Do You Have a “Dad Bod”?

Happy – almost – Father’s Day! Do you or your father have a “dad bod”?

Did you know that you don’t have to run wind sprints and complete athletic training for hours a day like a NFL quarterback in order to be in great shape and continue weight management? It’s true!

What if you just want to get healthier? Do you need to have the public’s perception of the “perfect” body to be in shape? Not necessarily.

For some, aspiring to achieve a sculpted body may be a motivating factor in making healthy changes and renewing commitment to athletic training. However, if you do the work and don’t get as toned and muscular as some of the athletes you see on TV, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re unhealthy and out of shape. It is possible to have a “dad bod” (or a “mom bod”) and still be healthy.

As a Certified Athletic Trainer and the founder of Fitness for Health, an exercise facility working with children through senior citizens and professional athletes in the Washington, DC, area that specializes in athletic training using state-of-the-art, exergaming technology, I believe that, ultimately, fitness has less to do with how you look and more about how you feel, and what your body can do. It’s all about working toward being the healthiest you can be. If aspiring toward the “perfect body” helps you get there, that’s fine. But don’t get discouraged if you don’t achieve it; being “ripped” is not the end-all, be-all of health.

About Fitness for Health:

Do you or your child want an athletic edge for fall sports? Want to train like a professional athlete?

Try EDGE Training – Athletic Performance Development to improve hand-eye coordination, visual reaction time, peripheral awareness, agility, balance, proprioception and athletic conditioning utilizing the latest in exergaming technology.  All are areas that will make the difference – and give you the EDGE during game time.

Call (301) 231-7138 or register for a FREE tour or open house to learn more.

Which Exercise Personality Are You?

Do you live for your Thursday night group training session? Or do you gravitate to long solo spins through the countryside? Are you stoked to hit the gym to lift? Or do you need a nudge?

How you answer those questions comes down to specific characteristics that make up your personality, according to a new study published in the journal, Heliyon.

According to MSN.com, “In the study, researchers analyzed data including activity type, frequency, and the personality characteristics of more than 400 physically active adults. They found that certain characteristics influenced a bunch of factors about working out, including what types of routines you prefer and how frequently you break a sweat.”

“Matching your workouts with your exercise personality not only increases your enjoyment, but also the likelihood that you’ll stick with it,” explains lead investigator Allyson Box, who began this work as an undergraduate student at Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia, in a press release.

In my experience as a Certified Athletic Trainer and the owner of Fitness for Health, a therapeutic, exercise facility working with children through senior citizens in the Washington, DC, area, I also believe that making your workout fun can often be the difference between failure and success and mediocre or amazing results.

Many people say they hate working out because they haven’t found a fitness routine that matches their personality style.  Take inventory of your likes and dislikes: Do you like your workouts to be social, or do you really want some alone time? What about fast-paced workouts? Or, do you need quiet time to reflect the day’s happenings? Air conditioning or the outdoors? Use the answers to determine what types of exercise to try next.  The only way to find out what you like is to be open and try new things!

People like to do things that they’re good at—and express distaste for anything that doesn’t come to them at least somewhat naturally.  So, take advantage of your strengths to create an enjoyable exercise program.  A review published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that people’s confidence in their exercise ability is the highest predictor of how often they exercise.  So, if you lack eye-hand coordination, maybe joining a rec league baseball team won’t e enjoyable. But, if you have those awesome “mom arms” that comes from carrying around a 30-pound toddler all day, weightlifting might be a fun fitness choice.

Whatever kind of daily exercise you choose – whether it’s kickboxing, group yoga, hiking or creating your own workouts using playground equipment while your kids are on the swings – make it fun for yourself and you’ll keep up with your fitness routine while seeing great results!

