Simple Yet Essential Core Strength Training Exercises And Tips

As the word would suggest, your “core” muscles are central to your body’s ability to move effectively, and to be adequately protected. Your core muscles protect your lower back, allow you to run faster, make you stronger, more flexible, and will provide you with better posture and balance. Weak core muscles can result from a sedentary lifestyle, excess weight, poor posture, previous injury, pregnancy, not enough flexibility,and low fitness. Read on for these simple core strength training exercises and tips.

* Classes such as Pilates, and kick boxing can all be excellent and fun ways to strengthen your core muscles.

* Frequency. Core exercises should be performed at least three times weekly. A well rounded exercise program would incorporate stretching, cardio, and strength training, in addition to working out those core muscles.

* Add resistance. You will build up your core strength by incorporating resistance into your abdominal exercise routine. Machines, weights, medicine balls, and resistance bands can all be used to increase your strength. As a generalization, if you are looking for strength as opposed to endurance, your repetitions should be only about 6-12 before you are feeling fatigued.

* Add a fitness ball.
Fitness balls are a great piece of equipment for core muscle workouts. The firmer the ball, the harder the workout will be. Generally a fitness ball that allows you to sit on it with your knees bent is about the correct size for you. When starting out exercising these muscle try doing 5 of each. As you become stronger and more proficient you can work up to 10 or 15. Abdominal crunches performed while balancing on your ball are a great and simple form of core exercise. Even sitting on a fitness ball and retaining your balance is giving those core muscles a workout. Why not replace your office chair with a fitness ball for improved balance and stability?

For even more inspiration on how to work out with a fitness ball, you may want to visit the Mayo Clinic site here.

Simple Vacation Exercise Tips – Don’t Bring Home Excess Poundage

Going on vacation is a time for fun, relaxation, eating, drinking, being merry, and unfortunately for many of us, a time for the pounds to creep back on. A relaxation of the usual exercise regime, a little too much of the food and drink, or a combination of both, no-one wants to come home with excess baggage in the shape of extra love handles as their vacation souvenir. Easy vfacation exercise tips provide a win-win situation no matter what type of vacation you are planning.

Nobody should have to totally dedicate their down time to counting carbs, fats and calories. Neither should you have to spend the whole time on the Stairmaster or rowing machine. By following some of these simple strategies, you can retain your fitness while on vacation:

* Pack your sand shoes.
This is pretty much a no-brainer. Without your workout shoes you will not be able to go for a quick walk or jog, or utilize any gym equipment you come across.
* Pack your workout gear and swim shorts. Even if there is not a pool or ocean in sight your swimmers at a pinch can double up for doing yoga or crunches in your hotel room.
* Resistance bands are lightweight and versatile. Pack a DVD or just memorize your favorite routine. Using just a door handle or a chair as props will give you a great resistance workout. You can get an all over workout without leaving your room.
* A beach towel can be used on the carpet for floor work or instead of a yoga mat.
* Exercise DVDs from home are a great choice for doing workouts in your room. Incorporate the exercise bands for a great workout.
* In-house gyms are ideal for the fitness fanatic accustomed to a gym. Try to go when the equipment is not in full use so you don’t end up spending your whole vacation waiting to use the treadmill.
* In-house fitness classes can be a better option then the gym. You will not have to spend time waiting to use the equipment, just pitch up and participate in the work out class.
* Family friendly activities such as roller blading, roller skating, ice skating, hiking, bush walking, throwing the frisbee, or flying a kite are all great ways for the entire family to burn off that huge breakfast. Bike riding is another great pursuit that all members of the family can participate in.
* Action vacations such as sailing, surfing, ski-ing or snow boarding, or trekking up a mountain, are all great ways to burn up plenty of calories and improve the whole family’s fitness levels.
* Walk around to see the sights. You will see far more of a foreign destination by getting around on foot. Walking ensures plenty of time for photos, working up an appetite, and no-one missing the sights being the driver.
* Ride a bike. Not only will you be burning calories, but you will be saving on your gas bill, and being kind to the environment. The best exercise bikes will have plenty of gears for those unexpected challenges. Don’t forget to wear your bike helmet.
* Get up early and go for a brisk walk or jog before the day begins. This can work well for the time challenged tourist. Exercising at the start of the day means that it is done, no matter what happens later.
* Dancing on tables is an underrated way to burn up a few calories after consuming all those drinks.
* Latest techno gadgets include an MP3 player by Yamaha called BODiBEAT which cleverly plays songs off your downloads that match the speed of your heart rate. You can also get a heart monitor that clips to your ear. VersaStick is another compact little package weighing just 3 pounds, and approved by airlines to travel in carry on luggage. This little gem includes a snap together bar, bands, and instructional DVD that incorporates core, cardio resistance, and other selections, for an all round 30 minute cardio workout.


