VIDEO: Aerobic exercise blast: Samantha Clayton’s best cardio workout | Herbalife Workout

aerobicHere’s a great cardio routine that anyone can do. Are you ready to work on your fitness? Then let’s get to it!

 

 

 

 

By Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Sr. Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

VIDEO: Core ab workout: Samantha Clayton’s Body Blast | Herbalife Fit Tips

core abTry this extended workout that will help keep your core strong. You don’t need any weights or a large space, so what are you waiting for? Let’s go!

 

 

 

By Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Sr. Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

VIDEO: #ActiveBodyFit – Challenge Trail Workout 1

Samantha 14Ready to find your inner athlete? Here’s a challenging workout with five key warm up moves, a five minute jog and a two mile run. Now let’s get to it!
 

 

 

By Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Sr. Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Running and Training Equipment Essentials

Train with the right footwear for the best results.

Getting started with a new running or training program? Here are a few essential products to help you succeed.

When you’re getting started with a new running or training program, getting the right equipment is critical to your success. Your footwear is usually the most essential and expensive purchase that you’ll have to make. Because staying hydrated on the go is important for good performance, getting a good water bottle that is durable and lightweight is essential, too.

Related Article: How to Start Running for Health and Fitness

All About Footwear

Why you need quality shoes: There are so many risks associated with overtraining in the wrong type of shoes, especially a pair that is worn out or fits poorly. Some of those risks include knee pain, shin splints, Achilles tendon strain and stress fractures. If you are running in shoes that have lost their support, or are generally worn down, you are at a greater risk of getting injured.

Protection and performance: Wearing quality shoes prevents our feet from getting sore, corrects imbalances and helps to stabilize them. Selecting the right pair of shoes may actually help to improve running technique and foot placement.

When is it time to get a new pair: You can tell that your shoes are worn down on the inside when the arch support has become flat or the inserts have become thin. On the outside of the shoe, the heel and toe area tend to be areas that show wear. Once you can see wear patterns created by the way your feet hit the floor, it’s a good indication that the shoe is no longer helping to correct your foot placement or providing you with proper support. Also, if the bottom of your shoes no longer have a good tread pattern, it’s well past the time for getting a new pair.

How to pick the right shoe: Technology has come a long way and I’m a believer in buying the right shoe for the purpose intended. Selecting the right shoe should be a priority for anyone who enjoys engaging in regular physical activity. There is a fine balance between getting a shoe that is supportive and essentially takes over the job of the small connecting structures in the feet, and getting a pair that is not supportive enough.

Sport Specific Choices

Runners: If you are an avid runner like me, selecting a shoe that is designed with running in mind is the best way to go. Distance running shoes are often more lightweight and designed to encourage good running posture.

Cross-training: If you mix up your mode of training, selecting a good quality cross-trainer is also a good option. Shoes with a lower back are best for working out in the gym, so that you don’t restrict the Achilles and ankles when doing step ups and squats.

Supportive designs: These are great if you have a known imbalance, such as over-pronating, because they can help to correct this problem with each stride. A supportive shoe is also best if you run a lot on concrete.

A lightweight, less supportive design: This type of design offers limited cushioning from the lumps and bumps of your chosen running surface. This may leave your feet feeling a little tender and puts you at risk of sustaining an injury. However, worn in the right conditions, such as on soft grass or sand, this type of shoe will help you to strengthen up the small, often underworked muscles and tendons in the feet and ankles.

Get fitted: Go to a store that specializes in running and get fitted by a pro. It’s free and well worth the time.

Hydration Options On the Go

Staying hydrated when you’re exercising is critical, especially when it’s hot outside or when you are doing an intense routine that makes you sweat. Purchasing a water bottle that suits your training needs, is lightweight and easy to clean is important so that you feel comfortable taking it with you when you are out on the go.

Distance running: Consider purchasing a belt that holds a water bottle, or one with a strap that goes around your hand so that you are not discouraged from carrying it. If you are running for 90 minutes or more, there are several great backpack options so that you are completely hands free.

Consider choosing BPA-free: There is a lot of conflicting research out there, but I believe that erring on the side of caution is best. Choose a bottle that is BPA-free, especially if you train outside in the hot sun.

