0

Avoid the January Gym Rush!

Welcome to throwback Friday here at NCES. Here’s a blog that we shared just over a year ago, January 5th, 2012. But, there were some great tools that we wanted to share again in case you may have missed it or forgotten about it. Enjoy!

What’s your New Year’s Resolution for 2012? Mine is to make the gym part of my daily routine! Wait… You’re Kidding… that’s yours too? Okay, let’s face it… the most common new year’s resolution is to hit the gym more often. If you’ve ever been to the gym in the month of January, you’ll know exactly what I am talking about. At times, I forget if I am waiting in line for a weight machine or the newest attraction at Six Flags! So, how can you keep your commitment to your New Year’s resolution, but not waste your entire evening at the gym? Just stay home! That’s right… stay away from the gym. The truth is, you can get creative and complete your entire workout at home, at least until the gym starts to clear out again at the end of the month. Here are just a few ways you can get started today!

Static Running (Medium Difficulty)

  • Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Lift one leg toward the chest and raise the opposite arm, mimicking a running action
  • Alternate legs and arms     Repeat 20 times

Squat (Medium Difficulty)

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms crossed on your chest
  • Keeping the back straight and looking forward, bend the legs 90°
  • Return to the start position     Repeat 20 times

Oyster (Medium Difficulty)        

  • Lie on your left side with your lower arm extended above your head; keep the legs together, bent at 45°, making a straight line from shoulders to hips to feet.
  • Life the upper knees as high as possible, keeping the lower leg on the floor.
  • Return to the start position.     Repeat 20 times
  • Turn over and repeat with the opposite leg.

Side Raise (Medium Difficulty)

  • Sit on your right hip with knees bend and right arm extended under your right shoulder.
  • Without collapsing the arm, lift the hip to the ceiling, keeping your knees on the floor and making a straight line from shoulder to hip to ankle; hold for 10 seconds.     Return to start position and repeat 3 times
  • Roll over and repeat for the left hip

Side Stretch

  • Standing upright and looking forward, extend both arms above your head
  • Without bending forward or backward, lean to one side
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds
  • Return to the start position     Repeat for the other side

Like what you see? All of the exercises mentioned above were pulled from the book ‘Fit in 5’. (Item # 4507 at www.NCESCatalog.com) This book includes a lot of exercises that will work on your core strength, flexibility, Power, Abs and much more. The workouts are customized to you based on the amount of time you have to commit to working out. We’ve got plenty on the shelf to go around. So, go ahead and order your copy today! Give these workouts a try today and let us know what you think! You can always connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or right here on the blog.

0

Getting Fit Without the Heat

For much of the U.S., the insatiable summer heat has taken a break! Here in KC, we’ve traded in our triple digit temps for much cooler 90° days! Although these temps make walking from the parking lot in to a building much more bearable, it’s still not quite cool enough to get excited about heading outside for any kind of workout. So, this summer, we’re bringing it inside for you! Brought to you from one of our favorite fitness guides, Fit In 5, here are 6 workouts that will keep you up to speed with your fitness goals throughout the summer. (Note: All workouts given below are Medium intensity. The book also includes easy and hard intensity workouts.)

5 Minute Workouts

Core Strength and Stability

  • Lie face down with arms out to the sides and elbows bent at 90°
  • Lift the left arm and right leg simultaneously and hold for 5 seconds
  • Return to the start position
  • Life the right arm and left leg simultaneously and hold for 5 seconds
  • Return to the start position

Repeat 20 Times

Glutes, abs and thighs

  • Stand with legs together
  • Take a large step to the left
  • Squat down with feet turned out, keeping your back straight and looking forward
  • Step to the right, returning to a standing position
  • Repeat the steps above, moving to the right

Repeat 20 Times

10 Minute Workouts

Lower Body Strength & Power (Squat & Jump Squat)

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms crossed on your chest
  • Keeping the back straight and looking forward, bend the legs to 90°
  • Return to the start position

Repeat 20 Times

  • Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and looking forward
  • Squat down about 90° and then jump vertically upward as high as you can

Repeat 20 Times continuously without resting between

Upper Body Strength & Power (Push-Up_& Abdominal Curl)

  • Start with legs bent and knees together on the floor and arms outstretched with hand shoulder-width apart on the floor
  • Form a straight line from your head to your knees
  • Lower your body to the floor
  • When the arms are at 90°, pause and straighten the arms

Repeat 20 Times

  • Lie flat on your back with your legs bent at 90°
  • Place your hands across your chest, each touching the opposite shoulder
  • Lift your head and shoulders toward your knees
  • Left your shoulders about 20 cm off the floor and return slowly to the start position

Repeat 20 times

30 Minute Workouts

Treadmill

  • 3-minute easy walk
  • 2-minute medium walk
  • 1-minute jog

Repeat 5 times

Swim

  • 10-minute easy to medium
  • 10 laps (2 lengths hard, 30 seconds rest)
  • 10-minute easy to medium

Like what you see? There’s a lot more where that came from. This book also includes pictures with each workout to help with any instructions that you’re unsure about. Once you choose your exercise, you can adjust the intensity to fit your needs. Plus, with weekly training programs, you can use this book to reach your exercise goals, up to 150 minutes per week.