Are you in need of fitness assistance?  Fitness for Health can help you create a healthy, active lifestyle while having fun and sustaining weight management.  We offer customized exercise programs designed to fit your and your children’s exact needs while helping you reach your unique health goals. From first-time gym-goers to NFL professional athletes looking for athletic training, Fitness for Health has fitness programs to help people of all ages and abilities reach their fullest potential. And, we offer family workouts and Open Gym playtimes so families can become active together.  Call us at 301-231-7138 to see learn how Fitness for Health can help you improve your health.

5 Reasons to Exercise This Summer

Although it is true that sustained exercise helps you achieve a great body and improves bone and joint health, it also improves your overall wellness and keeps your mind sharp.

Summer is just beginning!  And, that means people are focusing their attention on outdoor cardio and athletic training, remembering their New Year’s resolutions to improve their health and maintain weight management, and hitting the gym to get ready for summer vacations to the beach.

Here are five reasons that you need to work out today:

  1. Extend your life.  Medical research has shown that by walking briskly for at least 150 minutes – not even 2 hours – each week (the minimum World Health Organization exercise recommendation), you may increase your life expectancy by 3 ½ – 4 ½ years!
  2. Ensure your heart remains healthy.  By exercising or athletic training for as little as 30 minutes a day, you can reduce your risk of a heart attack by 30% – 50% and your risk of having a stroke by 25%.
  3. Become happier.  When you exercise, you produce endorphins in your brain.  Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to elevate and stabilize your mood, decrease overall levels of tension, improve sleep and increase self-esteem.  Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
  4. Improve your brain function.  Just one cardio workout pumps extra blood to your brain which delivers oxygen and other nutrients the brain needs to perform at peak efficiency. Cardio exercise also provides the brain with endorphins and brain-derived protein (BDNF) that enhance functions such as memory, problem-solving skills and decision-making abilities. And, it doesn’t matter the age when you begin to work out! Beginning a fitness for seniors program helps to maintain and improve cognitive abilities.
  5. Bring your sexy back.  We all know that exercise burns fat, but, if you want to get lean and fit, you’ll need to intensify your workouts to firm, thin and strengthen. Yes, exercise can help you lose your love handles, but it’s also the loss of excess fat deep inside the body that boosts your overall looks and your health.  There are two types of fat – subcutaneous (what you can pinch) and visceral. Visceral fat pads the abdominal organs like insulation and is far more difficult to lose.  It can also kill you.  Excess visceral fat fuels low-grade inflammation in the body and is tied to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer and dementia. It can also upset the balance of important hormones that affect your skin, hair and general appearance.

Remember, “use it or lose it!” If you don’t use your body to its fullest potential now, you risk losing your flexibility, muscle tone, heart strength and cognitive abilities later in life.

So, what are you waiting for?

Fitness for Health creates unique exercise programs based on a person’s individual fitness goals.  Want to lose weight or maintain weight management?  Interested in toning your body?  Aspiring to improve your athletic edge?  No problem!  Whether you are a young child or a senior citizen, Fitness for Health can you help you and your loved ones reach your full potential.

Walk Your Way to Losing Weight

In honor of the upcoming Memorial Day and the impending beautiful weather, let’s celebrate the beginning of summer and get walking!

No matter your fitness level, walking is the simplest, cheapest and most convenient way to exercise. But if your New Year’s resolution was to lose weight “fast,” an easy stroll isn’t going to cut it.  A 150-pound person burns less than 100 calories on a leisurely half-hour walk.  But, take heart.  Those burned calories add up.  Over a year, a daily, 30-minute walk could mean a 10-pound weight loss!

