OK, ladies, it's time to get serious. If you're planning on losing a few pounds before you hit the beach this Memorial Day, you've got two weeks to plan. Read on: we've got some no-fail tips for you to tone up and lose weight in two weeks.
Hitting the open road has many benefits over running on a treadmill — fresh air and sunshine, gorgeous scenery to prevent boredom, and you can also run with your four-legged fitness buddy. You also have more freedom of movement to incorporate muscle-toning moves into your runs, and here's how.
- Run baby run: While running in general will tone your legs and booty, adding sprinting intervals is even more effective. Incorporate 30- to 60-second bursts throughout your workout and you're sure to feel your lower body working. Since you're outside, you can use landmarks to motivate you such as sprint to the stop sign or until you see five red cars, or if you're on a track, sprint the straights.
- Walk this way: Sprints aren't the only type of interval you can include. When you need to catch your breath after a sprint, throw in a few sets of walking lunges to target your glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
- Head for the hills: Find a steep hill in your neighborhood or in the woods and do hill repeats. Run up the hill then back down to target all the muscles in your lower body. If you need some motivation, try this hill repeat workout to build muscle and endurance.
Keep reading to learn three more ways to build muscle on outdoor runs.
If you're bored with basic squats and lunges, here are some new moves for working your backside before hitting the seaside this Summer. To start targeting your glutes, grab an exercise ball, weights, and a resistance band — your backside will be in tip-top shape in no time!
Tank-top and bikini season is on its way, and sexy, toned arms are always in season. Each of these triceps-toning exercises will help combat the notorious arm jiggle.
- Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or other stable surface.
- Move your butt in front of the bench with your legs bent and feet placed about hip-width apart on the floor.
- Straighten out your arms, and keep a little bend in your elbows in order to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints.
- Now slowly bend at your elbows and lower your upper body down toward the floor until your arms are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench.
- Once you reach the bottom of the movement, slowly press off with your hands and push yourself straight back up to the starting position.
- Repeat for one minute.
Side Arm Push-Ups
Another alternative for your standard push-up routine is the side arm push-up. It tones your triceps, deltoids, and the outside of your chest.
- Lie on your right side with your knees and hip bent to 45 degrees. Wrap your left arm around your waist, and place your left hand in front of your right shoulder with your fingertips parallel to your body. Keep your waist lifted with energy shooting out of the top of your head.
- On an exhale, press your left hand into the ground and push yourself up, straightening the left elbow. Inhale, and slowly lower yourself back to starting position.
- Do three sets of 10 to 15 reps.
Keep reading for two more exercises that tone your triceps.
Starting a day with 20 minutes of Sun Salutations makes a big difference in how you look at the world around you. If your morning yoga practice is feeling a little tired — or, like me, you've literally fallen asleep on your mat — then try out these tunes to see if something new will work.
If you need a refresher, then find out how to do a Sun Salutation A sequence here or a Sun Salutation B here. Once you've got the basics down, subscribe to our Spotify playlist, then keep reading to see all 10 tracks.
Affirmations. Vision Boards. Mantras. Crazy talk, right? Or so I thought before an especially grueling cycling class. Midway through class, our Equinox instructor started chanting, "Stronger. Faster. Better," over and over again into her mic. I instantly found myself annoyed at her repetitive chanting, but as the intense intervals kept coming my way, I started to really hear what she was saying and found myself pushing through the proverbial wall like never before.
Fitness motivation isn't an easy commodity to come by, especially on days when the mind is riled by negative thoughts. Goals suddenly take a backseat, and before you know it, you've cut your workout short, slowed your run to a walk, or maybe stopped yourself from even leaving the locker room. In moments like this, be your own life coach and give yourself an internal mantra to help move past any obstacles. Picture yourself crossing the finish line, or repeat one of these motivational fitness quotes to yourself until you actually start to believe it. Quieting negative talk with a more upbeat soundbite might be all it takes to get you moving again.
How have you pushed through negativity when working out?
We hope you are as excited for this video as we are! We got the entire team together to take you through a 10-minute workout to get your blood flowing and body limber. Your heart rate will rise as you go through five minutes of cardio followed by five minutes of active stretching, making it a great warmup for a strength-training session.
