Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Squeeze This In Before Bed!!!

Side Planks

Before you lay your head down for the night please remember to give that tummy some attention. The side plank is another go-to for a challenging workout that targets your core, plus your shoulders and arms.

Follow these simple steps and add this to your nightly routine!

1. Start from push-up position.

2. Tighten abs.

3. Bring your right hand to the center, halfway between its starting position and your left hand.

4. Turn body to the left. Shift weight from toes to the outer side of your right foot, stacking your left foot on top of your right.

5. Lift left arm off floor.

6. Extend left arm toward ceiling in line with your shoulders. Body should form one, straight line from head to feet, sideways.

7. Look straight. Hold position for 10-30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.

8. Repeat on other side

I'm getting ready to do some now, will you join me? No seriously!!! Get down and get that body right!!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

XBox Livingroom Workouts!

So as I mentioned in a previous post, I am a proud owner of an Xbox with the Kinect system attachment. The Xbox is my go to for just in time, in my living room, intense workouts!!

If you haven’t purchased an Xbox or Wii yet what are you waiting for?!

Another “game” I love that gives me an amazing workout is the Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout. The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout is an exercise simulation game for Xbox 360, based on the popular The Biggest Loser television series. This game is like having your own personal trainer at home! It does a great job of scanning your body to identify focus areas. This part was a bit scary….

You actually have to stand in front of the Kinect with your arms to your side. The Kinect does a full body scan while you are standing still and your body shows up on the screen. You will have a clear view of that belly, those arms and thighs. It takes your measurements and points out the areas in need!! After the “weigh-in” you can begin to customize your daily workout plan.
The game saves your information and gives you daily activities for you to complete based on your workout plan. During the workout Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper from the show, coach and motivate you as you attempt to perfectly hit each move.  

The game's workouts include warm ups, cool downs, new cardio boxing, yoga, circuit training (upper body and lower body), as well as core exercises, and allows players to create a custom fitness program or choose from ten preset fitness programs such as Belly Buster and Boot Camp. Many of these exercises can be integrated with stability balls, resistance bands and free weights (sold separately).

Another thing I love about this game is that it features 50 recipes from the Biggest Loser cookbook to aid in all of your weight loss efforts.

What else could you possibly ask for?

Well here is more:
Key Game Features
·         Personalized Training - Utilizing the amazing Kinect motion control sensors, take part in a fully dynamic workout program created to target your goals and which changes as you progress.
·         Lose Weight, Gain Knowledge - Choose from preset workout programs for a quick, targeted workout.
·         Feel the Burn - Work your entire body including upper body, core, cardio, yoga, and cardio boxing.
·         Success in Numbers - Build an online community and compete in weekly challenges to see who really is The Biggest Loser.
·         Just for You - Customize your diet with 50 new healthy recipes and track your caloric intake.
·         Fitness Toolbox - Add in The Biggest Loser resistance bands, stability ball, or free weights to enhance your workout.
·         Track Your Progress - Visually record yourself and track your journey in your own video diary.
·         The Biggest Loser Club - The game includes a 30-day trial membership to The Biggest Loser Club, a $19.99 value.
 I went ahead and personalized my character and I am now an official participant of the Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout!

What are some of your favorite fitness workout games?

Amazing Abs and Booty in 5 Easy Steps!!

Bird-Dog Exercise

I absolutely love workouts that target multiple areas at once!! What’s even better is a workout that needs little to no equipment but can still be extremely beneficial to your body. If your main focus areas include the abs and the glutes, the Bird-Dog exercise is a perfect addition to your daily routine. Grab your partner, get on the floor and get busy!
Taken from ACE fitness Programs:


Step 1

Starting Position: Come to a hands and knees position on an exercise mat positioning your knees underneath your hips and the crease of your wrists directly underneath your shoulders. Your fingers should be pointing forward.

 Step 2

Engage your core and abdominal muscles, suck it in! Keep your spine in a neutral position, avoid any excessive sagging or arching. Pull the shoulder blades toward your hips

Step 3

Upward Phase: In this exercise you are attempting to move the opposite arm and leg simultaneously. It is very helpful to use a mirror to help you with form adjustments. Begin by slowly lengthening the left leg until it is long and strong. Lift the leg off the floor until it is at or near parallel to the floor. The leg should not be lifted above hip height. This will help to avoid upward rotation at the hip.

