Summer is upon us, and we all want to look and feel great for those beach vacations, lake house getaways, and pool days. Believe it or not, you don’t need to train like an Olympian at the gym to stay in shape. There are plenty of simple, fun things you can do to work off those summertime treats everyone indulges in every once in a while.
Fun Ways To Get A Good Burn
When you think of summer, you most likely think of sunshine … and sunburn. But there’s another kind of burn you can get this summer: calorie burn. Enjoy your summer while simultaneously burning calories with these five activities.
Feeling the burn doesn’t have to be a bad thing this summer. Have some fun, make some memories, and burn some calories with the activities listed above, as well as some everyday outdoor chores. Stay in shape by:
Wouldn't it be great if you could burn calories without having to constantly work out? Well, you can. Of course, this doesn't mean you shouldn't still spend time exercising, but it's good to know that many of your everyday activities are burning those calories.
What Activities Burn Calories?
It's summertime, and that means that you are naturally more active. You may be getting to all those outdoor chores and projects that you have been putting off, such as getting your yard in tip-top shape for entertaining or tackling home improvement projects like painting. These activities not only burn calories, but also improve your cardiovascular health.
Here are some typical activities that help burn calories and keep you active and fit, as well as how many calories are generally burned.
Even fairly low-key activities such as planting flowers and pulling some pesky weeds burns between 200 and 400 calories an hour. That's not bad at all. Mowing the lawn is comparable, but if you really want to up the burn, try more intensive yard work like raking. If you really get going, you can burn between 400 and 600 calories PER HOUR.
Are you thinking of painting? It's a big job. Three hours of painting can burn over 1,000 calories, so break out those color swatches and get busy.
Cleaning, mopping floors, dusting and organizing closets are a few more house chores that can make you sweat.
Whether you're running around the air conditioned mall or getting groceries, you are burning calories. You can burn a good 500 to 600 calories during the course of a three-hour shopping trip. Maximize this by parking as far from the entrance as possible, and moving around in a brisk fashion.
This summer, in addition to your normal exercise routine, be sure to keep in mind that working around the house and running errands can burn calories, too. Knowing this may make your activities more purposeful and effective.
Can A Personal Trainer Help Me Reach My Goals?
If you are struggling to lose weight and get fit, a personal trainer can help. By creating a custom health and fitness plan, tailored to your lifestyle and body type, a personal trainer can be your coach, fitness partner and can keep you motivated and on track. Ralph Roberts works with clients of all shapes and sizes to help them achieve their goals. Contact Ralph today for a free personal training session and see what you think.
Wondering how fit you are? Download Ralph's FREE Fitness Level Body Challenge and find out!
There's nothing quite like a summer vacation when it comes to getting away from it all, seeing news things, and spending quality time with family. It can also present some challenges in terms of maintaining your healthy lifestyle. But there's no reason you can't stay on track with some planning and taking proper steps.
1. Plan Ahead
Let's face it, you're probably going to eat out more while on vacation, so do your research before your trip by checking out menus online. You can also pack snack bags of fruit, veggies and/or trail mix to take with you when you're sightseeing.
2. Stock up Where You Stay
Choosing a rental house or condo instead of a hotel gives you the option of eating in, while also filling the refrigerator with healthy snack items such as low-fat yogurt and veggies. If you opt for a hotel room, take advantage of its mini-fridge by stocking up on bottles of water and nutritious snacks.
3. Schedule Your Workouts
Exercising on a daily basis while on vacation can help minimize the effects of overindulging on food. Set aside 45 minutes each day for some form of physical activity. You can swim laps in the hotel pool, go for a long walk on the beach, or rent bikes for the entire family.
4. Don't Drink Your Calories
Did you know that a frozen margarita can contain 700 calories? While there's nothing wrong with unwinding with a couple of drinks, you can make healthy choices when it comes to alcohol. Choose lower-calorie drinks such as light beer, red or white wine, or a white-wine spritzer instead of those loaded with sugar.
5. Have an Active Layover
If you're stuck in an airport because of a long layover, taking a walk to help eat up the time. Many airports have exhibits, or even museums, that will also help your mind stay active.
6. Visit a Farmer's Market
Take advantage of a local farmer's market if it's available. You'll be able to load up on the area's best fresh food like berries and vegetables, plus it's a great way to take in local culture and its people.
7. Have One Splurge Meal
Every location has a food or meal that they're famous for, so don't be afraid to indulge for one meal or one day - in moderation, of course.
A personal trainer like Ralph Roberts can design a custom exercise plan that best fits your health and fitness needs. Contact Ralph today to learn more.
