The Best 10 Workouts You Can Do at Home for 2016

Hello New Year! How are those resolutions coming? Are you staying on top of your nutrition and fitness goals? Statistics say by the third week in January, a vast majority of people have thrown in the town on their new-year goals.

If you set fitness goals for yourself this year, I want to give you a new boost of motivation. So I’m writing a new, revamped version of one of the most popular posts I’ve ever written, The Best 10 Workouts You Can Do At Home to give you yet ANOTHER 10 awesome home-based workouts.

No excuses. No gym membership needed. Minimal gear required for some of these. 

You ready????

Here are the BEST 10 Workouts you can do from home (or anywhere!) for 2016

1. Beach Babe Booty. Here is another great booty workout from Lita, a dancer who blogs on Tumblr as Back on Pointe. This girl is truly ON POINT at shaping your booty.

photo & workout compliments of backonpointe

photo & workout compliments of backonpointe

A 100% at-home without a single piece of equipment required. Let’s get it!

2. 3-Minute Workout – ARMS. Who cares about arms in January? You do! Summer bodies are made in the winter! NYC-based fitness trainer Anna Altman designed this no-equipment arm workout to get you ready for tank tops in no time. 

Beginner Arms | thewellnessscientist.com

Photo courtesy of Buzzfeed

3. SELF Magazine’s 6 Moves That’ll Work Your Abs, Butt, And Thighs In The Best Way. 

Reshape-in-6-moves

Photo courtesy of SELF.com

This total-body workout was designed Tracy Carlinsky, founder of Brooklyn BodyBurn to give you a total body burn. Some of these moves are done against a wall, so make sure you have a sturdy spot with plenty of room to move. 

Do the routine two times, switching sides for moves 3, 4 and 5. For best results, do 3-4 times per week. You can watch the workout here to learn the moves.

 

4. 6 Minute Sexy Thighs Workout. Cassie Ho (aka Blogilates) is my go-to girl for sculpted thighs. Everyone LOVED her Inner Thigh Workout that I included in the original Best 10 Workouts post.

Grab a mat, and try this workout 3-4 times a week for sexy thighs!

Need a mat? Check out this one on Amazon:yoga mat

photo and workout courtesy of Blogilates

photo and workout courtesy of Blogilates

 

5. At-Home Barre Workout. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve heard about the ballet-inspired barre workout. I finally tried a barre class just a few weeks ago, and although I’ve been doing Pilates for about four years I still felt sore in places that I’ve never felt the next day.

photo courtesy of SkinnyMom.com

photo courtesy of SkinnyMom.com

This video from SkinnyMom.com will guide you through an at-home barre workout. And don’t worry if you don’t have a ballet barre at home … you can use a sturdy chair or even your countertop to do these moves. A squishy ball is used for some of the moves. If you don’t have one, you can find one for under $10 on Amazon. 

 

6. The Foam Roller Workout. I have super tight hamstrings and hips, and the foam roller is my favorite way to stretch and relax after a workout. If you are a runner, maybe you already have one that you use to roll out muscles. I love the idea that this prop can also be used to sculpt lean muscles!

Photo and workout courtesy of womenshealthmag.com

Photo and workout courtesy of womenshealthmag.com

You can view step-by-step instructions for all of the moves on the Women’s Health magazine website here

 

7. Total Abs Workout. Dying to have those abs of steel? I like this workout called “Total Abs,” which is one of twenty from Neila Ray at trimmedandtoned.com. You can browse all twenty if you’d like OR start sculpting your abs NOW and hit the floor.

Photo and Workout from trimmedandtoned.com

Photo and Workout from trimmedandtoned.com

 

 

8. 7-Minute Workout. This one is a favorite from @workouts_daily. You don’t want to miss this 7 minutes workout. Yep, I said 7 minutes. You can’t tell me you don’t have SEVEN minutes! And if you have more time, perform another set or two. 

Workout and photo courtesy of @workouts_daily

Workout and photo courtesy of @workouts_daily

 

9. The Bra Bulge Workout. Say goodbye to “bra bulge” and annoying back fat with this great little workout from TheScienceofEating.com. 

Bra-Bulge-Workout

photo and workout courtesy of TheScienceofEating.com

Complete the listed number of reps for each of these moves (this is called a circuit.) Then perform the circuit 1-2 more times.

“Pin” this pic to make it easy to find next time. Say “Good Riddance!” to back fat.

 

10. 5 Minutes to Leaner Legs workout. Got 5 minutes? Then you’ve got time to sculpt long, lean legs. 