Step 4

Slowly raise and straighten right arm. Attempt to raise the arm until it is at, or near parallel, to the floor. Do not allow the shoulders to tilt upward. Keep both shoulders parallel to the floor. Your head is an extension of your spine and should remain aligned with the spine throughout the movement. Do not lift the head or let it sag downward.

NOTE: The leg and arm should only be raised as to heights that allow you to maintain the shoulders and pelvis in parallel to one another, the core engaged and the spine in neutral position.

Step 5

Downward Phase: Gently lower yourself back to your starting position, maintaining balance and stability in the shoulders, pelvis and torso.
Alternating Sides: During this phase of changing sides, work very hard to keep the abdominals engaged. Imagine knitting your ribs together as though you were lacing up a tennis shoe. When you change sides, try to do so with minimal weight shift. Do not flop from one side to the next. Maintain balance and control.
The bird-dog is an excellent exercise to train the body how to stabilize the lumbar spine (low back) during upper and lower extremity movement. Never exceed your ability to control movement in the low back.

 Do you see this exercise as something you can do everyday to work on your Abs and Booty??

Friday, April 12, 2013

Get Ready, Get Set, Get Wet!!!

Water Workouts

Three years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter I was determined to stay in shape. I joined a fitness club and took a few classes. One of my favorite classes was Water (Aqua) Aerobics!! I would go into the pool twice a week and perform aerobic exercises in the shallow water. One thing I loved about this type of exercise was that I literally felt as light as a feather in the water. Being as though I was carrying about 20 extra pounds, especially in my 9th month of pregnancy, this type of workout was ideal for staying in shape without becoming completely exhausted and without causing injury to my joints.

One benefit of water aerobics is that the water greatly supports the body and reduces the risk of muscle or joint injury. A major benefit is that according to Aquatic Exercises Association, you can expect to burn between 400 to 500 calories per hour performing a water workout!

The resistance of the water helps to build muscle and strength in your body. Simply kicking and cupping the water helps contribute to muscle development, which translates into a higher metabolism and healthier body overall.

If you don’t want to take a class, you can jump in a pool and incorporate what you already know from Zumba workouts, kickboxing or simple repetitive arm and leg movements that get your heart pumping.

This is also a great workout to get the entire family involved. If you have or know children who are struggling with weight issues encourage them to get in the pool on the weekends.

Let join together in the fight for childhood obesity while working on getting ourselves fine in time for summer!!!

Here are some fun games you can play in the pool with the kiddies/teens while burning tons of calories at the same time!!!

Atomic Whirlpool
Have everyone get in the pool and line up single file along the edge with very little space between them. Have everyone walk for a couple of minutes, then jog another couple of minutes, then "run" around the edge another couple of minutes. If done right the water will "carry" them around the pool. Finally, tell them to turn around and go the other way. It is almost impossible to go against the current!

Bobbing Heads
One player is it while the other players bob in and out of the water at one end of the pool. Without crossing the centerline, the person who is it tries to hit one of the bobbing players with a foam or soft rubber ball. Bobbing players should come up and submerge at an irregular pace to keep the person who is it from knowing exactly when they will emerge again.

If the person who is it misses, he or she must retrieve the ball and return to the throwing side. If he or she hits one of the bobbing players, the person who was hit then becomes it.

Dolphins and Sharks
Start the game by gathering everyone into the middle of the pool. Divide half the players into dolphins and the other half into sharks, leaving one player to be the leader. Designate one end of the pool as the dolphins' safe point and the other end as the sharks' safe point. When ready, the leader calls out either "dolphins" or "sharks." Whichever group you called has to quickly swim away to their safety point while their opponents chase them, trying to tag as many as possible. Throughout the game, randomly call out either team. Any player tagged has to join the enemy team. The game ends when all players have become part of one team.