So, turn up the intensity of a walk and burn more calories quicker with these three simple habits:

  • Walk faster. People often wonder how you might burn more calories per mile at slow speeds. This is because you are basically stopping and starting with each step and your momentum isn’t helping to carry you along. Your body walks more efficiently at moderate speeds. Meanwhile, at very high walking speeds you are using more muscle groups with arm motion and with a racewalking stride. Brisk walking, at a pace that makes it tough to talk, which means at least two miles in 30 minutes, is a good way to lose weight and maintain weight management while athletic training. Your goal should be to work out at about 75 percent of your maximum heart rate. (To calculate your target heartbeats per minute, subtract your age from 220, and then multiply that number by 0.705.)
  • Add incline. Walk up a hill or stairs to add cardiovascular conditioning and athletic training to your workout.  This not only increases your calorie expenditure but also tones the muscles in your buttocks and thighs because it demands more from your legs.
  • Walk with a buddy. Activities – especially athletic training – is always more fun with a friend. Research confirms that a support system helps maintain long-term, weight management.
  • Find a fun walking partner. According to 30 Tips When You’re Walking for Weight Loss, “It’s no joke: genuine laughter may cause a 10–20 percent increase in basal energy expenditure and resting heart-rate, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity. That means a 10-15 minute giggle fest could burn up 40 to 170 calories.”
  • Stay hydrated. According to a study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, staying hydrated helped healthy people burn more calories. The research states, “Drinking 500 ml of water increased metabolic rate by 30%.” So, remember to drink water while walking and burn calories quicker.

Regular exercise – especially walking – is beneficial for people of all ages.  Exercise helps to improve muscle and joint flexibility and keeps your heart healthy while improving bone and joint health.  It also can improve sleep and helps to maintain weight management.

Fitness for Health creates unique exercise programs based on a person’s individual fitness goals.  Do you want to lose weight, focus on weight management as an adult or combat childhood obesity?  Interested in toning your body?  Aspiring to improve your athletic edge?  No problem!  Whether you are a child or a senior citizen, Fitness for Health can you help you and your loved ones reach your full potential.

Are You as Fit as a 101 Year-Old?

Are you as fit a 101 year-old? You may not in as good of shape as you thought.

“I’ve always been active and involved in sports,” says John Nagy, a chirpy 101 year-old. “And I love the social part of training.” Nagy is in a crew of about 30 mature fitness enthusiasts, all over the age of 70, who train daily at the Physical Activity Centre of Excellence (PACE) gym at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. They are part of an ongoing research project on strength and longevity spearheaded by Stuart Phillips, Ph.D., the director of PACE and a professor of kinesiology. “The data shows that being strong is as big a mediator in terms of long-term health as anything,” Philips says.

“Muscle is protective against cancer, it enhances survivorship in people with cancer, and it reduces the risk of mortality in people with hypertension, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.” A new The Journal of American Medical Association study revealed that if you can do 40 or more pushups in a row, you’re 96 percent less likely to deal with heart problems in the next decade than someone who can’t do 10.

As explained in a Men’s Health article, Phillips expects that in five years the government recommendation regarding strength training will be beefed up.  Instead of suggesting two strength sessions per week, Philips believes that it will recommend three to five. “Strength really is a buffer to mortality,” he says. “And more importantly, it extends your health span, so you can maintain a higher quality of life for longer.” He continues, “Starting around age 40, most people begin to lose muscle mass. It’s imperceptible at first but accelerates to about a pound per year by the time you’re 50. It’s easier to mitigate the slope of that decline by training more when you’re younger than it is to try to rebound when your muscle has wasted away.”

You’re never too old to increase your level of physical activity and exercise!  Any exercise that gets the heart pumping may reduce the risk of dementia and slow the condition’s progression once it starts.  So, fitness for seniors is especially important!

Are you overwhelmed by how to begin a fitness program?  Do you think you need a personal trainer?  Do you feel that exercise may feel like a chore?  Maintaining physical fitness can be easy – and fun!