5-Minutes-to-Leaner-Legs

Photo courtesy of GetHealthyU.com

Perform 12-15 reps on each move (on each side, as applicable). Five minutes, and you’re done! For more detailed instructions of these moves, check out this link.

I hope you found some must-do workouts in this updated list! Don’t forget to warmup for about 5 minutes before starting your workout, and stretch when you are done.

 

The Best Juice Recipe for Glowing Gorgeous Skin

Great Skin Juice Recipe

 

As much as I swear by my beauty products for keeping my skin radiant and younger looking, I know that what I put in to my body even more important that what I slather on it. 

Stress, caffeine, alcohol, sugar-laden treats and pollution cause a build up of toxins in our bodies that can leave us with dry, flaky and even acne-ridden skin that need to be eliminated in order to rebalance the body. 

I prefer blending to juicing, since most of the fiber and other good stuff gets left behind when you use a juicer. I love making fresh green juices in my Vitamix, and it’s perfect for making a big batch of this skin-clearing smoothie that’s chock full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to cleanse your body of toxins and leave you with glowing, healthy skin. 

This Asian Green Tea Smoothie packs a serious antioxidant punch with tons of nutrient-rich veggies and green tea. Green tea is known for its ability to fight the signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles, sagging and sun damage, while the mega-dose of green veggies in this juice will provide even more antioxidants to give you that healthy glow. 

Try this vegan, non-dairy recipe with a spicy boost to complement your regimen and get radiant skin from within.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Green tea (freshly brewed, then chilled)
  • Juice from 1/2 small lemon
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup organic spinach
  • 1 Kaffir lime leaf
  • 1 inch fresh ginger (peeled & chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla extract

 

Directions

  1. Coarsely chop romaine, lettuce, and Kaffir lime leaf. 
  2. Place all ingredients in the order listed into a high-speed blender (such as Vitamix) and secure lid.
  3. Select Variable 1.
  4. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  5. Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth. 

 

 

Friday Five: 5 Places I’d Like To Run

Happy Friday! I have been absent for a couple of weeks, but not because I wanted to be! I was moving to a new hosting provider, and the migration was not as easy as I had hoped it would be. I’m thinking some of you fellow Bloggers can feel my pain, right?

The really bad part is that I lost ALL of my Blog subscribers! The number of subscribers I had using the plugin from Jetpack is now a big fat zero, and I don’t have all of the email addresses to get in touch & let people know 🙁  So here I go again with an attempt to grow traffic from scratch.  SIGH…

Today I am linking up with Mar on the Run, Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, and Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?? for their DC Trifecta FRIDAY FIVE LINK UP.

The theme this week is “Five Places I’d Like To Run.” I’m excited to join this link-up for the FIRST TIME!

Without further delay, here are the Five Places I’d Like to Run!!

1) Vancouver, Canada – The Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon 

Vancouver | thewellnessscientist.com

Image from SeaWheeze Half Marathon

This Half Marathon sounds AMAZING! I saw pics from runners who ran this last year, and the views were incredible. As if the scenery weren’t inspiring enough, there is pre-run yoga & an after-run festival. This run is most definitely on my bucket list. Has anyone run this half? Does anyone want to??? 🙂

2) The Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half-Marathon

Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon | thewellnessscientist.com

Image from http://destinationraces.com/

13.1 miles of running through vineyards and then wine at the end? I’m SOLD! But so are a lot of other folks … this race sells out FAST! Haven’t been quick enough to get a spot  yet, but I’m going to keep trying.

3.  Patagonia, Argentina

Patagonia | thewellnessscientist.com

I’m a sucker for gorgeous views, lemme tell you. Nothing puts a smile on my face like a run while taking in something amazing! Patagonia, Argentina is #7 on the list of 100 Places to See Before You Die. It’s on my list too!  Just … WOW!

4. Springtime in Tokyo, when the Cherry Blossoms are in Bloom

Cherry Blossoms | thewellnessscientist.com

Photo courtesy of El Scrapeo via Flickr
Aoyama Cemetary, Tokyo

My husband took this photo, and though I have visited Tokyo a few times I have not had the pleasure of being there during that precious week when the Cherry Blossoms or sakura are at their finest. Peak season is mid-March, though you can find a more precise schedule from year-to-year posted by the Japan Weather Association! These are my FAVORITE flowers — such a delicate pink. I can’t imagine a better backdrop for a run!

