Strength Exercises Outdoors

Try these strength exercises outdoors to jumpstart your strength exercise program this Fall.. You can enjoy the weather while getting leaner and stronger with these easy strength exercises.  No equipment necessary!

Take a look at these easy strength exercises on video!

And here are all the exercises written out!

Strength Exercises Outdoors

Here are five easy exercises to tone you up; no equipment necessary. Try doing them every other day. For the first three start with eight reps and build up to 16. For the last two (isometric exercises) hold for 10 seconds and build up to 30 seconds. With all these exercises, remember to exhale on the exertion.
In a matter of a few weeks you should feel your body getting stronger and see it get shapelier.

Warm-up by taking a 10-minute walk. By the tenth minute, it should be brisk enough for you to just barely carry on a conversation.
Stop at a wall, a tree or a fence, and do these five exercises: two for your upper body and three for your lower.

Strength exercises

Mirabai Holland Standing Pushup

Standing Push-ups: Stand facing a surface, with legs hip width apart and place hands shoulder width apart. Keeping your body straight, lower yourself down to the surface and then push back

Strength exercises
SQUATS: Face surface, legs hip with apart. Hold on for balance. Shift weight back into heels. Keeping back straight, abs pulled in; gently bend at the knees and squat to about a 90-degree angle. Hold for a moment, then, using just your leg muscles, return to an upright position.
Muscles worked: Front of thigh (Quads), Back of thigh, (Hamstrings) Buttocks, Abs

Strength exercises
Wall Sit: Stand against surface for back support. Holding on as needed for balance, slide down to a sitting position against wall, knees at about a 90-degree angle. Pull your abs in and hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
Muscles worked: Thighs and Abs

Strength exercises
Calf Raises: Face surface and hold on for balance. With feet together pointing straight ahead, slowly lift your body up on to your toes, while tightening calf, abs and buttocks muscles. Then slowly lower yourself back down again. Muscles worked: calves, abs, and buttocks.

Strength exercises

Upper Back Squeeze: Stand with your back to the surface, feet shoulder width apart.  Place hands behind you on surface. Straighten your arms behind you and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
Muscles worked: Back, Shoulders, Back of arms (Triceps)

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Exercise Outdoors: Cross Training & Hydrate

Exercise Outdoors Exercise outdoors in summer can be a challenge. Cross training exercises are a good way to mix up your workouts and give yourself time to cool off, drink water and stay hydrated in summer heat.

Although I’m away from home, in the mountains, and not as affected by this huge triple digit heat wave, I did get a wake-up call of my own that I thought would be important to share.  I was shooting an exercise video this week in 90-degree heat. It was hot, but I got on a roll and forgot about the time. Less than an hour in, I started to swoon. Not a good shot on an exercise video. I realized immediately what had happened; I’d gotten so involved, I forgot to drink water between takes. I can say from experience that it creeps up on you. So you need to take steps to keep yourself cool and well-hydrated when you exercise outdoors. Cross-train with strength exercises mixed in with your cardio gives you a lower intensity interval so you can drink water, stay hydrated and cool off.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine losing more than 2 percent of your body weight through dehydration puts your body at risk for heat illness. This is serious business. We’ve all read the stories of team athletes who have actually died.

When you exercise in the heat you can lose up to five cups of water per hour. So it’s important to drink water before, during, and after vigorous exercise. The rule of thumb is to drink 2 cups of water a couple of hours before you start exercising so you are fully hydrated. Remember to bring that water bottle with you and drink a cup of water every 15 minutes or so while you are exercising. Don’t wait till you’re thirsty. If you’re thirsty, you’re already getting dehydrated.

But you’re not done yet. You need to drink another 2 cups over a two-hour period after exercise.

Sounds like a lot of water. It’s not. It’s just making up for the water you lose when you exercise in the heat.

Pouring water over your head during exercise won’t help you rehydrate, but it does make you feel better. A study at Cal State Fullerton with trained athletes showed that athletes exercising in 92-degree heat in a controlled setting felt cooler and that the workout was easier to perform.

