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The Best Inner Thigh Exercises Ever


As a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor, people often ask me how to tone up their inner thighs. While certain leg-lift-style moves do target the inner thigh muscles, it is not possible to spot-reduce fat from your inner thighs--no matter how many leg-lifts you do! If you're exercising consistently and eating a healthy diet, your body will tend to lose fat all over, not just in one certain area. However, by following a well-rounded workout plan (that includes total body strength training, cardio and flexibility work) along with a healthy diet, you will gradually help reduce the amount of fat located in the inner thigh region as your total body fat percentage drops.

This video includes moves that work multiple muscles at once through large ranges of motion to help you burn more calories while you strengthen the inner thighs. Since these moves incorporate so many muscle groups, you'll burn more fat in less time! 
Posted 7/18/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 7 comments   21,935 views
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Target Your Entire Lower Body in 14 Minutes


If you love barre workouts (or are ready to try one), check out this ballet-inspired lower-body routine that’s designed to sculpt and shape your hips, thighs and buns (oh, and your abs, too!) in less than 15 minutes. Pull up a sturdy chair (or head to the nearest countertop) for this efficient, effective, squat and lunge-free workout.


 
Want more? Click here to try more of our barre and ballet inspired routines on JESSICASMITHTV!
 
Like this workout? Be sure to subscribe at Youtube.com/JessicaSmithTV to access a full library of over 150 FREE full-length workout videos. New episodes air every Saturday at noon EST!

About the Author
Jessica Smith is co-author of the Thin in 10 Weight Loss Plan (Sunrise River Press, 2012), and a certified wellcoach, personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Having started her own fitness journey more than 40 pounds ago, Jessica knows how challenging it can be to lose weight (and keep it off). Recently named one of Sharecare's Top 10 Online Influencers, she loves finding and sharing the latest info on weight loss, fitness, and healthy lifestyle habits. The star of several best-selling exercise DVDs, Jessica has over 13 years of experience in the industry, and holds a bachelor's degree in Communications from Fordham University.

Posted 6/16/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 5 comments   67,878 views
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The 11-Minute Miracle Workout


One of the major benefits of HIIT (high intensity interval training) is it’s efficiency! This type of intense work means there’s no need to spend 60, 30 or even 20 minutes doing cardio. This 11-minute HIIT session is short, sweet and sweaty! It’s perfect for when you are short on time, as an add-on to another workout or as a staple in your regular weekly rotation (I don’t recommend doing it more than 3-4 non-consecutive days per week, though).
Posted 5/6/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 18 comments   108,083 views
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A Quick, Zero-Equipment Cardio Workout


Are you getting bored with your cardio routine? Spice things up with this quick, efficient (and kinda fun!) cardio workout that can be done with or without impact in a small space at home. I’ll show modification options during the routine, so be sure to stick with whatever works best for your body!  
Posted 4/16/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 10 comments   21,943 views
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A Cardio Workout That Anyone Can Do


The secret to getting started with exercise is simply doing what you can with what you have, today! There’s no need to join a gym or buy fancy equipment--you can start exercising right now with this full-length workout video that incorporates some simple every day items you probably already have around the house (like a sturdy chair and a broom). Join my mom, Debbie, and me for this get-up-and-go routine that can easily be done at home with little space and zero equipment.
 
Try this routine up to 3 non-consecutive days per week to spark your fitness habit!
 
And, if you enjoy this workout, please be sure to check out all of our beginner workouts on our website. Need something even more low-key to start with? Check out our seated chair workout series for more options. 
Posted 2/26/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 15 comments   39,746 views
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A 30-Minute Workout You Can't Resist!


Resistance bands are one of my favorite pieces of fitness equipment! Not only are bands super versatile, they easily fit in a carry-on suitcase, making them perfect for travel. Don’t let a busy schedule keep you from fitting in a good workout – join me from your home, hotel room or even your office, for this 30-minute total body sculpting workout that can easily be done in a small space. 
Posted 2/6/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 9 comments   21,584 views
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A No-Nonsense Walking Workout in 30 Minutes


You've probably been hearing the term 'HIIT' (which stands for high intensity interval training) a lot lately--especially when it comes to describing effective, efficient cardio exercise. And while HIIT offers many benefits, including an increased calorie burn both during and after your workout along with better endurance and improved cardiovascular fitness, it can be very intense, especially if you are new or returning to exercise. Plus, many HIIT routines include challenging moves (like burpees, squat thrusts or mountain climbers) that can be really difficult to execute properly so quickly, especially if you are working with an injury or physical limitations. 
Posted 1/16/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 24 comments   46,552 views
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Have a Ball with This Calorie-Torching Workout!