If you're forgoing the comfortable temperatures of your gym this Winter, that can mean dealing with a lot of snow, ice, hail, rain, and sleet. Winter running has just as many challenges as running in extreme heat, but with the right gear, you'll stay warm, dry, and comfortable.
Your comfort level depends on many factors, including how fast you're running, how comfortable you are in the cold, and how long your run is, so your perfect Winter outfit may differ. However, below are good rules of thumb for dressing for Winter running, whether it's in snowy, freezing conditions, or slighter warmer temps.
When It's 32 Degrees or Below
- Start off with a wicking bra and a wicking tank. We love Ibex sports tops since they are made of comfy, breathable, and natural merino wool.
- Pull on a long-sleeved midweight baselayer shirt made from either non-itchy merino wool or polyester.
- Slip on wicking socks that go up to your knee to keep your calves warm. Lightweight ski socks do just the trick; many, like these Smartwool PhD Snowboard Light Socks ($24), are made of a natural and synthetic blend that keeps your toes warm without too much bulk.
- Wear warm running tights on your legs. Try these Under Armour cold-weather compression leggings ($50).
- Over the long-sleeve shirt, wear a fitted wind-stopping softshell like this one from Cloudveil ($200).
- Running gloves or liners will protect your hands.
- Wear a lightweight hat so your head doesn't get too sweaty.
- On cold days, wear a fleece neck warmer. It will keep your neck and chin warm while also helping to prevent burning lungs.
- Facial sunscreen and lip balm with SPF are both musts, as are sunglasses to protect your eyes. Snow reflects the sun's harmful UV rays and the light bouncing off the snow can be blinding.
- Water-resistant but breathable running shoes help make snowy or rainy conditions bearable for your feet. These Pearl Izumi Seek IV WRX trail-running shoes ($130) are made just for bad Winter weather. Wearing gaiters over your calves will keep your ankles and legs dry when the snow is deep.
- When it's icy, slip on a set of Yaktrax Run straps ($40) on your running shoes to give you more traction and prevent slipping on hard snow or ice.
When It's Above 32 Degrees
If temperatures are chilly where you live but haven't hit that freezing mark, you still need to dress for the weather. But while all of the above are Winter essentials in snow country, layering that much on your body in 40-degree weather can lead to a sweaty, uncomfortable run. Dressing like it's 20 degrees warmer than it is will help ensure you don't over-layer. With that said, here are some guidelines for those (relatively) warmer Winter runs.
- Dress in layers, but leave out the insulating middle layer. Depending on the temperature, you may want to stick with a thin moisture-wicking shirt (go for short-sleeved if you are running for a long time and temperatures are 40 degrees or higher) and lightweight zippered jacket that you can easily take off when your body temperature rises. Look for a waterproof thin windbreaker with vents to keep you dry and comfortable if it's raining, and choose a jacket with zippered pockets as well to stash any headgear or gloves when you warm up.
- If it's windy, you probably will need running tights to help insulate your legs from the chill. If there's not a lot of wind, regular fast-drying pants should work.
- If you find that hats trap too much heat while you run in warmer Winter weather, look for ear-covering headbands that keep your ears warm while preventing overheating. This Athleta Reflective Run headband ($19) is perfect for non-freezing temperatures. If it's raining, a lightweight, waterproof baseball cap will help keep water out of your eyes.
- Rainy winters call for shoes that protect your feet, so look for shoes that have as little mesh as possible for your wet Winter runs. Trail runners work perfectly; just be sure to wear non-cotton moisture-wicking socks and avoid puddles as much as possible.
- Gloves are still important in above-freezing temperatures, since cold weather can chill your extremities and cause discomfort while you run. Go for thin, wind-resistant gloves without the bulk, and stash them in your pockets after you warm up. These Mountain Hardwear running gloves ($40) are a soft and windproof solution to freezing digits.
- Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF are still a good idea, even if you're running under cloudy skies. The sun's UV rays can pass through clouds.
Have any tips to add? Share them with us!
Whether you're easing into running, in need of some recovery cardio, or are pregnant, mixing walking with jogging is a great exercise. It's less jarring to the joints but still gets the blood moving.
This 60-minute walk-jog workout alternates between walking briskly and jogging slowly. Keep reading if you're looking to burn just over 300 calories for your next treadmill workout.