Back-to-School Means Back to Fitness!

Back to School Means Back to Fitness

Summer’s over! If you’ve been taking a vacation from your workouts, it’s time to get back on track with help from “America’s Favorite Fitness” Expert Denise Austin.

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Posted in Health Tips

Back-to-School Means Back to Fitness!

Back to School Means Back to Fitness

After summer vacation, it’s time for the kids—and for you—to get back into the school routine. But the return of busy schedules can sometimes make it hard for you to squeeze in those all-important fitness sessions. Don’t let it fall by the wayside! It will take time and effort to get back into the habit, but it’s worth it! Here are ten ways to help you make sure you don’t slack off on your workout.

Find sneaky ways to fit in exercise. Skip the carpool and the carline, and walk your kids to school and back home! You’ll have undivided time to find out how their day went, talk about class assignments or share a laugh. When you’re out and about, be sure to park your car at the far edges of the parking lot to get a little extra workout, and consider walking or biking to do your errands instead of driving.

Plan a few outdoorsy activities. Fall is a perfect time to get out and have fun. Plan an apple or pumpkin-picking expedition, take a hike through the woods, or ride a bike to check out the fall foliage. Even raking the leaves and jumping in the piles can be a fun and festive fitness activity!

Play with your kids. Kids need plenty of exercise, too. Before homework starts, let your kids run wild to get some of their energy out. Play a game of freeze tag or hide and seek, have a dance party where you play all of their favorite songs, or challenge them to an informal game of football, basketball or soccer. You’ll all have a blast! (And they’ll be ready to get back to business afterward!) Being active with your family is a great way to bond and boost your health at the same time.

Learn something new yourself. You’re never too old to learn something new! Sign up for a dance or exercise class to freshen up your fitness routine, or start a new walking or running routine to prepare for one of the many 5K walks or runs that take this time of year. Fall’s the perfect time for a fresh start! If you’re nervous to try something new, ask a friend to join you. Everything is a little less scary when you have a buddy by your side!

Plan ahead for your winter workouts. If the weather where you live will make outdoor workouts a bigger challenge, start strategizing how you’ll get fit once the weather turns frightful. Join a gym, look for an indoor pool where you can squeeze in a swim workout, or invest in videos and equipment you can use indoors. Try my Fat-Burning Walk DVD – it is a complete 30-minute walking workout that you can do in the comfort of your own home!

Look for pockets of time where a workout might work. While your child’s at dance class or football practice, take a little time for yourself and head out for a brisk walk or jog or run up and down the stadium steps. I personally prefer to exercise first thing in the morning, before my day’s commitments crowd in!

Join a team. Consider getting back into a favorite sport from your school days—look for grown-up volleyball leagues, basketball teams or soccer games. It’s a great way to meet new people, and switch up your workouts throughout the week!

Find a fitness buddy. Make friends with another mom from your kid’s class, and head out for your workout right after school drop off—that will ensure that there are no excuses for skipping your routine! If you work, make a date to meet her at a track or at the gym before you head home. Knowing she’s there waiting for you will mean you cannot be a no show!

Volunteer to coach your child’s team. As you’re showing your team how to play the game, you’ll be getting in plenty of fitness yourself. Bonus? You’ll be spending lots of quality time with your kids! Get there before they report for practice to run through the drills yourself first.

Don’t give up. Sometimes, a busy schedule can get the best of you, no matter how hard you try. But even if you have to skip a few days here and there, don’t give up—every workout brings you closer to a healthier and better you!

Written for Rite Aid by DeniseAustin.com

Posted in Wellness Resources

Summertime Workouts With the Family!

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Before you cool off in the hammock, head out and try one of these activities with your family.

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Posted in Health Tips

Summertime Workouts With the Family!

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For many of us, August brings that last stretch of wonderful warm weather and time off with the family, before the big rush and hectic schedules of back-to-school time. While these may be the last few lazy days of summer, this is no time to be forgetting about your fitness goals! Before you cool off in the hammock, head out and try one of these activities with your family.

Make a game out of it. Splurge on some great sports equipment, and see who’s got game in your family! Try volleyball and badminton, or capitalize on the recent World Cup hoopla and kick a soccer ball around. You can compete and keep score, or just simply enjoy working up a sweat together. You could also check out some fitness DVDs that everyone can do together, for example, if your husband is a golfer, try a sports-specific DVD that features workouts to help improve his swing.

Hit the road with your crew. Pump up your tires and take your bikes out on the road. If your neighborhood roads are too busy for safe riding, look up bike trails in your neighborhood or take your bikes to the local park to log some miles. (And don’t forget your bike helmets!) Even just a walk or hike through a local park would be a welcome way to combine fitness, fun and a little bit of nature education, too!