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST

5) Zakynthos Island, Greece

Zakynthos Island | thewellnessscientist.com

And once again, that gorgeous turquoise water has caught my eye!! Though the rugged terrain may make for a tough run, what a prize at the end when you get to relax and enjoy the view from this beautiful beach! I think I’ll just close my eyes and pretend I’m there for a few minutes now 😉

SO TELL ME …

Have you ever run in one of the places? Make me jealous & tell me ALL about it in the comments, please!!

What are some of the places you dream of running? And if you aren’t in to running, how about beautiful places on your Bucket List to see someday?

Have a great weekend, everyone!

DC_linkup

Fitness Friday: Work Out at Work

Hey everyone! Happy Friday. I took a few days off last week for some much needed R&R, but I’m back to give you another great option for fitting a workout into your work day as part of the Workouts You Can Do Anywhere series.

Let’s talk about the work day…

Some of you have a desk job that leaves you kind of folded in half & hunched over for the majority of the day, (been there!) while others may do work requiring standing on your feet for most of the day. Whatever your current situation, I’ve got some ideas for how you can squeeze in a workout while you’re at work!

I’m sure one concern is getting sweaty and not the having time or facility to shower in the middle of day. Lucky for us, there are several AWESOME No-Rinse Bathing Wipes on the market that you can throw in to your handbag that will nip that problem in the bud!

The Desk Job Workout

I love this infographic from NanoWorkout.com that gives you several ideas you can do while still parked at your desk. You can try these while you are on a conference call or during a break.

Work Out at Your Desk | thewellnessscientist.com

 

Time to get out of your chair too? Even better! Walk around the block to warm up & cool down before & after doing one set of these exercises.

Now, for those of you who are standing most of the day at work …

The good news is, you are already burning an average of 50 calories more per hour that people who sit during the day. And if you are doing a job with extra activity while standing (cooking, styling hair, giving facials) then you are burning that many more calories!!!!

While you’ve got the advantage here, you still need to crank up the intensity a bit to get that cardiovascular workout you need.

Take advantage of adding a little pep to your step on the way to work. Park farther away than you do now & try and get a 5-10 minute walk from your car both before & after work. Got lots of stuff to haul with you?  Great! That’s extra resistance — but make sure you are balanced! You don’t want to injure yourself by carrying 25 pounds on one shoulder!

Park in a parking garage? Take the stairs instead of the elevator when going to and from your car. Three flights of stairs three times per day burns off about 45 calories. Doesn’t sound like much, but over time it can make a huge difference!

Take the Stairs | thewellnessscientist.com

 

On your break, try walking to pick up lunch vs. ordering in. Go for a quick walk around the block to push through that afternoon slump instead of grabbing a coffee that might lead to poor quality sleep later that night.

Hope these tips for How To Squeeze a Workout Into your Work Day were helpful!

SO TELL ME …

Is there a special part of your commute or daily routine that you thought of that can be changed to help you burn a few extra calories? Share it with me below!

 

Fitness Friday: The Kitchen Workout

The Kitchen Workout

 

I put out some feelers this week to find out where you really need help and how I can best provide that help and support to you. One of the most requested topics was How To Fit In a Workout. I’ve previously given you posts featuring 15-minute workouts, workouts focused on specific trouble zones, and workouts you can do from home.

I’m taking it down to an even MORE PRACTICAL level & hoping that you find this new series called “Workouts You Can Do Anywhere” easy-to-implement & do-able in almost every situation.

Today is the first post in the series, and we’re starting in a room in your house where you likely spend a great deal of your time — THE KITCHEN.

You’ve heard the expression “Abs are made in the kitchen?” Well today, we’re not just making abs by eating a clean diet. We are literally sculpting abs (and other muscle groups) from the convenience of your kitchen! Each move takes only about 30 seconds to complete. Try these moves while you’re: waiting for the coffee maker to do it’s thing or the tea kettle to boil, while your toast is in the toaster, or ANY time  you have a minute or two while going about your normal routine in the kitchen.

Let’s get started…

1) The first move is Leg Swings. Stand perpendicular to the counter and place the hand closest to the counter on top of the counter for support. Swing your outer leg frontwards & backwards (like a pendulum). One complete forward & backward swing is considered one rep. Keep your glutes in tight and leg muscles engaged.

Aim for 15 reps, then turn around & switch to the opposite hand for support & opposite leg for swinging performing 15 reps on that side. If time allows, do one more set (15 more reps on each side).

When I do this exercise, I feel both my glutes and hamstrings engage.

2) Second is Wall Pushups. This is a type of supported push-up that allows you to build upper body strength. The movement is exactly what it sounds like. Facing a wall, (or again, using the edge of the counter if there isn’t a free wall in your kitchen) start on your tiptoes with arms and elbows straight and palms against the wall. Bend elbows to come in towards the wall, then push away until your arms & elbows are fully extended. Try and squeeze in 10-12 reps. Trust me, you will feel this after a few reps if you are doing it correctly and keeping those elbows close to your body. If time allows, perform another set.