Glass bottles: Using a glass bottle is a great option and there are some really good products from which to choose. Glass is easier to keep clean than plastic and it tends to last longer. However, in a gym setting, plastic is a safer option.

Dishwasher-safe: Keeping your water bottle clean can be a pain, especially when you are adding important electrolytes or carbs to your bottle. Being able to throw it into the dishwasher will make things easier and keep your bottle free from bacteria.

The equipment you choose will go a long way towards supporting you in your workouts. Making sure you have a properly fitting pair of workout shoes and a water bottle will go a long way towards keeping you injury-free and hydrated.

Written by Samantha Clayton, A.F.A.A., I.S.S.A. Samantha is Sr. Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Indoor and Outdoor Cardio Exercise Options

Get a great indoor cardio workout.

Don’t get bored doing the same old cardio routine. Here are some great cardio options to help keep you engaged and make heart health a priority in your life.

Getting in some cardio exercise each week is essential for your heart health. However, quite often, people get stuck in a routine that they don’t enjoy. As a result, they start skipping this essential part of a balanced exercise routine.

Cardiovascular exercise doesn’t have to be tedious or boring because there are so many ways that you can incorporate a good heart pumping routine into your week. You can exercise at the gym, at home or outside because of the many ways that you can move to work your heart muscle. Here are some cardio exercise options:

Treadmill: On a treadmill, you can perform a low-impact cardio exercise, such as walking. Or, you can pick up your pace and run or sprint to get your dose of high-impact exercise. The treadmill is a great piece of equipment and you can vary your routine, based on your goals and current level of fitness. Most machines have pre- programmed routines to help you work within your target heart rate zone.

Rowing machine: The rowing machine, in my opinion, is one of the most underused machines in the gym, yet it is great for getting in a full body workout. The rowing action helps to strengthen the upper body and truly engages the core muscles. It is a very low-impact form of cardio exercise, making it a perfect choice for any beginner. You can vary your intensity level to increase your calorie burn and push your body at a level that feels right for you.

Stair-climbing: Walking up stairs is a great muscle-building form of cardio exercise. It works great for strengthening your legs and gluts. Doing it for a prolonged interval can make it a very effective cardio training tool. Walking up steps is a moderate impact activity and you can increase the impact by running instead of walking.

Stationary bike: Cycling is a great option if you want to burn extra calories, build muscle or improve your overall cardio fitness level. It’s an excellent exercise for elite athletes or beginners. With cycling, you have the option to add resistance to make it more challenging, do steady state training to boost your cardiovascular endurance or work for speed and build muscle. Whatever your choice, there is no denying that cycling is a great low-impact cardio choice.

Traditional aerobic moves: If you don’t have access to equipment, good old jumping jacks, jumping rope, hopping or any activity that gets your heart rate up is a great choice. There are lots of cardio-inspired routines that you can follow online that require no equipment and limited space.

Dancing: Dancing is great for improving your cardiovascular fitness and your coordination. Many people find that a dance workout also serves as good stress relief. It’s great if you can attend a class at a club or studio because they are often more challenging than doing it alone, but dancing at home or on a night out can be a great way to squeeze in your cardio routine.

Battle ropes: If you have been into a cross fit gym, I am sure you have seen the weighted battle ropes attached to a stationary object. They are a perfect for building upper body and core strength. Several of the exercises that you can do with the weighted ropes, such as jumping jack and jumps, can really increase the impact and intensity level of this exercise.

Weight and circuit training: You can make your next strength training workout more cardiovascular in nature. Either reduce your recovery time and train in a circuit style that keeps your heart rate elevated for a longer duration, or incorporate some aerobic moves in between your traditional weight sets. Training in this way is perfect if you are short on time and want to ensure your workout is well-balanced.

Swimming: Water exercise and swimming is a low-impact form of cardio that is great for people who are recovering from injury and need a low-impact choice. Swimming is a full body exercise and many people find that being in the water can be quite therapeutic.

You get to personalize your workouts to suit your individual needs and goals. Try to be active on at least five days of the week for a minimum of 30 minutes to ensure that you are reaping the heart health benefits that are associated with living a healthy, active lifestyle.

Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Sr. Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Make Holiday Season Fitness a Priority

Stay motivated and dedicated.

Staying motivated with a fitness plan during the holidays can be difficult for some. Here’s a list of fitness essentials that will help to keep you healthy and active during the holidays.

The holiday season can test the willpower of even the most dedicated fitness and health enthusiasts. So, this holiday season, set yourself up for success with some fitness and nutrition essentials that may help you to keep your weight loss or body composition goals on track.

Here are some of my favorite essentials:

Calorie Tracking App

Keeping track of your daily calorie intake is especially important during the holidays. Download a calorie tracking app so that you can stay as close to your daily target as possible. Keeping your weight stable over the holidays is important, and having technology at your fingertips may help you to avoid high-calorie party snacks.

Activity Tracker

Wearable fitness devices are everywhere these days, and they can be helpful for improving your fitness level and keeping track of your daily activity minutes. There are several wearable devices to choose from, so consider selecting one that is easy to use and can remind you that it’s time to get moving.

Reflective Clothing

As the weather cools down and days get darker earlier, exercising outdoors can be a challenge. Investing in some warm running clothing with reflective strips can help to keep you safe and warm outside.

New Running Shoes

Winter is a good time to invest in some new running shoes. Poor weather conditions can make the ground slippery, so having running shoes with good tread at this time of the year is important. A lot of new models are often released during the holiday season, which will make shopping for new shoes a lot of fun.

Mini Stretch Bands

Mini stretch bands come in various colors and resistance levels. They are inexpensive, easy to travel with and perfect for using to warm up hips, glutes, shoulders and back. You can create a full-body efficient warm-up, or use them for a fast and effective resistance routine. Mini bands are perfect for a quick, at-home workout or for use during holiday travel.

New Music

When you really need a boost, put some new, inspirational workout songs on your playlist. Music is great for motivating you to get off the couch, helping you to run that extra mile, or pushing through a heavy lifting session. Download some new music or reshuffle your existing library to keep your workouts interesting.

Wireless Headphones

During the colder months, we often wear lots of layers for exercising. Even if you’re working out indoors, you still need to get warmed up before removing outer layers. Traditional headphones with wires tend to get in the way, so consider investing in a new wireless pair. You may find that you spend less time adjusting and moving wires out of the way and more time focused on your training session.

Foam Roller

Avoid paying for costly massages and do it yourself at home. A foam roller is a helpful tool for stretching and loosening tight muscles. It can be used on multiple parts of your body, and it’s particularly helpful for stretching your hamstring muscles prior to performing any high-intensity exercise.

Hand Sanitizer

Nothing will halt your workout plan faster than catching a cold or flu. So, arm yourself with hand sanitizer and use it often during the winter months.

Jump Rope

Jumping rope is a good old-fashioned way to warm up and get your heart rate going. Warming up for 10 minutes increases your core body temperature, gets synovial fluid moving and oils your joints, which will help prevent injury. If you don’t have time to go to the gym, you can use an interval style training method and use your jump rope for your entire routine.

Heart Rate Monitor

If you’re doing high intensity interval exercises, you may want to invest in a heart rate monitor. In these types of exercises, you want to raise your heart rate up to, or beyond, your calculated maximum heart rate (220 minus your age) for 20 to 30 seconds, followed by a short recovery period. You want to make sure you’re pushing yourself to your anaerobic threshold to get the best training results. It’s almost impossible to accurately measure your heart rate manually when it’s above 150, so investing in a heart rate monitor is a great idea.

Protein Snack Bars

Consuming a healthy protein-rich snack before attending holiday parties is a great way to ensure that you stay on track with your weight loss or weight maintenance goals. Protein is perfect for helping you to feel full and curb unnecessary party snacking.

Staying on track during the holidays takes a lot of dedication. Finding simple but effective ways to stay motivated and dedicated is important. Tracking your calorie intake and making smart food choices when possible will help you to maintain your figure and stay in control. If you don’t need the extra help for yourself, consider giving a healthy, active lifestyle gift to a friend this holiday season.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Start Running: A 4-Week Beginners Guide

Sign up for a 5K

Are you ready to get running but don’t know how to get started? Use these running tips and training guide to start working toward your goals today.

