Weight Loss

  1. 10 Reasons To Add Kettlebell Training To Your Workout



    Kettlebells are the door-stop looking, cannonball-shaped workout tools that you’ll want to add to your routine if you want to get a leaner, tighter figure without spending much time. If you're curious about all the benefits training with these weights can have, then you've come to the right place. Here are 10 benefits of kettlebell training:

    • Saves money: No gym membership required here, and only one kettlebell needed in this training, saving you space and money (depending on the type of training you do, a second kettlebell may be required). You can do kettlebell training in your living room, backyard or take them to the beach.
    • Lose more weight in less time: Kettlebell workouts can tighten and tone your whole body, but the dynamic all-muscles-on-deck movements also burn a lot of calories – studies show up to 20 calories per minute, or 400 in a 20-minute session.
    • Combine “cardio” and “strength” training: This exercise gets your heart racing, building cardio as well as strength. Your whole body is working to move, or swing, as well as stabilize the kettlebell, building the proper balance of mobility and stability.
    • Versatile and fun: Let’s face it, long exercises can get boring. And as a result of that boredom, they're easy to give up on. As mentioned earlier, kettlebell training can be a quick exercise, so that makes it more achievable and fun! From swings to squats to arm strengthening exercises, you’re constantly moving and burning through this workout. With an exercise that’s quick and versatile, you’ll likely stick with it!
    • Solution for busy people: Busy people want the biggest bang for the buck. Kettlebells can be the solution to trying to squeeze cardio and strength training in an already busy schedule. Because of the intensive nature, the workout duration must be kept short. Best of all, they are so small and portable, training can take place even in your office.
    • Improves posture: Using so many muscle groups in conjunction means your core has to stay engaged 360 degrees to stabilize each and every movement. It’s important to note that good form is essential in kettlebell workout, so stop and rest if you feel like your form is deteriorating.
    • Easier time performing daily tasks: Working out with a kettlebell is the definition of what fitness pros call a "functional" workout. That means it works your muscles in the same way as when you do everyday activities, like picking up a toddler, carrying your laptop bag, hoisting a gallon of milk, or lugging a heavy grocery bag.
    • Increase core and back strength: As you train with kettlebells, keep your core engaged and posture stabilized. As you move through your training, you’ll build strength, as well as flexibility.
    • Full-body workout: From shoulders to calves, kettlebell training works many different muscle groups, all while giving you a cardio lift. As you train with kettlebells, you’ll notice your entire body engaged and working hard, burning and conditioning.
    • Boost your bum: The kettlebell swing is the foundation for many other kettlebell exercises, and it simultaneously firms your butt and abs. As you do the kettlebell swing, your body is in a squatting position, already firing up the bum.
    • Here’s a how to do a swing: Standing with your feet hip-width apart, your hips and knees slightly bent, and your back and arms straight, pick up the kettlebell by the handle with both hands, knuckles facing forward. Hinge forward from the hips and swing the bell back between your legs, then exhale, straighten your legs, and pop your hips and pelvis forward to propel the kettlebell upward to about chest height (that’s the butt-toning part). As you lower the kettlebell, your abs will contract—like a built-in crunch. Continue with one fluid movement as you lower back to the start and repeat. (It’s okay to start with smaller swings to build the momentum until you get the hang of the movement and can swing it to chest height.) Once you’re comfortable with the movement, try to swing the kettlebell with one hand, alternating hands with each rep (both hands come to the handle on the upswing, and one releases as you swing down).
    If you want to add kettlebell training to your routine, you’ll want to know what moves will help you achieve all these great benefits. If you’re near a 2nd Wind store, stop in and ask one of our Fitness Consultants for some tips. They’ll fit you with the proper weight and exercise to get started. Otherwise, below you’ll find a helpful blogs with exercise examples.

    Men's Fitness & Bodybuilding.com
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  2. 5 Foods Under 40 Calories (With Recipes)


    1. Coffee

    Calories: 0

    Love coffee? That’s completely OK! If you drink it black you’re not adding any extra cals for the day. Black coffee is one of the lowest-calorie drink choices around, and it’s a great weight loss ally. Coffee alters levels of gut peptides, the hormones naturally released to control hunger or fullness.

    Coffee drinkers may be a lower risk of liver and colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease, and it may help you live longer: A 2008 study found that women who drink coffee regularly – up to six cups a day – were less likely to die of various causes during the study than their non-coffee-drinking counterparts. And, caffeine in coffee can speed up metabolism and fat-burning, which helps lower your risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity.