Have fun with H20. Don’t let the scorching summer temperatures spoil the fun—just add a little water to the mix! If you have a pool, you can try jogging in it, which will be much gentler on your joints and cooler for your body than a land run. It’s an especially wonderful workout if you’re in the midst of a heat wave! If you can’t beat the heat in a pool, try a water balloon or water gun fight or take a run through the sprinkler with your kids. And if you’re near a body of water, kayaking or canoeing are great workouts for your upper body muscles, while surfing and boogie boarding are great ways to burn calories and work your core muscles. No matter how you choose to make a splash, just remember that even if you’re working out in the water, you still need to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Take your regular workout outside. You don’t have to stay indoors to get your strength training workout or yoga on—just grab your yoga mat and your weights and enjoy a little fresh air with your fitness. Even little kids can try some basic yoga moves to build strength and flexibility.

The main point is that the family that plays together, stays together! I want you all to have fun being active! Play games outside—try tag or hide and seek with younger kids, tug of war, jump roping or hula hoop contests with older kids. As long as you’re having fun, it definitely won’t feel like a workout!

Posted in Wellness Resources

Working Out With the Family

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Follow these tips to keep your summer workouts safe while you’re in the great outdoors.

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Posted in Health Tips

Working Out With the Family

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Try one of these tips to get everyone in on the fun this summer!

Fitness is a lifelong pursuit, so you should get your kids in on the action as early as you possibly can! Fortunately, there are plenty of fun exercise ideas that can work for your entire family. Being active as a family is a great way to get a workout in without even knowing it. Try one of these tips to get everyone in on the fun this summer!

  • Work as a team. Try out a few team sports and see if there’s one that everyone in your family loves. Whether you end up playing kickball in the backyard, basketball at the local court, or volleyball at the beach, or badminton, you’ll learn how to work well together—and your kids will pick up some stellar skills that could lead to future sports greatness.

  • Put them to work. Chores definitely get everyone up and moving—and they’ll keep your house spotless, too! Little ones can start with dusting and picking up toys off the floor, while bigger kids can tackle lawn mowing, weeding and vacuuming. Here’s a tip that I do: Blast their favorite, fun music as you all work together, to make the activity more fun – and go by faster. After they finish, come up with a fun way to reward them like setting up the sprinkler outside or biking for a cold treat.

  • Take a hike. Kids definitely love outdoor time—and an easy hike is a great way to get even the smallest kiddos out and about. If you have a really little one, grab a baby carrier to tote him or her around! Consider it multitasking—hiking helps you de-stress, stay active, and gives you the opportunity to give your kids a little nature education. Be sure to bring snacks and water on the trail. Make it a game – wear your pedometers, and see who logs the most steps. It’s a fun, healthy challenge!

  • Walk, don’t watch. Vegging on the couch is no way to stay fit. So make it a rule that everyone needs to go for a stroll after dinner each night—no channel surfing allowed. It doesn’t have be a long walk, maybe just 10 minutes around your neighborhood. You’ll sneak in a little extra fitness, and a little quality chatting time, too.

  • Learn something new together. Fitness classes can be fun for everyone! Scout around for classes at your local community center or gym. Whether you all want to get your Zen on in a yoga class or kick it up a notch with karate, you’ll have a blast learning new skills together. Don’t forget about fitness DVDs too – a lot of my fans say their kids work out to my new DVDs with them! Try one of my latest You Can Do It! DVDs: Total Body Toning, Beginner Yoga, or Fat Burning Cardio. Just have your kids avoid any exercises with weights!

  • Channel your inner kid. Run around your backyard squirting each other with hoses or water toys, and go ahead and hopscotch and jump rope. It can be just as fun to hula hoop now as it was when you were little.

Here is the most important rule for all of you: Make it fun! Fitness shouldn’t be a chore—you should have fun doing it. Look for activities that you enjoy, whether it’s gardening, splashing in the pool, riding bikes, or dancing around the house. If it makes you happy, you’re more likely to keep doing it!

Posted in Wellness Resources

Beat the Heat When You’re Working Out

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Follow these tips to keep your summer workouts safe while you’re in the great outdoors.

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Posted in Health Tips

Beat the Heat When You’re Working Out

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Summer is almost here! The season we’ve all been waiting for – the sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and you can take your workouts outside! Though the temperatures may be more moderate now, it’s only a matter of time before those hot, hot, hot triple-digit temps may make you want to move back inside! Follow these tips to keep your summer workouts safe while you’re in the great outdoors.

Stay hydrated. Keep that bottle of water handy! Dehydration can be dangerous—and staying hydrated can be difficult if you’re sweating hard in the heat. Drink up before, during and after your workout, even if you don’t feel thirsty. (By the time you’re thirsty, your body is already dehydrated!) And while you may not need an electrolyte-filled drink for your standard workout, on a sweaty, hot and humid afternoon, it may just help you keep hydrated.

