Calorie Smart » Exercises The Health, Fitness & Diet Website Thu, 20 Dec 2012 20:05:55 +0000 en hourly 1 Top 5 At Work Exercises! Thu, 20 Dec 2012 20:05:55 +0000 LookSmart

Top 5 At Work Exercises!

Full Leg Stretch
Sit tall, with you’re back straight at your desk and raise your right leg until it is level with your hip. While holding your leg in this position, rotate your foot for 5 counts clockwise. Rotate foot for 5 counts counter-clockwise, and then lower. Repeat with left leg. This exercise will increase circulation in your legs if you’re sitting for long periods of time. Repeat once for every hour of sitting.

Spinal Stretch
Sitting at your desk, plant your feet and tighten your abs. Right hand grabs the left side arm rest and rotate your upper body to face the left and hold. Stretch to each side two times.

Arm Stretch 
Sitting at your desk, reach your arms out straight in front of you at shoulder height. Have your palms face away from your body. Using the right hand, slowly push back on your left hand stretching your wrist and forearm muscles.

Hips and Glutes Stretch
Stand at your desk, feet shoulder width apart. Raise your right leg straight up in front of you, without bending your knees, several inches off the ground. Hold and slowly lower. Lift left leg and repeat. Next repetition, raise your leg straight up beside you several inches, hold for a 5 count, lower slowly. 6 movements of each leg.

Thighs and Glutes Stretch
Stand directly in front of your chair, feet shoulder width apart and arms straight out in front of you at shoulders height. Bend your knees in a squatting position, tap the edge of your seat and hold for a count of 5. Stand straight up to the start position. Repeat 10 times

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Achieve Your New Years Fitness Resolutions! Wed, 19 Dec 2012 20:05:25 +0000 LookSmart

Top 3 Tips to Successfully Achieve Your Health and Fitness New Years Resolutions

Set Goals
Setting goals is the most important part of successfully achieving your New Years Resolutions. If your goals aren’t thought out properly, you will set yourself up for failure. Follow these guidelines for setting goals:
Make Attainable Goals: Attainable goals are ones that you can achieve in a healthy manner. Trying to lose weight rapidly will only harm your body more then help it.
Make Realistic Goals: If you work 80 hours a week, it’s not realistic that you can hit the gym 5 days a week! Choose goals that you know you can achieve even if you have to work late a couple nights out of the week.
Keep Track of Your Progress: keeping a journal of your progress will give a more visual image of your progress and areas you may need to work on. In your journal, track your gym attendance or exercise hours, your weekly weight and measurements, and even your grocery bill. Not only can you track weight loss and improved energy, but you can also see a savings in purchasing healthier foods!
Make Goals Visible: The more you see your goals, the more they will be in your daily thought process. Keep post-it notes around your home or office reminding you when your favorite gym classes are or of a healthy weekly meal plan! No more saying “ughhh what’s for dinner!”.
Have a Backup Plan: No one likes to fail, but no one can see the future. Having a backup plan is a good idea for those unexpected events in life. Don’t let weather effect your gym attendance, have a no-equipment fitness plan you can work on at home or at the office! For ideas click here!

Surround yourself with Positive Support Systems
Having a positive support system is key in successfully achieving your new years fitness resolutions!  A support system can provide encouragement and company along your fitness journey. You can invite friends, family members or even your significant other to join you in improving your overall health and wellness.  This will not only improve everyone’s health, but will give you someone to drag to that early morning spin class before work.
If you want to go on the journey solo, make sure you have people you can talk to about your goals. The more people know about your quest to become more active and eat healthier, the more supportive people will be. They will compliment you on the changes they see and may inspire them to change their current lifestyles!   

3. Reward Yourself!
The whole point behind setting new years resolutions is to change things in your life that you are unhappy with. You may want to tone up certain areas of your body or eat healthier, either way, if you stick to your goals you will see and feel improvements. Once you successfully change or improve these things, you deserve to be rewarded!  You worked hard and you deserve it! If your main goal was to have a toned body in time for the beach season, treat yourself to a new swimsuit that features your new hard-earned improvements! If your goal was to eat healthier, go outside the box and take it a step further. Plant a home garden and treat your friends and family to a homegrown meal! Make goals for specific milestones you achieve along the way to your resolution, it will help keep you motivated to achieving your overall goal!