Put a spring in your step and start training for a local race. Signing up for a race is a great way to get a jump start on a new fitness routine. Having a purpose and a deadline is ideal for keeping you accountable, motivated and dedicated to your overall health and fitness goals. In case you don’t know how to get started with a training program, I’ve put together a simple 4-week plan for you to use.

Preparation

Before you start training, there are a few things you need to do to prepare. This way the only thing you have to think about each day is your running routine. Being prepared in advance will help you on those days when you have a busy schedule.

Flex your think muscle

The first step is not a running step, it’s a mental one. Make a mental commitment to get started. If you’ve failed to stick with a plan in the past, put it behind you–– today is a new day to get started with an “I can do it” attitude.

Find a training buddy

It’s much easier to complete a training program when you have a partner who’s going for it with you. Recruit an eager friend or family member so you can start the program together.

Find a race to set a date

Having a time-specific goal that you’re working towards is incredibly helpful. It’ll help to keep you on track with your fitness goals, and you’ll know exactly how much time you have to get yourself prepared.

If the shoe fits…

Running in poorly fitting shoes will interfere with your progress and your success. And running with sore feet and blisters can really set you back. Make sure that you have a lightweight shoe that offers you both the comfort and support that you need.

Wear the right clothing

Invest in a few tops that have wicking and quick-drying properties. And make sure you have a visor or hat to keep the sun off your face. If the weather is cold, start by wearing a few layers which you can remove and tie around your waist as you go.

Go with a full tank

Once you start running for more than an hour, it’s important to have easy access to fuel and hydration. A handheld water bottle or a running belt that holds your bottle is a great accessory to have.

Be flexible and focused

In order to progress with your running fitness, you need to find time to run. But don’t be too strict with your training and stress yourself out. Instead, have a flexible attitude, try your best to stick with your plan, move around the days and timing to suit what’s happening in your life. And, finally, listen to your body. Tuning in to how your body feels each day, and adjusting your training accordingly, is an important part of the training process.

4-Week Training Program

Run on 3 days of the week—all steady pace runs.

Cross-train (x) on 2 days of the week.

Rest on 2 days of the week.

  Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
Week 1 Rest 1 mi. X 1 mi. Rest 1.5 mi. X
Week 2 Rest 1.5 mi. X 2 mi. Rest 2 mi. X
Week 3 2.5 mi. Rest 2.5 mi. X 3 mi. Rest X
Week 4 3 mi. X 3.5 mi. Rest X 3.5 mi. Rest

Options for x (cross-training)

Work out 30-45 minutes doing any of the following:

Riding a bike, swimming, Pilates, yoga, boxing, dancing, low impact aerobics or any activity you enjoy.

Rest days don’t mean sitting on a couch all day. You can enjoy being generally active, but be sure that you rest from running to allow your body time to regenerate and recover.

If you’re new to being active, you can simply start by doing the three running/walking days and slowly add in cross-training when you feel ready. If you prefer to use time as your guide, go with 10 minutes as the average time it takes to run one mile.

After Week 4 of this program, running a 5k race should be an achievable goal. If you want to run a 10k race, continue working with this chart to increase your running distance each week by a half-mile. This progression is nice and slow, which will give you time to adjust and get used to running longer distances.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Why carbohydrates are so important for athletes

Why Carbohydrates Are So Important For Athletes | Herbalife Healthy Eating AdviceCarbohydrates are the best fuel for the body’s engine – more so than proteins or fats – and the right carbs, taken at the right time, are key to good athletic performance.

Carbohydrates are the most important source of fuel in an athlete’s diet.  And yet, some athletes experiment with popular low-carbohydrate regimens, believing (mistakenly) that these diets will somehow “train” the body to burn more fat for fuel, or that carbohydrates interfere with the body’s ability to burn fat. But carbohydrates are a critically important energy source during exercise – and, in fact, the body cannot use fat for energy unless carbohydrate is present.