Summer’s finally here, and it’s the perfect time to start a new workout regimen. With the weather warming up and skies clearing, you might even consider exercising outside. Although this has its advantages, it also has some disadvantages. If you do workout outdoors, make sure to avoid these mistakes:
1) Starting Late
If the morning is the best time for you to work out, then consider getting an early start. Pushing your workout to a later time will put you at risk for overheating. If a morning workout is not an option to you, consider working out at sundown, as the heat begins to wane.
2) Drinking Caffeine Before Exercising
If you’re a coffee addict, postpone your cup of java until after your workout. Highly caffeinated beverages act as diuretics, which cause your body to lose more fluid than normal. Drink plenty of cool — not cold — water before each workout instead.
3) Not Eating Enough Post-Workout
When exercising in the heat, you need to restore your water and energy supplies. Replenish your fuel with healthy food. Eat about 30 minutes after your exercise regimen. Some filling post-workout foods include hard boiled eggs, carrot sticks and homemade smoothies.
4) Wearing Dark Clothing
Dark colors absorb the heat, which makes working out much more difficult. Consider wearing lighter colors that reflect the sun. Pastels and neon colors are perfect for outdoor activities, as they reflect the sun and make you stand out to others.
5) Wearing Clothes That Are Too Loose
Loose-fitting clothing can cause chafing when mixed with sweat. Wear clothing that is not too loose or too tight. Another way to prevent chafing is to wear spandex under looser-fitting workout clothes. And, of course, wear sunscreen on all areas of exposed skin to avoid sunburn. Even when it is cloudy outside, you can still get burned.
6) Not Staying Hydrated While Swimming
Many people forget to consume water while swimming. Swimming in water doesn’t have the same effect as hydrating your body. Swimming is a workout, so it's important to drink plenty of water, even while swimming in it!
Want to get your arms in shape for summer? Download my free arm workout guide.
Click to set custom HTML
Your life is busy enough — you work, you raise kids, you’re on the PTA and you sometimes get stuck in traffic coming home from work (or going to it, for that matter).
It becomes easy to say you don't have enough time for other things, such as exercise, no matter how important they can be. But most of us can spare at least 20 minutes.
Studies have shown that walking for just 20 minutes a day has a variety of health benefits, and could very well help you prolong your life.
In fact, one study in the United Kingdom showed that a sedentary lifestyle was responsible for twice as many deaths as obesity. When you think of it that way, carving out 20 minutes of your crammed schedule doesn't seem that hard, after all.
7 Benefits of Walking 20 Minutes a Day
1. Longer Life
It's worth repeating that even brief amounts of exercise - like 20 minutes of walking - can help you to live a longer life, while inactivity is responsible for a large amount of deaths.
2. Weight Loss
Twenty minutes of walking a day can help trim your belly and burn calories. It also helps to reduce visceral fat, a dangerous form of fat that presses against your body's organs. The U.K. study showed that simply having a body mass index (BMI) lower than obesity lowered mortality by nearly four percent.
3. Better Mood
Want to improve your mood after (or before) a long day? Research shows that even a moderately-paced walk can release endorphins that help trigger a positive mood.
4. More Energy
People who walked just 20 minutes a day reported feeling less fatigued and more energetic. Walking increases your blood flow, which increases the body's ability to create energy.
5. Less Risk of Heart Disease
The U.K. study showed that walking 20 minutes a day can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by eight percent. By doubling the walk to 40 minutes, your risk of heart disease is lowered by 18 to 20 percent, the report said.
6. Decreased Risk of Diabetes
Taking a walk after a meal will lower your blood sugar and lessen your risk of Type 2 diabetes.
7. Better Memory
Through walking and exercise, people have a larger hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Moreover, it can lower your risk of getting dementia.
Working with a personal trainer like Ralph Roberts can help you better attain your fitness and health goals. Contact Ralph today to schedule a free personal training session.
Looking for other ways to stay in shape, but on a tight schedule? Download Ralph Roberts' FREE 2 Weeks of At-Home Workouts!
You probably already know that setting workout goals is important, but did you realize that there are both short-term and long-term fitness goals that you need to set?
While they are very different, each one is important in its own right, and both will go a long way toward helping you achieve the body, fitness level and overall health you desire.
Here is the difference between short-term and long-term fitness goals, and what role each plays in your workouts.
What Are Some Examples Of Short-Term Fitness Goals?
A short-term goal is one that is achievable in a shorter amount of time. Some examples of short-term goals could include, "workout three times a week," "eat less carbs," "or run one mile every day."
If you already work out three times a week, vow to exercise five times a week.
