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Abs, Abs, Abs

Hey y’all! For this Wellness Wednesday, we’re going to be talking about abs. That’s right, it’s winter time, and I am still working on my abs, keeping them from disappearing even though sweater season is right around the corner. At least, in my case, I sure hope it is, Florida seems slow on the winter update.

So before you start moaning and groaning, let me first say that having a strong core can help you with so much more than just looking great at the pool or beach. While it definitely has that benefit, it’s also helpful for keeping you balanced, as well as helping you to build muscle in other areas. Not to mention, if you are a dancer or even singer, a stronger core will help you to perform better. I remember my ballet days, and despite the main focus being on my posture and form and stretching my legs, I also had to have a good core to be able to do some of those moves. So if you’ve ever wanted to pursue dance or singing, then you’ll definitely want to work on those abs.

Now, you may be thinking, ick crunches, I hate crunches. I actually don’t hate crunches, but they can get a bit boring. Not to mention, regular crunches only work one part of your abs, while you have other parts that need to be worked too. Luckily, there are some variations on crunches, which I do every single night.

  1. Froggy crunches. I’m sure there’s a better name for them, but they make me think of frogs for some reason. Basically, lay down on your back and put your feet together, with your knees on opposite sides, like the butterfly stretch, except laying down. Then do your crunches as normal.
  2. Legs up crunches. Again, a simple variation, you’ll just want to lift your legs up in the air, bent at the knees and do your crunches as normal.
  3. Planks. Oh planks, can’t say I don’t hate those, but they are fantastic for working on your abs. They aren’t necessarily a crunch variation, but they’re a great workout so they had to make the list.
  4. Standing crunches. These are better if you don’t want to get down on the floor. So you’ll stand with your feet shoulder length apart, and you’ll bring your leg up to your chest, one at a time, alternating, while also crunching your stomach inward.

I am trying to keep my health a focus and priority, and that means not taking many days off from workouts. These are some of my go-tos for every day, and so far I’m really seeing progress that I’m very happy with. I hope they help you out and that you continue to make fitness a priority in your life as well! And don’t feel that you can’t start now, New Years doesn’t have to be the starting point to getting your health where you want it.

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No Gym Gym

If you’ve made some resolutions and health goals, but unfortunately can’t find it in the budget for a gym membership, I have news for you. You don’t need one! You can achieve your health goals without having to pay for an expensive membership or the expensive equipment that some use to build their own home gyms. Check out my suggestions for a no gym gym, that uses things you already have or can get pretty cheaply.

  • Run outside. Fresh air is free, and with sunrise being earlier and sunset being later, there is no time like the present to get outside before or after work and taking a brisk walk or run. You can even alternate between the two. Just make sure you keep your heart rate elevated for 30 minutes each day to truly get the cardiac benefits.
  • Use chairs to help with stretching. As someone who did ballet, I had to practice even when I wasn’t in the dance studio taking my lessons. However, I never had a ballet bar installed in my house, which meant I had to get very creative. Even though I no longer do recitals or take lessons, though I may go back to it, I still remember some of the stretches and practices, and have found that using the back of a couch is a pretty close second to a ballet bar. A hard backed chair works as well, just make sure it is firm enough to support your ankle and not too high to where you are uncomfortable while stretching.
  • Utilize your swimming pool. This may be surprising to some, but your pool can be used for more than lust-worthy Instagram pictures. You can swim laps, as well as do different core workouts! And if you have a pool or a community pool, you can get a workout in for free.
  • Try free classes in the area. If you think you’d like to take a class in the future and have the money for it, try some out on a trial basis to find the right fit for you. You don’t want to get locked into a membership if you find out that you really hate yoga and can’t stand hearing the word “namaste.”
  • Get a cheap pair of dumbbells for your arms. That’s how I get my arm workouts in each day, I don’t have any fancy equipment, just two 5 pound dumbbells that help me keep my arms toned. I may not be able to up the weight, but I can change the different sets and reps and exercises that I do to get all the muscles worked out.
  • Use an exercise band. These are also really inexpensive, but can help a lot with stretching and even resistance training.

There are so many ways to have a no gym gym, and most of it is completely free. You just may have to think a little bit outside of the box, but it’ll definitely be worth it.

Take a Class

No, I don’t mean go back to school, but take a class and try something new. If you’ve always wanted to bake, take a baking class. If you want to try your hand at a new fitness craze, sign up and give it a shot.

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