Looking to have a little more fun with your cardio workouts? Then hop off the treadmill and get ready to mix things up with this routine that uses a small ball to amp up the moves and help you burn more calories in less time.
 
No ball handy? Try using a small pillow, holding both ends of a light dumbbell (I would recommend a weight under 5 pounds) or simply clasp your hands together to follow along with this full length, 30-minute workout video. Check it out on YouTube, or watch via the embedded video below! 
Posted 12/30/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 12 comments   20,617 views
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Tone Your Legs in 15 Minutes (without Squats or Lunges!)


As a trainer, I’m a huge fan of squats and lunges, but I know that joint issues can make these common lower-body exercises pretty painful to do. The good news is that there are plenty of other exercises that can help shape up your lower half!

Whether you need to modify for your knees or simply want to try adding a few new leg moves to your repertoire, join me for this low impact, Pilates-inspired, lower body workout that doesn’t require much space and zero equipment. It's just over 15 minutes, so it's also a great option for when you're short on time! (Oh, and feel free to kick off your shoes to further engage the muscles in your feet and ankles.) Check it out on YouTube, or watch via the embedded video below! 
Posted 12/6/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 16 comments   26,521 views
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High-Intensity Cardio That Isn't Hard on Your Joints


High intensity interval training (aka H.I.I.T.) doesn't always have to be high impact! This workout is perfect for maximizing your cardio time--without pounding your joints. (Oh, and did I mention it’s free of both burpees and squat thrusts? Score!)
 
Join me for this low-impact, high-intensity cardio routine that can be done easily in a small space with zero equipment. (No jumping means it's perfect for hotel rooms and apartments, too!)
Posted 11/12/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 32 comments   31,926 views
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30-Minute Indoor Walking Workout


You already know some of the amazing benefits of walking: It’s good for your heart, great for your bones and perfect for weight control), but some days the weather outside can be frightful, and the treadmill can be well, less than delightful.

If you are in need of an indoor walking buddy today, join me for this full length, low-impact workout you can follow along with at home! This 30-minute power walk is easy to follow, fun to do, and it doesn’t require much space to move around. Plus, it's appropriate for all fitness levels.
Posted 9/27/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 45 comments   59,032 views
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Gym Bag Essentials for Every Woman


For those of you avid gym-goers out there, you know how important it is to keep your gym bag stocked and ready to go! If you are anything like me, you also like to stay stylish, even while getting sweaty, which is why I designed my oGorgeous brand of bags, so that I can have a gym bag that is as pretty as a purse! I make sure to pack my bag full of the essentials so that I'm always ready for a workout, wherever I am. Let me share some of my gym bag must haves:

Fitness Gloves
These really come in handy when you're lifting weights and want to avoid getting calluses. They're also great as you're developing grip strength.


Posted 5/15/2013  12:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 14 comments   13,131 views
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All You Ever Wanted to Know about Zumba


Editor's note: You've been asking about Zumba for a long time, so we are happy to share this guest blog post from one of our favorite bloggers. Gina, otherwise known as The Fitnessista, is not only a HUGE fan of Zumba, but she's a Zumba instructor and former dancer as well. She was happy to write about her favorite form of aerobics for the dailySpark.

Hi, everyone! My name is Gina and I write over at a little blog called The Fitnessista. On my blog, I write about fitness tips, nutrition advice, recipes, workout routines and my daily shenanigans. Determined to experience a negative “freshman 15,” I lost 40 pounds about 8 years ago and have since then become a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. My favorite class to teach, by far, is ZUMBA!

So, you may have heard about Zumba or you might be wondering what the heck it is.

Posted 5/8/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 477 comments   130,012 views
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10 Tips for Preventing Colorectal Cancer


Research has shown that at least 50% of all cases of colorectal cancer could be prevented by lifestyle, and one recent Harvard study found that risk could be reduced by as much as 70% to 75%! Here are 10 things you can do to minimize your risk for colon cancer: 
  1. Maintain a healthy body weight. Watch portion sizes and balance your food intake with activity to reach or maintain a healthy weight.
     