3) Bicep curls (with cans or water bottles). Grab a couple of 28-ounce cans from the pantry (these are usually canned tomatoes in my kitchen!). If you don’t have any, grab a couple of filled water bottles to complete this exercise. If you have a set of handweights, you can use these too!  Just trying to keep this geared towards you using your few spare minutes to squeeze in some exercise! Really focus on those bicep muscles and curl those cans up at the same time to complete one rep. Do 15 reps. Again, if you have time, go for a second set!

Give yourself a good stretch when you finish these three moves. Stand facing the counter with straight arms, both hands resting on the counter’s edge. Slowly lean forward with a straight back (you can bend your needs slightly if you need to in order to keep a straight back). Hold for 20-30 seconds. I feel this stretch in my back, hamstrings, and in both arms.

BONUS MOVE: Before you stretch & if time allows,  drop down and plank it out!! Start with holding a 30-second plank. Each time you do this, try and hold for a couple more seconds. You will definitely feel your abs shaking as well as your arms as you hold a strong blank.

What did you think of The Kitchen Workout? I’d love it if you’d leave a comment below & let me know how you felt after trying one or all of these moves!

Hope you enjoyed this first post in the Workouts You Can Do Anywhere series! Next week, we’ll be doing simple moves for just a few minutes in another place you already spend a lot of your time.

SUBSCRIBE below so you don’t miss a single post!  🙂

 

 

 

Fitness Friday: Are You a First Generation Fitness Enthusiast?

Happy Friday everyone! I wanted to try something a little different for today’s #FitnessFriday post.

Until recently, I was one of the only people in my extended family that was really in to health & fitness. A little while back, my cousin Jill started kicking butt & taking names by ramping up her fitness & dropping a significant amount of weight (good job, girl!!) My “cousin-in-law” Beth also joined the party and despite having four young kids and a full-time job, she is up at 4:30 a.m. to hit the gym before the kids are up getting ready for school.

Then LOTS of other cousins and my sister started the 21-day Advocare challenge. My sister lost a whopping 40 pounds in 40 days!!! My cousins have all posted great results of their own on Facebook & continue to drop pounds each week.

We are all what I call First Generation Fitness Enthusiasts. By that, I mean we didn’t grow up with moms and dads who did Jane Fonda or mall-walking (at least as far as I know!!!)

At some point, we each came to the conclusion that we wanted it enough to BRING IT, despite the time, energy, effort it took or the fear of making a change.

Because change can be scary, right? Change brings up feelings from the past, maybe when we tried something that didn’t go so well. The image below says it all:  If You Change Nothing, Nothing Will Change!

nothing-will-change

Question: Are You a First Generation Fitness Enthusiast? What prompted you to embrace change and opt for a healthier lifestyle? Also, what motivates you to KEEP GOING when something comes up?

If you have a blog or Facebook page where you talk about your own fitness challenge & journey, I invite you to share your link below! It helps us all stay motivated when we realize how much we have in common with one another!

Have a great weekend!!

Fitness Friday: Lower Body Blast

Happy Friday! So many people LOVED my previous post, The Best 10 Workouts You Can Do at Home … especially the Kill Those Calves workout. That workout alone received more than 1400 repins on Pinterest!

If its lower body you want, then that’s what you’ll get!! 🙂

I’m working on more lower body toning myself, and I have reviewed TONS of lower body workout pins on Pinterest, YouTube videos, as well as my print magazine archives.

Today I’m going to share one of the BEST lower body workouts that I found.

This was a segment from one of Jillian Michael’s videos that I discovered on YouTube. I’m having you repeat each move three times to get that lower body burn that will equal GREAT RESULTS.

I’m calling this workout the Lower Body Blast. I did this 2 days ago, and I can still feel the burn (in a good way!)

Lower Body Blast workout

Tack on this 20-minute session after 30 minutes of cardio or do on its own to create shapely glutes & thighs. To watch each of these moves performed, check out Jillian’s demo here.

WORK HARDER THAN YOU THINK YOU DID YESTERDAY!

 

 

 

Fitness Friday: Yoga for Runners

Some of the best post-run stretch routines I’ve ever done include some basic yoga poses for hip flexors, quads, and hamstrings.

Today’s #FitnessFriday post is an awesome Yoga For Runners Infographic developed by Michigan-based sports & fitness apparel store, Gazelle Sports. I think you’ll agree this picture is worth a thousand words!

