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Find out what guys know (and you don’t) about getting in shape
By Brynn Mannino

Not that we’re envious (actually, yes, we are), but guys seem to have a much easier time getting fit than women. Sure, their bodies are different, but what if there’s more to it? After looking at men’s traditional workout habits versus women’s, we found that they have a few tricks up their sleeves. For one thing, strength training burns way more calories than cardio alone, and post-workout protein shakes are more than just an excuse to drink a smoothie. But that’s not all! Read on to find out how you can improve your own fitness routine by taking a few tips from the boys.

 

1. They work multiple muscle groups at once. 

The more muscles you work at one time, the more calories you’ll burn at one time—not only at the gym but during the days following, as your muscles rebuild, says Myatt Murphy, coauthor of The Body You Want in the Time You Have. Compounding exercises, like squats, dead lifts and bench presses, will give you the most bang for your buck, as they engage multiple muscles in your upper or lower body simultaneously. Revamp your routine by including exercises that work more than one muscle group or combine two moves (like doing biceps curls on a stability ball) in order to make the most of your time spent at the gym.

 

2. They leave magazines out of it. 

Reading while on a cardio machine could not only stifle your workout by interfering with your form, but it might also shorten your workout as well. “Looking down can hinder the oxygen flow to your lungs,” says Murphy. “The less oxygen you breathe in, the quicker you’ll exhaust yourself.” If you need a little more mental stimulation than you get from logging miles on the treadmill, Lou Schuler, coauthor of The New Rules of Lifting for Women, suggests doing calisthenic-style exercises, which mix short bursts of cardio with strength training.

 

3. They get their sweat on. 

If there’s one place sweating is socially acceptable, it’s at the gym. Not only does getting a good sweat on mean your body is heating up and, consequently, expending energy (read: burning calories!), it also detoxifies your skin, says Monica Vazquez, personal trainer at New York Sports Clubs. So don’t be afraid to break a sweat and push yourself as hard as you can to ensure you’re burning the maximum amount of calories.

 

4. They flex their muscles.

“When you strength-train, you’re not building muscle—you’re breaking it down,” says Murphy. Contrary to popular belief, the building-back-up part happens over the next 48 hours, mostly while you sleep, he explains. Contracting (a.k.a. flexing) your muscles right after a weight-lifting set continues to break down the fibers, even if only slightly. And the more you break them down, the more they’ll build back up, Murphy says. “In other words, boosting your ego can boost your results!”

 

5. They eat after they exercise. 

After you’ve depleted your energy, it’s important to refuel, “especially after you exercise, when your body is desperate to replace the stored energy it just used and will pull it from wherever it can,” Murphy says. Ideally, you want the energy to come from your stored fat, but your body may also pull from the calorie-burning muscle. By eating a mix of protein and carbohydrates after you train (thus the protein shake!), you can prevent your body from turning on its muscle, since it looks to your stomach first for fuel.

 

6. They hone in on a different set of numbers. 

Rather than fixating on how many calories they’ve burned or how much weight they’ve lost, men tend to focus on how much of a certain task they’ve accomplished—and how much more they should do next time they hit the gym. According to Schuler, steadily increasing speed (cardio) or weight (strength training) in increments contributes to improved strength and energy, and consequently, more muscle and better workouts in the future. Focus on improving your exercise stats (reps, workout time, weight lifted, etc.), rather than the number on the scale. 

 

7. They focus on getting stronger—not thinner. 

If you’ve ever tried to compliment a man by telling him he looks slim only to have it backfire, then you know: Men tend to want to look “big,” which denotes strength, while women usually want to look slim, which suggests a low percentage of body fat. Why is the guys’ way more effective? Strength means more muscle; muscle not only burns calories, but shapes your whole body. “If you’re aiming to change the way you look, you must change the shape of your muscles,” says Vazquez.

 

8. They log their workouts. 

Because of the nature of weight lifting (you should consistently increase the weight you lift) it makes sense that men record their workouts. Frankly, it’s hard to remember all those numbers! But there are other advantages to writing down workout stats that everyone could benefit from, explains Vazquez. “Not only does it keep you honest about how much you’re really working out, but it makes your success tangible,” she says. Figure out a system that works for you, whether that means jotting things down in a small notebook or creating a cheat sheet on your mobile or portable audio device, so you can build upon your improvements each time you work out.

Read more: Fitness Tips – New Exercise Advice at WomansDay.com – Woman’s Day

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http://www.cozi.com/live-simply/10-small-changes-healthier-life.

Get inspired by this guest post from Leah Segedie, a mentor to moms who are trying to live a healthier life and Shape Magazine’s “Mom of the Year.” Here she offers 10 small steps toward a healthier life:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. –Confucius.

Have you ever sat and thought–I can’t lose weight or get fit or change my life because it’s too hard or takes too much time? We’ve all had those thoughts, but did you know, by making small changes a little at a time, you CAN do anything you want. It’s funny how those small changes slowly add up to big changes over time.

Here’s a list of some small changes you can implement in your life that will make a huge impact on your journey to a healthier life:

1. Cut out sodas. Even diet drinks can make your body latch on to excess weight. Even cutting back can make a huge impact. One can of soda has 140 calories in it. If you only cut out one soda a day, that could equal almost 15 lbs lost in a year. Substitute carbonated water with orange slices for a flavored, bubbly treat or better yet, drink more water. Your body needs it to survive

2. Avoid fast food whenever possible. You can rely on healthier options like Subway when you are on the go and in need of a quick meal. Not only are most fast food meals chock full of fat and excess calories, there is very little substance so in a short amount of time you are hungry and eating again. Eating real food takes longer for your body to digest so you are getting the nutrients you need to fuel your body, and you feel satisfied longer.

