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Can I Get a Great Workout Without Any Equipment?

Written on July 10, 2012 at 9:59 am , by

Hello! My name is Courtney and I’m the author behind the blog Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life, which was recently given a Fitterati award for Best Personal Trainer Blog. I’m a 28-year old personal trainer and former elementary school teacher (you can read a bit more about that here if you’d like). I live up in Upstate, NY with my husband and high school sweetheart, Jay, and have lived here all of my life. When I’m not training, I’m most likely blogging, in the kitchen, or spending time with some of my favorite friends and family.

I often get emails from readers asking whether or not you really can get in a great workout without any equipment, and the answer is YES! Bodyweight exercises are some of my absolute favorite types of exercise for a number of reasons. They not only tend to be a bit easier on the joints, but they also allow for a more natural range of motion, thus effectively improving your overall fitness.

So what exercises should you do?

Here’s a few basics to try out, even if you’re stuck at your desk at work:

  • Chair Squats (don’t sit back down completely – use the chair as a guide)
  • Push ups (if you’re at your desk, use it! The farther away your legs are from the desk, the tougher the move)
  • Chair Crunch (keep contracting those abs and draw in that belly button)
  • Alternating Lunges (switch it up by doing some lunges side to side and other front to back)
  • Chair Dips (the farther you walk the feet out, the tougher the move)
  • Calf Raises (place a sturdy book right under those feet and lift up and down)
  • Wall Sit (hold your back against a wall with knees bent at 90 degrees and keep those abs tight – hold your arms out for some shoulder toning too)

If you’re not afraid to get a little sweaty, try kicking it up a notch with some more intense, bodyweight-only exercises:

  • Tuck Jumps
  • Squat Jumps
  • Ice Skaters
  • Butt Kicks
  • Burpees
  • Planks
  • Reverse Crunches
  • Supermans
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Mountain Climbers

Who says you need all those bulky dumbbells and weight machines, right?

When Do Working Moms Workout?

Written on July 9, 2012 at 8:30 am , by

As a working mom of a one year old (with another on the way!), I have discovered that “me time” is at a premium. I love my job as the Executive Director of a non-profit, but my workload isn’t exactly conducive for stealing away for a midday workout at the gym. My son “the Mini Athlete” is an early riser and that also means he goes to bed pretty early – between 7 and 8pm. Gone are the days of heading to the gym right after work – I want to soak up every moment with my little one before he’s asleep! So that leaves me with the obvious question…when do working moms workout?

I know I’m not alone in this. Thousands upon thousands of competitive runners, yogis and amateur triathletes also juggle the responsibilities of motherhood and a full-time job. Here is some of the best advice I have received:

1. Find Community

When I first went back to work nine weeks after having my son, I felt pretty alone as I navigated my new identity as a working mom. I quickly realized I couldn’t go at it alone. I found a wonderfully encouraging group of moms in the area where I lived at the time – the IRunMommies in St. Petersburg, Florida. In addition to meeting twice weekly to run – once on Tuesday evenings and again on Saturday mornings – the group actively participates in a Facebook group where you can always find another busy mom looking to squeeze in a run. I highly recommend finding a group like this – or if you don’t have one in your area, start one! Another great place to find community online is through Twitter or blogs. I cannot tell you the encouragement I have received from other moms in those places!

2. Establish a Schedule Read more

Categories: Fitterati, Inspiration, Workouts | Tags:
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Making Peace with the Dreadmill

Written on July 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm , by

Dreadmill.

While it’s not in the dictionary, I would guess that most runners are familiar with that made-up word–a combination of the feeling of dread and the torture device that we know as a treadmill.

The first time I ran on a treadmill, I was so bored I wanted to shoot myself after just 5 minutes. I couldn’t even fathom running a single mile on a treadmill, let alone MILES (plural). I have no idea what possessed me to fork over $700 for the modest hamster wheel that I bought, but it was a hot day, and I thought, “Anything is better than running in this heat!”

Anything except the dreadmill, I quickly learned.

Over the past couple of years that I’ve been a runner, I’ve avoided using the treadmill like I avoid taking my kids to Chuck E. Cheese’s on a Saturday. Or returning something to Wal-Mart the day after Christmas. Or…well, you get the picture. (click to keep reading…) Read more

5 Ways to Beat the Heat

Written on July 2, 2012 at 10:45 am , by

Hello, everyone! My name is Caitlin, and I blog at Healthy Tipping Point, which was selected for a Fitterati for Best Healthy Living Blog. I’m 28 years old and live in Charlotte, North Carolina. I love to do triathlons and run, although I’m on a bit of a hiatus because I just had my first baby on June 12.

If your location is anything like North Carolina, you’re in the middle of a heat wave. Temperatures here are supposed to top 105 degrees for the next five days – ouch! I’m used to the heat – I was born and raised in Florida – but such high temperatures certainly make outside exercise challenging.

Click through to read my five tips for exercising outdoors in the heat.

Read more

Introducing the Fitterati!

Written on June 25, 2012 at 11:42 am , by

Fitterati Blogger Introduction

Congratulations to the winners of our blogger awards! Get to know them in this brand new online section, The Fitterati!

A few months ago, The 2012 Fitterati Blogger Awards asked our readers to nominate and vote for their favorite health and fitness bloggers. We received more than 400 nominations, approved just barely over 200 to be voted on, and received nearly 19,000 votes. (!!)  Six Readers’ Choice Winners rose to the top, one from each category: Healthy Living, Healthy Eating, Running, Weight Loss, Personal Trainer, and Inspirational. FITNESS judges then selected another six Editor’s Choice Winners, for a total of 12 Fitteratis.

These bloggers aren’t just working it out on the web–they’re the ones making sincere connections with you, with their fellow bloggers, with top experts, and with their communities. They hail from all around the country, range from their 20′s to their 40′s, and each have a unique voice and style. Their commonality: They’re all passionate about their health — and FITNESS is thrilled to welcome them on board as our newest contributors.

Pick up the July/August issue to see The Fitterati’s faces in the magazine, visit fitnessmagazine.com/fitterati (all the time!), and make sure to follow their individual blogs as well.

P.S. – Want to be a future Fitterati? Hey, it can happen! Our advice is to keep blogging…we saw a ton of nominations come in for newbie bloggers who showed a lot of promise! The Fitteratis have all been blogging for awhile, so make sure to scope out their sites for ideas and inspiration.