Category Archives: Fitness

A guy’s opinion:how to be a fit & sexy lady

Hello ladies.  I’m a fit, active, athletic male and I am an extreme sucker for fit, athletic ladies.  I’m a real man, I’m not chasing after 6 foot 100 pound models that have been touched up with an airbrush and pasted into a magazine.  While I will admit to looking and smiling at each and every photo in Victoria’s Secret catalog, that’s not really what us guys want or expect. We love ladies who take care of themselves, are healthy, fun and smart.  We do also love a great body and in my opinion, here are some of the best exercises and tips to help you drive the guys and the girls wild; because let’s be honest we know who you’re trying to impress!

Free-weights Are Your Friends

Don’t be afraid of the weights, you aren’t going to turn into a beastly lady.  Do extremely high repetitions in your sets.  Think 20 to 30 to make yourself tired, you’ll have amazing muscle stamina and give yourself the leanest look possible.  Lie down on a bench and do bench press exercises to keep your chest perky and work those tricep extensions for lean sexy arms and no jiggle.

Bands Are Amazing

I use bands myself and they are absolutely fantastic.  You can mimic dozens of exercises and add resistance to ever motion.  Go with the lighter bands and buy the ones with handles if you prefer.  Use the bands instead of free-weights for a wonderful resistance workout that will leave your upper body toned.

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Yoga – Oh Ya!

Ladies, we do love the yoga and we do love the pants.  Stretching is an absolutely crucial part of long, sexy muscles and exercises that use your own body weight are perfect.  There is a reason they call them “yoga arms,” it’s because all of the downward dog positions involve holding yourself in push-up type positions, sculpting your arms, shoulders and engaging your tummy.

Any Of Those Classes!

Zoomba, Dance, Tae-Bo, Pilates, Kenpo, Step, Jazzercise, Aerobics; the list goes on.  Not only is it more fun to work out with a class, but also most of these classes are typically a great workout that involves the whole body.  Not only are you sweating and burning calories, but toning your body all over.

A Long Lean Stomach

Of course we love a sexy stomach.  If you want that sexy stomach the most important thing to do is to eat healthily and burn calories.  You can’t have a sexy stomach if you have extra pounds, so cut back on the beers and empty calories and work on getting a sweat going more often.  Now that your body is thinner, focus on core exercises that are good for a tight stomach and not a 6 pack.  Crunches are always good, but try to do more leg raises and planks instead.

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Drink Water and Plenty Of It

Water is an amazing thing, it is delicious and 0 calories.  Additionally, it will help make your skin look wonderful.  Ditch the sodas and the empty calorie drinks that add up immensely throughout your day, cleanse your system and drink to better health by choosing water almost every time.

About the Author:

Cooper Elling is passionate about health, fitness & blogging. When he’s not working out he writes about Sono Bello, cooking and a myriad of other topics. He’s also active with Sono Bello on Twitter and Sono Bello on Facebook.

Don’t forget to follow Beautycareme on Twitter for more beauty, fashion and fitness tips!

Tips and tutorials for sexy legs

Long, strong legs are a great asset and they look good in shorts!

Your legs are a symbol of strength and mobility, since they carry most of your body weight. They’re probably taken for granted quite often, but you should be thankful and take great care of them while you can. Muscles, veins, nerves and bones all make up your legs, and have various duties in order to keep them working. Toned legs are easy to spot, as the calf and thigh muscles will look very defined. Your thigh bone, or femur, is actually the biggest bone in your body, which should tell you just how important legs actually are.

Skirts, dresses, shorts and swim suits are all types of clothing which leave your legs pretty exposed. Warm weather makes for short outfits so besides working on your tan, you should also work on adding definition to them!

Read these tips for getting and maintaining strong legs, and check out the tutorials below for great at-home-workouts to try!

1. Eat protein

– Protein is needed after a strength training session to help replenish your muscles. It’s also a big part of the food groups you should be eating to maintain healthy eating habits. Good sources of lean protein come from fish, chicken, beef, beans, soy, eggs, milk, and yogurt. Protein can easily be added to an active and busy lifestyle by drinking protein shakes or bars on the go, just be sure they are low in sodium and sugar. Another great benefit of consuming protein-rich foods, is that they keep you full longer and keep cravings at bay.

2. Take your time to tone up

– Don’t rush or over-do your workout, getting muscle definition takes time and it’s better to do a workout correctly than to rush and not get full benefits from your session.

3. Drink lots of water

– H2O keeps you hydrated and replenishes the water you lose from your body in a daily basis, it also helps keeping you full. It’s recommended to drink a glass of water before each meal to avoid overindulging. Water doesn’t just cleanse your body from toxins, it also aids in making workouts more efficient and easier. It’s pretty hard to keep focus and give your full potential if you’re dehydrated.