3. Order salad dressing on the side and dip your fork in for flavor in each bite. How many times have you said to yourself, “but I’m eating salads and not losing weight!” Chances are you are drowning your healthy salad in unhealthy dressing. By dipping your fork in the dressing before each bite, you get the flavor and taste without the added fat and calories.

4. Time your Internet use. For every 30 minutes you spend online, do 5-10 minutes of exercise. This goes back to the idea that we make time for what is important. If you have time to sit for 30 minutes and play angry birds or surf the net, you have time to do some quick exercises. I used to say that I didn’t have the energy to exercise, but once you start, you’ll find that you don’t have any energy when you DON’T exercise so get your body moving.

5. Instead of sitting and watching TV for family time, go on a walk or play a game of catch in the yard. Getting your family active not only helps prevent childhood obesity, but it will create lasting family memories of fun and adventure. My kids don’t remember what movies we watch together but they can tell you all about going on a hike or heading out for a day of walking at the zoo. Make it fun and everyone will be happier and that makes it easier to stick with it.

6. Switch out your butter and vegetable oil for water, olive oil or coconut oil while sautéing. You absolutely can sauté using only water, but if you must use oil, switch it for a healthier option. Your body does need some fat to fuel itself but you want to make sure you are choosing healthy fats whenever possible.

7. Find the parking spot that is the furthest away from the entrance when grocery shopping or at the mall and walk. Have you ever seen people circle the parking lot for the closest space to the door? It’s especially funny when you see it at the gym or health club. Getting in extra movement is key to any journey to better health. You can fit in hundreds, if not more, extra steps each day simply by parking further away from your destination and walking a little bit more each day.

8. Do squats while cooking dinner. Or leg lifts, or bicep curls. Don’t waste the time you are standing around stirring or watching your dinner cook, you can do many exercises while cooking dinner, talking on the phone, or even when doing housework. The best part is, you kids will probably mimic your exercises and then you’ve created a fun fitness routine for the whole family.

9. Make a workout appointment. Like you would a doctor or dentist appointment, and keep it. You wouldn’t decide that you were too tired to go to the dentist, but yet this is the excuse we use all the time for not getting in fitness. Make an appointment for yourself and keep it. Why notput it on the calendar now!

10. Start small. Don’t take on too many changes at once, but add another step when you feel comfortable. We often start the race at a sprint and then burn out quickly. Take on one new challenge at a time and before you know it, you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come!

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I’m not going to lie. I’m one lazy chick. But bikini season is upon us and I will not be stuck feeling blahh about my un-toned bod. So while I’m watching my favorite TV shows, Woman’s Day Magazine has some easy to do couch exercises that I can get working on. Now, I’ve just tried all of these, and I did break a sweat, but it was not too much for me. So c’mon ladies, let’s give it a go and try to do each of these exercises at least once a day! Beach time here we come!

 

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In the last week, Britney Spears has been all over TV performing songs from her latest album, Femme Fatale. The music is pretty awesome but what really made our jaws drop was her body. She looks better than ever and we just had to know the drill. So we asked celebrity trainer, and author of Ultimate You, Joe Dowdell how to score the pop icon’s slim and toned physique. He says these are the three key things:

By Bethany Heitman

Sleep, a Lot

Dowdell swears that getting enough rest (about seven to eight hours for most people) and drinking lots of water is the first step to getting a slammin’ bod. The reason: Your body needs to be well rested and hydrated in order to burn calories properly.

Mix Up Your Cardio

For maximum results, you’ve got to do intervals—alternating slower with more intense cardio. Studies show the easy-hard-easy-hard pattern encourages your body to refuel throughout your workout, so you keep up your energy longer. Dowdell suggests this routine: Hope on the bike and warm up at a medium pace for 3-5 minutes. Then up the resistance and peddle as hard as you can for a full minute before going back to a medium pace for two minutes. Repeat this 6 times.

Work Your Muscles

According to Dowdell, Brit has such toned thighs, sculpted abs and a great ass all due to resistance training. His three favorite moves:

The Glute Bridge: Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feel planted on the floor. Lift your hips and hold for five seconds while squeezing your butt muscles before coming back down. Doing two sets of ten will give you a nice firm booty.

Push-Ups: You’re probably pretty familiar with this classic. But, here’s a refresher: Facing the floor, keep your hands at shoulder level and your feet together (legs outstretched). Lift your body from a few inches off the floor all the way up until your arms are straight, and come back down. It’s important to keep your back straight. Regularly doing two sets of 10 will work your triceps and your core (giving you great abs!).

The Split Squat: While standing, place one foot in front of your body with the knee slightly bent and the other behind you so just your toes are on the ground (the back leg is for balance only and shouldn’t do any of the work). With your weight on your front heel, lower your body straight down and stop when your knee is an inch above the floor. Raise your knee back up and repeat. Do two sets of ten and then switch legs.

Read more: Fitness Advice On How To Get Britney’s Body – Tips On Getting Celeb Britney Spears’ Body – Cosmopolitan

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Okay, so this is sort of a two-in-one deal post here. The application seems pretty awesome, but we all know you don’t actually need it to be fit and feel great. I really love how Lea Michele speaks about the importance of being fit, and how it should be about comfort, not beauty. I just really admire her attitude here.

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