing about bowel disorders is that everyone’s gut is different, so what irritates one person’s gastrointestinal tract may be harmless for someone else’s. That said, something called “the low FODMAP diet” should work for just about anyone, Weber says. FODMAP is short for “fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols” (say that three times fast), and it targets natural sugars that pull water into the intestines and make digestion difficult.

There’s a long list of foods forbidden for people on a low FODMAP diet, including watermelon, lentils, and chickpeas. But passing on hummus is a no-brainer compared to suffering through chronic stomachaches or diarrhea. Also, you may only have to give up your favorites for a few weeks, says Stephanie Moleski, MD, a gastroenterologist at Thomas Jefferson University. After a 2- to 6-week “elimination phase,” during which you ditch every FODMAP food possible, you can reintroduce items one at a time until you’ve identified your triggers.

2. Get off the couch.
Exercise is a potent remedy for everything from depression to Alzheimer’s disease. A workout can also quell the discomfort associated with digestive disorders, research suggests. “Endorphins are painkillers,” Weber says. And exercising releases them while upping the amount of oxygen circulating in your body, which makes you feel better—albeit temporarily. Weber says exercise doesn’t really address the underlying causes of your angry gut. Still, if you’re looking for natural relief, a little sweat is a great way to sidestep ibuprofen. Research isn’t clear about whether aerobic exercise is better than strength training, so Weber suggests you try both and stick with whatever type makes you feel best.

3. Assess your stress.
A big interview, public speaking, or other stressful activities can launch stomach cramps, feelings of nausea, and gas. Some experts attribute this to something called the brain-gut axis. Basically, your brain and your gut talk to each other. When one’s upset, the other may feel junky, too. (Some research suggests those with bowel disorders like IBS also tend to feel depressed or anxious.)

As a result of this brain-gut connection, stress can be a big trigger for people with chronic stomach problems, Moleski explains. “When you’re having a lot of stress, it’s going to wreak havoc in the intestines,” she says.

There are several quick ways to slash stress. Finding a method that works for you may make your gut happier in the long run. In one study, people with bowel disorders spent 15 to 20 minutes a day fighting stress with yoga, meditation, or prayer. After 9 weeks, they reported less pain, lower anxiety, and better quality of life.

4. Grab some peppermint.
Although he doesn’t usually recommend supplements, Weber says anyone looking for a natural way to ease stomach pain could try peppermint oil, which studies show can calm symptoms of IBS. But Weber cautions against picking up peppermint supplements at your nearest health store. They’re only lightly regulated by the FDA, and are often loaded with unnecessary additives that could do more harm than good. He advises talking with your doctor before trying a supplement.

via prevention.com

Jari Love
– original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Quick Tabata Workout

by Jari Love

Tabata workouts are short and intense bursts of exercise that are designed to burn maximum fat and calories. The idea behind Tabata is that you work as hard as you possibly can for 20 seconds, then take 10 seconds to rest, and then repeat that for a total of 8 times. This is the first HIIT workout ever created, by a guy in Japan.

You can use any exercise in a tabata workout, but the main thing is to chose an exercise that will work all your muscle groups and elevate your heart rate.

Start any workout with a little warm-up to get your blood flowing before doing any intense exercise. Then set a timer, either on your watch or phone and get to work. It is a total of 4 minutes, so there’s no room for excuses in not getting a workout done on this busy Monday.

Here’s your workout! Let me know how it goes. I have instructions below on how to do a burpee.

Browse Tabata Workouts

To do a burpee, start standing straight up with your core engaged like you’re being punched in the stomach. Then bend your knees and reach your hands down to the floor. Hop your feet back, keeping your core strong, not letting your back sag, into a plank. Do a pushup (if you can). Finally hop the feet back to your hands and stand up. If you’re advanced, you can add a tuck jump when you stand up.

Burpees work your quads, glutes, core, shoulders, and chest. Best workout ever!

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Sitting all Day? Try These Stretches

by Jari Love

When you sit, your body slumps, your metabolism slows, and you…spread. At least, that’s what all the experts say. But if you’re in a job where you must sit—or you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a standing desk—you’ll be happy to learn that there are ways to undo the damage—plus boost your calorie burn.

 First, chairs and couches lead to trouble for the simple reason that they support your body weight. With a chair holding you up, your ankles, knees, and hips stiffen, your muscles weaken, your shoulders round forward, and your back hunches. Even worse, your circulation slows, which depresses your metabolism.