Dolphins Race or Relay
If there are just two players, this game is a race. With four or more players, it can be a relay. Each team has a beach ball that the players must move from one end of the pool to the other using only their noses to push the balls along as they swim. If anyone uses his or her hands to move the ball, he or she must return to the starting position. The first person or team to finish wins.

Splash Dance
Have individuals or teams choreograph water ballets to their favorite pop songs. Suggest using waterproof props and costumes to make the "show" more creative. Then invite family, friends and neighbors over to watch the premiere. An evening show complete with lots of pool lights and spotlights can make a dramatic presentation. If the kids would like to compete, make up different performance categories, such as funniest, most original, etc., so that each child or team can win.

Will you join me in spending more time in the pool this summer??

Tighten up that Tummy DuringTV Commercials!!

Here is an exercise that gives you results and is soooo easy to do at home anytime!!

Ok so it’s 8pm and you begin to settle in on the couch to watch your favorite shows back to back as you always do once or twice a week.  Instead of nestling your behind on that couch from 8pm-10pm flipping through channels, whenever a commercial comes on you can be working on that tummy!!
And don’t ruin all your hard work with any late night snacking, have an early dinner, work on that tummy and go to bed!!!

On your favorite TV night, lay a mat on the floor and follow this quick routine during those commercial breaks:

1. Lie on your back. Place hands down by your side, palms face down.

2. Flatten your shoulders against the floor. Draw your abdominal muscles in toward your spine.

4.  As you exhale, slowly lift your legs up holding them closely together,  curl your tailbone up, lifting through your lower tummy.
5. Inhale as you lower your legs and butt back down without touching the floor
6. Repeat, by exhaling and lifting your legs up again
7. Remember to suck that tummy in and keep it tight!
8. Work through the commercials completing at least 3 sets of 10 during each commercial break

This workout can also be done with a partner!

   1.    Have a partner stand firmly behind your head as you lay flat on the mat.
   2.   Grab your partner’s ankles
   3.   Slowly lift your legs up
   4.  Your partner job is to gently push your legs down each time
   5.  Your job is to keep your abdominals tight and keep your feet from  touching the floor.
   6.  Work through the commercials completing at least 3 sets of 10 during each commercial break

I will definitely be working on my tummy on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights while I watch my favorite Reality TV shows.

On which nights will you sneak in a few tummy workouts?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sexy Arms and Shoulders by Summertime!

Tighten-Up Thursdays!!!

Before getting started make sure that you warm your body up and stretch. Warming the body up is the perfect way to prevent injury and maximize your workouts. Try doing a few jumping jacks or jog in place to get you muscles warmed up.

Today's workout will be the overhead shoulder press, this is an exercise both ladies and gentleman can benefit from, the overhead shoulder press is an exercise that definitely gets results. There are a couple of variations to the shoulder press, all are beneficial but today's overhead shoulder press will be done with dumbbells.

Before getting starting try out a couple of different sized dumbbells, do one or two repetitions and select the weight amount you will use to complete 8 repetitions for 3 sets, be honest with yourself! Honesty about where you are in your weight training regiment is a sure fire way to get immediate results.

So ladies, DO NOT try this exercise with heavy weights unless you're trying to bulk up, this is a shoulder and core workout, so your focus is to keep those abdominals tight as you slowly lift the dumbbells over your head.

Fellas, with this exercise you should definitely push the limits and remember to keep your abdominals flexed and tight during every repetition. Guys should also select a weight that can be controlled for 8 repetitions of 3 sets.

Remember to BREATHE while working out, exhale as you lift the dumbbells over your head and inhale as you bring the dumbbell down do the rest position.

Throw these into your workouts two or three days a week and I'm sure you will see results in your core and shoulder area while toning your triceps, all in one exercise.

What a deal, three areas of your body showing results from one exercise, I'll take that any day!!!

What are some of your favorite arm and core sculpting exercises?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Want a little privacy?! Just Dance!

Just Dance 4 on XBox Kinect

I don’t know about you but I absolutely LOVE the thought of burning calories while listening to some good music. What’s even better about this is that I also get a chance to do something else that I love which is DANCE! Now don’t get me wrong, I can’t team up with Beyonce or anything but the thought of me learning a dance routine and getting my body right at the same time gives me the best of both worlds.