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5 Favourite Equipment-Free Workout Moves Tue, 11 Dec 2012 21:34:05 +0000 LookSmart 5 Favourite Equipment-Free Workout Moves

Cooler months can also bring unpleasant driving weather. So here are our top 5 favourite equipment-free workout moves that are great for those days you can’t make it to the gym due to the weather!

1. Begin with a full body stretch: when stretching make sure to get all those trouble areas that tend to be a bit more sore when your exercising. The extra stretching will help warm up those joints. As well, make sure you stretch each side evenly to avoid injury on one side over the other. Click here for pre-workout stretch ideas!

2. Step Up: Doing your step exercises to work leg muscle doesn’t always need to be done at the gym on the stair master. If your working out from home, use what you have on hand: run up and down the stairs for 2 minute intervals at 5 reps each. Or use a step stool or coffee table the same way. Stand in front of a stool, feet shoulder width apart. Right foot up, left foot up, right foot down, left foot down. 2 minutes, 5 reps

3. Plank : This is one of my favorite yoga poses that I incorporate into my daily gym routine as it is a great way to work all of our core muscles, leg muscles and arms. Lay face down on your mat, resting your palms beneath your shoulders and toes curled under. Push yourself up. Depending on your strength, you can push yourself up all the way or rest on your forearms. Keep your back, butt and legs all in a straight line. Breathe in for 10 breaths, release. Repeat for 5 reps.

4. Bridge Lifts: This is one of my favorite exercises, as I love having a nice toned tush, but this isn’t always the most comfortable move to do while at the gym. Thankfully you don’t need any equipment for this exercise and can do it in the comfort of your own home. Lay flat on your back, arms at your side, knees bent. Lift your hips and butt to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees, all while squeezing your glutes. Hold for 5, and slowly lower back down. Do 20 reps.

5. Tricep Dip: This isn’t just one of my favorite gym exercises to help sculpt my arms,  but I can do it during commercials of my favorite shows since the average couch is the perfect height! Sit on the edge of your couch or a chair, and place your palms facedown beside your thighs. Your feet should be flat on the floor and knees bent. Move forward until your butt is hovering above the ground and your feet and hands are in the same place as before. Bend your arms and lower your hips to the floor (almost like a backwards pushup). Push up. Continue 10 times for 5 reps.
* For added intensity, try raising one leg to be parallel to the ground while you bend your arms and push up. This will work those front thigh muscles!

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35-Minute Elliptical HIIT Workout Mon, 24 Sep 2012 20:47:28 +0000 LookSmart 35-Minute Elliptical HIIT Workout

I used to run on the treadmill all the time, but I used to find that I was getting very sore joints the next day so I moved to the elliptical because it’s much easier on your joints. Now there is the rumor that the elliptical doesn’t give you a good workout like other exercise machines, but this is actually not true, you just have to use the elliptical properly in order to burn more calories and get your heart rate up.

Check out this 35 minute workout and try it out the next time your on the elliptical, let me know how you get along!

35-Minute Elliptical HIIT  Workout

Don’t forget to let me know how you get along! ☺

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30-Minute Workout Interval Fri, 10 Aug 2012 15:42:18 +0000 LookSmart 30-Minute Workout Interval

Getting bored with your regular workout routines? It happens! So spice things up and get your blood pumping with this awesome 30-minute interval workout. Good luck ☺

50 jumping jacks

10 pushups

20 squats

20 bicycle crunches

50 high knees

15 oblique crunches (right)


30-Minute Workout Interval

30-Minute Workout Interval



20 jump squats

15 oblique crunches (left)

50 mountain climbers

15 lunges (left leg)

20 plank knee crosses (plank position raise right knee to left elbow then left knee to right elbow)

15 lunges right leg




Repeat 2-3 times, depending on what you feel most comfortable with. This is a quick workout that you should have no troubles squeezing into your daily schedule.

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Happy Sweating ☺

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Killer Arm Workout! Fri, 10 Aug 2012 15:30:05 +0000 LookSmart Killer Arm Workout!

