Tag Archives: fitness

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?!

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!

 

How to tone your arms

Here are a few video tutorials to help you out!

The temperature is rising, which means it’s time to start wearing tanks, shorts, sun dresses and all those summer friendly clothes! If you want to tone your arms up a bit to avoid that jiggly effect, which Relax because most women have or are very self-conscious about that, you have to start working out those muscles.

You can focus on sculpting your arms, but remember that you also have to workout your entire body to gain lean muscle and lose weight throughout. Switching up your diet, doing some type of cardio routine and including more water in your diet are necessary to achieve this. Here are a few videos that were specifically designed to target the arms.

Hope you enjoyed these videos! Got any tips you’d like to share?!

The Vitality show 2011

How many times a day are we promised a wonder product, the amazing solution, the cure to all our problems, to make us ‘look good and feel great.’ It’s easy to be jaded, but women are not foolish. One of the great things about the Vitality Show, currently running at Earls Court Two, is that it brings together pampering, healthy eating, dancing, socializing, beauty, haircare, travel, life coaching, career advice – in short, pretty much everything! It’s their holistic approach to wellbeing that makes it such an inspiring show. A sensory bombardment. It’s clear to see why the Show has been nominated consistently for awards such as “Most Impressive Visitor Experience” and “The Innovation Award.”

Wandering around are a mix of mums and daughters, groups of giggling girls, ladies indulging in much needed me time, glammed up dolls tottering in heels, dressed down sporty types waiting to try an exercise class, as well as everyone in between – which to be fair is the majority of us. Those that don’t fit into a certain category, but like a little bit of everything. The Vitality Show is certainly the place to be able to dabble in those every things, gather knowledge, indulge oneself, pick up some goodies, and focus on feeling good. For those looking for some real in depth focus, there are also extra workshops running on topics such as ‘Nourishing Me-Time’, ‘Power Living’, ‘Living the Balance’ and ‘How to Become a Money Magnet.’

Coming along after work I was eagerly seeking sustenance, and like a taxi to a tourist headed straight to the Food Lovers Fair; where I enjoyed Chocolate, Wine, Nakd nibbles, Absolute Cupcakes ,Easy Bean Stews, amongst others and discovered how tasty nutritious food can be. Some of it anyway – wheatgrass, I’m still not sold on!

The Travel Pavilion was understandably a big draw, offering suggestions for retreats and holidays that will leave you feeling renewed, as well as volunteering on holidays with companies such as i-to-i and Intrepid. It’s very easy to feel revitalized on holiday ,however the real challenge is continuing this in the ‘real life.’ This was the main benefit of the Show for me – I left feeling that even in my real life, I could be full of vitality. Although you might want to ask me again on Monday morning!

Bio: Francesca Baker is a freelance writer who shares her passion for literature by writing for ForBooksSake.net and runs a music magazine called It’s all happening where she promotes gigs in West London.


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Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30

Want to shed weight and tone up in 30 days?

Jillian Michaels has it covered! Ripped in 30 DVD contains four workouts that take you through four levels of intensity. Combining cardio with weight training, her workouts are designed to get you noticeable results in time. I LOVE working out to her DVDs because they get your heart rate up and you can feel all your muscles working. She walks you through all the moves and shows modified versions for beginners, as well as encourages you to complete the session and keep working towards achieving your personal fitness goals.

Since better nutrition is part of a healthy lifestyle, a meal plan is included when you purchase Ripped in 30. If you want toned abs you have to ditch sugary and processed foods, an occasional indulgence is needed just don’t over do it. Don’t forget you also need to keep hydrated! A big part of our body is composed of water which you lose throughout the day, that’s why it’s necessary to drink lots and lots of water.

I have tried this workout and greatly recommend it because if you commit to your goal, it works!  The first step is getting up to try it. All you need are a set of weights, workout mat, and yourself.

I ditched the gym for Jillian’s workouts a while ago and am glad to say it was a very wise choice. Aside from the membership fee I saved on, her workouts are fun, keep me motivated, and work if you stay committed.


Have you tried Jillian’s workouts? Share your thoughts below:)