A vacation should be a time to relax and unwind. Incorporating a little easy and enjoyable exercise can put a stop to vacation weight gains and loss of fitness.

Budget Fitness – Home Gym Exercise Equipment For About $100 Dollars

There are plenty of reasons to put off getting with the fitness program, but a popular excuse is lack of funds. If you really are keen to get fit we are going to show you how you can put together really effective home gym exercise equipment for under $100.

We should all know that every effective fitness campaign has three components: cardio, strength, and flexibility. No matter how hard up you are for cash, there are plenty of inexpensive, and in some cases free, options that you can go for.

*Footwear. Having appropriate footwear may well be your most expensive item. Your exercise shoes should be well supporting, and shock absorbing. Make sure that your shoes are comfortable and well suited for walking, jogging, or running. Cost: $60 approx when on sale.

Cardio Fitness

Depending on your budget there are several options for you to chose from.
*A brisk walk, jog, or run around the local park is free, and perfect for burning calories, and is the best aerobic exercise. Cost: free.
*Jump ropes can be an excellent way to get your heart going if the weather is too nasty for outdoors. This is a high impact exercise so make sure you wear your shoes. Cost: $20 if you scout around on the net, or free if you borrow your child’s.
*Mini trampolines can be another great option for low impact exercise or jogging in bad weather. Cost:$30 which included an instructional DVD and a set of fitness bands.
*Pedometers can be a fun way to relieve the boredom of your walk or jog. Just how far have you traveled and how many calories have you burned? Definitely not essential but can be fun. Cost: $15

Toning and Strength Training

*Fitness bands can be used for many muscle groups and are great for both strength and toning. Many bands are sold in kits with DVDs or books to allow you to maximize your workout. Otherwise hit your local library for some free educational inspiration. Cost: $3-7 per band or kits from $13.
*Dumbbells are great for incorporating arm and leg resistance to your workout. Dumbbell sets are more cost effective as you can increase the weight as you become stronger. Cost: $35 for a 20 pound set, and $45 for a 32 pound set.
*Chin-up bars give you the opportunity to exercise many parts of your body. Not only chin ups but pull ups, and hanging knee raises, leg raises and body twists. Cost: $15 for a fully convertible chin up/sit up bar to suit any door width.


*Stability balls are great for stretches, working on your core muscles and balance work. Cost: $18 for a ball alone, or $25 with an instructional DVD for stretches, workouts and exercises.
*Yoga mats are great for doing all your floor exercises, stretches, and any yoga or pilates that you may wish to add to the mix. A mat will also provide a more stable surface for a stability ball. Cost: $10 for a mat or $17 for a mat and instructional DVD.

Grand Total:
No Frills: Shoes, bands, dumbbells, and yoga mat comes in at $103.
If you already own a pair of shoes then you could lash out and purchase a chin up bar, stability ball, and the jump rope for the other $40.

Mini trampolines and pedometers are by no means essential for your fitness campaign and have only been mentioned as alternatives for those who might already own some of the other equipment.

*Library. Never underestimate your local library. This can be a great place to source both instructional books and DVDs on how to get fit. Cost: free.

Your home gym exercise equipment need not cost the earth. There are great bargains around for the savvy shopper. A shortage of funds need not stop you from exercising at home. For those with no cash to spare at all, grab a book from your local library instructing you in how to use your own body weight for strength and resistance work. Stick with walking, jogging or running. All you need to purchase is your runners.

*Costings were correct as of time of publication. Coco found the best prices online through the bigger retail outlets.