Infographic courtesy of Gazelle Sports

Infographic courtesy of Gazelle Sports

Runners: What are your favorite pre & post-run stretches?

 

Fitness Friday: How To Recover After a Half-Marathon

If you’ve been following me for awhile, then you know this past Sunday was the day of my second half-marathon! We ran a beautiful course in Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina. We were really lucky with the weather being warm and sunny when just days before it had been cold and raining.

At The Finish Line

Now that the race is over, good race recovery is super important. Here are some tips on How To Recover After A Half Marathon.

Recovery Phase One: After You Finish

Walk it Off

After you cross the finish line, don’t collapse into a heap! I know you are tired, but do a little walking  to give your legs a proper cool-down & keep cramps at bay.

Hydrate

Continue hydrating after the race. Water is good, but if you have access to Gatorade, coconut water, or something with electrolytes that’s even better. There will likely be beer at the Finish Line. By all means, imbibe if you wish but keep chugging water as well so you don’t get dehydrated.

Stretch It Out

This one is a must.  After cooling down for a bit, stretch your legs! If you were great about stretching while you were training, keep it up! Be thorough … stretch your hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, and IT bands. You’ll be SO glad you did the next day and several days after!

 

Recovery Phase Two: An Hour to Several Hours After You Finish The Race

Eat!

After you’ve done your stretching and had some H2O, find something to eat. Most races will have foods such as bananas, sports bars, etc. Not all races are created equal, so if it isn’t specified on the Race Day info that food will be available, bring some with you.

Rest

Make sure you get a good night’s sleep to facilitate the healing process. Sleep is one of the best things you can do for your body after an effort like this, so rest up!

 

Recovery Phase Three: A Day Or Two After the Finish

Keep Hydrating!

When you wake up the day after race, you are probably  going to experience a little muscle soreness in your legs (perhaps elsewhere too). Keep drinking water and eat healthy vitamin-packed foods to speed up your recovery.

Schedule a Massage

After 13.1, you’ve earned yourself a massage appointment to work out the kinks and aches & pains due to the DOMS effect (delayed onset muscle soreness).  Ask the therapist to spend extra time on your calves, hamstrings, or whatever is the most sore.

Do a Little Recovery Jog

Take a walk around the block or jog if you are up to it. This will help loosen up tight muscles and speed up recovery too. Two miles should do the trick!

Celebrate!

Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done! You just ran 13.1 miles — that is AMAZING! I see so many people beating themselves up because they didn’t meet their goal time. Stop the negative self-talk! You just did something incredible, so celebrate your awesomeness.  And as they say, you still lapped everyone on the couch!! 🙂

To make things easier, I created this Half Marathon Recovery Checklist that you can Pin, Printout, Save, or whatever!

If you like it, give it a Pin!!

Half Marathon Race Recovery Checklist | thewellnessscientist.com

 

 

Fitness Friday: Do You Need a Power Nap?

 

Today, February 28th is National Public Sleeping Day! A perfect time to talk about fitting in a 20-minute power nap to boost your energy and thus your fitness abilities.

Remember hearing stories about how Europeans took these lovely long lunches & siestas mid-day & then returned to work? I always thought that sounded so relaxed, even glamorous compared to grabbing a sandwich in a box and running back to a cubicle for another 5 hours glued to an uncomfortable chair.

Nowadays, more & more office environments are instituting those cool sleep pods, sofas, and other comfy places for employees to catch a few winks during the day leading to a more productive afternoon of work. For most of us, the ideal environment is quiet, not too bright, and not too cold.

Here are a few products you may want to check out to make your next power nap a little bit nicer:

 

5 Products For a Better Power Nap

 

1. Cedrus Temple Soother from the Molton Brown Body Remedies Sleep range — dab these essential oils to dab on temples, breathe deep & unwind.

2. SleepPhones by AcousticSheep — a comfy headband containing thin speakers to play music, white noise, and block out external noise while you nap. Comes in three colors.

3. DreamTime Sweet Dreams Sleep Mask with Natural Lavender — eye mask blocks out light while natural lavender soothes & relaxes

4. Pzizz Energizer app — this iTunes music app creates a relaxing soundtrack to help you make the most of your power nap. Built-in alarm makes sure you don’t oversleep!

5. Ostrich Pillow — This crazy-looking contraption is not really a pillow, a garment or a cushion.  Don the ostrich pillow and make any desk/chair/bench a nap-friendly spot.

Are you a daytime napper? Does it give you that added energy boost to get through the rest of the day?