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I’ve always loved this exercise – the push up. I used to do them regularly as a teenager and young adult but got out of the habit after I went to college and was burning the midnight oil while studying for my double major degree. Finally, after living a sort of sedentary life as a corporate employee for over five years, I realized the importance of doing push ups again. I had lost muscle definition in my arms and shoulders, and missed being able to carry heavy loads so easily.

Unless you are using a mat, a pair of shoes with good traction is helpful to wear while doing push ups to prevent your feet from slipping. To do a perfect push up, you will need to get on all fours, and make sure your spine and body is straight. Your elbows should be bent slightly. Slowly lower your body to allow your chin to touch the floor, then lift your body up again, allowing your arms to straighten. Repeat as many times as is comfortable.

There is no need to overdo it while starting to do push ups. When I got back into the routine, I could do only one the first time I tried. I built up from there day by day and in a few weeks was doing 10 per workout. Also, for those who can’t do a push up at first, doing as much of one as is possible, i.e. lowering your body half-way to the floor and lifting yourself up again, is a great way to gradually strengthen the muscles and buildup to do a perfect push up.

In addition, there is a second popular version of the push up – the bent knee push up. While I prefer to do perfect push ups, lots of women prefer this version. Regardless of the version, the push up is an awesome exercise to strengthen the core muscles. Doing just a few daily will provide noticeably stronger triceps, shoulders, chest, and core. Of course, it is always good to check with a doctor before beginning an exercise routine.

The post How To Strengthen Your Core – Part 3 appeared first on Daily Inspiration Community.

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If you are serious about strengthening your core, there is another exercise that will work wonders in tightening up your core muscles – kettlebell swings. When I started working out, one of the first things my personal trainer taught me was how to safely lift and swing a kettlebell. I had never tried this before but it looked fun when he showed me how, and it quickly became a regular part of my gym workouts.

One of the most important things to consider is the kettlebell weight that you should start out with. I began with a 15 lb. kettlebell, and within a few weeks was swinging a 20 pounder. For those who want to do this exercise, start with a kettlebell that you can easily lift with both hands…definitely don’t choose a kettlebell that you can barely lift off of the gym floor.

You will need to bend your knees, do a squat and lift the kettlebell with both hands. Stand up, then squat again to put it down. Once you feel ready to swing it, lift it again in the same manner, then start slowly swinging it backwards between your legs (slightly), and forwards in a steady motion several times. Once you feel comfortable, you can get a swinging momentum going, and swing it straight out in front of your head. Finally, you can try swinging it directly over your head. Always be sure to squat when you pick it up and put it down, and also be sure to keep your back straight during the workout.

Swinging a kettlebell can be fun, and was never an exercise that I dreaded when starting out. It is a great way to strengthen your core because you have to use your core muscles to lift and swing it, and you get a side benefit of strengthening your arms as well. Personally, it is one of my favorite exercises I do at the gym. Of course, it is always good to check with your doctor before starting a workout routine.

The post How To Strengthen Your Core – Part 2 appeared first on Daily Inspiration Community.

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When I started going to the gym after working in a cubicle for five years, and only taking time for exercise infrequently, I didn’t know what to expect. I had a personal trainer, so was excited to learn some new ways to exercise, but was also nervous since I knew I wasn’t in great shape.

Most of the exercises turned out to be fun and doable, and I usually had a blast working out before starting work in the morning. But, there was one that would make time go by very slowly – the plank. Doing planks is not only a way to make memories in the gym, it is also one of the best ways to strengthen your core.

Who doesn’t want stronger core muscles? Core muscles include those in the abdomen, back and around the pelvis. For a woman, the advantages of having a strong core are immense. Not only does it help with looking fit and trim, but also with living everyday. It can decrease your risk of injury, help prevent back pain, increase muscle flexibility in your core, and boost your metabolism.

According to Power of Positivity, the core muscles play a huge role in mobility, posture, and more.

– Back support: Lower-back pain affects 80 percent of all Americans at some point in life. Chronic lower back pain can be painful to the point of being debilitating. Core muscles play the primary role in ensuring a healthy back.

– Posture: Strong core muscles are vital to good posture, which both “trims your silhouette and projects confidence.” Most importantly, good posture limits the amount of wear and tear that inevitably takes its toll as we age.

– Routine movements: Any movement that involves the manipulation of your torso requires the core muscles to execute. This includes bending, sitting, rotating, and standing.

– Stability and balance: Your core essentially “connects” the upper and lower parts of the body. As such, good balance and stability require a well-conditioned core.

Read more >> See more reasons why the plank is a great exercise for core strength at Power of Positivity.

