Make It A Quickie

I hear it all the time…I don’t have TIME to workout.  I hear ya…I do!  Work, family, pets, friends, social engagements…and winter…make time feel fleeting!  Luckily our bodies are so adept that they can transform, even if you just have a few minutes a day!!

Here are a few of the best moves to do if you’re short on time…do one minute of each.  If you find a little extra time, do a second round!!

Squats – one of my favorite exercises; you tone the glutes and the quads and a whole bunch of other minor muscles!  Plus there are like, a 100 different types!  (May be exaggerating, but Google types of squats and you’ll find a plethora of squats!)

Burpees – the one we love to hate.  It’s a mentally exhausting exercise…meaning I get tired just thinking of doing a burpee.  But omg…it works so many muscle groups, it’s hard to argue against doing them.

There are variations for the burpee as well, you just have to be creative.  One of my favorites I’ve found (and I use the term loosely considering it’s still a burpee), is a burpee with a pull-up.  Now before you get all “I can’t do that,” the pull-up I do is with a resistance band and a door mount.  I do the burpee, grab the band, and “pull-up!”

Deadlifts – if I’ve learned anything recently is that I LOVE lifting weights.  I did it in high school, but somewhere along the way decided cardio was more important.  I WAS SO WRONG!  I especially like this move because it works the back.  Very important for long runs!!

Skull crushers – cool name, but yes, I had to look it up too!  You may know them as lat pullovers…and I LOVE THEM!  Laying back and working the back muscles all at the same time…yes please!!  (Plus…the perfect way to tone for those summer tank tops!!)

Pull Ups – literally my arch nemesis…if you can have an arch nemesis of exercises! I’ve never had upper body strength, and these little ditties just point that out!  But oh man do they tone!   And I’ve actually found a way that I can do them…at home!  They sell kits that come with a door anchor and resistant bands, so you can do a standing pull up!  The exercise gods have smiled on me…I wanted the benefit, but had no room in the house or desire to try and do a pull up.  But now I can!!

Planks – these are quickly becoming another favorite.  There is no better exercise to gauge your progress than with planks.  You go from completely unstable and shaky to steady as a board (like a plank…get it…!). And I love competing with myself to see how long I can hold one, and again it’s so cool to see the time get longer and longer!!

Bent Over Rows – the deceivingly easy arm workout.  Why…because you’re resting on a bench while rowing your arm up…but there is no rest, not really!  But this one is a beauty because it not only works your arms, but your back, shoulders, biceps…and probably a whole lotta minor muscles I don’t know the names of!

Bench Press – the other move that I love to hate.  It sculpts the arms like no other…but it sill involves arms…my weakest muscle group!  But I figure if I get the hang of it, at least a little, I’ll look like a bad ass…right?!

Walking Lunges – oh so many benefits!  Plus walking lunges, to me, feel like I’m doing less work.  Of course that’s not true, because anyone who has done walking lunges will tell you once you stop, your legs instantly feel like Jell-O!  Add some weights and you got yourself one mean glute toner!

Each of these exercises, one minute each, and you’re done in 15 minutes!  (Taking into account rest!)  Talk about a quickie!

***Here is the original article.  It explains how to do each exercise!  Enjoy!***


Who Knew Sugar Was Scary?

We’ve all heard it…sugar is bad for you in excess.  But why? It’s in the natural makeup of a lot of the fruits we eat…so how can it be that bad?!

Okay first…stop that thinking.  Yes there is sugar in fruits, but it’s natural and the benefits of the other stuff in that piece of fruit, outweigh the sugar.  Plus, that’s where we should be getting what little sugar we need from…not the added sugar that comes in all those processed foods.

Little disclaimer…I do not pretend to be sugar free!  I probably eat more than I should, as we all do, I am just becoming more aware of my sugar sources.  And the article I’m about share scared me enough to start paying better attention!

You can find the origin article here:               This is Exactly What Happens to Your Body When You Eat a Ton of Sugar

Sugar messes with every organ and system in your body.  Let’s start off with the adds weight.  Foods with a lot of sugar also tend to have higher calorie counts and lower protein and fiber counts.  Your body has no choice but to start storing the extra calories as fat for later use.  Keep going on this path, and you become another statistic in the obesity crisis.

Your pancreas has to up its insulin release to accommodate for the extra sugar.  Cells then become resistant to the insulin because they’re being bombarded by it constantly.  Think of it as sleep…wake up early enough consistently, and you eventually get used to an early wake up time.  Same thing with insulin…your cells constantly see insulin, eventually they’ll quit responding.  

All that insulin inundating your cells and the pancreas doing some overtime work, then starts to make you feel sluggish and tired.  You also start to feel hungry sooner and more thirsty.  This is due to the lack of other nutrients; usually protein and fiber.  Do all of this long enough…constant insulin, feeding your hunger with sugar, satisfying your thirst with sugary drinks…and diabetes follows. 

And if all this isn’t scary enough…your brain responds and adjusts to the extra sugar like it would if you were addicted to cocaine.  The same pleasure centers light up and the same addiction process takes hold.  The brain then responds by demanding more sugar to get the same “high,” compounding all the other health problems.

Okay…less scary…at least health wise…sugar wreaks havoc on our skin and collagen.  Sugar attaches to proteins in the body, including collagen and elastin, the stuff that makes our skin stretch and return to normal with little visible damage.  But a lot of sugar in the blood stream keeps collagen and elastin from repairing themselves easily.  
I didn’t quite realize how much sugar affected the body.  I knew it made you gain weight and could lead to diabetes, but affecting the brain and skin repair…yikes!  Moderation is the key.  Read nutrition labels and stear clear of high sugar foods; a general rule is under 10 g per serving (but also watch the serving, if it’s a tsp serving and there are 10 g of sugar, that’s as bad as a cup serving with 20 g of sugar.). Be diligent and smart about your choices…we only have one body, treat it well!