Why Carbohydrates Are So Important for Athletes

Carbohydrates are the fuel that makes the body’s engine run, and athletes need plenty of carbohydrates before, during and after exercise.

While fats can be (and are) used as a source of energy, the main function of the carbohydrates you eat is to supply energy to cells.  This is particularly true for high-intensity exercise – the level at which most athletes train and compete.

The body generates energy from carbohydrates much more rapidly than it does from fat, and the brain and central nervous system rely exclusively on carbohydrate for fuel.

And, it’s often said that “fats burn in a carbohydrate flame” in the body.  What this means is that in order for fats to be broken down completely – which results in the release of energy – carbohydrate breakdown has to happen simultaneously.

This is because one of the products of carbohydrate metabolism is a substance called pyruvate.  Pyruvate plays a critical role in the release of energy from fat.  Without enough carbohydrate in the diet, pyruvate production drops  –  which impairs the release of energy from fat.

Eating enough carbohydrate is also important because it helps prevent the body from using protein for energy.  While your body can use protein to supply energy, the protein you eat supports many more important functions in the body – its primary role is to build body proteins such as muscle, bone, skin, hair, enzymes and hormones.

If you were to burn protein as an energy source, it would impact the body’s ability to perform these more important functions.

How Carbohydrates Fuel Activity

When you digest the carbs in the foods you eat, the end product enters your bloodstream in the form of glucose, or blood sugar, which is then transported to the cells to be used for energy.

Any glucose that is not used immediately can be converted into a storage form of carbohydrate – called glycogen – which gets stashed away in your liver and muscles where it can be tapped into during activity.

Working muscles require a steady source of fuel – which can come from both the bloodstream and from the glycogen that is stored away.   But there’s a limit to how much glycogen your body can store, and if activity lasts long enough, the glycogen stores can become depleted.  That is why it’s so important to fuel properly – and regularly.

Athletes Need Carbohydrates Before, During and After Exercise

For the average person, a well-balanced diet will usually provide enough carbohydrate to fuel daily activity.  But athletes who train hard know that they need to properly fuel up before starting out, and to keep the carbs coming in during activity and to refuel properly afterwards.

If your regular workouts are strenuous and longer than an hour or so, here are some tips to keep your performance at its peak:

Before starting out, it’s a good idea to ‘top off the tank’ with some low fat, high carb foods to help maintain blood sugar – particularly if you’re one of those who exercises first thing in the morning. The best choices are foods that are easy to digest like a smoothie, a carton of yogurt or a small bowl of hot or cold cereal.  Low fat and low fiber foods are best, to avoid any stomach upset.  (Foods with fat and fiber delay digestion time, so they’re better eaten after exercising.)  If it’s hard for you to eat much in the morning, start with something small and light – a few bites of banana or a slice of toast.
During activity, specially-formulated sports drinks can help keep your tank topped off.  In addition to providing much-needed fluid, sports drinks are designed to provide the amount of carbohydrate recommended during activity (30-60 grams an hour for the first few hours) – about the amount in a liter of a typical sports drink.  For longer events, some people also carry foods like low fat cookies, sports gels, gummy candies or cereal bars for an extra boost of carbohydrate.

Refueling after a workout is critical – most of the stored glycogen will have been used up.  Since your muscles are craving carbs, they’ll take them up readily and store them away for the next bout of activity.  Now is the time to load up on higher fiber carbs, since digestion time is no longer a concern.  A dab of protein helps repair muscles, too, so ideal recovery foods include both protein and carbohydrate. It’s also important to refuel within about 30 minutes after exercise to maximize the effects of protein and carbohydrate on muscle recovery.  Specialized recovery foods and beverages are convenient;  otherwise, work in plenty of healthy carbohydrates in the form of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and dairy products.  A sandwich on whole-grain bread, a protein shake made with milk, or a bowl of lentil soup with a piece of fruit would all be great post-exercise meals.

More:

  –  What to eat after your workout

  –  What to eat before you work out

  –  How to find the best workout for you

Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Why carbohydrates are so important for athletes

Why Carbohydrates Are So Important For Athletes | Herbalife Healthy Eating AdviceCarbohydrates are the best fuel for the body’s engine – more so than proteins or fats – and the right carbs, taken at the right time, are key to good athletic performance.