  2. Be physically active. Walking just 4 hours a week significantly reduces your risk, and being active will also help you achieve tip #1.
     
  3. Don’t smoke. Smoking increases your risk of many cancers not just colon and rectal cancer.
     
  4. Practice moderation when drinking alcohol. For women this means consuming no more than one drink per day, for men no more than two. All of the following equal one drink:
    • 12 oz. can or bottle of beer or wine cooler
    • 5 oz. glass of wine
    • 1½ oz. shot of hard liquor
Since your colon is part of your gastrointestinal tract, it makes sense that your diet would have a powerful impact on colorectal cancer risk. Here are the most important things to consider when eating for cancer prevention:
  1. Eat a plant-based diet that’s high in fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants and are the best source of important phytochemicals. Green vegetables and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are especially helpful as they may slow down or block the expression of cancer genes.
     
  2. Increase your intake of fiber. Whole grains, beans and legumes contain important vitamins and minerals, and are excellent sources of fiber. They help to soften your stools, prevent constipation and keep things moving through your GI tract.
     
  3. Eat less red meat and avoid processed meats.
     
  4. Don’t overcook your meat. It’s important to cook meats enough to prevent food-borne illnesses, but overcooking can cause cancer-causing compounds to form.
     
  5. Replace animal fats with nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. Olive and canola oil are great choices. Fish oils containing omega 3 fatty acids offer additional health benefits for your heart, brain and immune system.
     
  6. Be sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D. Studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D in the body are associated with an increased risk of colon cancer. For the best advice on whether you need extra calcium or Vitamin D, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian. 
And here’s the best news! The same lifestyle choices that reduce your risk for colon cancer also lower your risk for other forms of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke. In addition, they enhance the quality of your life by improving your overall physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
 
Since its inception, the Susan Cohan Colon Cancer Foundation (Susie’s Cause) has followed a specific road map for success and firmly established itself as the National Voice for the prevention, early detection, and treatment of Colon Cancer. (Susie’s Cause) will continue to strive to eliminate colon cancer as a life-threatening disease through the development and dissemination of grass roots educational programs and a robust online campaign to touch both medical professionals and the general public worldwide. Please support our efforts to save tens of thousands of lives each year.
Posted 4/26/2013  6:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 6 comments   9,178 views
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Ultimate Weight Loss--It's Not What You Think


For me, this is so much more than simply losing weight. I didn’t get to be 170 pounds overweight because all was right in my world. What pushed me to the point where I woke up one day and found a 385-pound man staring back in the mirror?
 
I sometimes think that the continued popularity of fad diets, quick-fix weight solutions in spite of their dismal track record is simply because it focuses on the symptoms rather than the root cause. These quick-fix, knee-jerk solutions exploit the panic that people feel when they are confronted by their condition.  Dealing with the root causes requires digging deep and peeling back painful layers of truth until an answer is unearthed. Unraveling knots is a tedious process.
 
I believe the path to ultimate success for me isn’t in some mystic root or berry found in a remote part of the world or some new fad fitness routine that will magically melt off pounds. How about the latest gizmo that will flatten your problem areas with just a few minutes a day? If the diet and gizmo industry had the solution, why would obesity still be such an issue?
 
Before I continue, let's focus on the word ultimate, which I used when describing success. Let me define. The word ultimate can be used in a sense that states that the success that you experience will be unparalleled in its greatness, but that is not the application here. ‘Ultimate’ defined in my statement “ultimate success” is the sum total of all your efforts, the final outcome, where you will finally wind up. In my journey I have lost a lot of skirmishes with my eating addictions yet I have managed to lose more than 100 pounds and keep it off in spite of my failings. My success was ultimately determined by my overall commitment to the ultimate end of reclaiming my life, not in day to day perfection in routine.
 
So where does the path to ultimate success lie? For me, I found it in identifying the hotspots in my life. Like a firefighter, I have put out a wildfire that threatened to consume my very existence. I have endured, fought and continued to fight the good fight; however, underneath the ashes lie hotspots. Hotspots that threaten to re-ignite with a vengeance. The fire could burn again and all my hard work would be lost.
 
I have found that if I do not address the forces that influenced me to get to such an unhealthy place, I will soon find myself back there again.
 
My hotspot. 
Posted 2/1/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Robert Wadhams : 64 comments   12,678 views
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