So, last year during all the madness of Black Friday and after watching numerous Just Dance 4 commercials, I found a great deal on an Xbox 360 console with the Kinect sensor attachment. It was time for me to try out my dance skills in the comfort of my own living room. Perfect!

It took me a while to get the hang of how Just Dance 4 worked but after about four songs I was all in! This game allows you to dance, battle friends and sweat like a pro through various modes like Just Sweat! and Just Dance!. The Kinect attachment monitors every single move your body makes so that the game can monitor your progress and judge your skills.

In the Just Sweat! mode you can actually select a timed workout routine that is tailored to the amount of calories you want to burn. You can pick from Sweat Around the World Latin style, Cheerleader Bootcamp, Aerobics in Space, Swinging 60’s Workout or Electro Body Combat. Each one giving you a fast pace, heavy rhythm and heavy sweat dance routine with a warm up and cool down.

In Just Dance! Mode you can select all types of music ranging from Rhianna, Nicki Minaj, Pink, Carly Rae Jepsen, Maroon 5, Brittany Spears, Pit Bull and many others! Players are judged on their ability to mimic the on-screen dancers performing a routine to a chosen song.

It seems as though these gaming companies are really trying to step their game up to get kids up and moving instead of staring at the TV playing games all day like zombies. I must admit I absolutely love my Xbox and I love Just Dance 4!! Hey, as long as I’m moving and sweating I know I have to be burning calories and something is better than nothing right?!


Tell me what you think, are home work-out gaming systems a good idea?

Would you make it a part of your regular workout routine?



Monday, April 1, 2013

Bicycle Crunches and Curry Shrimp 3-Step Recipe!!

Mid-Section Monday!!!

This Monday we will focus on Bicycle Crunches. One thing I love about Bicycle Crunches is that you can do them almost anywhere. There were times when I even did about 4 sets of 10 of these crunches while laying in bed before getting up in the morning.

Recently a fitness book I was reading wrote that in their studies of the abs exercises it was the Bicycle Crunch that caused the abs to tense the most. It was (supposedly) twice as effective as the crunch for ‘crunching’ your abs.

I found this interesting and so I began experimenting with it. At first I pumped them out quickly and didn’t find them very challenging at all. However, when I slowed down the bike crunch and focused on my abs and my breathing I found that it worked quite well.

The idea is to mix both the lower and the upper abs in one exercise. You fully extend out one leg while the other is bent and you touch your opposite elbow to the bent leg as if you are doing a twisting crunch (also working the obliques). Then you repeat for the other side without taking any rest or dropping your torso back down so the whole time you are doing them your upper body is in a crunch position. Try it, It’s tough!

Keep it Simple, 3 Steps to Eating Clean 

What’s for dinner tonight at the Johnson’s residence?! A household favorite, Curry Shrimp Cookup!!! This is a recipe that has been passed down to me by my aunt and grandmother. There are a few variations of the dish depending on where you are from but here is my spin on it….

Curry Shrimp Dinner – Can be served with a small serving brown rice and a large serving of a steamed vegetable of your choice. I always eat my meals on the small dish plates for portioning purposes and add extra vegetables with only 1 tablespoon of rice.


1 pound of Raw Fresh or Frozen Shrimp, shelled and deveined

2 tablespoons of Canola Oil

½ cup of Coconut Milk

3 Cloves of Garlic cut into small pieces (or you can simply use garlic powder)

¼ cup of Green Pepper and Red Pepper cut up

¼ cup of Chopped Onions

2 Bay Leaves

1 teaspoon of Brown Sugar

Simple Seasonings of your choice: Complete Seasoning or Season All/Sea Salt and Pepper

Step 1: In a non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil over medium heat until hot

Step 2: Add the garlic, onions, peppers, coconut milk, bay leaves and seasoning and let that simmer for about 5 minutes or until the onions and peppers are soft

Step 3: Add shrimp, and cook 4 minutes or until opaque throughout, stirring frequently

This dish should be smooth and creamy, if you notice the mixture is a little thick add more coconut milk or a little bit of water.

Serve over rice with steamed vegetables.