    Try this recipe: Healthy Iced Coffee



    2. Beets

    Calories: 37 per ½ cup

    This sweet, yet light on calories snack cures that sweet-tooth without the guilt. And, beets are also rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants. Beyond their rich, earthy deliciousness, beets are also a nutritional powerhouse nutritional powerhouse. Rich in iron, fiber, folate, and potassium, they’re an excellent way to boost the nutrition in a salad or pasta dish.

    Try these easy beet recipes



    3. Brussels sprouts

    Calories: 38 per cup

    Brussels sprouts are super-low in calories but loaded with cancer-preventing phytonutrients and fiber. These veggies, sometimes called little cabbages taste great, especially when roasted with a sweet or tangy sauce.

    Try this roasted Brussels sprouts recipe


    4. Asparagus

    Calories: 27 per cup

    Another great tasting vegetable, especially with a light sauce or pinch of lemon – Asparagus is traditionally known as a detoxifying food, because it contains high levels of amino acid that acts as a diuretic, flushing excess fluid out of your system. It also helps speed up metabolism of alcohol and other toxins (it’s a surprising hangover remedy). Asparagus is also a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, E and K, B6, folate, iron, copper and even protein.

    Try this grilled asparagus recipe


    5. Arugula

    Calories: 4 per cup

    This delicate, full of peppery flavor green is amazingly low in everything you don’t want, especially calories, fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. However, it is loaded with fiber, vitamins A, C and K, and other nutrients, including potassium.

    Arugula is perfect in salads, soups, over pizza or within pasta.

    Add arugula into your diet with these recipes

    For another low-calorie food option, try our spaghetti squash recipe.
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  3. Time Crunching Workouts to Blast Fat and Boost Fitness this Holiday Season



    Letting fitness slide over the holidays is easy to do. Tight schedules, short days, and frequent celebrations sap the motivation of even dedicated gym goers. Your best weapon? Create a go-to workout that's time efficient (less than 30 minutes), convenient (in your home on your schedule), and effective enough to keep you coming back for continued results. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) meets those requirements and is adaptable and effective for any level of athlete. Here's what you need to know.

    HIIT is effective.
    Despite the shorter duration of these workouts (less than 30 minutes), the intensity of HIIT workouts results in a higher calorie burn both during and after the workout. This means that the post-exercise oxygen consumption (an indicator of resting calorie burn) is higher following HIIT workouts than other forms of training, and will stay high for two hours afterwards. After HIIT training your body is primed to use your holiday meal building muscle and fueling for your next workout, rather than putting on fat. HIIT is also demonstrated to specifically target abdominal fat. Additional health benefits of HIIT over steady state cardio include improvement in insulin levels, cholesterol, blood pressure, cardiovascular fitness, and body weight (ACSM)

    HIIT is efficient.
    A true HIIT workout is short in duration. 20-30 minutes is ideal. These workouts are well suited to busy schedules that require results in less time. HIIT workouts also deliver results with 2-3 workouts each week. While you can complement HIIT training with active recovery, strength, and endurance training for a full program, using HIIT sessions as your go-to during the last few weeks of the year will maintain fitness, provide mental health benefits, and support a healthy metabolism while you enjoy your holidays.

    HIIT is adaptable.
    You don't have to be a well-conditioned athlete to benefit from HIIT workouts. HIIT training targets work periods of 85% or greater of your personal maximum heart rate, which makes it responsive to your ability. HIIT workouts can also be adapted to any piece of exercise equipment to provide intense workouts that are lower impact and directed at the fitness level of the user. Elliptical machines and Indoor Cycles are both incredibly effective means of delivering HIIT workouts without the impact of running and jumping.

    HIIT is motivating.
    Knowing that your workout is limited to less than 30 minutes makes working hard more approachable. Understanding the benefits of HIIT also makes it easier to push into a level of training difficulty that you might normally avoid. The repetition of specific intervals in HIIT training sessions, as well as the constant variation in intensity, makes these workouts fly by. The post-workout benefits are also motivating in completing the workout.

    Here are two of my favorite HIIT workouts.

    Indoor Cycle

    Minutes 1-3, Warm UP: Work into a target heart rate of 75% of your maximum at a pace of 80-100 RPM under moderate load.

    Minutes 3-8, Interval 1: Speed
    Alternate 3 1 minute speed bursts with 1 minute recovery periods. During the speed portion, maintain the load that you established during the warm-up, increasing your cadence to as fast as you can control. During rest periods, focus on recovering and then returning to your warm-up pace and effort before your next work.

