Please welcome our new guest author, JoEllen Krause, to My Happy Crazy Life. JoEllen writes in her spare time for Providian Medical. She strongly believes that living a healthy life does not mean missing out on best things life offers, and shares her take on this topic with the article below. As with all my guest posts, the only benefit I receive is time saved.
Summer has approached fast, and with it the need for a breezy wardrobe. We all dream of having the perfect body, our chiseled abs glistening during a morning run. Of course, that’s much easier said than done.
For many women, obtaining an ideal body is one of the hardest things to do. With so many other daily responsibilities, finding the time and motivation to exercise can be quite difficult. However, it’s important to realize that even with the most hectic schedule, it’s still possible to fit in an effective workout.
Circuit training is one way to accomplish this. A good circuit training program will consist of short, but intense bursts of activities that alternate. For instance, you may do 30 seconds of jumping jacks, followed by 30 seconds of squats, and then another 30 seconds of crunches. Combining strength training with cardio is the fastest and most efficient way to lose weight and keep it off long term.
You can put together your own routine, or follow along with an exercise video. There are tons of workout DVD’s on the market today, but one of the most popular is the 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michael’s. Jillian is a tough trainer of The Biggest Loser fame, and she’s dedicated to getting results.
The 30 Day Shred is a circuit training program that’s less than 30 minutes per session. Jillian boasts it’s only 20 minutes, but with the cool down and warm up it actually runs a bit longer. Everyone can fit 30 minutes into their day, and even though it seems too short to prompt results, you’d be surprised at how intense a 30 minute workout can be.
The truth is that if you want extreme results, you have to commit to working out hard for at least a few times a week. Strength training is vital to creating the long, toned limbs we all desire.
However, intense workouts can get old fast. If you’re doing something you’re not particular fond of, you’ll be less likely to keep at it. That’s why it’s important to find an activity you genuinely love.
One of the universally adored forms of cardio is dancing. You can dance to your own music in the privacy of your home, or join an actual class and learn some new moves. Dance oriented classes like Zumba, were created to propel you into fitness by having a good time. When you’re dancing and moving with the music, you forget it’s exercise.
In addition to videos and instructed classes, there’s also a wide selection of video games designed to get you sweating and svelte. The Wii, Playstation Move, and Kinect, all feature titles that are fun and calorie burning. If you’re itching to dance, there’s Michael Jackson: The Experience, Just Dance, Dance Central and Zumba, to name a few.
For a more focused workout with comprehensive training that targets specific muscle groups and problem areas, games like EA Sports Active II and My Fitness Coach are a great alternative to video instruction. Games can be quite effective because the interactive element makes you more excited and immersed into the world of exercise. If you’re new to regular activity, games can provide that stimulating outlet you need.
Of course, as with any weight loss plan, it’s crucial to consider your diet. Sugary drinks like soda provide absolutely no nutritional value, but a slew of unnecessary calories. Even fruit juices can do more harm than good. Just drinking water in place of all your current fluids will boost your weight loss and metabolic efficiency.
In general, you should be more aware of what goes in your mouth. Try to stay away from foods high in saturated fats and excessive sugar. Incorporate whole grain breads, enriched pastas and plenty of veggies into your diet. When you attend barbecues this summer, you can still have fun and indulge, but try to make it healthier.
Have a lean cut of chicken instead of steak or a burger. Take a smaller portion of dessert. As long as you’re smart about your choices, you can still lose weight, indulge, and live a delicious life.
Thanks for those great ideas, JoEllen! I agree that Jillian’s 30 Day Shred is intense; I did it for a while, but not long enough to see it pay off. Please pass the salad…
Image Credit: I’m on diet #1 by floodkoff, on Flickr