 Yikes. Okay, now for some good news: In a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers tracked nearly 13,000 women for 12 years to find out how much health damage sitting could do over the long term. Yes, years spent on the couch or hunched over a desk was linked to a greater risk of weight gain, heart disease, and an earlier demise—but only for women who sat still. When the researchers separated the women into three groups—low fidgeting, moderate fidgeting, and high fidgeting, they discovered that the most active sitters completely dodged any increased health risks. These women sat as much as 7 hours a day, but by continually tapping their fingers, bouncing their legs, and, the researchers suspect, hopping up frequently, they were able to avoid the health impacts of lounging.

 So if you’re trapped in a chair, be sure to add some fidgeting and get up to wander around every 20 minutes or so. And try out the 6 stretches below. They’re designed to counter the muscle-weakening, joint-stiffening, and shoulder-hunching effects of spending too much time on your keister.

 What to do: Hold each of these static stretches for 30-seconds, and try to do the series in this order, twice a day. 

  1. Supported Backbend

 Why: Bending backward helps improve posture, and supports the muscles that stabilize your spine. 

How: Stand facing away from a wall, your heels about one foot away from the baseboard. With your arms over your head, elbows bent backward so that your palms are facing the wall, slowly lean back and catch your body weight with your hands. Walk your hands down the wall until you begin to feel a stretch. (You may also need to step further away from the wall as your back bends. 

Be sure to start slowly; as your back gets stronger you’ll be able to go deeper into the backbend. Place the tip of your tongue in the roof of your mouth, drop your jaw, and breathe in and out through your nostrils as you hold the backbend. 

  1. Lunge With Rotation 

Why: Build strength in your legs and shoulders while stretching your hips. The twists will also help maintain healthy spinal movement (healthy discs). 

How: From a standing position, take a big step forward with your right foot into a lunge, taking care that your right knee does not extend past your toes. Place your hands on either side of your right foot. Now lift your right arm toward the ceiling and turn your gaze upward at the same time. As you exhale, try to rotate a little deeper into the rotation. Switch sides and repeat. 

The lunge is not as deep as a “runners lunge,” and the bottom hand touches the knee, not all the way to the floor. 

  1. Shoulder Opener 

Why: Sitting tends to pull our shoulders inward and collapse our chest. This opens the shoulders and chest.

How: Stand up straight and tall, holding a towel or belt in each hand behind your back. Raise your arms behind you as high as you can without feeling discomfort. Pull your shoulders back and together as you lift the towel.

  1. Low Cobra With Feet Elevated 

Why: Stretching through hip flexors (they get really tight from being bent in a seated position for too long); strength for the glutes; openness in the chest and shoulders; strengthening for the lower back.

How: Lie face down with your ankles resting on a foam roller or set of yoga blocks. Press your forearms into the floor and pull your shoulders back as you raise your head up and back. 

  1. Star Reach 

Why: This move lengthens the body by stretching the shoulders, chest, mid-back, hips, and ankles, and it’s the perfect antidote for chair-tightened joints and muscles. 

How: Stand with your legs slightly wider than hip-width. Reach your arms high in the sky with palms facing forward. Spread your fingers. Rise high on your tippy toes. You’ll experience an exhilarating stretch from the extension of the ankles, knees, hips, chest, and shoulders. 

  1. Number 4-Sit 

Why: This little muscle in your rear end atrophies and tightens with prolonged sitting. With a simple stretch you can keep your piriformis active and flexible. 

How: While seated, cross your right ankle over your left thigh. Use your right hand to apply a tiny bit of pressure to the inside of your right knee, and then slightly lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch in your right piriformis (on the side of your glute). Hold the stretch there as you inhale. When you exhale, attempt to apply a tad more pressure and lean a half an inch further forward into the stretch. Continue with each breath. Switch sides and repeat. 

via prevention.com 

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Red Wine Burns Body Fat

by Jari Love 

Study Shows Red Wine Can Help Burn Body Fat

Everyone loves to read articles and research like this. Red Wine can help burn body fat. Whoop whoop!!! Now, that doesn’t mean go and drink a bottle of wine for lunch today and expect to lose a pant size. Wine still has a lot of sugar in it, but the resveratrol has proven positive effects to help burn body fat. A word of advice, pair red wine with a lean meat. The meat will help off-set the up-swing of your blood sugar levels from the intake of sugar.

