5 Steps to Mentally Reach Your Fitness Goals

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jun 26, 2012 3:53:00 PM

 

Many people have a goal of getting fit, but do not have a “mental” plan in place to make it happen. Recognizing that the mental part may be more important than the physical part is just another step in the right direction of sticking with your exercise plan. Use these five steps to propel you toward reaching your fitness goals.

1. Feel Emotional
Have you heard the term “emotions create motion”? Feeling disturbed about your health and well-being can make all the difference in the world in making the switch to commit to a consistent exercise regimen. Try on a few bathing suits or take out an old photo of goals-440483-editedyourself when you felt good about your body or go get a physical. Make a list of what you want to change and allow your emotions to create the transformation.


2. Make a Clear Decision
Clarity allows us to get to the place we want to go. Rather than just wishing you could lose a few pounds, make a clear decision and a serious commitment to taking action toward your goals. Decide on the body you want and then motivate yourself by thinking of several long-term goals you're shooting for, like running a marathon or never wearing the size you're in again. Getting that clear picture in your mind will allow you to take action and commit.

3. Get Focused
The more focused you are while exercising, the more you are likely to challenge yourself in ways you never thought possible. Instead of thinking about the pain of the workout, focus on the movement and the energy it takes to move the muscles you are working on. Try keeping a mental picture of your goal in your head. Some people also find that listening to music helps motivate them to stay in a zone. Dr. Costas Karageorghis concluded that music is “an often untapped source of both motivation and inspiration for sport and exercise participants.”

4. Get Creative
Getting tired of the same exercise routine is pretty common and results in not exercising at all. Thinking of creative solutions to motivate you to exercise will help. The trick is finding something you love to do. If you are sick of the treadmill and the same exercises you continually do, then it’s time to make the switch and find something that excites you. Try incorporating kayaking, karate, or ballroom dancing into your weekly routine. Once you discover what you enjoy doing most then exercise will start to feel less of a chore and it will become more fun to do.36962429656_aecc523100_b

5. Be Realistic
Realistic, well-planned weight-loss goals keep you motivated and focused. Unrealistic and overly aggressive weight-loss goals can be difficult, even impossible to meet. For example, losing 25 pounds in four weeks in time for your high school reunion can surely undermine your efforts. And if your weight-loss goals are beyond reach, you're more likely to be discouraged and feel frustrated, and give up altogether on your weight loss plans.

Being mentally ready to stick with an exercise and healthy eating program is an important, if not, the most important step to reaching your goals. The more you practice these five steps to your mental plan, the more ready you will be, and the quicker you will reach your goals.

Talk it Out

Sometimes no matter how many steps we take in trying to come up with a plan of action on our own, it just doesn't seem to "gel" into anything that we believe will guide us to success. That is where the advice of an expert can come in handy. Why not schedule a consultation with a qualified personal trainer or wellness experts who can give you all of the information on fitness you need.

 

 

If you are in the local Chantilly, Centerville, Herndon Fairfax area, our team of certified female personal trainers can help you craft fitness plans for weight loss and general health and wellness that will get you great results!

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Topics: goal setting, Women's Wellness, fitness tips, exercise programs for women

Women's Wellness: Avoid Vacation Weight Gain This Year!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jun 21, 2012 11:00:00 AM

Don't Pack on The Pounds this Year!

vacation needed alba dawn resized 600Courtesy of Alba Dawn

 

As summer arrives, you're probably really looking forward to your vacation, taking a break and enjoying some great sights, not to mention great food. Unfortunately, if you're like the average person, you may came back with more baggage than you bargained for, literally. "You can easily pack in over 4,000 calories a day on vacation without even realizing it," says Jen Andrus, R.D., a nutritionist in New York City. "That translates into five pounds of weight gain for a one-week trip.” Follow these five simple steps to ensure you come home from your trip with no regrets and no extra pounds.

Control Your Splurging:  A trip to France wouldn’t be complete without the buttery croissants and rich cheeses and Italy wouldn’t be half the fun without the hearty pasta dishes followed by the famous gelato. If you plan properly and commit to “tasting” not splurging on one guilty pleasure per day, you are more likely to choose wisely and still enjoy indulging without the guilt or extra pounds.

Limit the Alcohol:  We all know cocktails by the pool sounds so relaxing, but the problem is they fill you up with calories only. Try 800 calories per drink! Yes, a Pina Colada has 800 calories. So, could you imagine drinking two or three per day? Try limiting your alcohol to one per day or supplement your beverages to 80-calorie spritzers or a 200-calorie Bloody Mary.