To do a plank, you need a mat, and a stopwatch. Depending on your age and physical condition, you can start by holding a plank for just 20 – 30 seconds, but don’t worry if you can’t make it to 20 seconds at first. You can build up your strength and endurance gradually over time as you practice. Once you are ready to increase the time you hold a plank, try increasing it by 10 seconds. Don’t expect to increase your time to hold a plank more than by 10 seconds per week, but depending on your physical condition it could be more or less. Play it by ear.

For me, sandwiching a couple of planks into my 45 minute once per week workout worked well for starters. Soon, I was exercising more often each week, and I no longer dreaded doing planks because they became much easier. Of course, before starting any new exercise routine, it is always good to check with your doctor.

The post How To Strengthen Your Core – Part 1 appeared first on Daily Inspiration Community.

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 Let’s face it…weight loss is something that most people struggle with in their life at one time or another.

The pounds can accumulate quickly for various reasons, but one surefire way to curb unhealthy weight gain is through regular exercise.

But getting to the gym isn’t easy for many people who have a busy schedule and/or a stressful lifestyle. Maybe you have a demanding job that just doesn’t allow enough time to workout regularly, or maybe you have stress in your life that is contributing to weight gain.

Signing up for a fitness class or hiring a personal trainer will help provide initiative to get to the gym.  Fitness classes are great because of the social interaction – you hardly notice that your’e working out because your’e having fun. Having a personal trainer is also a great idea because he/she can show you how to safely exercise without injuring yourself.

It’s time to get serious about managing your health, and get to the gym before it’s too late (always check with your physician before starting a workout routine).

Keep reading to see some incredible before and after body transformations at Woman’s Day.

Rosalyn Long, 41, Alpharetta, GA and Rhonda Howard, 36, Woodstock, GA

These sisters were inspired to make a change together. “One day in January 2016, I saw a picture of myself from a family gathering and thought, What has happened here? Rosalyn had steadily gained weight after our grandmother passed away in 2013, so we both came to the realization that it was time to change,” Rhonda says.

Top Tip:We joined Life Time Fitness and enrolled in the gym’s 60-Day Challenge, a competition that encouraged us to commit to healthy changes and slim down in 60 days,” Rosalyn says. “We each lost about 10 pounds in the first challenge, so we signed up for another. We felt competitive against others, but always thought of ourselves as a team.”

Weight Loss: 55 and 65 Pounds

Jessica Larche, Norfolk, VA

“In 2012 I went to the doctor because I was having bad headaches. Turned out, my blood pressure was 160 over 100, which is dangerously high. I started taking medication and promised myself that I’d stop turning to food every time I was sad, bored or upset. I knew I should start exercising, too, but I needed something that was realistic.”

My Weight-Loss Secret: “I committed to walking two laps around a beautiful nearby park every night for roughly one month. Eventually I felt comfortable enough to go to the gym, where I started using the elliptical machine as well. I lost 75 pounds over the course of a year and a half. Now I strength-train three days a week and do five-mile walk-run workouts one or two days a week. I’ll pick a post, jog to it, then walk to the next landmark.”

What else helped: “Pasta is my trigger food, so I use a Spiralizer to make zucchini noodles, which I toss with olive oil, shrimp and red pepper flakes.”

Weight Lost: 100 Pounds

Michelle Fritts, 25, Rockville, MD
I wrote down everything I ate as well as the calories, and did a combination of cardio and weight-lifting at the gym almost daily. Sometimes, I’d just go for a walk or do toning exercises in my office during lunch to squeeze in whatever exercise I could!
Weight Lost: 89 pounds
Patti Murillo-Casa, 55, New York City

I tipped the scale as a 238-pound diabetic in 2009, thanks to bouts of emotional eating. My doctor warned me that if I didn’t lose weight, I’d need to take insulin injections, so I joined a nearby gym. I dropped the first 30 pounds by walking on the treadmill, but when my weight started to plateau, I knew I needed to up the intensity. I signed up for Zumba, Spinning and weight-training group classes and was immediately hooked. The sessions felt more like a social get-together than exercise. Best of all, the added activity helped me reach my goal weight in 2012.

Weight Lost: 102 Pounds
Brenda Smith, 43, Lithia Springs, GA

I’ve always worked out, but it was my emotional connection with food that kept me from losing weight. With the help of my trainer at Gold’s Gym and participation in a 12-step support group for food addiction, I finally took control of my body. I recognized that I ate through every emotion I was feeling, whether that was joy, sadness or stress. I learned that receiving support is crucial because you feel a lot of shame with addiction and you need to lean on others to help get you through the difficult times.

Weight Lost: 206 pounds

Read more >> See more powerful stories of weight loss through working out and other methods at Woman’s Day.

The post Body and Health Transformations Before And After Regular Workouts appeared first on Daily Inspiration Community.

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When I think about going to the gym, I usually think about toned abs, biceps, and the list goes on.

But there is a host of other benefits that don’t come to mind as readily as stronger muscles. These reasons make working out regularly at the gym a vital part of your routine and important to your health, well being, and performance.