Still need more incentive? How about a super-exclusive 20% off coupon code just for you, our Health Beat fans! Simply enter the code ‘healthbeat’ at checkout to receive your discount. Click here to start your order today! Oh, and hurry! Supplies are limited and the coupon is valid while supplies last.

Don’t forget to come back to the blog, or visit on Facebook or Twitter to share your thoughts on these great exercises! Plus, what are you doing to stay fit this summer? Share your ideas with everyone!

0

Workout While You Wait: Exercises for the Parking Lot

Okay, last week, we talked about ways to avoid the gym altogether during this extremely busy month! But, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that a majority of you probably didn’t listen. Or, maybe you did. But, if you get brave, you may end up going back a little before the rush actually ends. So, we’ve put together a few more ideas to make your life easier! Picture this… You pull in to the parking lot at the gym, drive around looking for a parking spot, only to realize that there are no parking spots available. What are you going to do? You don’t want to waste valuable workout time sitting in your car waiting for a spot. So, why wait? Start your workout right in your car! Here are a few ideas to get your workout started in the comfort of your own car.

  1. The easiest exercises for the car include squeezing and releasing your muscles, also known as isometric contractions. So, pick any muscle of your choice and begin squeezing and releasing.
  2. Exercise/ Relax your Shoulders. Doing shoulder shrugs will engage your shoulder muscles, while relieving tension from your hectic day. Lift your shoulders up towards your ears and hold for about 10 seconds. Then, release and repeat.
  3. Similar to our first exercise, isometric contractions;  you can also try placing a sweater (or other soft item from your car) between your thighs while you squeeze. This will increase the difficulty of the workout.

All too often, it is hard to find time to fit exercise in to your routine. So, the last thing you need is to be forced to waste time sitting in the parking lot. The key to fitting exercise in to a busy schedule is to get creative! Find ways to workout in your office, while cooking dinner, cleaning your house and even playing with your kids! Make exercise a part of your everyday routine. Not only will you see the difference in your body, you’ll also be setting a positive example for your kids!  How do you fit exercise in to your everyday schedule? We always love learning about how you live healthy! Share with us here on the blog. Or, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

0

Avoid the January Gym Rush!

What’s your New Year’s Resolution for 2012? Mine is to make the gym part of my daily routine! Wait… You’re Kidding… that’s yours too? Okay, let’s face it… the most common new year’s resolution is to hit the gym more often. If you’ve ever been to the gym in the month of January, you’ll know exactly what I am talking about. At times, I forget if I am waiting in line for a weight machine or the newest attraction at Six Flags! So, how can you keep your commitment to your New Year’s resolution, but not waste your entire evening at the gym? Just stay home! That’s right… stay away from the gym. The truth is, you can get creative and complete your entire workout at home, at least until the gym starts to clear out again at the end of the month. Here are just a few ways you can get started today!

Static Running (Medium Difficulty)

  • Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Lift one leg toward the chest and raise the opposite arm, mimicking a running action
  • Alternate legs and arms     Repeat 20 times

Squat (Medium Difficulty)

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms crossed on your chest
  • Keeping the back straight and looking forward, bend the legs 90°
  • Return to the start position     Repeat 20 times

Oyster (Medium Difficulty)        

  • Lie on your left side with your lower arm extended above your head; keep the legs together, bent at 45°, making a straight line from shoulders to hips to feet.
  • Life the upper knees as high as possible, keeping the lower leg on the floor.
  • Return to the start position.     Repeat 20 times
  • Turn over and repeat with the opposite leg.

Side Raise (Medium Difficulty)

  • Sit on your right hip with knees bend and right arm extended under your right shoulder.
  • Without collapsing the arm, lift the hip to the ceiling, keeping your knees on the floor and making a straight line from shoulder to hip to ankle; hold for 10 seconds.     Return to start position and repeat 3 times
  • Roll over and repeat for the left hip

Side Stretch

  • Standing upright and looking forward, extend both arms above your head
  • Without bending forward or backward, lean to one side
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds
  • Return to the start position     Repeat for the other side

Like what you see? All of the exercises mentioned above were pulled from the book ‘Fit in 5’. (Item # 4507 at www.NCESCatalog.com) This book includes a lot of exercises that will work on your core strength, flexibility, Power, Abs and much more. The workouts are customized to you based on the amount of time you have to commit to working out. We’ve got plenty on the shelf to go around. So, go ahead and order your copy today! Give these workouts a try today and let us know what you think! You can always connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or right here on the blog.