BURN BODY FAT – New research claims that berries, grapes and other fruits can help cut down the type of fat that leads to weight gain. Researchers believe that the study findings could help devise a strategy for the treatment and prevention of obesity.

 According to a research team at Washington State University, daily intake of fruits helps convert weight-gaining “white” fat into calorie-burning “beige” fat. This, in turn, prevents an increase in weight.

During the study, researchers provided a high-fat diet to the subject mice. A few mice were supplied with resveratrol, an antioxidant commonly found in almost all fruits. The amount of resveratrol given to the mice was equivalent to between two and three servings of fruits per day for humans.

The researchers noticed that the mice who consumed resveratrol ultimately gained 40 percent less weight than the mice who were not fed resveratrol. Researchers believe that due to resveratrol, the mice were able to convert white fat into beige or brown fat, preventing weight gain. The team believes that similar polyphenols in different fruits might also help in oxidation of body fat.

“They convert white fat into beige fat which burns lipids (fats) off as heat, helping to keep the body in balance and prevent obesity and metabolic dysfunction. We are using resveratrol as a representative for all the polyphenols,” said lead researcher Professor Min Du in a statement.

In addition to berries and grapes, apples and red wine also contain resveratrol. However, grapes have the highest amount of the polyphenol. The study findings have been published in the International Journey of Obesity.  Via ibtimes.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Break These Bad Health Habits

by Jari Love

Are you health conscious? Good for you! If you exercise regularly, eat whole foods, keep up to date on the latest health concerns, don’t binge on sugar and have cut out all processed and fast foods, well, then, you are doing better than most people.

 However, you may still have some bad habits that are preventing you from achieving the body and lifestyle you would like. Based on my experiences with clients, I have put together a list of the top 5 bad health habits, even health conscious people make. If you find one or more of these habits apply to you, try to break your bad habit and watch the huge benefits in your life and on your body. 

  1. You’re Dehydrated

Dehydration is when more fluid leaves your body than is taken in. Seems simple right? But, roughly 75% of the population is chronically dehydrated. When was the last time you drank at least 8 glasses of water in a day? 

Dehydration causes a whole host of symptoms including: fatigue, headache, nausea, irritability—and in severe cases death. Hopefully you are never so dehydrated that the last symptom listed here is a problem for you, but I put it down so that you know dehydration has serious consequences on our bodies. Our bodies need water in order to function efficiently and this is true of our weight loss goals as well. Dehydration actually slows down your metabolism—which hinders weight loss. 

Don’t wait until you are thirsty, or your mouth feels dry to drink. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Begin each day with a large glass of lemon water to kick-start your system and keep drinking throughout the day. Keep a full water bottle with you during the day and constantly rehydrate throughout the day. Get into the habit of drinking a full glass of water before every meal and snack You shouldn’t wait until the feeling of thirst or dry mouth hits you, at that point damage has already been done. Instead, constantly rehydrate throughout your day to avoid dehydration. 

The best way to do this is to incorporate water into your daily schedule. Have a water bottle at your desk and train yourself to sip on it often, and get into the habit of drinking a full glass of water with each meal and snack. If water isn’t really your thing, try adding some lemon, cucumber, ginger mint leaves or orange slices to flavor it. 

  1. You Eat Out Too Often

In today’s hectic world it is easy and convenient to eat out, order take out or pick up something “quick” on the way home. Research suggests that most people eat out one out of every 4 meals and snacks. That’s an average of once a day. 

Even when you order healthy items, or choose places to eat that are health conscious, you are taking in more calories than if you had prepared the same meal at home. Restaurant food is designed to taste good, and the reason it tastes so good is that the food is often loaded with fat, sugar, salt, or some combination of those three. 

Healthy and quick meals are relatively easy to do with a little preparation. On the weekend sit down and plan out your meals for the week. Then go to the grocery store and stock up on everything you’ll need for those meals. You can even prepare make- ahead meals for the week and put them in the freezer, or invest in a slow cooker. Prepare your meals the night before, turn on your slow cooker in the morning and have a healthy and delicious hot dinner waiting for you when you get home. Pack your lunch and snacks each night before bed, then grab it on your way out the door in the morning. When you prepare dinner at home, make enough for at least the next day as well. Your efforts will pay off both in terms of weight loss and in money saved. 