But you know what Noel Coward said about “mad dogs and Englishmen.” Give yourself a break. If you can, exercise outdoors when it’s cooler, early mornings or late afternoons when the sun is less direct. Try finding shady areas.

Instead of keeping up your brisk pace for the whole workout, break it up. Go at normal pace for a bit, do a short light interval and then pick up your speed again.

Another idea is when you exercise outdoors do cross training exercises. Add intervals of strength training between shorter bouts of cardio. You’ll get a chance to drink and pour some water over your head too! Stop at a wall, a tree or a fence, and do these five exercises: two for your upper body and three for your lower.

Exercise Outdoors Video

Here is an Exercise Outdoors video with some easy cross training exercises to tone you up, no equipment necessary. 

Exercise Outdoors: Strength Exercises Using Your Own Body Weight

With all these Strength training exercises, remember to exhale on the exertion.

Standing Push Ups: Stand facing a surface with legs hip width apart and place hands shoulder width apart. Keeping your body straight, lower yourself down to the surface and then push back upright again. Muscles Worked: Chest, Triceps, and Shoulders

Calf Raises: Face surface and hold on for balance. With feet together pointing straight ahead, slowly lift your body up on to your toes, while tightening calf, abs and buttocks muscles. Then slowly lower yourself back down again.
Muscles worked: calves, abs, and buttocks.

Squats: Face surface, legs hip with apart. Hold on for balance. Shift weight back into heels. Keeping back straight, abs pulled in, gently bend at the knees and squat to about a 90-degree angle. Hold for a moment, then, using just your leg muscles, return to an upright position.
Muscles worked: Front of thigh (Quads), Back of thigh, (Hamstrings) Buttocks, Abs

Wall Sit: Stand against surface for back support. Holding on as needed for balance, slide down to a sitting position against wall, knees at about a 90-degree angle. Pull your abs in and hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
Muscles worked: Thighs and Abs

Upper Back Squeeze: Stand with your back to the surface, feet shoulder width apart. Place hands behind you on surface. Straighten your arms behind you and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
Muscles worked: Back, Shoulders, Back of arms (Triceps)

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Weight Loss Panic

Weight LossWhenever the weather gets warmer, the idea of putting on summer clothes generates a ton of weight loss panic! I get a lot of panicky emails asking about quick weight loss. Here are a couple of familiar ones.

Weight Loss Panic Solutions

Q: I need to lose 20 pounds. I am doing aerobics three times a week and watching my calories but I am losing so slowly, I was wondering if there is any other type of exercise that could help me lose weight faster? I am really getting frustrated and I am almost ready to just give up.

Frustrated

A. Try adding 2-3 days of weight training to the mix.

weight lossStudies show the winning formula is a combination of aerobic and weight training exercise. Moderate aerobic exercise burns calories while you are doing it and for a short time afterwards. Weight training burns calories too but it also increases your lean muscle mass. So as you add more muscle, you’ll burn more calories all day long. Research from Tufts University found that after 12 weeks of weight training, total calorie burning increased by about 15 percent which for an average adult, could amount to an extra 240 to 400 calories a day.

Q: I’m carrying about 10 extra pounds around my middle. I’ve got 12 weeks to get into my dress for my daughter’s wedding. I would hate to have to go out and buy a bigger size. Is there anything I can do to get rid of this belly by then?

A: As we get older, particularly after menopause, women tend to carry extra weight around the middle. This change in body shape puts you at higher risk for heart disease and cancer. So, it’s even more crucial to do something about it.

weight lossFortunately, it’s not as difficult as you think.

If you lose a pound a week, you’ll still have 2 weeks to spare, just in case you get a little hungry.

So, here’s a formula for losing the weight and toning up at the same time.

One pound = 3500 calories. So to lose one pound a week eliminate 500 calories each day (500 X 7 days = 3500 calories)

Eat 300 calories less, and do one half hour to one hour of aerobic exercise, like brisk walking, to burn the other 200. You might want to write down everything you eat for the next 3 days or so to help you figure out what you can do without. Or, simply cut your portions in half.