Eat Dinner Early: Having a late dinner can really mess with your metabolism, leaving you feeling sluggish the next morning. Although you're probably busy enjoying your destination, make time to have dinner earlier rather than later. You should be awake and moving for at least two to three hours between dinner and bedtime for best results.

Watch Portion Sizes: Restaurant meals often give you much more food than you would usually eat in one sitting. Therefore, pay special attention to portion sizes. You can even request a to-go box right when your food arrives and take half of it off your plate right away. Another idea to cut calories and fat is to split an entree with someone else.

Exercise Every Day: Although getting some R and R by the pool and maybe diving into aavoid vacation weight gain great book may be exactly what you’ve been yearning for, try not to be too sedentary. Definitely enjoy those moments, however, make sure to spend at least 30 minutes being active every day, whether you're swimming, working out in the hotel's exercise center, or just running up and down the stairs rather than taking the elevator. You can also get exercise by exploring your destination on foot as much as possible.

Your vacation doesn't have to undo all the hard work you have put into improving or maintaining your health and wellness. With a little bit of focus and attention on these five steps, you can avoid putting on weight while enjoying a vacation and it will be easier for you to transition back into your routine when you get home.

 

Bon Voyage!

We'd love it if you would share in our comments section below your ideas on how to keep slim and trim on your vaca this year! Tell us where you're heading and what kinds of fun activities you have planned to help keep the motor runnin'! And remember, if you come back having done just a tad more indulging than you wanted, we've got the best personal trainers and women's wellness experts around to give you nutrition advice and more the can help you get back on track!

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Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, health tips, healthy eating for women, fitness tips

Essential Exercises for Women: Get Beach Ready Abs Fast!

Posted by Angie Quehl on May 22, 2012 11:00:00 AM

 

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As we stare down the barrel of the "unofficial start of summer" this Memorial Day weekend, we may not be exactly where we would like in terms of how we will look poolside or at the beach. Fear not...it is never too late to start working on those problem areas. In this month's edition of Essential Exercises for Women, we are focusing on the dreaded midsection. So let's all get ready to draw our belly button to our spine and get crackin'! Combine this move with regular cardio, a clean (or cleaner) diet including foods that will blast belly fat, and you could have a much flatter tum by the time the "official" start to summer rolls around in June!

 

Get on the Ball!

The exercise ball is an excellent tool to strengthen the abs and is quite effective for targeting the rectus abdominsi (that is the fancy term for a six-pack!). What makes this move a bit more effective than crunches on the floor is that the legs are often involved in floor crunches. On the ball, the abs do more work, but you still involve the entire body to help stabilize you throughout the movement, a nice bonus that floor crunches don't always offer. There is also the ability to bring the head and shoulders further back, increasing your range of motion as well as intensity.

best abs exercises for women

Here is the "How to":

  1. Lie on the ball, positioning it under the lower back.
  2. Cross your arms over the chest or place them behind your head.
  3. Contract your abs to lift your torso off the ball towards the ceiling, pulling the bottom of your ribcage down toward your hips.
  4. As you curl up, keep the ball stable (i.e., the ball shouldn't roll).
  5. Lower back down, getting a stretch in the abs, and repeat for 1-3 sets of 12-15 reps.

VERY IMPORTANT TIP……

SLOOOOOOOOW DOWN!
You'll get the body you want faster by doing 10 slow repetitions instead of 20 fast ones. Moving slowly--two counts up and two counts down--allows you to use more precise form, which can stimulate your muscles better and make them stronger, says Rodney Corn of the National Academy of Sports Medicine. (The faster you go, the more likely you are to use momentum instead of your abs.) Your muscles should feel tired in 15 reps.

 

Beach Body 911? We can help!

If the thought of putting on a bathing suit makes you cringe, we can help. We have a full staff of personal trainers and exercise experts who are willing to answer any question you throw at us. Remember it is never too late to get started! Drop us your question in the comments section below or if you are in the Chantilly, Centreville, Herndon, Fairfax area, schedule a FREE CONSULTATION with one of our fitness professionals who can help you map out a plan for success that extends way beyond the beach.