  • Include your grandchildren in your new active lifestyle. Play catch or walk to the playground and push your grandkids on the swings.
  • Have a pet? Taking your four-legged companion on a brisk walk is a fun way to increase your heart rate and improve circulation.
  • Listen to your favorite song and dance for a few minutes! Be careful that your “dance floor” is clear of objects and that you have adequate room to “boogie.”
  • As the leaves – and branches – continue to fall during the unending rainstorms, increase cardiovascular endurance by raking leaves and picking up sticks. The raking motion will strengthen your arms and lifting the bags of leaves provides weight training.
  • Instead of working out for 30-minutes, try breaking fitness activities into three 10-minute “mini workouts” throughout the day. Begin your new exercise program slowly with moderate exercise and work your way up to more vigorous and challenging activities.

Regular exercise is beneficial for people of all ages.  Exercise helps to improve muscle and joint flexibility and keeps your heart healthy.  It also can improve sleep and helps to maintain a healthy weight.

As you age, staying active mentally is just as important as staying active physically.  At Fitness for Health, we can help you achieve both. Our unique approach to senior wellness focuses on helping you strengthen and maintain the skills that other workouts often overlook – including gross motor skills, mental processing, visual motor skills, personal training, group fitness classes and bone and joint health.  To learn more about our senior wellness programs, visit www.FitnessForHealth.org or call 301-231-7138.

Why Aren’t Women Weightlifting?

Are you a woman? Is weightlifting a part of your athletic training routine? It should be.

“The American College of Sports Medicine recommends weightlifting for all adults at least twice a week, with three times a week being optimal,” says Michele Olson, ACSM fellow and professor of exercise physiology at Auburn University at Montgomery in Alabama.

Despite what the ACSM recommends, most Americans fall short of that mark. According to a survey administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 29 percent of adults meet the minimum recommended weightlifting schedule. Compare that with 52 percent of adults who get the minimum recommended cardio minutes per week, according to the same survey.

Because women, biologically, have less muscle mass than men, it is especially important for women to weight train to replace the natural loss of muscle that occurs with age.

Women, maybe you’ve thought about lifting weights. Maybe you’ve even done some dumbbell curls or picked up a barbell. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable entering into the perceived “men only” part of your gym.

You’ve probably heard the horror stories: lifting heavy weights makes women bulky, it’s dangerous, it’s bad for your bone and joint health, etc. These are wives tales.  But, unfortunately, it feeds into stereotypes that are keeping too many women from experiencing the profound benefits of weightlifting and athletic training.

Yoga and Pilates are great ways to maintain weight management, but they aren’t enough to help you reach your optimal health.

Here are a few reasons that you should add weightlifting to your workout plans.

  1. Lose weight and maintain weight management. As you increase strength and lean muscle mass, your body uses calories more efficiently. Your muscles contract whether you’re breathing or running uphill. When your muscles contract, you burn calories. The more muscle contractions you experience during a day, the more calories you’ll burn. If you have more lean muscle mass, you’ll have more muscle contractions and thus burn more calories.
  2. Get curves. According to Kellie Davis on BodyBuilding.com, “As you build muscle, your body begins to take a nice hourglass shape. Though endurance exercise can help you lose weight, that weight comes in the form of both fat and muscle tissue. If you’re losing both fat and muscle, you can lose those lovely curves as well. Strength training can help create and sustain them.”
  3. You’ll lose 40 percent more fat. If you think cardio is the key to blasting belly fat, you’re only half correct. When Penn State researchers put dieters into three groups—no exercise, aerobic exercise only, or aerobic exercise and weight training—they all lost around 21 pounds, but the lifters shed six more pounds of fat than those who didn’t pump iron. Why? The lifters’ loss was almost pure fat; the others lost fat and muscle.
  4. You’ll build stronger bone and joint health. As you age, bone mass decreases which increases your likelihood of one day suffering a debilitating fracture or suffering from osteoporosis. But, there is good news; a study found that 16 weeks of resistance training increased hip bone density and elevated blood levels of osteocalcin – a marker of bone growth – by 19 percent.
  5. You’ll handle stress better. Scientists determined that the fittest people exhibited lower levels of stress hormones than those who were the least fit. Another study found that after a stressful situation, the blood pressure levels of people with the most muscle returned to normal faster than the levels of those with the least muscle.