    Minutes 8-12, Interval 2: Climb
    Alternate three 45 second climbs with three 45 second recovery periods. Reduce your cadence to 60-80 RPM's and increase to a heavy load pushes you up out of the saddle. Maintain this load for 25 seconds then return to the saddle and maintain the load for 20 seconds more. Rest for 45 seconds by reducing the load and returning to a cadence of 60-80 RPM's. Repeat. You can also choose to maintain your position in the saddle if you prefer.

    Minutes 12-15, Interval 3: Power Tabata
    During your recovery from your final climb, return to a cadence of 60-80 RPM's with a moderate load (a level that returns you to about 75% of your maximum heart rate). Maintaining the same load, increase your cadence to close to 100 RPM's for 20 seconds. Rest completely during the ten second break. Repeat the effort for a total of six work periods.

    Minutes 15-20, repeat Interval 1, Speed.

    Minutes 20-24, repeat Interval 2, Climb.

    Minutes 24-27, repeat Interval 3, Power Tabata.

    Minutes 27-30, cool down.
    Continue riding at a reduced load and speed until your heart rate returns to 75% or less of your maximum heart rate. Finish by stretching your hips, quads, calves, hamstrings, and shoulders.

    This workout can be adapted to an elliptical trainer or recumbent bike using the same variations in load and speed. It can be used as a template for treadmill workouts as well.

    Workout 2: Sprint 8
    Vision Fitness's Sprint 8 Treadmills take the guesswork out of designing a HIIT workout. Backed by research, this patented program combats body fat gain, declining energy, and reduced metabolism through a HIIT style training program. Your workout will start with a warm up period followed by eight 30 second training segments with an intensity that is based on your fitness and performance level. This entire workout takes only 20 minutes and is a proven way to keep holiday weight gain at bay this year.
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  4. 10 common mistakes keeping you from your fitness goals



    1. Not Having A Plan
    Your primary objective should influence the amount you do, as well as the the intensity and the type (cardio, resistance, stretching) of every workout. Pick a goal such as losing 10 pounds, running a 5K, or improving your endurance and research proven plans. This is a great way to optimize your workout and stay focused!

    2. The All-Or-Nothing Approach
    Research shows that just ten minutes of exercise can provide important health benefits. A ten minute workout is better than a 0 minute workout!

    3. Skipping The Warm Up
    Taking 5-10 minutes to gradually increase your body temperature and heart rate decreases your risk of injury since working cold, stiff muscles can lead to sprains and tears. Warming up also increases circulation and improves range of motion.

    4. Not Switching Up Your Routine
    Once your strength and stamina improve, it's time to upgrade your routine. The same workout week after week will lose its effectiveness and may lead to injury or burnout, as well as becoming incredibly boring. To switch up your routine, you do not need to spend more time at the gym. Simply try to manage your time differently and more efficiently. This is why interval training has become so popular!

    5. Unbalanced Training
    Most people focus only on certain muscles (such as the abdominals or biceps), but it's important to work your whole body and core.

    6. Rapid Progression
    Exercising too hard and too often, or increasing intensity too quickly, can result in injury and/or setback.

    7. Ignoring Heavy Weights
    It can be intimidating, but you aren't gaining anything from avoiding heavy weights. You have two types of muscle fibers: slow and fast. If you don't use the heavier weights, you neglect the fast fibers, which are important for moving quickly, lifting heavy objects and for spine and hip stability. Ladies, if you're worried that you'll bulk up, don't be. Women cannot add much size to their muscles due to low concentrations of testosterone.

    8. Not Protecting Your Bones
    It’s important to do weight-bearing exercises to help protect your bones. While treadmill walking is sufficient to keep the spinal bones strong, your hip bones need more loading. Remember the terms "steep," or "step." Either increase the steepness (incline) on the treadmill or attempt stepping exercises.

    9. Incorrect Machine Set-Up
    Exercise equipment is adjustable. It's important that you set it up to fit you correctly before you use it. Using poorly adjusted equipment could lead to injury and/or setback. If you're unsure about proper set up ask a staff person at your local gym or 2nd Wind Exercise fitness store.

    10. Always Running At A Steady Pace
    Again, we’re back to interval training. It teaches your muscles to burn energy more efficiently so you can go faster. Try starting out with a half or one-mile warm-up, then doing four to six rounds of running faster than your regular pace for a quarter mile and then switching to a slower pace for the next quarter mile. Strive to gradually lengthen the faster-paced intervals, but be careful not to progress too rapidly. Limit these interval runs to a few times a week to help avoid injury.

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  5. Burn More Calories With This HIIT Workout

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