What are those reasons? Here’s what Womens Health says.

It Improves Your Mood
A brisk workout is like a bad mood repellent, boosting production of brain chemicals that ease stress and anxiety and make you feel happier and more relaxed. Research shows that you’ll reap the benefits even if you feel so bummed, you’ve got to drag yourself to Zumba class.

It Helps You Sleep Better
Call it nature’s Ambien: A recent National Sleep Foundation study found that up to 67 percent of regular exercisers say they get a good night’s sleep—and it doesn’t matter if you lace up your sneakers in the morning, afternoon, or even late at night.

It Strengthens Your Memory
Whether you’ve got an exam coming up or a big presentation at work to give, you might want to hit your fave indoor cycling class first. A new study of young adults from the journal Behavioral Brain Research found that a single session of aerobic exercise resulted in higher blood levels of hormones that are associated with a strong memory.

It Can Reduce Your Risk of Cancer
How much working out and what type of exercise isn’t exactly clear, but research links physical activity with a lower risk of breast and endometrial cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.

It Recharges Your Batteries
Bike riding, even at moderate pace 2-3 times a week, can boost energy levels by 20 percent and decrease fatigue by 65 percent; a run or other cardio workout can also reduce exhaustion. The reason: breaking a sweat raises your metabolism and increases production of the brain chemical dopamine, and that helps you feel less tired.

Read More >> See another 5 of the best reasons to workout at Womens Health

The post Top 5 Reasons To Workout That Have Nothing To Do With Appearance appeared first on Daily Inspiration Community.

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If you are serious about strengthening your core, there is another exercise that will work wonders in tightening up your core muscles – kettlebell swinging. When I started working out, one of the first things my personal trainer taught me was how to safely lift and swing a kettlebell. I had never tried this before, but it looked fun when he showed me how, and it quickly became a regular part of every gym workout.

One of the most important things to consider is the kettlebell weight that you should start out with. I began with a 15 lb. kettlebell, and within a few weeks was swinging a 20 pounder. For those who want to do this exercise, start with a kettlebell that you can easily lift with both hands…definitely don’t choose a kettlebell that you can barely lift off of the gym floor.

You will need to bend your knees, do a squat and lift the kettlebell with both hands. Stand up, then squat again to put it down. Once you feel ready to swing it, lift it again in the same manner, then start slowly swinging it backwards between your legs (slightly), and forwards in a steady motion several times. Once you feel comfortable, you can get a swinging momentum going, and swing it straight out in front of your head. Finally, you can try swinging it directly over your head. Always be sure to squat when you pick it up and put it down, and also be sure to keep your back straight during the workout.

Swinging a kettlebell can be fun, and was never an exercise that I dreaded when starting out. It is a great way to strengthen your core because you have to use your core muscles to lift and swing it, and you get a side benefit of strengthening your arms as well. Personally, it is one of my favorite exercises I do at the gym. Of course, it is always good to check with your doctor before starting a workout routine.

Read Full Article
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When I started going to the gym after sitting in a cubicle for five years, and only taking time for exercise infrequently, I didn’t know what to expect. I had a personal trainer, so was excited to learn some new ways to exercise, but was also nervous since I knew I wasn’t in great shape.

Most of the exercises turned out to be fun and doable, and I usually had a blast working out before starting work in the morning. But, there was one that would make time go by very slowly – the plank. Doing planks is not only a way to make memories in the gym, it is also one of the best ways to strengthen your core.

To do a plank, you need a mat, and a stopwatch. You can gradually increase the amount you hold a plank every few days. I started with 25 seconds, and built up from there. Of course, before starting any new exercise routine, it is always good to check with your doctor.

Who doesn’t want stronger core muscles? Core muscles include those in the abdomen, back and around the pelvis. For a woman, the advantages of having a strong core are immense. Not only does it help with looking fit and trim, but also with living everyday. It can decrease your risk of injury, and can make life easier and more fun in lots of ways.

Read Full Article
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 Let’s face it…weight loss is something that most people struggle with in their life at one time or another.

The pounds can accumulate quickly for various reasons, but one surefire way to curb unhealthy weight gain is through regular exercise.

But getting to the gym isn’t easy for many people who have a busy schedule and/or a stressful lifestyle. Maybe you have a demanding job that just doesn’t allow enough time to workout regularly, or maybe you have stress in your life that is contributing to weight gain.

Signing up for a fitness class or hiring a personal trainer will help provide initiative to get to the gym.  Fitness classes are great because of the social interaction – you hardly notice that your’e working out because your’e having fun. Having a personal trainer is also a great idea because he/she can show you how to safely exercise without injuring yourself.

It’s time to get serious about managing your health, and get to the gym before it’s too late (always check with your physician before starting a workout routine).