As for aerobic exercise, you don’t have to do the whole workout at once. Three 10-minute walks are just as effective as one half hour walk.

Weight LossYou should also do some abdominal exercises about 20 a day to help tone up that belly as you lose weight. And, exercise actually picks up your metabolic rate so you burn more calories even after you’ve finished exercising.

Now, just try not to trip on your way up the aisle!

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Vitamin D Benefits

Vitamin D Benefits all of us.

Vitamin D Benefits

  • It’s the sunshine vitamin you absorb through your skin when you’re outdoors.
  • It helps stabilize our mood. That’s why people in northern climates with less sunlight get SAD, Seasonal Depressive Syndrome, those winter blues.·It works with other chemicals in your body to help keep your immune system healthy.
  • Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, and important element in building and maintaining bone mass.
  • And preliminary scientific evidence points to Vitamin D as a sports performance aid.

A 2009 study with adolescent girls at the University of Manchester, England found that the girls with higher levels of vitamin D had better muscle performance and speed than those with lower Vitamin D levels. It’s also thought that exercise may increase your body’s ability to absorb Vitamin D.

Vitamin D Benefits

  • Anecdotal evidence shows sports performance appears to improve in the summer when people are exercising in the sun and Vitamin D levels would be highest.

There are 2 types of Vitamin D:

Vitamin D2 –the kind that’s found in fortified food and supplements and Vitamin D3 the kind you absorb from sunlight.

Vitamin D Benefits: The Sports Vitamin?

Conventional wisdom was that Vitamin D3 was more effective, particularly when it came to your bones, than D2. But recent research at Boston University School of Medicine showed that effectiveness is about the same for both types

Because of our lifestyles, most people don’t get enough Vitamin D from sunlight.

Even those who are outdoors a lot use sunscreen to prevent skin cancer and therefore don’t absorb enough Vitamin D.

So, most of us need to eat Vitamin D rich foods like Eggs (particularly yolks), Liver, Mackerel, Tuna and Salmon or fortified foods, like milk, or orange juice, and Cereal, or take Vitamin D supplements to get the daily recommended adult dose. Women 50 and younger should get 1000 IU Daily and Women over 51 should get 1200 IU daily.

These are just general recommendations. Actual requirements vary from person to person. Check with your doctor.

Send your Moving Free® with Mirabai questions to: askmirabai@movingfree.com

Now, just try not to trip on your way up the aisle!

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Drinking Enough Water While Active Outdoors

drinking enough water

Drinking enough water should have been the first thing on my mind because I was shooting an exercise video on the beach in 90-degree heat. I got on a roll and forgot about the time. Less than an hour in I started to swoon. Not a good shot on a fitness video.  I realized immediately what had happened; I got so involved I forgot to drink water between takes. Dehydration causes so many summer exercise accidents because it creeps up on you just like it did me. So here’s my take on drinking enough water to keep yourself water safe in summer.

Drinking Enough Water

Our bodies are about 60 % water, and that water plays a role in just about every bodily function. We could go a month without food but we can only live a few days without water.

If you exercise outdoors, you may notice that as the weather gets hotter you have trouble keeping up your usual pace.  Actually your body is telling you to slow down and you need to listen!  Water helps to deliver oxygen to your muscles and prevents your cardiovascular system from becoming over-taxed.

It takes about 2 weeks to get used to exercising briskly in warmer weather. You need to acclimate slowly to higher temperatures. Here are a few pointers to help you do that.

When you exercise in the heat you can lose up to five cups of water per hour. So it’s important to drink water before, during, and after vigorous exercise. The rule of thumb is to drink 2 cups of water a couple of hours before you start exercising so you are fully hydrated. Then a cup of water every 15 minutes or so while you are exercising. Don’t wait till you’re thirsty. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Remember to bring that water bottle with you!

But you’re not done yet. You need to drink another 2 cups over a two-hour period after exercise.

Sounds like a lot of water. It’s not. It’s just making up for the water you lose when you exercise in the heat.