Other examples of short-term goals include things like adjusting your eating habits like cutting out soft drinks, or adding extra reps onto your sets (perhaps doing 12 dumbbell biceps curls instead of 10) or adding more weight onto each set (lifting 15 pound weights for each bicep curl rather than 10).
If you are a runner, you might decide to add five minutes to your run or an extra block. Swimmers might decide to add an extra lap.
These are considered short-term goals because they are more quickly attained. You can achieve these by the end of the day, the end of the week, or the end of the month. Long-term goals, on the other hand, often take more time, more perseverance and more willpower to achieve. They are equally important, however, and shouldn't be ignored if you want to achieve your ideal fit.
What Is A Long-Term Fitness Goal?
A long-term goal is one that that you set for yourself as an end goal, one that you wish to achieve with all your workouts.
For example, do you want to lose 20 pounds? 50? 100? Obviously, this is not a short-term goal, as it is not achievable in just a couple of weeks or months. It is, however, a strong long-term fitness goal.
Long-term goals include living healthier, lowering your BMI or your cholesterol — making lifestyle changes. Your long-term goal is something you will get to by completing all of your short-term goals. If you run a bit further every week, or add an extra workout session each week, you will obviously up your calorie burn and make it to your goals, over time.
Another realistic long-term goal is setting fitness goals such as 'running a 5K' or 'running a half marathon.' If you are interested in one of these it is extremely important to set up short-term goals (like running more each week) to get you to that end, long-term goal. As you can see, short-term and long-term fitness goals go hand-in-hand.
How Can I Meet My Fitness Goals?
Once you've decided on the best short-term and long-term fitness goals for you, the next step is to plan out how you can achieve them. Schedule workout sessions on your calendar for months in advance. Go through your cabinets and throw out junk food, then hit the stores for some fresh fruit and vegetables. Consider meeting with a trusted friend once a week to discuss your progress. Accountability partners are a great way to stay on-track.
Another way to reach your fitness goals is by getting a personal trainer. A personal trainer can help you reach your goals through motivation and custom workouts. If you are ready to get in shape or make a lifestyle change, meet with me today. I'd love to help plan and achieve your fitness goals. You can find out more about my personal training, HERE.
Sign up for my 10-Day Fit Camp and start achieving your short-term and long-term goals!
*This post was originally published in April 2014 but has been updated and republished for the sake of accuracy and freshness.
Fasting is usually considered a gimmicky diet fad or outdated religious practice. But today, a new form of fasting has taken the dieting world by storm.
Intermittent Fasting (IF) has increased in popularity over the last several years. But is it safe?
Depriving yourself of food to lose weight can be very dangerous. However, an increasing amount of research finds there are numerous health benefits to IF.
Before you decide to give it a try, there are some things you should know.
Defining Intermittent Fasting
In a nutshell, intermittent fasting involves occasional starvation done in a systematic way.
The idea behind IF is to cycle through periods of normal eating and periods of fasting. During the fasting times, you significantly restrict calories or avoid food altogether.
Some people choose to fast during certain hours each day, while others fast one or two nonconsecutive days out of the week.
Should You Fast?
While many nutritionists are now spouting the benefits of IF, others warn against it. Here, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of fasting so you can determine if it’s right for you.
Pros Of IF
In addition to the weight loss you can experience with IF, fasting may also extend your life and improve overall health. Some studies have found that IF provides these health-boosting benefits:
Cons Of IF
With all the benefits mentioned above, you may be wondering what could possibly be wrong with intermittent fasting. While not necessarily dangerous, IF can be bad for you. For one, the focus of this type of diet is on when you eat, not what.
That means your body may not be getting the nutrients it needs and you’re more likely to binge on high-sugar, high-fat foods.
Additionally, you don’t always know how your body will react—mentally as well as physically—to such extreme calorie restrictions. You may become irritable, faint, dizzy, or suffer from headaches.
The most important thing to keep in mind about IF is that it’s not for everyone. Certain health conditions make fasting unadvisable, while others improve as a result of it.
If you choose to pursue an IF eating plan, speak with a healthcare professional first. He or she can help you determine which type of fasting will work best for your health and lifestyle.
Then, if your doctor gives the go-ahead, remember to maintain healthy eating habits. Be sure to include plenty of nutritious foods during your regular eating periods, and avoid unhealthy junk food all the time—not just during fasting phases.
Want to get in shape in time for bikini season? Download my Summer Slim-Down Workout Package below.
To say time flies is putting it mildly sometimes. And it seems to fly at an accelerated rate when spring break is creeping up. The sun and beach is calling your name, but you’re frustrated with that bit of extra fat around your middle.