  1. You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

You’ve heard it before, you’ll hear it again—sleep deprivation leads to a whole host of health issues, including weight gain. 

Do you feel tired in the middle of the day or early afternoon, or do you crave something sweet to help pick you up around 11 am? If yes, then you are one of the 56% of adults who, according to polls are not getting enough sleep. By enough sleep I mean at least 7-8 hours of good quality rest! When you fail to meet this need your body goes into sleep debt, which continues to accumulate indefinitely until you catch up. 

A lack of sleep negatively affects your immune system, your nervous system, and interferes with healthy hormone release and cellular repairs. Lack of sleep can affect your memory, concentration and reaction time. It can also have more serious consequences like an increased risk of serious diseases. 

If you have trouble falling asleep once you’re in bed, then try these tips. Sleep in complete darkness, don’t eat before bed, Avoid stimulating foods like caffeine or alcohol (yes, contrary to popular belief alcohol actually disrupts, rather than aids sleep), and also try sleeping in a cooler room temperature—cooler temperatures mimic the body’s natural sleep patterns, so a cooler room temperature may help prepare your body for sleep. 

  1. You’re Stressed Out

I don’t have to tell you that we are living in a fast-paced world and that most of us have stress levels that are through the roof. But what you might not realize is that your stress levels are making you fat. 

All types of stress cause a physiological response in our bodies. An increase in stress will kick-start your adrenal glands to release adrenalin and cortisol. This is a problem because is slows your metabolism, leads to cravings and is linked to greater levels of abdominal fat storage. 

One of the most effective ways to instantly eliminate stress is to sit down and write out a list of all the things that are bothering you. This should include things that you need to get done, issues that weigh on your mind and anything you believe contributes to your stress level. 

Once it’s all down on paper, organize it like a to-do list and start resolving each item. Doing so will get the stress off of your mind and will put your body into the motion of resolving each issue. 

Get some good sleep—sleep helps to regulate your cortisol levels. 

  1. Your Workouts are Always the Same

Did you know that your body can adapt to a workout in as little as 20 sessions? If you are not constantly challenging your body, then plateaus can occur where you don’t see any improvement and may actually see a regression in your weight loss efforts you’re your exercise routine feels comfortable, then chances are you are not getting the results you want. 

You don’t have to increase the amount of time that you spend exercising in order to see quicker, faster results. It’s all about challenging your body. To keep your body guessing try switching up the order of your exercises, the intensity at which you work out, the type of exercise you are performing, or do something totally new. If you regularly use weight machines then start using free weights. If you normally jog on the treadmill then start using the bike.

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Cardio Moves That Aren’t Running

by Jari Love

The cardio workout anti-runners will love.

We don’t all need to slap a 13.1 sticker on the back of our cars to feel good about a tough workout. In fact, contrary to what many runners would have you believe, running isn’t a requirement for staying healthy. 

While running has many benefits, if you’re just looking to keep your heart healthy while attaining a toned physique, any exercise (or series of exercises) will do. All that’s necessary is sustaining said exercises for a prolonged period of time. 

How long, you ask? 

That depends. Most “cardio workouts” typically last 30 to 60 minutes, but if you ramp up the intensity — à la high-intensity interval training or Tabata workouts — you can get a killer workout in as little as 20 minutes or less. 

To give it a try, choose any four of the 16 following exercises. Perform each exercise as a Tabata: putting in all-out effort for 20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds rest, for eight sets. Each Tabata lasts four minutes. Rest one minute between Tabatas. 

After this 20-minute workout, check back in. I guarantee you’ll be sweaty, tired and out of breath. The perfect cardio solution — no running required. 

  1. Inchworms

From a standing position, roll your torso forward and reach your hands to the ground. Walk your hands out in front of you until your body forms a plank, then reverse the movement and return to standing. 

Bonus: Add a push-up at the bottom. 

  1. Mountain climbers

Start in a plank position, then bend one knee, drawing it to your chest and planting the ball of the same foot in a forward position. In one movement, hop both feet into the air, supporting your weight on your palms and switching the position of your legs. Extend the bent knee and bend the extended knee. Continue hopping your feet back and forth as fast as you can. 

