Need some new ideas to add into your arm-day routine? Try these out. All of them are modifiable to your level of strength and are great for strengthening core as well as arms. Enjoy!
We all like trying new foods around our home town or being adventurous with local foods while we are traveling. The problem is that, while being adventurous, we rarely know exactly what we are eating and cannot judge the healthiest option on the menu. I love trying new foods everywhere, but do not often know enough about the foods I am eating to choose what will keep me on track. Below is a list of some healthy choices everyone can try in certain countries and at cultural restaurants. Hope this helps!
Japanese: Sushi is a safe option that can align with your health goals. If you want to be very healthy, go for the ones with less rice and more seaweed. If you are someone who eats soy, miso soup is a low calorie option. Edamame, as a an appetizer, can be relatively filling and has omega-3. If you are eating table-top cooking, try the pure meats with fewer sauces such as the chicken or steak rather than the taryaki. You can always substitute extra vegetables in the place of the fried rice.
Korean: Eating at a traditional Korean restaurant is a great way to get access to more pure forms of protein. You are often able to order just meats and vegetables and have control over the sauces put on the meats. Be careful with what you order because some of the meats are soaked in brown sugar and soy sauce for flavor.
Spanish: It can be hard to eat healthily around delicious Spanish food that is full of rice, fried potatoes, and salt. Most places will carry a chorizo or sausage that comes plated by itself that can be a good option for people avoiding carbs. Salty ham is a staple in Spain and can be a good option for protein. While many people love the paella, torta, and croquetas, they are not the most healthful option available to you. My personal favorite are the Salchichas (little spicy sausages).
Obstacle courses are a favorite for adults and kids alike who want to have a great time getting exercise. Instead of spending large amounts of money to enter an obstacle course for kids, try making your own and seeing if they like it first. If it becomes a favorite activity, there are quite a few companies who have professional obstacle courses in which kids are able to compete. There are some listed below.
The best thing about a make-your-own obstacle course is that you can do it indoors or outdoors depending on the weather. This is a perfect way to get the kids (and parents) up and moving while school is out.
Indoor ideas: Carry a ball from one bucket to another, crawl under chairs or tables, carry a loaded backpack up stairs, spin in circles around a bat, jump over a toy ten times, bear crawl through the hall, do three forward rolls. You can get creative depending on what sorts of items are in your house. Be sure to make a goal for the kids such as a time to beat or number of activities to complete.
Outdoor ideas: This would be very easy to do at a park with a playground or even in your backyard if you have interesting toys. Make up a routine of activities to perform and try to do it with the kids. This can include crossing the monkey bars, running up the slide, climbing a rope, carrying a sand bag, doing cartwheels across a field. Use your imagination! Rainey week? Use the mud as part of the course!
Equipment: If you want to make your obstacle courses even more exciting, there are a few items that are cheap and easy to buy that can make this activity even more memorable. Hula hoops make great holes to climb through or jump into. Cones are perfect for sprinting drills and cutting in and out. Pool noodles can be used a javelins. Speed ladders are great additions to teach speed and coordination. You can even construct arches out of PVC piping to jump over or crawl through.
The famous Spartan Races even have a kid obstacle course, if your young ones end up loving this activity. Check it out at http://www.spartankids.com/
A lot of people are getting into High-Intensity Interval Training workouts to the point that the gyms are holding classes for them. But what are they and how can they benefit you?
HIIT workouts include predetermined intervals of training based on a ratio of exercise to rest time. What this means is that, before the exercise, you make a ratio (ex. 3:1) based on your fitness level.
In a 3:1 ratio, you do forty-five seconds of work to fifteen seconds of exercise.
In a 1:1 ratio you can do twenty seconds on and twenty seconds off or change it to suit the exercise (30-30, 40-40, etc.). I prefer a 3:1 ratio to that each set is one minute.
You then choose exercises based on your goal for the day. Choose the length of time that you want your total work out (usually between four to thirty minutes for HIIT). Make enough exercises to fit that time accordingly. I typically choose six exercises at a 3:1 ratio and have a minute rest between each set. Each set is six minutes. I then do each set three times for a workout time of twenty minutes. You can manipulate the HIIT formula any way that you want, but make sure you are going as hard as you can during the set time so that you get the most out of your workout.
The great thing about HIIT is that you can do it anywhere at any time. I stayed in a hotel for the past three weeks and was able to use the outside patio for weightless HIIT workouts. You can add cardio, strength, core, and speed to any of your created workouts. I pick a general focus (arms, legs, or core) and then make sure I have at least one cardio exercise in that category and one core exercise in that category. Core and cardio can be creatively manipulated to include other muscle groups. If you need some inspiration, below is a list of generic exercises you can use in your own HIIT workout creation.
How do HIIT workouts benefit you, especially when they can be a short as four minutes? First, the workouts are very efficient and can fit into EVERYONE's schedules. Because they are time-based, they force you to work as hard as you can for a limited time period. This helps you to put al of your energy into your workout, knowing that it will be done soon. Three hours relaxing at the gym is useless if you do not put hard work into training. Second, you can challenge yourself without having to leave your house. For the same reason that HIIT is efficient, it is very difficult. It forces you to work your lungs and your muscles at a high rate and pace for a set amount of time. Forty-five seconds of full sprints is a great workout for people at all levels of training. Third, interval training has been shown to build more muscle and burn more fat over the next twenty-four hours than a stationary, low-intensity workout because it increases the secretion of growth hormone. You can actually get more fit faster doing short HIIT workouts than using the elliptical for hours on end by actually challenging your body. Try it out, if you do not believe me.
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Family Fitness Tips
Have fun with your family while keeping fit! Quick workouts, fitness fun, family games, and healthy recipes.
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The Fitness Prescription
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**As with all fitness activities, please consult your physician before participating in any activity or diet.
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