The good news is that you don't have to panic just yet. By getting started now — and adhering to the following steps — you'll hit the beach with the flat stomach you desire. And what’s great is these tips are simple and don’t require you to work yourself to death to get swimsuit-ready.
1. Cut out processed foods
No matter how hard you train, a bad diet is going to keep you from reaching your goals. A good place to start diet-wise is by cutting out processed foods, microwave dinners, fast food, chips, soda, etc. The extra sodium and sugar in these foods and beverages will derail your best training efforts.
2. Limit your alcohol intake
No, this isn't everyone's favorite suggestion, but it's a very important part of the gut-tightening process. Alcohol not only consists of empty calories, but it also releases estrogen that can cause weight gain. Here's something else to consider: alcohol has nearly twice as many calories as it does protein and carbs.
Looking for some low-cal cocktail ideas for spring break? Check out these 5 delicious drinks!
3. Work on your core
You may be wondering why those endless sets of ab crunches haven't produced any noticeable results. The truth is, working your whole body has a far greater impact in regards to tightening your stomach.
Core strength training works the entire body, which means you're constantly engaging the abdominal region during your workout. Training your core at least two to three times a week will spare you the tedium of the hundreds of crunches you've been doing.
4. Drink more water
There are so many reasons to drink water, including the fact that what we perceive as hunger might actually be thirst. So, water serves as an appetite suppressant and can help keep you from snacking and overeating during meals. Plus, proper hydration leads to better athletic performance as water makes up 75% of our muscle tissue.
If you're burning the proverbial midnight oil, you aren't doing yourself any favors when it comes to keeping your body in spring-break shape. Getting adequate sleep plays an integral role on our weight because a lack of sleep decreases the release of fat-burning human growth hormone (HGH) while increasing the amount of cortisol — a stress hormone that leads to weight gain. Eight hours of sleep is preferable, but seven will do.
Need a little extra help in the fitness department? Download Ralph Roberts’ free 25 Day Total Ab Workout and get your core in shape for spring break!
If it's January, the gym is probably packed. You'll be joined by those with New Year's resolutions to fulfill, as well as everyone energized by the prospect of a fresh start in terms of their health and fitness.
The trick is to be able to get in a great workout while you vie with others in a suddenly crowded gym. But by incorporating the following tips, you'll effectively deal with the crowds while working up a hard-earned sweat.
1. Have a Plan B
It's always a great idea to have your workout goals in mind before you head to the gym. You'll be more apt to stick with your plan, while also saving time by not having to wander around wondering what you're going to do next. But a packed gym can sometimes alter your routine, so have a backup plan in mind.
2. Up The Intensity
You don't need a lot of equipment, if any, to get in a great high-intensity interval training session. You can do this when machines and other equipment are filled. Plus, it's an ideal way to burn more calories in less time.
3. A World Beyond The Treadmill
Chances are, the treadmills are going to be the first machines to fill up. But the rowers and stair climbers will also be available for your cardio workout.
4. Avoid Peak Hours
Many gyms are most crowded right before and right after work. If possible, choose different times to do your workout.
5. Hire a Trainer
A professional trainer will make sure that you get the best workout possible with the equipment available. Working with a personal trainer such as Ralph Roberts can be exactly what you need as you pursue your health and fitness goals. Contact Ralph today.
For many people, holidays mean lots of parties, family get-togethers and elaborate meals. They also mean tons of goodies at the office and eating on the go while running around and doing last-minute shopping.
How Can I Avoid Gaining Weight?
It doesn't have to be that way. You can enjoy the holidays without putting on the obligatory five to ten pounds.
The trick is to stay sensible and say no without depriving yourself. The tray of fudge and cookies that is circulating around your office can be tempting, but it is just these kinds of treats over a period of weeks that can cause the weight gain you are trying to avoid, not one turkey dinner.
Eating healthy portions, saying no or limiting empty calorie, high-sugar treats and staying active are your best bets for beating holiday weight gain.
How To Say No Without Depriving Yourself
OK, a holiday with no treats doesn't sound like much fun, does it? You don't have to deny yourself all the treats, you just have to keep it reasonable. Here are some strategies to get you through it:
If getting to the gym on a regular basis isn't an option, you can do cardiovascular and strength training exercise at home. Jump rope, push-ups, squats and jumping jacks are all good exercises you can do at home with no equipment.
Download my FREE 2 Weeks of At-Home Workouts so you can stay in shape over the holidays. Plus, be on the lookout for some new trainings coming in the New Year!
Like Ralph on FACEBOOK
Get daily motivational quotes and quick workouts to help you reach your goals.