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Topics: exercises for women, abs exercises, fitness tips, personal training for women

Essential Exercises for Women: Jumping Power Lunges

Posted by Angie Quehl on Apr 9, 2012 3:00:00 PM

 BOSU Exercises

Have you ever spotted that odd-looking half-moon-shaped ball at the gym and wondered "What the heck is that?" This edition of Essential Exercises for Women showcases that little fitness gem called the BOSU Balance Trainer. The BOSU (stand for 'Both Sides Up' or 'Both Sides Utilized' meaning you can use both the rounded and flat parts) is a great tool to use to add variety and challenge to your workout and has many benefits; such as strengthening the entire body as well as adding unexpected cardio moves to raise your heart rate. These Jumping Power Lunges we are about to show you are a great example of you can get your heart pumping while challenging all of the muscles in your lower body!


Jumping Power Lunges


1. Face the BOSU Trainer and place the right foot in the center of the dome.

 

2. Lower into a lunge (the front knee should be behind the toe).

 

3. As you press up, jump up and switch legs in the air, landing with the left foot on the dome, right foot back.

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4. Continue jumping and switching legs for 10 to 15 reps. This endurance move will challenge the heart rate, strengthen the lower body and core.

 

This move may be a little advanced for some if you are unfamiliar with using the BOSU. If you are a BOSU balance newbie, we recommend starting with a basic lunge before adding in the jump in order to learn how to stabilize your foot on the trainer.

 

Other Great BOSU Exercises:

For the Beginner

 

To Improve Your Balance

 

For Your Arms 

 

For Your Abs 

 

If there is a specific area that you would like to address using the BOSU please drop us a line in our comment section or click here to submit your question through our site. Our personal trainers would be happy to help you!

 

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Topics: exercises for women, strength training, thigh toning, cardio, fitness tips

Confessions of a Beginning Runner Part 2: Tales of Fitness for Women)

Posted by Angie Quehl on Mar 16, 2012 3:00:00 PM

The Diva Edition

Folks, someone is a Diva Beginning Runner. Note that "diva" modifies the rest of the phrase. Because in no sense am I a beginner Diva. Evidence?


**I ran three miles? Everyone I know gets the text: ZOMG PEOPLE I RAN THREE MILES! ON PURPOSE! AT ONCE! WITHOUT STOPPING!


**I brush my hair before I go running. And since it's winter, I'm not pinning it up. I have Confessions of a beginning runnerthese visions of my glorious long tresses streaming out behind me as I streak down the sidewalk. In reality, it's probably better I can't actually see the tangled mess of sweaty as I trudge along.


**I'm going to need a better sports bra. I haven't really had to consider this, but yes. There apparently are times where support is key, and concerns about the ugly mono-boob are less imperative. Who knew?


**Today when I ran it was 39F with a little bit of a breeze. Nothing actually like wind chill, just a stiff gust now and then. You would have thought, to hear my internal monologue, that I was endurance racing in the Arctic. Also, it plays hell with my breathing because the last thing on earth I am going to do is inhale through my nose because it's like an icepick straight into my brain. Now, I did just move from the desert, and anything under 50F there was miserably cold. But seriously? Someone needs to toughen up a little as far as the weather goes.


**My feet hurt. This is odd because as far as I am concerned, any pair of heels under 3" qualifies as flat. I wear heels every day in the office. I race around in them more or less without a second thought: up and down escalators, along with the Metro platform, to Starbucks and back without a jacket. Once I lace up my pair of super-fabulous, specially-purchased, exactly-what-I-needed new running shoes, I do not expect my feet to hurt between miles one and two. They do, however.

Beginning Runners Mantra

This is probably what the issue is...


So tell me: what sets YOU apart when you run?

 

About The Author:

the elizabeth quotient blogElizabeth is a mamma, blogger, and beginning runner from Northern Virginia. You can follow her story as an up-and-coming runner here on our blog. You can also read more about Elizabeth on her journey through not only fitness but life by checking out her blog, "The Elizabeth Quotient".

 

Do You Have a Fitness Story You Would Like to Share?

We would love to hear from you! Why not drop us a line in the Comment Section below or submit your story to us directly. We will be using a collection of them in future blog posts highlighting tales of fitness for women.

 

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily the opinions of the Women's Club.
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Topics: cardiovascular exercise, fitness tips, fitness for women

Confessions of a Beginning Runner...A Tale of Fitness for Women

Posted by Angie Quehl on Feb 21, 2012 3:03:00 PM

Sometimes the best motivation and advice on fitness for women in the world comes from listening to real people talk about their real experiences as they navigate the big, bad scary world of getting into (or back into) a fitness regime. Sharing, commiserating, and relating to another human being and recognizing that yes…someone else has been in the same place as you and felt EXACTLY the same way, can be the best motivation to lace up those sneakers one more day!  With that in mind, we thought we would begin sharing some ‘real life’ stories from real women to help ease you down the fitness path and maybe make you laugh a little along the way too. Enjoy!

