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3 Home Workouts for Women That Will Have You Turning Heads by Summertime

3 Home Workouts for Women That Will Have You Turning Heads by Summertime

Are you the kind of person who, when thinking about exercising, you’re are suddenly overwhelmed with a strong desire to do something else? Anything else? Yea me too. Or at least I used to be.

Exercise is one of the most difficult activities to integrate into most of our lives. It’s incredible, because the pros of exercise outweigh the cons by a landslide. I won’t go over them again (it’s everywhere, and if you don’t know by now then I don’t know if I can help you) but they are tremendous and life changing. It seems like a no-brainer to exercise as often as possible,  but alas, our logical minds are found to be mutinous again. We find ourselves filled with dread every time the word “workout” comes to mind even though it’s one of the best things we could possible do for ourselves.

It doesn’t make sense and, for the time being, it doesn’t have to. It doesn’t matter right now. What matters is that you just do it.

Don’t think about it. Thinking is not necessary.

Don’t weigh your options. You have none.

Don’t think of all the other things that need to be done that are more important. There isn’t anything more important.

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Don’t find an excuse. There aren’t any excuses to find.

Just do it.

Once you’ve come to this point, here are the three home workouts for women I highly recommend. They have worked for me, and for thousands of women everywhere, and they will work for you if you just do it. The best part is you don’t even have to leave the house to get in amazing shape

Kettlebell Workouts

Kettlebell Workouts

    I got into kettlebell training by accident. I had been out of shape for a long time, and I was browsing the fitness section in Wal-mart when I saw this weirdly shaped dumbbell. I knew that my current fitness program wasn’t working because I wasn’t doing it consistently, so I bought the kettlebell thinking that the change would make things more interesting.

    Wow. These things are incredible. Jillian Michaels: Shred-It With Weights slimmed me down in 7 weeks. Now I know a lot of kettlebell fanatics will exclaim that she’s not executing with perfect form, and I can’t say I agree or disagree with that, but nevertheless, this exercise program works.

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    You can use it like a regular dumbbell if you want, but kettlebells have their own uses that are great if you want to get in shape. They are especially useful to shape your backside. The workouts are really different and fun, so if you’re tired of training with traditional dumbbells, try the kettlebells: you’ll feel the results immediately, and you’ll get into shape fast.

    If you’re an absolute beginner, I don’t recommend going with the Jillian Michaels DVD. I love her workouts because they get the best results, but they tend to also be the hardest. If you haven’t worked out in a decade, stay away from Jillian.

    Here are some other alternatives that are easier.

    Gin Miller’s Calorie Burner Workout with Kettlebells

    This DVD is perfect for the absolute beginner. It builds your confidence while also giving you a nice workout, so you finish feeling healthy, but not exhausted.

    Power Body: Kettlebell Bootcamp with Angie Miller

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    Angie Miller’s kettlebell video is good for the beginner, but not the absolute beginner. I can’t remember a time where I’ve done more squats in my life—she will really work out your legs.

    The only thing I don’t like about this video is that both of the women who train with you never stop smiling. It’s inhuman to have the same facial expression for forty-five minutes, but maybe that’s just me.

    Zumba Fitness

    Zumba Fitness

      Zumba is so much fun, you don’t even know that you’re  working out. If you’re too shy to go to a class, you don’t want to waste the time driving to the gym and back, or if you don’t have a membership to a gym, these videos are the way to go.

      I like to do Zumba with my Xbox and Kinect. It’s the best way to find out whether you are doing the moves correctly. There are three videos games that go with the Xbox: The first one, Zumba Fitness Party, is for the beginner. The second one, Zumba Fitness Rush, is a little more advanced, but manageable and a lot more fun. The third on, Zumba Fitness Core has the most variety of dances and some really special moves to work out your belly.

      This is the only thing I use the Xbox for and it’s so worth it. You can put together your own routine with your favorite songs in Zumba Rush and Zumba Core, and in all of them you can have dance-off competitions with your friends online. If you don’t have a Xbox, don’t fret: Zumba Fitness has put together an entire package of awesome videos for you to follow too. I’ve never done them myself, but they get really great reviews.

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      This is the best way to get your cardio in. Running is boring! Swimming is too inaccessible! This is just pure fun and sweat.

      Lots and lots of sweat.

      Jillian Michaels: No More Trouble Zones

      This video is so amazing and awesome that I am considering it as a type of workout on its own. It’s only one video, but it is the video you need to have if you want a killer body in the least amount of time.

      Jillian choreographed this video specifically with women in mind. All of the body parts we complain about—abs, inner thighs, under the arms, saddle bags—are targeted in this intense 45 minute workout. This is not for the faint-hearted! You can do the modified moves, but regardless, I recommend that you be at least marginally active before trying this workout.

      As always, consult with your doctor before beginning any fitness program to make sure you’re healthy enough to handle the stress. This is especially true if you have any current medical conditions. 

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      12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

      12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

      Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

      But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

      I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

      Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

      1. Nuts

      The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

      Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

      Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

      Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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      2. Blueberries

      Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

      When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

      3. Tomatoes

      Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

      4. Broccoli

      While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

      Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

      Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

      5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

      Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

      The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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      Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

      6. Soy

      Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

      Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

      Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

      7. Dark chocolate

      When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

      Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

      15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

      8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

      Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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      B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

      Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

      Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

      To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

      9. Foods Rich in Zinc

      Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

      Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

      Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

      10. Gingko biloba

      This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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      It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

      However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

      11. Green and black tea

      Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

      Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

      Find out more about green tea here:

      11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

      12. Sage and Rosemary

      Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

      Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

      When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

      Reference

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