Carbohydrates are the most important source of fuel in an athlete’s diet.  And yet, some athletes experiment with popular low-carbohydrate regimens, believing (mistakenly) that these diets will somehow “train” the body to burn more fat for fuel, or that carbohydrates interfere with the body’s ability to burn fat. But carbohydrates are a critically important energy source during exercise – and, in fact, the body cannot use fat for energy unless carbohydrate is present.

Why Carbohydrates Are So Important for Athletes

Carbohydrates are the fuel that makes the body’s engine run, and athletes need plenty of carbohydrates before, during and after exercise.

While fats can be (and are) used as a source of energy, the main function of the carbohydrates you eat is to supply energy to cells.  This is particularly true for high-intensity exercise – the level at which most athletes train and compete.

The body generates energy from carbohydrates much more rapidly than it does from fat, and the brain and central nervous system rely exclusively on carbohydrate for fuel.

And, it’s often said that “fats burn in a carbohydrate flame” in the body.  What this means is that in order for fats to be broken down completely – which results in the release of energy – carbohydrate breakdown has to happen simultaneously.

This is because one of the products of carbohydrate metabolism is a substance called pyruvate.  Pyruvate plays a critical role in the release of energy from fat.  Without enough carbohydrate in the diet, pyruvate production drops  –  which impairs the release of energy from fat.

Eating enough carbohydrate is also important because it helps prevent the body from using protein for energy.  While your body can use protein to supply energy, the protein you eat supports many more important functions in the body – its primary role is to build body proteins such as muscle, bone, skin, hair, enzymes and hormones.

If you were to burn protein as an energy source, it would impact the body’s ability to perform these more important functions.

How Carbohydrates Fuel Activity

When you digest the carbs in the foods you eat, the end product enters your bloodstream in the form of glucose, or blood sugar, which is then transported to the cells to be used for energy.

Any glucose that is not used immediately can be converted into a storage form of carbohydrate – called glycogen – which gets stashed away in your liver and muscles where it can be tapped into during activity.

Working muscles require a steady source of fuel – which can come from both the bloodstream and from the glycogen that is stored away.   But there’s a limit to how much glycogen your body can store, and if activity lasts long enough, the glycogen stores can become depleted.  That is why it’s so important to fuel properly – and regularly.

Athletes Need Carbohydrates Before, During and After Exercise

For the average person, a well-balanced diet will usually provide enough carbohydrate to fuel daily activity.  But athletes who train hard know that they need to properly fuel up before starting out, and to keep the carbs coming in during activity and to refuel properly afterwards.

If your regular workouts are strenuous and longer than an hour or so, here are some tips to keep your performance at its peak:

Before starting out, it’s a good idea to ‘top off the tank’ with some low fat, high carb foods to help maintain blood sugar – particularly if you’re one of those who exercises first thing in the morning. The best choices are foods that are easy to digest like a smoothie, a carton of yogurt or a small bowl of hot or cold cereal.  Low fat and low fiber foods are best, to avoid any stomach upset.  (Foods with fat and fiber delay digestion time, so they’re better eaten after exercising.)  If it’s hard for you to eat much in the morning, start with something small and light – a few bites of banana or a slice of toast.
During activity, specially-formulated sports drinks can help keep your tank topped off.  In addition to providing much-needed fluid, sports drinks are designed to provide the amount of carbohydrate recommended during activity (30-60 grams an hour for the first few hours) – about the amount in a liter of a typical sports drink.  For longer events, some people also carry foods like low fat cookies, sports gels, gummy candies or cereal bars for an extra boost of carbohydrate.

Refueling after a workout is critical – most of the stored glycogen will have been used up.  Since your muscles are craving carbs, they’ll take them up readily and store them away for the next bout of activity.  Now is the time to load up on higher fiber carbs, since digestion time is no longer a concern.  A dab of protein helps repair muscles, too, so ideal recovery foods include both protein and carbohydrate. It’s also important to refuel within about 30 minutes after exercise to maximize the effects of protein and carbohydrate on muscle recovery.  Specialized recovery foods and beverages are convenient;  otherwise, work in plenty of healthy carbohydrates in the form of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and dairy products.  A sandwich on whole-grain bread, a protein shake made with milk, or a bowl of lentil soup with a piece of fruit would all be great post-exercise meals.