Confession of a Beginning Runner -- Elizabeth

• Yes, I do hate every damn step. I don't know when that will quit. I'm hoping that at some point it will, but I ain't holding my breath. There's always a point in my run where I am reduced to thinking, "It hurts, do it anyway."

• I jayrun. Folks, if I stop at a light, I may just not start again. So be a pal and let me run through.confessions of a beginning runner

•I can't wear earbuds. I've tried every kind out there. My ears are just a weird shape, I think. Anyhow, I just turn the volume waaaay up on my phone and run. This generally works fine except when (like today) a kind of embarrassing but good running song comes on. I have never tried to turn my volume down so fruitlessly as when running by a group of small children and their mothers while Rhianna's S&M blared like a foghorn out of my speaker. They all stared and stared at me, clothed in judgment and yoga pants. Finally, I just gave up and ran faster.

• This brings me to my next point: if you see me running, give a sister some love. Wave, say good job, yell something motivational ("Your butt looks big in those pants" would definitely work). I will smile and run faster, my workout will be over more quickly, and I will be happy!

• I am terrified that one day, a car that slows down as it passes me will stop and ask if I need a ride somewhere. Literally, every time a car passes me, I think this is about to happen.

• I know I'm a bore, posting my runs on Facebook, I'm sorry. I do it to keep myself accountable. I'm pushing myself to do this at all. Knowing you are reading (possibly clothed in judgment and/or yoga pants?) pushes me a little farther and a little faster. Thank you. When you comment kindly, like the run, or txt me saying "Yay!"--you're telling me you believe in me. This helps me in ways you don't even know about.

• If I can do this, I can do anything. Because I am having to work harder for this than just about anything else I have ever done.  A weird statement, but true.  I'm simply too old to let something being difficult be my excuse to not do it. Life is hard. Do it anyways.

 

About The Author:

the elizabeth quotient blogElizabeth is a mamma, blogger, and beginning runner from Northern Virginia. You can follow her story as an up and coming runner here on our blog. You can also read more about Elizabeth on her journey through not only fitness but life by checking out her blog, "The Elizabeth Quotient".

 

Do You Have a Fitness Story You Would Like to Share?

We would love to hear from you! Why not drop us line in the Comment Section below or submit your story to us directly. We will be using a collection of them in future blog posts.

 

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily the opinions of the Women's Club.
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Topics: cardiovascular exercise, fitness tips, fitness for women

Go Red 'BetterU' Exercises for Women

Posted by Angie Quehl on Feb 3, 2012 10:00:00 AM

Become a 'BetterU' by following these instructions for awesome resistance band exercises for women from the American Heart Association!

 

For Best Results:woman heart health resized 600

  • Perform these exercises 2–3 times per week.
  • Allow one day of rest between workout sessions.
  • Begin with 1 set of 8–15 repetitions.
  • Increase to 2–3 sets over the following 2–4 weeks.
  • Rest 30–60 seconds between sets.


Every movement (repetition) should be done with a smooth, controlled tempo so the band is pulled apart slowly, followed by a pause, before slowly releasing the tension on the band and returning to the starting position. The slow, controlled movements keep tension on the muscles, thus producing strength and safety. The exercise should control the band and not allow it to yank or snap the limbs/torso back to the starting position.

The Ready Position
The ready posture is much like that of a military person standing at attention. The exerciser should stand with feet shoulder-width apart, chest lifted up, the head directly over the shoulders, shoulders over the hips, the hips aligned directly over the knees, and the knees over the ankles. This ensures the proper stacking of the body and protects the head, neck, spine, and lower back.

Upper Back
This move is great for countering sitting at a computer all day and important for posture. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, assume the ready position, grasp the band at each end and wrap hands around several times to remove excess slack, palms out, arms extended in front of you at shoulder level, elbows slightly bent. Pull the band by keeping arms parallel to the floor by pulling the shoulders back and squeeze the shoulder blades together.

Triceps Extension
Works backside of the upper arm. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, in the ready position. Raise right elbow up to eyebrow level. Wrap one end of the band around the right hand several times,triceps extensions with band palm up. Drop the other end behind the back, grab with the left hand and wrap band around hand several times to remove excess slack, palm facing out. Maintain this level throughout the exercise. Extend the right elbow (but don’t lock it out) and pull the band out. The right hand is traveling up and out. Repeat on other side.