4. Walk or run uphill

– Walking uphill can be hard enough on your calves, just imagine what running uphill will do. The way your legs are angled when you walk uphill do a lot to strengthen and build calf muscle strength.

5. Do strength training

– You can’t expect to build muscle mass off cardio alone. Strength training should be done a couple times a week along with cardio in order to shed weight and tone up. Check out this article: Weight Training for Women,  to read more in depth about strength training.

How to lose weight with Kettlebell workouts

Kettlebell workouts combine cardio, strength, and flexibility training for a stronger leaner body.

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The Kettlebell is said to have originated in ancient Greece and was later on used in the Russian military as part of training. They can weight over 100lbs for a serious workout.

Though they might look intimiditaing, they come in various weight levels, and some have adjustable plates to add weight as you progress. The great thing about kettlebells is that they give you a full body workout, and emphasize in strengthening your core. There are various moves that can be done with kettlebells which target various muscle groups. One of the simplest yet very effective move is the kettlebell swing.

Kettlebell swings are a nice workout for your abs, legs, and butt. They help strengthen and shed weight. Though it seems you’re swinging the kettlebell with your arms, your core and legs are actually providing the momentum to swing the bell up and swiftly bring it down. This move alone can bring great results, when done correctly provided you have a nutritious diet and water intake. It’s done in three simple steps:

1. Start standing straight with legs apart a bit over shoulder distance. Holding the kettlebell with both hands in front of you just below your waist.

2. Do a soft swing to get the momentum going, and squat down holding the kettlebell in front of you between your legs. Be sure to keep a straight back and your chin up. As you raise up from the squat use your core and legs to swing the kettlebell up at shoulder level. Arms should be straight.

3. Drop back into a squat, and as you go down lower the kettlebell back down in front of you, keeping your arms straight. Repeat the move.

Check out this great tutorial for a visual description!

I love kettlebell workouts because they’re perfect for adding lean muscle mass. You can feel the workout, especially if you use a heavier weight, and it’s a fun way to get your day going. I recently started Jillian Michaels Shred it with Weights routine, and I have noticed a stronger core and back, with some nice definition adding to my arms. Definitely has become one of my favorite workouts. You’d be surprised at the results one little kettlebell can deliver. In my opinion, it beats the time and money spent at a fully equipped gym.

 

Have you used a kettlebell before? What’s your opinion on these type of workouts?!

Does counting calories work?

Most men and women have tried limiting their calorie intake at one point of their lives. It’s tough getting started, but it definitely keeps you eating in moderation. Is this “dieting” technique efficient not just for weight loss, but also in maintaining your weight after your goal is reached?

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“You don’t need to count your calories, but you should make all your calories count.” *

According to *WebMd, counting calories is easier than actually taking time to understand how different foods affect our bodies. They do count, but are far from “the whole picture”. It’s pretty hard to actually keep precise track of every calorie you consume, not to mention it can be tough when going out to eat or when your sweet tooth needs a fix. There are alternatives to this method, which work just as well. Consuming the right type of foods and portion control are less mathematical methods, which can also be very beneficial in weight loss. What you eat is either used as energy or stored as fat, that’s why knowledge on the effects of various foods is important.

Portion control is one of my favorite methods in weight loss, because you don’t necessarily have to stop eating foods from a certain group altogether. Instead you just limit the quantity of your serving. Ensuring that half of your plate is filled with veggies is another great tip in losing weight.

You do have to burn more calories than you eat in order to lose weight.

That’s why it’s pretty understandable why counting calories is so popular amongst many interested in weight loss.

There are many websites and tools which are specifically designed in getting you accurate calorie counting. Programs, like Weight Watchers are made to help count calories and still eat various foods. Counting calories has become so popular, that many restaurants are now providing how many calories are found per meal right on their menu. My concern is, what happens when you reach your weight loss goal? Do you keep counting calories ever after?

According to an article found at 344pounds.com counting calories “is a lifestyle, not a fad.” This article does make a good point by stating that this method can easily be practiced by anyone, since you are not required to spend tons of money on prepared meals. All you need is  a way to track everything you eat and how many calories you intake.

So does counting calories really work?

Sure it does, if you actually put in effort to truthfully track all your calories and maintain a workout. It’s a method that varies from person to person. Some people swear by it, others can’t stand it. Personally, I don’t like it. I don’t want to spend time prior to every meal tracking what I can eat, and looking like this little hamster when I overindulge…

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Have you tried counting your calories? How did that work out for you? Share your thoughts on this topic below!

Why burpees are a good workout

What is a burpee?

A burpee is a move used in strength training and aerobic exercise. You should incorporate burpees into your workout routine because they are a full body exercise which help build strength, flexibility, and endurance.

Why are burpees good for you?

Burpees are a great workout because as you do them you’re strengthening your muscles and they also aid in weight loss. They get your heart pumping which makes them a bit of cardio and work all your muscle groups, especially your arms, legs and abs.

