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Just when I think I’ve been pushing myself to the limits when it comes to working out, I find a new DVD that makes me wonder if I’m ever really working hard at all.

Similar to the HiiT video, Cathe’s Cardio Core Circuit incorporates a lot of plyometric movement that has your heart pumping within the first few minutes.  The DVD is set up into 5 intense little rounds.  When I first started, for some reason I thought it was 7 rounds, and I honestly didn’t know how I’d get through them.  There are 3 cardio drills that are done for 30 seconds each, and then repeated.  After that, there is a small session of intense core work.

Regarding the cardio, there is a LOT of jumping and bouncing around.  Honestly, if you have any kind of lower body injury, such as knee or ankle pain, I really would not recommend this workout.  Knowing you only have to do each move twice and then you move on helps to keep you motivated, however, it’s definitely not for beginners.  There were a few points where I had to stop just to try to get my breathing back on track.  I’ve never found myself wishing for jump squats, but to be honest, those were a welcome break after some of the other moves!

The core moves are very advanced.  I’m sure I’ll work up to them, but Cathe does a lot of squat thrusts and push up type things that have always been very hard for me.  She does provide some modifications, though, and those will have to do for now!

This is not the kind of video that I could do more than once or twice a week.  While it’s most definitely a FABULOUS cardio option, I was very sore in my legs the next day and even the day after that.  Make sure you bring a lot of energy to this one…you’ll need it!  While it’s certainly not impossible to the point where I’d need to turn it off, it’s a true challenge, but the rewards outweigh the pain 🙂

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Between Jared’s birthday last Thursday and my mom’s birthday on Sunday, temptation has been all around me this past week.  From cake, to pizza, to a buffet brunch, it was practically unbearable.  Considering how often I get food cravings on normal days, I’ll admit this past weekend was a true test of will!

I recently found this great article from Fitness Magazine about controlling cravings.  I did know a lot of this stuff, but here are some things that were new to me:

Women are more vulnerable to cravings than men. Finally, proof for what I see played out in our house every night!  I used to tell myself that I craved sweets and bad food more than Jared because I was overweight, but science has an answer for me.  It seems that women in general have a harder time ignoring cravings based on the biological response to “eat for two.”  Interesting stuff!

Giving in to cravings can change our brains. Blame this one on processed foods.  Sugar, fat, and salt don’t come packaged naturally in things like fruit or even meat.  Processed foods help us get that hit all at once, making it harder to avoid them and choose the right bite.

We all have a food bliss point. This is the point where the level of sugar, fat and salt give us maximum pleasure, making them addictive almost in the same way drugs and alcohol are.

Read the full article on the Fitness Magazine Web site for some tips on how to control these natural cravings!  What strategies do you have for avoiding your trigger foods?

Money is tight for everyone these days.  While some are fortunate enough to have a gym in their apartment building or work building, for those of us without those resources, it can be hard to justify a gym membership.  I’ve been doing home workouts for about 3 years now.  While it can be hard to find a video that makes you work hard enough to feel it, Fitness Magazine just made it easier for all of us with our own home gyms!

The Top 10 Workout Videos for 2011 breaks down the best of the best as far as home workouts are concerned, providing variety as well as a great workout.  From Bob Harper to Jackie Warner to Jillian Michaels to Denise Austin, this list really includes something for everyone.  Fitness Magazine even broke down the amount of calories you would burn, as well as what you need, and included a snippet from each video.

This is really one of the best resources I’ve seen in awhile.  After reading this list, I was super tempted to go out and buy all the ones I haven’t tried (I’ve tried Jillian’s 6 week 6 pack as well as Jackie’s XTreme Timesaver Workout).  While it can certainly add up, as some of these videos cost up to $20 not counting some of the equipment you might need, if working out at home is your main source of exercise, it’s certainly worth the investment.  For now, I’ll hope  that I win the pack of 10, although I’m sure that’s a long shot. 🙂

I haven’t checked to see if any of these are available on Netflix, but that’s another great option if you’re looking to try before you buy as well as find something that motivates you to work hard at home.  Thanks to Fitness Magazine for such a great resource list and for remembering those of us without access to gym equipment that still like to work hard!

I read a lot in magazines and online about fitness and health.  I have my go-to sites, and Fitness Magazine‘s online information is quickly becoming a daily visit for me.

My sister started to read Fitness magazine a few weeks ago and was constantly telling me about the workouts she was finding, which she found to be really great.  The last thing I need right now is another magazine subscription, so she told me that most of the resources are online.  Fitness Magazine is owned by the same company that owns Better Homes and Gardens, so it turned out I already had a log-in!

My sister wasn’t kidding.  The workout suggestions are pretty great, and different from the usuals.  Fitness Magazine takes into account that a lot of people might not have equipment at home or a gym membership, and there are workouts that do not require a treadmill or any other equipment.  I think this is a great trend for fitness columns to move to.  While I do have a treadmill and weights, I don’t have an elliptical or stair climber, and it’s nice to see some variety that still gets the job done.

Another feature that I thought I had exhausted on other Web sites is the Healthy Recipes section.  I get a daily email that includes some great tips, with links to recipes and snack ideas.  I thought I had seen it all, but Fitness Magazine provides a new variety that is both reasonable and tasty.  While I’ve been unable to find a feature that lets me save them to my profile on the site, it’s just as easy to email them to myself.  (And store them in a folder labeled Cooking-yes, my personal inbox is THAT organized).

As I mentioned, I do subscribe to some of their daily emails that seem to integrate with other magazines under their fold (like Diabetic Living).  I typically delete a lot of the emails I get, but I’ve found myself clicking through on every link to at least browse what they have to say.

Of course Fitness Magazine also has a lot of features I haven’t delved into yet, like Communities and Videos.  Since I have so many options when it comes to videos on demand, I typically don’t turn on my computer to work out, but maybe down the road it would be worth trying.  Or, if you travel a lot, it’s a must!  I tend not to join Communities, but I’m sure they can be inspirational for those that like that sort of thing!

Just when I thought I’d seen it all, Fitness Magazine provides another great portal to inspire me with workout ideas, snack ideas, and more.  What’s more, Fitness Magazine is reasonable in their suggestions without bordering on unhealthy.  It’s great to see another magazine portraying positive ideas and thinking.

 

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