Standing Hip Abduction
Great for legs! Tie the ends of the band together with a half-bow or knot, forming a loop. Place band around both ankles. Stand next to the wall or furniture for balance, feet shoulder-width apart; assume ready position. Move the far leg away from the body, pulling the band apart.
Keep foot and toes of moving limb straight forward; do not rotate or twist. Turn around (remember to use wall or furniture to balance) and repeat on other side.

Internal Oblique
Great for obliques.  Place one end of the band under your right foot. With elbow straight,
adjust the length of the band to remove all slack. With your right hand by the side of your body, bend your torso directly to the left without forward torso movement. Keep hips stationary. Repeat on other side.

Standing Hip Extension
For the buttocks or gluteal muscles. Tie the ends of the band together with a half-bow or standing hip abduction resistance bandknot, forming a loop. Place band around both ankles. Stand facing the wall or furniture for balance in the ready position. Move right leg straight back, toes pointing forward until you feel the buttocks contract. Do not sway the lower back and keep the left knee slightly bent. Repeat on other side.

Seated Leg Extension
Strengthen upper, front thighs.  Sit in a chair all the way back. Wrap the ends of the band around your hands several times to remove excess slack and place the ball of the right foot on the middle of the band. Bring both hands together and pull back, drawing the thigh toward the chest, knee bent. Extend the right knee as the entire thigh and leg move downward and away from the body. Don’t lock out the knee. Repeat on
other side.

 

More great exercises for your heart...

 

* "BetterU" is a trademarked part of the American Heart Association's Go Red movement.

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Topics: women's health, exercises for women, fitness tips

6 "Rules" of Exercise for Women You May Not Need to Follow

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jan 18, 2012 3:00:00 PM

It's Not Always Bad to Cheat...

Sometimes NOT playing by the rules is the best thing you can do. Check out the list below to learn how you can "cheat smart" every now and then and still make progress in your fitness program.

1.  Stopping to walk during a run

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The verdict: Go for it.

Taking short walk breaks helps you run farther, burn more calories, and sidestep injury, says exercise physiologist Tom Holland, author of Beat the Gym. So whether you're working up to three miles or training for a long-distance event, walking now and then can serve as a useful tool to build up your mileage and endurance. Just make sure you're stopping only two or three times during a 30-minute run, for about 30 to 60 seconds a pop.

2.  Not stretching before a workout

The verdict: Go for it.

While research shows that stretching after a workout can boost strength, prevent injury, and increase range of motion, a 2010 study of almost 1,400 runners found that limbering up before exercise may have few—if any—benefits. To get your blood flowing and muscles prepped, dynamic movements are more effective, says Katie Rothstein, an exercise physiologist at the Orthopedic & Rheumatology Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. Exercises like arm swings and butt kicks increase your joints' range of motion and prime your muscles for action.

3.  Skipping the last three reps

The verdict: Bad idea.

The final reps of a move are where the magic happens. "You have to stress your muscles if you want them to change, and that occurs in those last few reps," says Holland. Your last reps should be tough to finish but not so difficult that you have to compromise your form. If your form starts to suffer early in the set, switch to a lower weight so you won't have to skip the last reps—or hurt yourself trying to push through them.

4.  Resting longer than the prescribed time during a circuit

The verdict: Go for it.linda-perez-johannessen-569925-unsplash (1)

Many circuits call for short rests—usually 30 to 60 seconds—to keep your heart rate high enough to produce a cardio benefit (read: calorie burn). But if you're really struggling after a tough set, tack on an extra 30 seconds of rest, says Rebecca Stephenson, a board-certified women's health specialist in physical therapy at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital. It will give you (and your muscles) enough of a breather to complete the next set with perfect form—without compromising your calorie burn.

5.  Blowing off lower-body strength training

The verdict: Bad idea.

Your leg muscles do get a workout during cardio, but you need to hit the weights (or do squats or lunges) to make sure you're hitting all of your muscle groups. "Muscles work in pairs, and when you stick to one type of cardio, you train only half of the pair," says Holland. "Strength training corrects these imbalances, so you stay injury-free and get great-looking legs to boot."

Supplement your cardio regimen with at least two lower-body or total-body strength training for women workouts a week, or combine strength and cardio by doing plyometric supersets (explosive moves like squat jumps and split lunge jumps done back-to-back without rest), says Holland.

6.  Not drinking H20 during exercise

The verdict: Depends.