Now that spring is finally here, it’s time to begin reaching your full potential. Weightlifting and athletic training can improve your body, mind and your outlook on life. So, what are you waiting for?

Women, do you want to increase your athletic training or weight management skills? Fitness for Health can help!  Call us at 301-231-7138 to register for our next Open House.

Are You a Senior? Need a Brain Boost? Exercise

Beginning or maintaining a fitness for seniors program can be a challenge. You may feel discouraged by illness, ongoing health problems or concerns about injuries or falls. Or, if you’ve never exercised before, you may not know where to begin.

While these may seem like good reasons to slow down and take it easy as you age, they’re actually even better reasons to get moving. Exercise can release endorphins that make you feel happier, relieve stress, help you manage symptoms of illness and pain, and improve your overall sense of well-being. In fact, exercise is the key to staying strong, energetic and healthy as you get older.

A study from the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois reveals the connection between brain activation, cardiorespiratory fitness, and executive function in senior citizens.  They found that “Dual-task processing in a core executive function brain region is associated with higher cardiorespiratory fitness and dual-task performance.”

The study states, “The aging process is associated with declines in brain function, including memory and how fast our brain processes information, yet previous research has found that higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness in older adults leads to better executive function in the brain, which helps with reasoning and problem solving. Higher cardiorespiratory fitness levels have also been found to increase brain volume in key brain regions.”

As you age, regular exercise is more important than ever to your body and mind.  And, it can be fun!

Physical health benefits of fitness for seniors:

  • Exercise reduces the impact of illness and chronic disease. Among the many benefits of exercise for adults over 60 include improved immune function, better heart health and blood pressure and better bone density (bone and joint health). People who exercise also have a lowered risk of several chronic conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and colon cancer.  In fact, Fitness for Health’s Fitness for Seniors program incorporates state-of-the-art technology aimed at maintaining weight management while specifically improving bone and joint health.
  • Exercise enhances mobility, flexibility, and balance in adults over 65. Exercise improves your strength, flexibility and posture, which in turn will help with balance, coordination, and reduce the risk of falls. Strength training also helps alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis.

Mental health benefits of exercise and fitness for seniors:

  • Exercise boosts mood and self-confidence.  Seniors have a higher rate of depression.  Endorphins produced by exercise can actually help you feel better and reduce feelings of sadness. Being active and feeling strong naturally helps you feel more self-confident and improves your self-image.
  • Exercise is good for the brain. Exercise benefits regular brain functions and can help keep the brain active, which can prevent memory loss, cognitive decline, and dementia. Exercise may even help slow the progression of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Do you have an older loved one who could use assistance to improve balance, maintain weight management or better bone and joint health?  We can help.

Fitness for Health is proud to provide a revolutionary, 12-week Bone and Joint Health Program for adults and seniors that capitalizes on weight-bearing, fitness activities.  This groundbreaking program helps to improve posture and increase bone density, strength and balance while counteracting the effects of osteoporosis, osteopenia and aging.

The Bone and Joint Health Program elicits results faster and more effectively than traditional exercise (fitness for seniors) or pharmaceuticals through two state-of-the-art fitness technologies:

  • bioDensity™ – Weight-bearing exercises are the key to stimulating bone growth, and the greater the weight applied, the better the results. The osteogenic loading that patients receive is multiples of bodyweight, and beyond what is typically seen in exercise. Research has shown, bone density gains that averaged 7% in the hip and 7.7% in the spine over one year using bioDensity (Jaquish, 2013). These results are multiples of what the current interventions can do for bone density.
  • Power Plate™ – Power Plate is a whole body vibration platform that allows for reflexive engagement of the neuromuscular system at rapid and repeatable oscillation. This intervention has been clinically shown to increase balance and stability in both healthy and aging-frail populations.