More:

  –  What to eat after your workout

  –  What to eat before you work out

  –  How to find the best workout for you

Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Change up your routine by hitting the Barre

A little movement goes a long way.

Have you ever wondered how ballet dancers get their incredibly toned physique? It’s because of all the ballet moves that they’re practicing to perfection. We can all learn a thing or two about fitness from ballet dancers. Try my ballet-style barre workout and dance your way to fitness.

Trends in fitness come and go, but effective styles live forever. Some of the fitness trends that tend to be successful spin off from traditional dance or athletic moves that have been around for years. Barre workouts (using the bar that you’d normally see in a dance studio) are here to stay. This style of training is made up of traditional ballet moves that have been modified to suit people of all levels. A ballet bar is used as a prop to help you balance while doing exercises that focus on isometric strength training (holding your body still while you contract a specific set of muscles). This is combined with high reps of movements with small range of motion.

Why try a ballet workout?

I’m sure you want to ask this question: Is a barre workout effective? I have to answer: Yes. I believe this ballet-style of exercise combines a lot of elements that are important to look for in a balanced workout routine. Any exercise format that seamlessly combines gentle body-weight strength movements mixed with elements of flexibility and coordination is a good choice. Performing slow and purposeful movements places a huge emphasis on gaining muscular control and core stability. These points make barre workouts great as standalone workouts, or something you choose to add to the end of your routine.

Another great thing about a ballet-style workout is that you can perform some of these exercises anywhere. Sometimes official classes can be too expensive for your budget, or studio schedules may not work for you. If that’s the case, don’t let that stop you. There are so many great resources to help you learn what you need to know. So, keep moving and gain some body confidence while improving your health.

Here are a couple moves to get you started that you can do using a ballet barre, your kitchen counter, a chair or park bench.

Barre workout moves

Plié on relevé (on toes)

Targets: thighs, abs, ankles, and feet
How to do it:

  • Stand with your feet in first position (heels together, toes turned out about 45 degrees), legs straight and hands gently resting on the barre.
  • With your spine tall and abs tight, rise up onto the balls of your feet. Execute a plié by bending your knees out over your toes. Only lower about half-way down.
  • Straighten your legs, squeezing your inner thighs together as you extend, and then lower your heels.
  • Plié with feet together

    Targets: glutes, thighs, abs, ankles, and feet
    How to do it:

  • Stand with your feet parallel and together, hands on the back of the barre or balancing tool.
  • Press up onto the balls of your feet and bend your knees into a deep plié by lowering your hips as far down as you can, squeezing your inner thighs together. Knees should stay touching.
  • Lift up halfway (knees should stay bent), and then return to deep plié position.
  • Remember that your body can adapt to change well, so don’t be afraid to jump out of your usual routine.
    Try a new class and you may be surprised at how much you may enjoy a barre workout.

    Is a ballet workout right for you?

    Using a ballet barre for exercise is a great way for new exercisers to gain confidence, because it can provide a little extra support. It’s a good idea to keep your overall body goals in mind, as this will help you to decide which style of exercise routine is best for you.

    If you have any specific body concerns or old injuries, check in with the instructor before the class in case you need to modify any exercises. Many instructors welcome questions before a class gets started. The last thing they want is for you to have a poor fitness experience or risk injury.

    Take the leap into a new fitness trend

    I love any fitness trend that promotes safe exercises based on traditional moves, so choosing a barre workout was a lot of fun for me. This style helps people discover new muscles, and they walk away glowing. Your personal safety should always be your number one priority with any activity, so be careful not to push yourself too hard.

    Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

    North Beach Nutrition - San Clemente Nutrition Bar - Offering Healthy Smoothies - Hot & Cold Tea - and Health Coaching To Help You Reach Your Fitness Goals. 1502 N El Camino Real San Clemente CA 92672