Unless you're working out for more than an hour or you're sweating profusely, you can get away with sipping six ounces before and at least 10 ounces after a sweat session, says Rebecca Stephenson, of Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital.

 

 

If you are looking for more advice on your fitness routine why not schedule a consultation with one of our wellness coaches. Let our staff of professionals use their extensive experience in developing exercise programs for women to help you reach your health and fitness goals. It's free to do and our pleasure to assist however we can!

 

Portions of the above article appear in a blog post on www.womenshealthmag.com.
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Topics: personal training, fitness tips, fitness for women

Fitness for Women: Get Moving!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jan 4, 2012 10:00:00 AM

Exercise is the key to vitality!

Thinking about how to begin a fitness routine? The good news is no matter your age, your health, or your fitness level—you can benefit from moving more. Whether you are generally healthy, are managing an illness, or simply beginning to notice the effects of time, there are big and small ways to get more active and boost your fitness level.Exercise tips for women move more

Leading an active lifestyle is more important than ever...

The truth is that you can’t afford not to get moving. Exercise is the key to staying strong, energetic, and healthy. No matter your age or your current physical condition, you can benefit from exercise. And not only is exercise good for your body—it’s good for your mind, mood, and memory.

The 1st building block of  fitness:  Cardio endurance exercise

  • Uses large muscle groups in rhythmic motions over a period of time. This type of exercise increases your body’s ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues, improves the strength and vitality of your heart and lungs as well as burns excess body fat.

The 2nd building block of  fitness: Strength training

  • Builds up muscle with repetitive motion using weight or external resistance.  Helps prevent loss of bone mass, builds muscle, and improves balance—both important in staying active..

The 3rd building block of fitness: Flexibility

  • Challenges the joint’s ability to move freely through a full range of motion.  This helps the body stay limber and increases the range of movement for ordinary physical activities.

The 4th building block of fitness: Balance

  • Maintains standing and stability under a variety of conditions.  These exercises improve balance and posture.

So as you can see there four areas that are critical to becoming and remaining a healthy, vibrant woman well into your golden years. The first step is always the hardest sometimes, but you don't have to do it alone.  

Now that we have closed the book on 2011, a have begun anew in 2012, our best advice on fitness for women is very simply put...Get Moving!

We're Here to Help...

We know that starting an exercise routine or getting back into the routine can be a daunting task. We have lots of solutions that can help you shape your fitness path for 2012. Be it starting to attend a new group exercise class for women, instituting the help of a personal trainer, having a few days to try out a new center, or just to ask a question, we have a bevy of trained professionals on staff who would be happy to assist you. Click one of these links for more information or just drop it in the comment box below and we will get back to you ASAP!

 

 

 

 

 

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Topics: group exercise classes for women, fitness tips, fitness for women

Essential Exercises for Women: Get Your 'Sexy Back'!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Sep 22, 2011 2:23:00 PM

Row, Row, Row Your Back...

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Have some trouble spots or jiggly bits around your bra straps or tank tops? Although aerobic exercise can help you shed body fat, addressing fat deposits that are specific to your back area requires a bit more "oomph". In addition to the cardio portion of your workout routine, you'll need to tone and strengthen the area as well to get the results you looking for. Seated cable rows are a great way to work the back muscles. Not only does a nicely toned back look great but as an added bonus it can help to improve your posture; that's why it's featured in this month's edition of Essential Exercises for Women.

How It's Done

Step 1:

Position yourself on the cable pulley machine or on the floor in front of the lower cable on a double cable apparatus.

Step 2:

Attach a double grip handle and grab using a neutral grip. 

Step 3:

As you inhale pull the cable towards your torso until it touches the lower rib cage

Step 4:

At the end of the movement, your abs should be engaged to prevent the lower back from arching and elbows move as far back as they can go but tucked into the sides, close to the ribs.

Step 5:

Exhale and return to the start position

Step 6:

Keep a straight back throughout the movement with a slight bend in the knees and think that the most active part of your body is the back and not the arms. 

Keep this in mind...

  • Keep your back straight. A slight flex at the hip is okay in order to allow a full range of motion. 
  • Squeeze the shoulder blades (scapula) together. This is important for most 'pull exercises' emphasizing the back.
  • Return the weight under tension to the starting position. Don't allow them to just drop onto the stack.
  • Be cautious if you have an existing or past shoulder or lower back injury.

 

More Back Strengthening Exercises

 

 

 

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Topics: exercises for women, fitness tips, fat burning

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