SparkPeople Guest Blogger
This workout is part of Jessica Smith's #FITIN15 program. This plan features 15 free 15-minute-or-less workouts with options for all levels of exercisers, so you can progress with the workouts as you gain strength or ease back into a routine.Click here to find out how to sign up for the program!
Whether you are just starting to exercise, or have been working out for years, there is nothing more effective for building strength, alignment and body awareness than basic, bodyweight only exercises. This 15-minute full-length home workout routine helps keeps your heart rate elevated while developing strength and stamina from head to toe. Refresh your form and perfect your body alignment with these traditional moves to safely get more out of every workout.
Posted 1/12/2015 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 12 comments 27,146 views
This workout is part of Jessica Smith's #FITIN15 program. This plan features 15 free 15-minute-or-less workouts with options for all levels of exercisers, so you can progress with the workouts as you gain strength or ease back into a routine. Click here to find out how to sign up for the program!
Forget slogging through countless miles on the boring treadmill or running outdoors in the bitter cold--a good cardio session can be quick and effective, and done from the comfort of your home with zero equipment! Join me for this short and sweaty cardio workout any time you need a fun way to spark up your calorie burn FAST.
Posted 1/5/2015 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 16 comments 36,191 views
Ready to start exercising, but not sure where to begin? I’ve created this workout just for you! Everybody has to start his or her own personal exercise journey somewhere, so if you are ready to start moving, join me for this efficient and effective workout that uses just your body weight, a chair and a wall. This 20-minute routine will help you develop strength and stamina and will teach you proper form for basic exercises like squats, planks and push-ups.
Posted 12/2/2014 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 7 comments 66,142 views
Whether you're a parent who works full time, part time, or stays at home, working out can be a challenge. Finding the time amid cooking, cleaning, laundry, homework, sports, lessons, and bill-paying; finding the energy when you're short on sleep; and finding someone to watch the kids so you can get to the gym or go for a jog is no small feat! And then there's the guilt. Maybe you feel guilty because working out means even more time away from your kids, so you choose to skip the gym. Maybe they're with you all day but they cry when you drop them off at the gym child-care, so you opt to stay home instead. Whatever the reason, if you're missing your workouts because you're feeling guilty, read on to shake off the guilt and get fit—because as it turns out, your workouts are actually good for your kids, too!
Posted 11/17/2014 5:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 1 comments 10,482 views
Your mom was right--standing up straight really is good for you! Better posture can also help you look taller and slimmer instantly (no Spanx required). With all the sitting and slouching we do while typing, texting and driving, maintaining good posture can require a little extra work. Join me for this equipment-free, full-length workout video designed to develop strength, flexibility and proper alignment in the postural muscles of the neck, shoulders, back and core. A mat is recommended for the floor work (though a carpeted surface should work fine).
Posted 11/10/2014 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 6 comments 37,581 views
If traditional abs moves like crunches and twists bother your back, don't suffer! There are plenty of ways to work your abs without straining your back that are just as (and sometimes more!) effective. Join me (and my puppy Peanut) for this full-length workout routine that is designed for those who experience back pain during floor abdominal exercises.
All you’ll need for this workout is a sturdy chair and a single light dumbbell (or similar weighted object).
Posted 11/3/2014 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 8 comments 106,529 views
Perhaps the most common question I receive from patients is, ''I can’t exercise because of knee arthritis. What do I do?'' Over 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 suffer from knee arthritis. This can make exercising more challenging. As a result, many people with knee pain from arthritis just stop exercising. This can lead to obesity, loss of muscle tone, worsening of the arthritis and depression. You heard that right--exercise improves knee arthritis, and lack of exercise makes it worse! If you have knee arthritis, there are some moves you may wish to avoid until your symptoms improve:
1. Bending the knee while bearing weight
2. Flexing the knee past ninety degrees
3. Stressing the ligaments by leaping from side to side
If the above moves cause you discomfort, below are some alternative exercises that will move the knee joint safely while strengthening all the supporting muscles.
You will want to be on the floor for most of these exercises, so take your time getting down and back up again. Use a thick rug or exercise mat for comfort. If you have a firm mattress, you can even do some of these moves in bed.