  1. Burpees

Stand tall, feet hip-distance apart, knees slightly bent. Bend forward, plant your palms on the ground just in front of your feet and hop your feet backward in a single movement to a plank position. Immediately hop your feet forward again and return to standing. 

Bonus: Add a push-up when you’re in the plank position and add a jump as you return to standing. 

  1. Broad jumps

Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, knees slightly bent, your weight in your heels. Squat down, pressing your hips back as you swing your arms behind you. Then in a powerful movement, press from your heels through the balls of your feet as you swing your arms forward and jump as far forward as you possibly can, landing softly on your heels with your knees bent. Turn around and immediately do another broad jump back to start. 

  1. Squat jumps

The squat jump is just like the broad jump, but instead of jumping as far as you can, you’re jumping as high as you can. Make sure you’re using proper jumping form and landing with “soft” knees — slightly bent to absorb the impact. 

  1. Grapevine

Takin’ you back to your elementary school dance curriculum. Simply step out laterally with your right foot, cross your left foot in front, step out again with your right foot and cross your left foot behind. Immediately reverse the movement, leading with your left foot. Continue “grapevining” back and forth. 

  1. Side shuffles

Like the grapevine, you’re moving laterally to the left and right, but this time you’re not crossing your legs as you move back and forth. Step to the right with your right foot and bring your left foot to meet it, then step to the right again. Shuffle a few steps to the right, then reverse and shuffle back to the left. 

  1. Washing machine hops

Stand with your feet together, knees slightly bent. Bend your elbows and clench your fists, holding them in front of your body. Hop into the air and twist your legs and hips to the right while keeping your torso facing forward, landing with your feet together and knees bent. Immediately jump into the air and twist your legs and hips all the way to the left. Continue twisting your lower body from left to right repeatedly. 

  1. Skaters

Stand with knees bent in an athletic position, your arms in front of your body. Step to the right with your right foot and cross your left foot back and behind the right foot as you swing your left arm down to the ground to touch your right foot. Immediately reverse the movement, hopping to the left and leading with your left foot. But, this time cross your right foot behind your left, reaching across and down with your right hand to touch your left foot. Continue this “speed skating” motion from left to right. Remember to keep your core tight and torso straight to protect your low back. 

  1. Jumping jacks

You know how to do these! Hop both legs outward from your midline while swinging your arms out and over your head, then hop your feet back to center as you swing your arms back down to your sides. Continue jumping as fast as you can. 

  1. Frog push-up to low squat

This one’s a toughie! Get down on your hands and knees, planting the balls of your feet on the ground. Press through your feet and palms, lifting your knees from the ground. Bend your elbows into a mini push-up as you simultaneously rotate your hips outward from midline, almost like a frog, pointing your knees out to the sides. 

Press yourself back up, then hop your feet forward — outside your palms — picking your hands up off the ground to enter into a low squat position. Hold for a second, then return to start. 

  1. Bear crawl

This one starts just like the frog push-up. Balance on the balls of your feet and your palms, your knees just off the ground. Maintaining this position, step forward with one hand, then one foot, then your other hand and other foot, crawling forward with your knees off the ground while your back remains low and flat (Don’t let your butt point up to the sky!). Take several steps forward, then several steps backward and continue. 

  1. Crab walk

Flip that bear crawl over for the crab walk. Balance on your palms and feet, your butt off the ground and take several steps forward, then several steps back.

  1. March and twist

Stand tall and march in place — high knees, please! — while simultaneously twisting your torso. Aim to touch your opposite elbow to the knee you’re lifting. 

  1. Hacky sacks

Remember hacky sacks? Pretend you’re playing a game without the ball itself. As you lift one leg, rotate your knee outward so the inside of your foot crosses in front of the standing leg. Reach down to tap the inside of your lifted foot with the opposite hand. Lower your foot to the ground and repeat on the opposite side. Try to pick up your pace and hop from side to side as you perform the exercise. 

  1. Cross jacks

Very similar to traditional jumping jacks, cross jacks are exactly what they sound like: jumping jacks with a cross-body component. Start with your arms and legs spread wide like a star fish, then hop your feet toward your midline, crossing your left foot in front of your right as you simultaneously cross your left arm in front of your right. Reverse the movement: Hop back to start, then hop inward again. This time crossing your right leg in front of your left and your right arm over your left.

 via sheknows.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

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