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workouts

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?

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