Avoid the peak heat. Working out mid-afternoon into the early evening will make your routine tougher—not to mention leave you prone to dehydration or heat stroke. Schedule your workout for the early morning or later in the evening, when the temperatures are at their coolest. I love getting outside early in the morning for a brisk walk – then my workout is out of the way for the day!

Don’t push it. A scorching hot day isn’t the time to try to beat your personal record or add an extra 15 minutes to your walk. Stick with a lighter workout, and save the challenge for a cooler day.

Make a splash with your workout. If you have access to a pool, swimming laps or doing water aerobics can give you a great workout and help you keep your cool! If not, consider ways to stay active and chill out—have a water balloon battle with your kids, try out surfing or sailing, or even just run through the sprinkler. Plus you can always try one of my favorite fitness moves, that will make you feel like you’re “swimming”! “Swimming” is one of my favorite Pilates exercise moves because it works you whole body. Learn how to do it!

Dress for the heat. Choose light-colored, lightweight workout wear that won’t absorb the sun’s heat. Look for wicking fabrics that can pull sweat away from your skin, helping you feel a little bit cooler. (And don’t forget the sunscreen, so you can minimize the chances of a sunburn!)

Break your workout up. Rather than taking one long walk in the heat of the afternoon, split your workout into smaller chunks—take three 10-minute walks, for instance. You still get all of the benefits, without the risk of overexerting yourself! Use a pedometer to ensure you’re hitting your step count goal for the day.

Take it indoors. Take your workout to the gym, walk laps around the mall, or focus on strength training in your air-conditioned home. Whether you try a few fitness moves from your favorite DVD, exercises on my website, or simply jump rope, you’ll be able to burn calories and still keep your cool.

 

Written for Rite Aid by DeniseAustin.com

Posted in Wellness Resources

Get in Shape for Summer!

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May is one of my favorite months of the year – do you know why? It’s National Fitness Month! Which means it is time for everyone to focus on being healthy, happy AND fit! I want your goal for May to be to get out there and move around more. You’ll feel better about yourself when you’re active – and confidence is your best accessory! Follow these tips to get moving this month – and you’ll be ready for summer in no time!

Build yourself some muscle. Strength training is absolutely necessary for a more toned look. Investing in a pair of dumbbells is a great idea. Start with three or five pounds, and try a few exercises from my website to help you become familiar with using them. You should also try moves that multitask—like lunges or squats, which work your core muscles and your legs at the same time. If you want to look more toned for a special occasion or a trip to the beach, schedule a strength training session a few hours before the big event. Strength training temporarily increases blood flow to the areas worked, so you’ll find that you look tighter right after a workout.

Move as much as you can. Everyone is so busy these days, I know it’s hard to find time to fit in exercise. I want you to try to find at least 10 or 20 minutes somewhere! Start by cutting back on screen time—shut down the computer and shut off the TV. Use that free time for a walk, dancing in your living room, or bicycling around the neighborhood. If you absolutely can’t miss a favorite TV show, get up off the couch and work out while you watch—you can lift weights or do a fitness band workout while you catch up on your favorite show. Another great tip: Skip the elevators and escalators and take the stairs instead!

Circuit train. If you’re short on time (and who isn’t?), circuit training is a great way to get results fast. You combine a series of challenging weight-training exercises with short bursts of high-intensity cardio—for instance, a set of tricep dips, followed by a minute of high-intensity jump roping. Research has shown that this kind of high-intensity interval training (also referred to as HIIT) can help you burn fat and improve your cardio health much faster than a longer, but slower workout —which means that you’ll see results a lot faster, too!

Spice up your routine! We all have to find new ways to challenge our bodies to avoid a weight-loss plateau. A fitness makeover is simple and fun – you just have to be a little bit creative. Sign up for a class at your gym or local recreation center. Try a new DVD like my Burn Fat Fast Latin Dance – it’s an exhilarating 30-minute workout consisting of four mini-routines designed to torch calories, define your waist and sculpt muscles. Hit the dance floor on a night out with your spouse! The possibilities are endless – here are a few more ideas.

Eat your way to a better body. Gradually try to eat less and less salt. If you can go 21 days without salty foods, your taste buds will change you probably won’t miss it anymore! Also, try to stick with a healthy diet, loaded with fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Drinking lots of water, or even eating water-filled produce, like cucumbers, watermelon and lettuce can help your body flush away retained fluid. (It sounds counterintuitive, but it works!) It’ll help you look bathing suit ready in no time flat!

Written for Rite Aid by DeniseAustin.com

Posted in Wellness Resources

Get in Shape for Summer!

May-Denise-Austin-Photo

May is National Fitness Month, which means it is time for everyone to focus on being healthy, happy AND fit!

Read More

Posted in Health Tips