Keep reading to see some incredible before and after body transformations at Woman’s Day.

Rosalyn Long, 41, Alpharetta, GA and Rhonda Howard, 36, Woodstock, GA

These sisters were inspired to make a change together. “One day in January 2016, I saw a picture of myself from a family gathering and thought, What has happened here? Rosalyn had steadily gained weight after our grandmother passed away in 2013, so we both came to the realization that it was time to change,” Rhonda says.

Top Tip:We joined Life Time Fitness and enrolled in the gym’s 60-Day Challenge, a competition that encouraged us to commit to healthy changes and slim down in 60 days,” Rosalyn says. “We each lost about 10 pounds in the first challenge, so we signed up for another. We felt competitive against others, but always thought of ourselves as a team.”

Weight Loss: 55 and 65 Pounds

Jessica Larche, Norfolk, VA

“In 2012 I went to the doctor because I was having bad headaches. Turned out, my blood pressure was 160 over 100, which is dangerously high. I started taking medication and promised myself that I’d stop turning to food every time I was sad, bored or upset. I knew I should start exercising, too, but I needed something that was realistic.”

My Weight-Loss Secret: “I committed to walking two laps around a beautiful nearby park every night for roughly one month. Eventually I felt comfortable enough to go to the gym, where I started using the elliptical machine as well. I lost 75 pounds over the course of a year and a half. Now I strength-train three days a week and do five-mile walk-run workouts one or two days a week. I’ll pick a post, jog to it, then walk to the next landmark.”

What else helped: “Pasta is my trigger food, so I use a Spiralizer to make zucchini noodles, which I toss with olive oil, shrimp and red pepper flakes.”

Weight Lost: 100 Pounds

Michelle Fritts, 25, Rockville, MD
I wrote down everything I ate as well as the calories, and did a combination of cardio and weight-lifting at the gym almost daily. Sometimes, I’d just go for a walk or do toning exercises in my office during lunch to squeeze in whatever exercise I could!
Weight Lost: 89 pounds
Patti Murillo-Casa, 55, New York City

I tipped the scale as a 238-pound diabetic in 2009, thanks to bouts of emotional eating. My doctor warned me that if I didn’t lose weight, I’d need to take insulin injections, so I joined a nearby gym. I dropped the first 30 pounds by walking on the treadmill, but when my weight started to plateau, I knew I needed to up the intensity. I signed up for Zumba, Spinning and weight-training group classes and was immediately hooked. The sessions felt more like a social get-together than exercise. Best of all, the added activity helped me reach my goal weight in 2012.

Weight Lost: 102 Pounds
Brenda Smith, 43, Lithia Springs, GA

I’ve always worked out, but it was my emotional connection with food that kept me from losing weight. With the help of my trainer at Gold’s Gym and participation in a 12-step support group for food addiction, I finally took control of my body. I recognized that I ate through every emotion I was feeling, whether that was joy, sadness or stress. I learned that receiving support is crucial because you feel a lot of shame with addiction and you need to lean on others to help get you through the difficult times.

Weight Lost: 206 pounds

Read more >> See more powerful stories of weight loss through working out and other methods at Woman’s Day.

Read Full Article
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When I think about going to the gym, I usually think about toned abs, biceps, and the list goes on.

But there is a host of other benefits that don’t come to mind as readily as stronger muscles. These reasons make working out regularly at the gym a vital part of your routine and important to your health, well being, and performance.

What are those reasons? Here’s what Womens Health says.

It Improves Your Mood
A brisk workout is like a bad mood repellent, boosting production of brain chemicals that ease stress and anxiety and make you feel happier and more relaxed. Research shows that you’ll reap the benefits even if you feel so bummed, you’ve got to drag yourself to Zumba class.

It Helps You Sleep Better
Call it nature’s Ambien: A recent National Sleep Foundation study found that up to 67 percent of regular exercisers say they get a good night’s sleep—and it doesn’t matter if you lace up your sneakers in the morning, afternoon, or even late at night.

It Strengthens Your Memory
Whether you’ve got an exam coming up or a big presentation at work to give, you might want to hit your fave indoor cycling class first. A new study of young adults from the journal Behavioral Brain Research found that a single session of aerobic exercise resulted in higher blood levels of hormones that are associated with a strong memory.

It Can Reduce Your Risk of Cancer
How much working out and what type of exercise isn’t exactly clear, but research links physical activity with a lower risk of breast and endometrial cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.

It Recharges Your Batteries
Bike riding, even at moderate pace 2-3 times a week, can boost energy levels by 20 percent and decrease fatigue by 65 percent; a run or other cardio workout can also reduce exhaustion. The reason: breaking a sweat raises your metabolism and increases production of the brain chemical dopamine, and that helps you feel less tired.

Read More >> See another 5 of the best reasons to workout at Womens Health

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