Give yourself a break. Try exercising if you can when it’s cooler, early mornings or late afternoons when the sun is less direct. Try finding shady areas.

Instead of keeping up your brisk pace for the whole workout, break it up.  Go at normal pace for a bit, do a short light interval and then pick up your speed again.

Wear light colored, comfortable fitting clothes. Avoid tightly woven fabrics that don’t breathe. And don’t forget the sports sunscreen.

 

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Interval Training Workouts

Interval Training WorkoutsInterval Training Workouts Can Spice Up Your Exercise Routine!

If your exercise routine is getting a little stale it’s time for some interval training workouts. These interval training workouts combine periods of lighter exercise with bursts of more intense exercise. You get faster results without knocking yourself out. It’s a great way to jump-start your body again and keep your exercise program fresh.

You can apply the same interval training workouts in the water as well as on land. Here’s a simple interval-walking, jogging or swimming program that will help you get and stay in shape. You will need a watch. (waterproof if used in the water.)

 

Interval Training Workouts

Start walking, or swimming at a slow pace for the first 5 minutes to warm-up, help elevate your core body temperature and increase blood flow to your working muscles.

Then pick up the pace for the next 3 minutes so you start to feel more effort but you can still carry on a conversation comfortably. Then pick up more speed for a 1-minute interval; either faster walking, a light jog or faster swim. Then go back to your comfortable conversation pace for 3 minutes. Alternate between 3 and 1 minute of faster walking or swimming intervals until you are able to sustain about 30-40 minutes 4-5 days a week.

I like to mix up my own interval training workouts alternating the days to get the most variety and training. For instance, do the walking /jogging interval workout on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Then do the swimming interval workout on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Either way, you’ll find yourself enjoying your interval workouts more, increasing your fitness level, and looking forward to your next interval training workout. Have fun and remember you can be Fabulous Forever!

For more fitness and wellness info and in home exercise programs and videos for women over 40 please visit www.mirabaiholland.com

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Aerobic Exercise Improves Mood ©2013

Aerobic Exercise Improves Mood Now that the weather is getting colder and the days are getting shorter, I find myself as you may too, for no apparent reason, feeling a little blue. So I dust off my sneakers and get ready to move because I know aerobic exercise improves mood.

I make sure I’m exercising aerobically most days of the week, at least for 30-60 minutes. I not only feel my spirits lift while I’m exercising but for many hours afterwards.

Research shows that aerobic exercise improves mood because it increases levels of serotonin and endorphins in the brain. These are important neurochemical transmitters, which help to elevate and stabilize your mood.

In fact one of the known causes of depression is a lowered level of serotonin. Aerobic exercise can be as effective as medication for relieving mild to moderate depression in many cases.

More Reasons Why Aerobic Exercise Improves Mood

There is more to aerobic exercise than serotonin and endorphins. It helps lower adrenaline, a chemical associated with stress to help promote relaxation. And as you become more fit you feel better about how you look and feel. This can give you a positive outlook in general. Try some easy aerobics. You may just cardio dance your troubles away.

Are You Depressed?
The standard symptoms for depression are:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness or “emptiness”
  • Sense of hopelessness, worthlessness, and guilt
  • Inability to enjoy ordinary pleasurable activities, including sex
  • Noticeable change of appetite, possibly accompanied by significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Shifts in sleeping patterns, such as insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Difficulty concentrating, persistent irritability, excessive crying
  • Preoccupation with thoughts of death or suicide
  • Decreased energy, fatigue
  • Persistent aches and pains

Many things can cause depression. They range from some medications to low levels of light during the winter months. Alcohol and a poor diet, as well as inherited predisposition, can lead to the condition as well. Before you decide on asking your doctor for an anti-depressant prescription, adopt the healthy lifestyle habits of a nutritious diet, regular exercise and enough sleep. If things don’t improve, of course, seek medical help.

So try my take on the old Arlen & Koehler song lyric that Judy Garland sang, “forget your troubles, come on get happy” you can exercise your blues away.

