Beginner yoga poses may look easy at first glance, but after holding your body still and feeling your muscles burn, you'll realize these poses are the ticket to rocking your swimsuit. Here are seven beginner yoga poses to strengthen and tone your bikini body.
Whether you run on a treadmill and glance at the display, or keep track of your run outside with a GPS, it's nice to know how many calories you're burning, especially if weight loss is one of your goals.
Here's a nifty chart to let you know what your pace and workout time translates to in calories burned. It can also help you figure out how intensely and how long you need to exercise in order to negate the cupcake you savored at lunch.
*Calculations based on a 130-pound woman
|Miles per hour||Minutes per mile||Calories burned in 20 minutes||Calories burned in 30 minutes||Calories burned in 45 minutes||Calories burned in 60 minutes|
Inversions already work your core, since the ab and back muscles are what help to hold the lower body steady and balanced. To work your core even more, here's a strength-training yoga move that will tone your entire torso as well as your upper body — you just might give up traditional crunches forever!
- Begin on your hands and knees. Lower your elbows to the floor and interlace your fingers, bringing your lowest pinkie in front of the other pinkie, forming a semicircle with your hands.
- Place the back of your head against your palms, and the top of your head on the mat, so your skull is vertical with the floor. Once your head and forearms feel stable, straighten both legs and walk you feet toward your face as far as you can.
- Shift your hips over your shoulders, and keep your elbows planted firmly on the mat. Lift both legs into the air, coming into Bound Headstand.
- Stay in Headstand for five breaths, relaxing the jaw as well as the shoulders away from the ears. Take a breath in, and as you exhale, slowly lower both feet toward the mat so they are parallel with the floor. Hold here for another five breaths.
- Inhale and then exhale to raise the legs back up into Headstand. Repeat four more times.
Up for a bigger challenge? See an advanced variation after the break!
Whether you go to the gym before work or fit in a workout during lunchtime, cutting the time you spend in the locker room can help. Throw these 10 gym essentials into your bag before you go; each will help you save minutes, from pre-workout prep to post-workout primping.
For 9-to-5ers, taking a yoga class after work can result in eating a late dinner. If you're eating closer to bedtime, then cut back on heavy meat and dairy to help ease digestion, and prep meals in advance to make the process of cooking a quick one. With some advice from a few Ayurveda and nutrition experts, here are five ideas for quick and healthy suppers to make after yoga.
A homemade soup is often as easy as throwing ingredients together into a pot. Cook broth in advance to always have the makings of a soup ready to go, but if you're crunched for time, then use a low-sodium, store-bought version. This recipe for ginger-carrot soup is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese, which aids in digestion, plus it offers hydration after a sweaty yoga session!
Replacing a meat-heavy sandwich with a lighter veggie wrap can be easier on the digestive system to help prevent you from feeling weighed down after yoga. These vegan spiral wraps from Happy Healthy Life offer vibrant color, creamy hummus, and serious veggie power.
Keep reading for two more late-night dinner ideas.
You know it's the right thing to do, but every once in a while, getting to a workout can feel close to impossible. A late night or a tough day at work can leave you wanting to cancel your fitness plans and have a date with your couch.
During these times, making time to exercise is even more essential, since it can restore endorphins, clear your head, and leave you with a sense of calm. If making moves to the gym is feeling difficult, then try one of these low-key ideas that start slow but might turn into a more intense workout session.
Go out for a walk: Start off on a leisurely walk, plug into your favorite inspiring workout playlist, and see what happens. Once you warm up a bit, you might find yourself on a brisk jog or alternating between a fast-paced walk and sprints.
Head to the pool: Planning on a pool day where you'll relax and cool off? All those bikini bodies might inspire you to get moving! What started off as a quick dip can easily turn into a few rounds of treading water or a ton of laps.
Stretch on your mat: Rolling out that yoga mat might be the only motivation you need. Once you move through a series of relaxing and restorative poses, your body might be feeling so great that you start moving through a few series of Sun Salutations to get your heart rate rising.
Start slow on a machine: Hop on the elliptical or a stationary bike, and start at a slow and steady pace as you catch up on your favorite show or magazines. Once you start to get into the groove, you might find yourself moving through your own short interval workout, alternating between periods of pushing your body of the max and rest periods.
How do you trick yourself into a workout? Tell me below!
Yoga may be blissful, but it isn't cheap! Depending on where you live, classes can run you an average of $15 to $20 a pop. Dropping $50 or more for yoga classes each week isn't an option for everyone, but we can all benefit from a regular practice. The Internet is bursting with free full-length classes or shortened yoga routines. If you're willing to pay a little, then you'll be able to view a greater variety of videos. Here are some sites to check out.
- Yoga Today: This site offers one free class each week, and if you're itching for more, download other classes for $4 each. You can choose ones geared toward your ability level, or choose by instructors you like. If you're really into it, pay $90 for a yearly membership, which includes unlimited classes. Store them on your computer, and follow along anywhere you happen to be.
- Yoga Journal: For beginners and advanced yogis, these videos, ranging in length from five to 35 minutes, are the high quality you'd expect from Yoga Journal. Some of my faves include the hip-opening sequence Bird by Bird and Heart Wide Open, full of chest openers.
- My Yoga Online: These videos may not be free, but they're dirt cheap. Pay $10 per month or $90 for a year for unlimited access to the entire library of videos for yoga, Pilates, dance, martial arts fusion, meditation, and workplace wellness. The site also offers samples of popular yoga DVDs such as Shiva Rea's Surf Yoga Soul and David Life's Transform Yourself With Jivamukti. Another plus: you can sample a clip before you buy.
Keep reading for more websites that offer inexpensive yoga classes.
Nina Dobrev's trainer Steve Moyer told us that the actress "likes to hit the abs." And it shows! Here are three of her favorite moves to strengthen and sculpt your midsection. We love the creative variation on the traditional plank. Watch the video to learn the exercises, and then try them on your own.
Whether you're a workout newbie or an old pro, working out with a video game can be a great way to burn a few extra calories while having fun. But if you want to maximize the calories you burn in front of the TV, choose wisely. The reviewers at Consumer Reports tested the most popular fitness games for the Wii, Wii U, and Xbox Kinect — read on to learn more about their top choices for burning calories in the comfort of your living room.