When used once a week, research has shown the bioDensity system alone has significantly increased bone mass density, stability and functional movement with multiple ages, health conditions and for both genders.

Learn more about how we can help you create a customized fitness for seniors program that counteracts the signs of aging while helping to maintain weight management and increase bone and joint health.

Exercise Helps Long-Term Cognition

Cognitive benefits from workouts are being proven to accumulate to yield long-term cognitive gains.

New research was presented last month at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS) in San Francisco, CA, about the effects of exercise on the brain.  Researchers are finding that brain changes that occur after a single workout are predictive of what happens with sustained physical training over time.

“There is a strong and direct link between physical activity and how your brain works,” says Wendy Suzuki of New York University (NYU), who chaired a symposium on the topic at CNS. “People still do not link physical health to brain and cognitive health; they think about fitting into a bikini or losing that last pound, not about all the brain systems they are improving and enhancing every time they work out.”

The new study showing that immediate cognitive effects from exercise mirror long-term ones is the first of its kind, as short- and long-term effects are typically examined in different studies, says Michelle Voss of the University of Iowa, who led the study. Her team’s initial findings are good news for the field of cognitive neuroscience, as they suggest that the brain changes observed after a single workout study can be a biomarker of sorts for long-term training.

Whether you are young or young-at-heart, regular exercise is more important than ever to your body and mind.  And, fitness for seniors – and those of us who are baby boomers – can be fun!

Not only is exercise is good for your heart, it’s also good for your brain. Exercising when young and fitness for seniors benefits regular brain functions and can help keep the brain active, which can prevent memory loss, cognitive decline, and dementia. Any exercise that gets the heart pumping may reduce the risk of dementia and slow the condition’s progression once it starts, reports a Mayo Clinic study published in October 2011 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

So, I want to see you in the gym! Or, at least, walking a few quick laps around your office hallways.

About Fitness for Health:

Fitness for Health creates unique exercise programs based on a person’s individual fitness goals.  Do you want to lose weight, focus on weight management as an adult or combat childhood obesity?  Interested in toning your body?  Aspiring to improve your athletic edge?  No problem!  Whether you are a child or a senior citizen, Fitness for Health can you help you and your loved ones reach your full potential.

Spring Cleaning Workout

Spring is here!  Because many parents are celebrating the change of seasons by spring cleaning, I wanted to bring back one of my favorite blogs. The original was blog was posted on October 10, 2013, but I think now is a great time to incorporate fitness and athletic training into your daily cleaning routine!

What does a broom handle, your infant and bottles of cleaning supplies all have in common?  They can all be used to create out-of-the-box, fitness routines!

There is no excuse for not making time for exercise in your daily schedule.  With a little creativity, any household item can be used as a weight, equipment in your cardio program or as a resistance band.  The key is to think like a kid again!

Remember when you were a child and you could reenact a medieval war using a few sticks from the backyard as swords, a scooter as your trusty steed, and a sheet and a lawn chair for your castle?  All it took was a little imagination to get a great workout and have a lot of fun.

Look around your home.  There are plenty of items that you can use to create a challenging fitness routine at home while promoting weight management.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Doing laundry? Take the tie from your robe and use it as a resistance band.  This is great for stretching your legs. Use it while lying on your back to stretch your hamstrings, IT band, or calves by simply extending one leg into the air and hooking the strap around the sole of your foot. This is also a unique weapon for ab work. Try stomach exercises where your legs are suspended out in front of you and your back is off the ground. You can loop the belt around one or both of your legs for more support and to take the strain out of your neck.
  • Do you have an infant or small child living in your house? Does he/she feel left out as you are tidying up for spring?  Incorporate him/her as a weight!  Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold the child with your arms extended in front of you.  Now, squat.  Or, if your child is older and heavier, slightly bend your knees and just pick him/her up in the air a few times.  The weight of your child can help tone your arms, abs, butt and thighs.  If you are looking for a real challenge, he/she can even add intensity when doing lunges. This is great for toning and athletic training!  By incorporating your child in your daily exercise, it teaches him/her the importance of fitness for kids while giving you an opportunity to play – and bond – together.
  • If you don’t have a small child, bottles of laundry detergent make great weights too!
  • Your broom or mop can also be used in your cardio workout. Place the handle on the floor so it is in front of you longways and jump over it from side to side. Practice jumping over it as fast as you can for as many times as you can.
  • Do you have wood or tiled floors? Grabs two paper plates or hand towels and place them under your feet while you are in a push-up or downward dog position.  Then, alternate sliding your feet up to your hands while remaining in your inverted position.  This is great for core, hamstrings and butt toning and sculpting – and you’ll clean your floors!