For more info on women health and fitness and at home exercise programs for women visit www.mirabaiholland.com

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Fashion Flash Women Over 40 Blog

Fashion FlashOur Fashion Flash host for this Labor Day 2013, is Kari from Faboverforty.com
Kari’s leading the way to nature beauty for women over 40. Her research and insights give you a fab alternative to more radical options.  The rest of us Fashion Flash Bloggers have the end of summer skinny including diet, exercise, clothing style and color and skin care. Don’t forget to share your thoughts with us. All of us at Fashion Flash would  love to hear from you!

While toning up for my walking workout this September I remembered making this short outdoor no equipment necessary workout video. It’s just right addition to the walking workout. It will turn your walking workout into a full body exercise program just perfect for us 40 plus Women looking to stay Fabulous Forever!

Stop at a wall, a tree or a fence, and do these five exercises: two for your upper body and three for your lower. Standing Push-ups:

Stand facing a surface, with legs hip width apart and place hands shoulder width apart. Keeping your body straight, lower yourself down to the surface and then push back upright again.  Muscles Worked: Chest, Triceps, and Shoulders

Calf Raises:
Face surface and hold on for balance. With feet together pointing straight ahead, slowly lift your body up on to your toes, while tightening calf, abs and buttocks muscles. Then slowly lower yourself back down again.  Muscles worked: calves, abs, and buttocks.
Squats:
Face surface, legs hip with apart. Hold on for balance. Shift weight back into heels. Keeping back straight, abs pulled in; gently bend at the knees and squat to about a 90-degree angle. Hold for a moment, then, using just your leg muscles, return to an upright position.  Muscles worked: Front of thigh (Quads), Back of thigh, (Hamstrings) Buttocks, Abs
Wall Sit:
Stand against surface for back support. Holding on as needed for balance, slide down to a sitting position against wall, knees at about a 90-degree angle. Pull your abs in and hold for 10 to 30 seconds.  Muscles worked: Thighs and Abs
Upper Back Squeeze:
Stand with your back to the surface, feet shoulder width apart. Place hands behind you on surface. Straighten your arms behind you and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.  Muscles worked: Back, Shoulders, Back of arms (Triceps)

 

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Walking Workout In September

Walking Workout MOUNTAIN-WALK-WEB-054Starting a walking workout in September is a special experience. September is the perfect time to walk, and a walking workout is about as perfect a human exercise as we’ve got. It’s a great combination. Beginning your walking workout in September is good because it’s not too hot, not too cold, and there’s lots to look at. And, doctors always want us to walk when they tell us to get some exercise. I wonder if they walk themselves. So your doctor should be very pleased when you call and say “I’m starting a walking workout program, what do you think”? Do check with your doctor to make sure you don’t have any issues that will keep you from brisk walking, and then if all’s good, get to it.

Besides getting a great cardiovascular workout you’ll strengthen and sculpt your legs and butt. If you swing your arms you’ll get some shoulder action too; all this while nature watching, or people watching if you’re in the city. Start slowly and build up. American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of walking per week

Vary Your Walking Workout

Try interval walking. Walk for 3 minutes at a moderate pace. Then walk faster for 1 minute.

Walking Workout Develops Core Strength

There’s been plenty of buzz lately about core exercise and how a strong core, the abs, back, butt and upper thigh muscles, can keep you mobile into old age. There’s a lot of truth to that. The core muscles hold you torso erect and promote good posture and general body strength. If you do it right, walking can strengthen your core and improve the way you walk at the same time.

A weak core makes you slouch and walking slouched messes up your gait and can even give you back injuries. Start by standing tall with your head over your shoulders, shoulders over your hips, hips over the feet, abs pulled in. If you’re not used to it, it’ll feel like work at first. But, try keeping that posture while you walk, even for 5 minutes at a time. It will become more and more comfortable. You’ll start to realize it’s the natural way for humans to stand and walk. Your gait will improve, your core will get stronger, you’ll be less fatigued and you’ll enjoy your walking workout in September more. And won’t you look cool and snappy out there with that perfect gait.

 

 

 

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