Posted 10/9/2014 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 11 comments 170,842 views
Squats and lunges are two of my favorite classic moves to incorporate into lower-body workouts because they really work! However,as effective as they are, these particular moves can cause knee pain for a lot of people. The good news is that you can still effectively target the lower body with these alternative exercises that won’t strain your joints. This full-length, low-impact workout doesn’t include a single squat or lunge and is designed to be gentle on the joints but tough on your hips, thighs and glutes!
Posted 9/30/2014 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 10 comments 91,983 views
Now that school is back in session and you're getting into your fall routine, you're going to need after-school snacks and quick weeknight meals you can prepare in a flash to keep those kids happy and healthy. And you probably have just the secret weapon to do it—your microwave! From defrosting frozen items to preparing side dishes for dinner, your microwave may be an overlooked tool in your kitchen.
Posted 9/23/2014 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 3 comments 17,761 views
No equipment? No problem! This quick set of exercises is guaranteed to fry your thighs using just your body weight and a small amount of space (making this routine perfect for travel!). Try this lower-body circuit as its own workout (1, 2 or 3 times through depending on how much time and energy you have), add it to your strength routine or try it after a cardio session for one short, but serious, lower body sculpting session.
Keep an eye out for Peanut the French bulldog, who also joins us for this workout (well, sort of)!
Leave me a comment below and let me know if you tried the workout. What was your favorite (or least favorite!) move?
Want more? Click here to try more of our lower body routines on JESSICASMITHTV!
Like this workout? Be sure to subscribe at Youtube.com/JessicaSmithTV to access a full library of over 200 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 instructor. Having started her own 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 lifestyle habits. The star of several best-selling exercise DVDs, Jessica has over 13 years of experience in the industry, and holds a in Communications from Fordham University.
Posted 8/31/2014 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 8 comments 32,632 views
Short on workout time? Need a quick energy boost? Trying to rack up a few more steps today? Join me for this quick, powered-up walk that is easy to do at home (or even at the office!) in a small space. I've included a few fun intervals to help mix up your steps and get you sweating for this short burst of activity.
Oh, and be sure to look out for Peanut the French bulldog who joins us for this walk (well, in her own way)!
Posted 8/11/2014 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 27 comments 106,693 views
If you've been in touch with diet trends over the past few years, chances are that you've heard of the Paleo diet. When you Google the word "Paleo" or "Paleo diet," you'll find thousands of blogs, recipes, articles and best-selling nutrition books. But what exactly is Paleo—and is its popularity warranted? Is it all hype and marketing, or is this truly the best diet to adopt for optimal human health? Let's take a look at what the evidence says.
Posted 8/4/2014 12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 48 comments 117,924 views
Now that summer is in full swing, you're probably looking for quick and easy ways to cool down. Although the pool and your air conditioner are the usual suspects, have you ever considered just how much of an asset your kitchen's freezer is?
Your freezer is the little culinary assistant that could—if you know how to maximize it. That doesn't mean that you should stand in front of the open freezer as the chilly air blasts you; in fact, there are ways to get your freezer working for you while you improve its energy efficiency in the process.
You can also use your freezer to make quick, healthy snacks that the kids are sure to love—just a freezer's reach away all summer long. When you have these kid-friendly freezer snacks at the ready, you have even more time to get out and enjoy the pool and do the things you'd rather do, instead of spending all summer slaving in the kitchen.
Here are some freezer-friendly foods that will keep your kids coming back for seconds.
Posted 7/28/2014 5:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 5 comments 24,767 views
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 : 11 comments 622,179 views
Editor's Note (Nicole Nichols): Here at SparkPeople, we know just how powerful music can be as a motivator for your workouts, which is why we try to share new music ideas often. My friend Susie (who is an amazing Spinning instructor) uses a lot of instrumental songs in her classes, and I'm always surprised at how motivating and upbeat they are even though they have little to no words—and are often songs I've never heard before. If you are looking for some new fitness music that will push you, inspire you, and help you focus in your next workout (or race), this list is for you! Here are 15 of her favorite instrumental songs that are great for exercise!
Posted 7/14/2014 5:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 9 comments 59,589 views