So, look around your house and use your imagination to create an intensive, athletic training workout that will be great for bone and joint health while having fun!

Visit www.FitnessForHealth.org to learn how Fitness for Health can help you create a fun, exercise program to reach your and your child’s personal goals while focusing on weight management. Whether your child wants athletic training or if a parent needs fitness for seniors, we can create a customized exercise program to fit your family’s unique needs.

Is Your Gut Blossoming Along With the Spring Flowers?

It’s officially springtime!  As the days get longer and warmer, the birds are beginning to sing and the flowers are starting to bloom.  Unfortunately, throughout the long winter, many of us are also seeing that our guts have blossomed.

Spring Break vacation in looming in the near future and most people are beginning to rethink their fitness routines to ensure their abs are ready for tighter fitting clothes and bathing suit season.

Wake up your abs with these fitness moves guaranteed to flatten your belly and get rid you of your muffin top:

  • Abdominal Hold
    • Sit tall on the edge of a sturdy chair (or step with four risers) and place your hands on the edge with your fingers pointing toward your knees.tall on the edge of a sturdy chair (or step with four risers) and place your hands on the edge with your fingers pointing toward your knees.
    • Tighten your abs and bring your toes 2 to 4 inches off the floor. Lift your butt off the chair.
    • Hold for 10-20 seconds.
    • Lower yourself.
    • Repeat for at least 1 minute.
  • Side Plank
    • Lie on your right side with your legs straight. Prop yourself up with your right forearm so your body forms a diagonal line. Rest your left hand on your hip.
    • Brace your abs and hold for 60 seconds. (If you can’t make it to 60 seconds, hold for 5-10 seconds and rest for 5 seconds.)
    • Continue for 1 minute. (Be sure your hips and knees stay off the floor.)
  • Low-Belly Leg Reach
    • Lie face up with your knees bent to 90 degrees with your hands behind head and abs contracted.
    • Keeping your knees stacked over your hips, lift your shoulders and crunch up. Inhale and hold for 3-5 seconds.
    • Exhale and your extend legs to 45 degrees.
    • Hold for 3-5 seconds while squeezing your lower belly.
    • Do 2 sets of 10-15 reps.
  • V-Sit
    • Lie on your back with your knees bent to 90 degrees and your feet lifted.
    • Tighten your abs as you inhale and lift your arms up and back over your head.
    • Exhale and swing your arms forward while straightening your legs so your body forms a V. (If needed, put your hands on the floor for support.)
    • Slowly straighten yourself back to the floor while bending your knees and bringing your arms overhead.
    • Do 15 reps.
  • Mountain Climbers
    • Assume a standard push-up position.
    • In one smooth motion, bring your right knee toward the right side of your chest.
    • Then, bring your left leg forward while extending your right leg back. (Avoid any lower back movement throughout the exercise.)
    • Continue alternating your knees to your chest.
    • Do 20 reps.

Are you in need of an unique exercise plan that is created specifically for your individual weight goals?  Fitness for Health can help!  Our one-on-one fitness programs are designed to assist you in reaching your personal health aspirations.  Visit www.FitnessForHealth.org to learn how we can help you reach your full potential.