My arms are my absolutely favorite part of my body to workout, so I’m always looking for workouts to improve them and strengthen them.  I found this awesome workout at MuffinTop-Less Blog (another fabulous fitness fanatic!), so check it out!

Superset #1:

3×12 Standing Bicep Cable Curl (Check out this video from Fittplanfor instructions)

Standing Bicep Cable Curl

Standing Bicep Cable Curl3x12 Rope Tricep Push-Down (Check out this video from Scott Herman Fitness)













3×12 Rope Tricep Push-Down (Check out this video from Scott Herman Fitness)

Superset #2:

4×12 Seated Alternating Dumbbell Curls (Check out this video from Oracle Fitness)

4×12 Skull Crushers (Check out this video from Scott Herman Fitness )

Superset #3:

3×12 Hammer Curls w/ a dropset after each set (Check out this video from Scott Herman Fitness)

3×12 Tricep Dumbbell kickbacks w/a dropset after each set (Check out this video from WorkoutBOX)

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Calorie-Burning Interval Workout Wed, 08 Aug 2012 14:13:56 +0000 LookSmart Calorie-Burning Interval Workout

I personally don’t like doing the same boring workouts each day, I find that I easily get bored and I lose interest in the exercise which causes fitness plateaus. So I choose to do interval workouts that are usually shorter than regular workouts, get your heart rate pumping fast, and burn more calories than regular monotone workouts. Here’s one interval workout that I do almost everyday, if you have you one you want to share, contact us at our Facebook page!

Upper-Body Strength Workout

10 Push-ups (try to do them on your toes, not your knees)

Calorie-Burning Interval Workout

Calorie-Burning Interval Workout

30 Seconds of Jumping Jacks

15 Single-Arm Bent-Over Rows

30 Seconds of Jumping Jacks

20 Tricep Dips

30 Seconds of Jumping Jacks

16 Alternating Bicep Curls & Hammer Curls

30 Seconds of Jumping Jacks

This whole interval workout can easily be done in 20 minutes, but if you are a newbie to interval training, don’t rush yourself. Take your own time and workout at your own pace. If you find yourself really sore on some days from this interval workout, don’t do the interval again (your muscles and joints need time to heal), but do some cardio such as brisk walking, biking, etc.

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Real Beauty

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Top 5 Moves for a Bootylicious Booty Fri, 27 Jul 2012 19:34:04 +0000 LookSmart Top 5 Moves for a Bootylicious Booty

1. Traditional Squats

SquatsStand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend at the knee. As you bend into a squat, make sure your knees stay above your feet and your torso remains straight upright. For added intensity, hold weights atop shoulders and always keep your core tight.

Repeat 10-15 reps, 5 sets






2. Pelvic Lift

Pelvic LiftLay on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Squeeze your core and glutes to lift your pelvic bone and lower vertebrae closer to the ceiling. Hold for a count of 10, keeping your glutes and core tight, then slowly lower down to the floor. For added intensity, extend one leg straight towards the ceiling while in the lift position and hold for ten.

Repeat 10-15 reps.

3. Leg Kicks

Leg KicksStart on all fours [hands and knees on the matt], keeping your hips parallel to the floor and your hands directly below your shoulders. Draw your stomach in toward your spine as you bring your right knee up to your chest. Kick out! Keep your leg straight, foot flexed and your butt tight!

Repeat 10 times, switching legs, 5 sets







4. Step Up

Step UpStart with your feet flat on the floor, slightly apart, and your hands reaching straight down towards the floor. Breathe in, and raise your weight onto the balls of your feet. Hold…..and slowly lower. If you need help balancing, slowly raise your hands towards the sky as you rise up onto the balls of your feet. To add intensity to this exercise, when balancing on the balls of your feet lift one foot off the ground and do the exercise using one foot at a time. Your glutes and core will contract to help your body balance through the exercise.

Repeat 10 times, switch legs, 5 sets



5. Sweeping Lunges

Swinging LungesStand legs shoulder width apart, hands reaching down to the side. Raise the right leg off the ground and sweep it in front of your left leg as far over as possible. Hold. Sweep back to your starting position.
Repeat 10 times, switching legs, 5 sets.