How to do burpees:
  1. Stand up with your feet at shoulder distance and arms by your side.
  2. Drop down into a squat with your hands on the floor, keep your arms straight.
  3. Kick your feet back into a plank position. For more intensity do a push-up.
  4. Jump back to the squat position with your hands on the floor and arms straight.
  5. Push yourself up to the standing position and keep your arms straight over your head as you jump up off the ground.
  6. Repeat!

Trying to stay active, but can’t make time for the gym? Try doing 100 burpees a day! Split them into 5 sets of 20 reps and do them throughout the day.

Here is a workout tutorial for all you visual learners 🙂

 

Weight training for women

Weight training won’t make you bulk like the hulk if done correctly!

Many women steer clear of weights and anything related, from fear of looking like a bodybuilder. In reality, weight training is necessary for a tight and defined body.

Cardiovascular exercises get your heart pumping and help in losing calories.

Cardiovascular exercises, or cardio for short, are great to lower your blood pressure and burn calories which helps in weight loss. Most common forms of cardio include: treadmill, elliptical, dance, and aerobic sessions. As you do your cardio routine you feel your heartbeat raise, you get sweaty and sometimes notice a change in breathing. Your heart is a very important muscle, and when it beats faster from physical activity it means it’s getting stronger. When your heart rate increases, your heart works harder in distributing blood flow throughout your body, as compared to when it’s at a resting rate. During your workout you lose calories which helps your metabolism, and can be measured by a pedometer or a system programmed on most exercise machines. If you want to lose weight and tone your shape, you have to combine a mix of cardio and weight training.

Weight training is also great for a strong heart.

You might notice that your heartbeat isn’t as elevated as compared to a cardio workout, but when each move is done correctly it adds great benefits not only to your heart but overall body. Weight lifting is about control and accuracy, not speed. There are various moves which work different muscle groups, and if they are done incorrectly it won’t benefit you and you might end up with a sprained muscle. During a weight session, you are burning calories. After you finish your weight session and are out of the gym or on to your next activity, your body is still burning calories at a resting heart rate. Weight training increases your resting metabolic rate, which makes it possible for you to burn calories post-workout. When you do a weight routine, your muscles are pretty much being torn in order to add strength and mass. That’s why it’s recommended to take a day off in order for your muscles to recuperate. It’s also necessary to eat a meal rich in protein half an hour to an hour after your workout.

How do you lift weights?

When you lift weights it doesn’t mean you have to go and pick up the heaviest set of weights you can carry, and do as many repetitions until you feel sore and can hardly breathe. If you’re starting out it’s recommended to use a a 5-10lb weight, depending on your fitness level. Keep good posture when lifting and remember to push up through your legs when doing leg exercises to avoid back injury. Don’t stiffen your body, keep it relaxed and tighten your muscles as you work out. You shouldn’t feel discomfort or soreness when lifting, except in your last few repetitions per set. Short breaks are commonly taken between sets, but you can also keep your heart rate going by doing squats or jumping rope in place.

What’s the difference between sets and reps?

Sets and reps are commonly used terms in weight lifting. A set is pretty much used to describe how many times you will do a style of an exercise such as; three sets of dead lifts or five sets of tricep curls. A repetition, or rep for short, is how many times you will repeat that exercise within a set. In example: you will do three sets of dead lifts with ten repetitions. So you’re pretty much going to grab your weights, do a set of dead lifts ten times, take a break and repeat a total of three times. Sets and reps are used to avoid rushing through an exercise and in order to correctly do a workout which will be of better benefit to your body.

Best weight training for women

Most women are looking for a weight training workout which will tighten up and define their muscles. In order to tone, it’s recommended to break down a routine by doing 5 sets with 8-10 reps with minimal weight. As you progress, you can add more weight. The gym isn’t necessarily the best place for this workout, since all you really need is a pair of dumbbells, a hard floor or workout mat, and a workout routine. Routines are easy to find through magazines, workout DVDs, and the internet. Proper form is probably the hardest part to achieve, but by keeping good posture and not exceeding your own limits it can be learned. So there’s truly no excuse to not give weight training a chance. It’s also recommended to always get the go ahead from your physician before taking on any new physical activity, especially since some strain is put on your joints when doing certain moves. Proper nutrition and water intake are also needed  for weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.

Weights just aren’t for me…

No big deal. Not everybody is a fan of weight lifting, but there are other forms of exercise which use your own body weight to define your muscles. Pilates, yoga, and swimming are a few great options to lose weight and tone up your body at the same time. These types of exercises combine cardio and use your body to create a strong, leaner appearance. Kick boxing can also be done, as well as working out to my favorite fitness guru, Jillian Michaels. Her workouts combine pilates, yoga, and weights to give you maximum results.

Got any questions or tips you’d like to share about workouts for women? Comment below!