No Gym Needed

jumping ropeIn a perfect world, we’d all be at a healthy weight, chow down on perfectly-portioned and balanced meals three times a day and spend several hours a week hitting the gym. But if that sounds impossible to you, maybe you’ve been trying to suss out which heart-healthy habits are skippable.

Hint: It’s not the exercise.

Starting at age 30, physical inactivity has a greater influence on women’s heart disease risk than any other risk factor, including smoking, excess weight and high blood pressure, according to a new study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Researchers looked at women from a large health study in Australia and found that compared with factors like high BMI, tobacco smoking, high cholesterol, diets low in fruits or nuts, and alcohol use, physical inactivity had the greatest impact.

Short version: While we wouldn’t give you the green light for any of those other factors, either (sorry not sorry!), you definitely can’t skip exercise.

Article courtesy of SELF:


Make the Best of it

Morning Inspiration…
Whatever life may send your way ~ make the best of it. Don’t waste your time and energy worrying about it. Instead, find a way to do something about it. Learn from it, adjust to it, be strong, be flexible and be your best in every situation. You have GREATNESS within you!~Les Brown


Great Snacks

raspberryRaspberry Cheesecake Dippers: 1 cup fresh raspberries and 1 laughing cow cream cheese wedge mixed with 2 tbsp vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt for dipping. This snack not only satisfies your sweet tooth, it also packs a punch to hunger pangs by combining a third of your daily fiber needs from the raspberries with 7 grams of protein from the yogurt-cheese dip. Fiber and protein take longer to digest than simple carbohydrates, so they keep you fuller longer and prevent a blood sugar spike and crash that can lead to cravings.

Easy Olive Tapenade: Dip 4 Endive leaves in 1/2 tbsp hummus each and top with half of a pitted olive. This snack cures a craving for something salty while providing healthy fats from the olives and hummus. Research shows that people who consume more of these monounsaturated fats do less mindless snacking and have less belly fat. Easy Olive Tapenade

Parmesan Popcorn: Place 2 tbsp of popcorn in a brown paper bag, fold over the top several times and microwave on high for 1:30 minutes or until popping slows. Top with 1 ounce shredded Parmesan. Ounce for ounce Parmesan cheese has more protein than any other food–more than meat, fish, or eggs! And don’t worry about making it low-fat — women who had one serving of whole milk or cheese daily were less likely to gain weight over time, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds. And why popcorn? Researchers found that people ate 32% fewer calories when they snacked from a large bowl of popcorn instead of potato chips. That makes sense because a 1-ounce serving of popcorn packs six times more volume than a similar serving of potato chips. So, you can nosh on a larger portion of popcorn than potato chips and still consume fewer calories!popcorn


Snack ideas courtesy of SELF:

No Gym Needed

squats with medicine ballStart with Ball Clean. Crouch, holding a medicine ball between feet on ground. Stand, shrugging shoulders as you flip wrists and bend elbows to bring ball to chest and lower to a squat (as shown). Return to start. Repeat for 45 seconds. Rest 15 seconds.

Next, do Halo. Hold ball overhead with arms extended, elbows soft and abs engaged. Circle ball clockwise above head for 1 rep (as shown). Do 5 reps; switch directions. Continue for 45 seconds. Rest 15 seconds.

Then do Ball Clean again for 45 seconds, and rest for 15. (For round two, switch order to begin and end with Halo.) medicine ball stand

wall workout outStart with Wall Ball. Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding ball at chin with elbows at sides; squat until thighs are parallel to ground. Explode up, extending arms as you throw ball against wall (as shown). Catch ball and immediately return to start. Repeat for 45 seconds. Rest 15 seconds.

Fitness tips courtesy of SELF:

No Gym Needed

plank1Tabata One

Jumping jacks: This classic calisthenic move get the heart rate going; add in some cross jacks for variety.

Walkouts: This full-body move takes you slowly from standing, through plank, to a deep lunge stretch, and back to standing.

One-Minute Rest:standing leg cradle


Two Squats with reach: Take your basic squat, lift your arms overhead, and you’ve increase the core strength needed for each rep.

Up-down planks: Move steadily and smoothly between plank and elbow plank working your arms and your core.

One-Minute Rest: standing quad stretch (30 seconds each leg)

Tabata Three

Alternating backward lunges: Step backward into a lunge and alternating legs with each rep.

Mountain climbers: Holding a plank position, move your legs like you’re running in place to work your arms and abs.

One-Minute Rest: deep hip flexor stretch (30 seconds each side)

Tabata Four

Alternating side lunges: Keep our chest high as you step wide to the side. Return to standing and repeat the lunge on the other side.

Bicycle crunches: Don’t blast through your reps of this class ab exercise. Keep your shoulder blades off the ground and you twist through your ribs to bring your elbow to your opposite knee.

Fitness tips courtesy of:

Your Ultimate destiny

faithMorning Inspiration….1 Corinthians 16:13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

In the words of Durrell Givens…The meaning and the purpose behind some events are unknowable. This is the ultimate test of our faith. We must trust that everyone in life is here to learn different lessons at different times, that good and bad experiences are only the perceptions of man. After all, some of your worst experiences have truly been your best. They’ve sculpted you, trained you, developed within you a sensitivity and set you in a direction that reaches out to impact your ultimate destiny.