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3 Exercises to Build Your Biceps Fri, 27 Jul 2012 18:07:59 +0000 LookSmart 3 Exercises to Build Your Biceps

Once thing I want to quickly address is this “fear” that women have when it comes to weight lifting. So many women are afraid to lift weights because they’ll get big and bulky. This is absolutey not true. Unless your going to start taking steroids along with weight training! What weights do is tone, firm, and strengthen you so that when you leave the gym, your muscles actually continue to burn calories. One of my favorite muscles to workout are my biceps because I can visually see the results ☺ {looksmart]

Check out my biceps workout here:

At the Gym Instructions:

Biceps Workout

  • Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  • You should have a dumbbell in each hand (you can use whichever weight you feel most comfortable with.
  • Now, curl one of the weights upward towards your face which the other hand stays beside you. ***For extra strength training, so this move slowly and hold the dumbbell up for a few seconds.
  • Then slowly move your arm back down to it’s original position.
  • Now repeat with the other arm.
  • Continue alternating arms – do as many as you can.




At Home Instructions:

If you find yourself with no weights, you can do the following exercises to strengthen your biceps:

Pull Up:

Pull UpIf you have a pull-up bar, great, but if you don’t just look for a highly stable table that you can use to pull yourself up from a laying down position.


You don’t have to have weights to do this, just find a heavier object such as a large book, tools, or fill bags with objects and curl them up.

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Top 5 Calorie Burning Fitness Classes Wed, 11 Jul 2012 20:22:41 +0000 LookSmart Top 5 Calorie Burning Fitness Classes

When I first joined my gym, I was given the extensive tour of the gym by the sales representative and offered a free trial with a personal trainer to help me set up a workout routine, however he didn’t mention the fitness classes that my gym offered as part of my monthly fee. So after studying the schedule and gaining the confidence to attend one of the classes, I am now hooked! Classes are a great way to get in a great workout in a limited amount of time as well as a great way to try new ways to workout.

1.Yoga Pilates

Yoga PilatesI’ve always wanted to try yoga, but have always shied away due to the high cost of the classes at local yoga studios, but my gym offered classes as part of my monthly fee. Yoga Pilates is a great exercise as it joins your mind and body together to create a high level of focus on specific muscle groups. This intense exercise helps improve flexibility, balance, and posture as well as lengthening and leaning out the body. Mentally yoga benefits the body as it releases stress, improves your mood and helps harness proper breathing patterns during physical activity. Find a yoga pilates class near you using this Yoga-Pilates Directory.






Zumba FitnessThese classes can include hip-hop, belly dancing or the widely popular Zumba classes offered across the nation. I must admit, my own mother religiously attends a Zumba class several times a week and I always picture her as the lady from the Tom Brady FunnyOrDie skit threatening to dance kick people, but I’ve seen the fitness results she’s had and their actually helping her reach her fitness goals. Since music has a way of getting people of all ages moving around, these classes have harnessed the rhythm within to create a fun workout routine. With focusing on the music and mastering the moves, you wont even have a moment to realize the fat your burning in such a short amount of time. Find a Zumba class near you at Zumba Fitness.





3. Step Fitness Classes

Step Fitness ClassesThese are my go-to classes on those weeknights that I’m feeling a little less motivated to successfully complete my cardio and weight training when at the gym. These classes are a jam-packed hour where the instructor gets your heart rate up and keeps it up through a series of cardio, strength, and weight training moves. The classes are usually high intensity to help you burn more calories keeping up with the demands of the fitness instructor. Don’t worry, if your not comfortable with parts of the routine, the instructor usually offers slight variations that will increase with fitness stamina and strength. I find this really helpful as it helps me track my progress to see which moves I can now do at the high intensity levels that I wasn’t able to in the beginning.



4. Spin Class

Spin ClassSpin classes at my gym are insanely popular, so popular in fact that individuals who want to participate need to sign in to reserve a spot in the class. The reason for this classes popularity is the results your body gets from cycling. Cycling improves overall muscle strength, mobility and coordination. These high-energy classes are usually led by a super motivated trainer who’s mission is to push you to the max! Find a spinning class near you at




5. Kickboxing

Kickboxing Fitness ClassThis class is for those days when you need to de-stress from a long day at work. Kickboxing combines kicking, punching, and cardio into an hour of stress relief. This total body exercise will help you strengthen, tone and burn fat all at once!

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