Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Top 10 Places to Sneak in a Workout

Top 10 Places to Sneak in a Workout

It seems this is the time of year to make a Top 10 list, so, for what it’s worth, here’s my list.

Top 10 Places to Sneak in a Workout

10. You know this one – the grocery store.
9. The doctor’s office. If you’re not there due to an illness, use the time after they bring you into the room to do some sit-ups, wall push-ups, squats or other leg work.
8. The car. You can do more if you’re a passenger, but even driving you can tighten and release your abs and buns – and don’t forget those Kegels.
7. The dentist’s office. While you get your teeth cleaned you can tighten your leg muscles and release. Same goes with your abs.
6. The dressing room while you shop. You can do a quick burst of just about anything in here, from jogging in place to squats to wall push-ups.
5. While we’re in shopping mode, don’t forget the mall. Do extra laps between stores or before and after you do your purchasing.
4. Volunteering at your child’s school. Tighten your buns when you walk, press your hands together in front of your chest or do any other subtle form of exercise you can think of.
3. The park. Play tag or other games with your kids. It’s a great workout and it’s fun!
2. Anywhere you are obligated to stand in line. Tighten and release muscles or do calf raises as you wait.
1. Your child’s sports practice. Walk up and down the sidelines, or recruit other moms to do lunges or work out with resistance bands. It’s a great way to get a long workout on a busy day –and a fantastic way to make new friends!

Fitness Me In Workout Series #11

Cardio Cooking

Here’s a recipe for you:
1 part dread
1 part anticipation
Mix well, and you’ve got a New Year’s Resolution.

If your resolution is to fit more fitness into your day, you’ve come to the right place.
If your goal, like mine, is to have more fun each day, you definitely want to keep checking back.
Make no mistake, the health impacts of not working out are serious business. A sedentary life contributes to a whole host of expensive health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity and all of its related issues.
But that doesn’t mean exercise needs to be a chore. Anything you do that gets your body moving counts – and that includes dancing like a maniac while you clean house or grabbing your curling (or flat) iron and rocking out like you used to do in high school.
In fact, exercising while doing other tasks makes a boring job fun. When I shake my booty during chores, cardio cooking or playing active games with my kids, I see it as a chance to set my inner dork free. The smile lasts for hours afterwards.
Before you read the recipe below, here’s some inspiration from some gals who’ve go the right idea. Have Fun! It’s on YouTube:

This week’s tasty Cardio Cooking recipe is from the National Diabetes Education Program.

Caribbean Red Snapper (serves 4)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup carrots, cut in strips
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 lb. red snapper fillet
1 large tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons pitted ripe olives, chopped
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese or low-fat ricotta cheese

1. Gather and prep your ingredients while you dance, dance, dance.
2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Continue your booty-licious dance.
3. Add onion, red pepper, carrot, and garlic; sauté 10 minutes. Meanwhile, as you stir with your right hand, slide your right foot up against your inner leg so it rests just below your knee. Now straighten your leg out, flexing your quadriceps muscles. Return your foot to the inner leg (calf area) Place a chair next to you for balance if needed. Do 3 sets of 15-20 on each leg.
4. Before you move that chair, do 3 sets of 10 calf raises, dancing for about 30 seconds in between sets. If you have time left over shake, shake, sake your booty.
5. Add wine and bring to boil. Push vegetables to one side of the pan.
6. Arrange fillets in a single layer in center of skillet. Cover; cook for 5 minutes. Meanwhile work those outer thighs with 3 sets of 20 side leg lifts. HOW TO DO THEM: Lift your leg straight out to the side until your foot is 6 to 12 inches off the floor. Slightly bend leg you are standing on and keep abs tight. At the top of the movement pause and count to 3. When finished adopt a “chair pose” with your legs by squatting partway down. Hold as long as you can.
7. Shake out those legs. Add tomato and olives. Top with cheese. Cover; cook 3 minutes, or until fish is firm but moist. Get into the groove the whole time.
8. Transfer fish to serving platter; garnish with vegetables and pan juices.

Nutrition Information: Serving size: 3 ounces red snapper with 1/4 cup vegetables, Calories: 193, Carbohydrate: 3 grams, Protein: 22 grams, Fat: 11 grams

Find more great recipes at

Shape-Up Shopping (Grocery Day)

Here’s a workout that keeps going between the store and home.
At the store:
1. Before you pick up any groceries, walk around the perimeter of the store for 2 minutes.
2. When you are halfway done shopping, walk up and down store aisles for 4 minutes.
3. When you have all of your groceries, walk around for another 4 minutes.
4. Now, when unloading your cart keep your abs squeezed tight.

In the car:
Remember those Kegel exercises you always forget? Now is a great time to do them.

At home:
1. Bring in only 2 bags at a time. Use bags of similar weight and do bicep curls with them as you walk them into the kitchen.
2. Once everything is inside, grab 2 canned goods and do shoulder presses for 1 full minute. HOW TO DO THEM: Take hold of your items with an overhand grip. Your elbows are bent and your hands are next to your shoulders, fingers facing forward. Press overhead until your arms are fully extended. Make sure to push the items you are holding up and in so that they touch at the finish position. Lower slowly under control and repeat.
3. Do squats while unloading two bags (keep the bag on the floor and squat to get item out of it). Unload one item at a time.
4. Now grab your cans and do triceps extensions for a full minute. HOW TO DO THEM: Stand with your hips shoulder width apart. Keep the knees slightly bent. Leaning forward slightly and keep those abs tight. Lift the elbows up so they are parallel to the floor and close to your side. Your elbow should form a 90-degree angle when holding the weight. Extend backward focusing on the contraction of the tricep muscle. Hold at the top before lowering.
5. Back to the squats while unloading more bags.
6. Grab your cans again and do lateral raises. HOW TO DO THEM: Grasp object in front of thighs. Bend over at hips slightly with knees bent. Also bend elbows slightly. Raise upper arms to sides until elbows are shoulder height. Maintain elbows' height above or equal to wrists. Hold for a second and lower.
7. Do your last set of squats while unloading bags.
8. Find a wall, and do push-ups against it for a full minute.
9. Stretch, and you’re done!

Cleaning Day
Ready to dust again? I sure am! But why let this chore be boring. Crank some fun tunes and do the Calisthenics Circuit recommended by Fitness Magazine as you move around the house. It’s found at:

Play Day

It’s holiday break from school, and about this time my kids start acting a little stir crazy. There’s a simple way to get them reading or listening to a story while gaining some exercise. Read a book aloud, or listen to your child do it, and each time there is a verb, or “action word,” pause the reading and have everyone act the word out. Feel free to get silly – after all it’s supposed to be fun! If you want more cardio, jump or jog in place in between the words you’re acting out.

Groggy Day

Tough to get up after that New Year’s Eve bash? Try this morning workout to get yourself going again on New Year’s Day or any other day you need an extra energy boost. It’s on YouTube at