The Beginners Guide to Tabata Workouts

Tabata training is a type of a High Intensity Interval Training workout that is highly effective and efficient. It is named after Dr. Izumi Tabata, who founded the workout format with his team of researchers at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.  Tabata and his colleagues found that this workout format burned more calories in this 4-minute circuit than would be typically be seen in a 4-minute segment of exercise. They also found that participants saw increases in both their anaerobic system (muscles) as well as aerobic system (cardiovascular); whereas participants who only participated in a moderate intensity program (that was not Tabata) only saw increases in their aerobic systems.

Often times Tabata is associated with cardio and plyometric exercise moves, but I like to use it with both cardio and strength training moves. Because of its intense interval format, you are only going to do it one or two times a week and never on consecutive days. If clients are completing it with the intensity that the workout prescribes, then I don’t usually do more than 4-5 circuits (20-25 minutes).

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Hate Working Out? Try This Alphabet Workout

A former client of mine posted a picture on my Facebook page last week featuring another trainer’s alphabet workout. She commented that it was just like something I would make my clients do! Little did she know, I’m a huge fan of alphabet workouts.  If you are constantly watching the clock while working out, then this one is for you. Time flies by while you are doing it.

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Can Too Much Cardio Hurt Your Weight-Loss Goals?

I had a client who participated in a doctor-monitored weight-loss program. She hit a plateau and was trying to figure out what was going on with her body. The weight-loss program coordinator suggested that she was actually doing too much cardio, which was harming her weight-loss journey.

I hadn’t ever really given it much thought until the client mentioned it. After our conversation, I began researching if too much cardio could negatively impact your strength training and fitness goals. In a nutshell, yes, too much cardio can negatively impact your fitness journey.

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Recipe of the Week: Coconut Chicken Salad with Warm Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

I caught a bit of spring-fever the other day, so I ordered some fun summer clothes. The clothes arrived, and I immediately ran upstairs to try them on. As I tried the clothes on, I realized three things: 1) I don’t look the same as I did last summer; 2) I haven’t worked out for several weeks because of sickness; and 3) my legs have not seen sunlight for six months. Needless to say, ALL of the clothes were returned.

Rather than feeling bad about not looking as fit as I did last summer, I decided to concentrate on my eating. I was doing pretty good until I got sick. Since then, I’ve just been snacking on whatever sounded good. Now that I’m feeling better, it’s time to get back to tracking what I’m eating and making sure I’m fueling my body with GOOD, nutritious food.

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Popsicle Stick Workout

I like to be surprised – a card in the mail, a compliment from a stranger or an unexpected call from a friend.  (Let’s be honest – getting a surprise check or gift in the mail is the BEST.) I especially love it when my husband surprises me by doing the dishes or folding the laundry!

I also like to be surprised during a workout. When I create my workouts, I always know what’s coming next. Sometimes I take a class or go for a group workout that someone else is leading to give me that “surprise” workout. If time is short and I don’t have time to find a class to attend, this popsicle stick workout is a great “at home” surprise workout.

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Stay Inside Workout - Full-body, Low-Impact

Cold and flu season is in full swing, and several of my clients have been out of commission because of a cold. As my clients ease back into their workout routines, we've been trying to keep workouts low-impact. Heart rates still get elevated, but I've taken out most of the jarring movements. Let's be honest, no one wants to do a bunch of jumps and high intensity movements during their first workout after being sick.  

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Why You NEED to Change Up Your Workout Routine

I once had a co-worker proudly boast that she had been doing the same Jane Fonda VHS step workout everyday for years. Yet, in the same conversation, she said she couldn't understand why she wasn't progressing in strength and cardiovascular gains. She wasn't interested in what I had to say, but the solution was an easy one - change up your workout routine!

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Recipe of the Week - Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Like hundreds of other people, I fell in love with the lettuce chicken wraps at P.F. Changs.  I wanted to make them at home, so I started hunting for recipes. After trying a handful of recipes, these two  were the most requested by my family: Damn Delicious Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps and The Novice Chef Lettuce Wraps. Both recipes are fairly healthy and easy to pull together, which is a win-win for me.

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Low-Impact Workout That Will Get Your Heart Pumping

I've been trying to create more workouts that are low-impact but still manage to get heart rates elevated.  This workout will increase your heart rate, but it is also kind to your joints. It's a body-weight workout, so you don't need anything in order to do it. If you are needing more low-impact options for workouts, give this one a try. It's quick and less jarring than some workouts!

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Recipe of the Week - Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread

This is the best banana bread recipe I've ever tasted - and it's healthy! The chocolate and banana flavors are a delicious combination. With other recipes, my banana bread has tasted a little dry, but that is not the case with this recipe. It melts in your mouth!  I usually turn these into large muffins because it's easier for me to control my portions; otherwise, I'd eat the entire loaf of bread.  I always gets lots of requests for the recipe - it's that good!

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Hip and Knee-Friendly New Year's Workout

By the second week of February, more than 80 percent of New Year's Resolutions will have failed. (The most common resolutions people make involve diet and exercise.) As awful as that statistic sounds, I don't find it to be hopeless. It just reminds me that we all tend to bite off more than we can chew in an attempt to make positive changes in the new year.

That's where today's workout comes in. If you are needing a workout to keep your new fitness program going or if you are trying to get back into an exercise routine, give this workout a try. It is actually created to be hip and knee-friendly, so it should be a reasonable workout for everyone.

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Recipe of the Week - Chicken and Mango Basil Stir Fry

When I set this entree in front of my husband, he said, "This is totally your kind of meal." He was right - I love everything about this delicious Chicken and Mango Basil Stir Fry. It is easy to prepare, tastes fresh and fills you up. It is now one of my favorite dishes to prepare. My son loves rice, so I paired it with jasmine rice. However,  it can easily be served over quinoa or zoodles. I am more of a pineapple girl, so I substituted pineapple for the mango. (For the record, my husband loved this meal, too!)

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Full-Body Turkey Day Workout

Most of us don't WANT to work out on Thanksgiving, but I promise you it's a great way to start off the holiday. After trying to get the turkey in the oven, prepare the side dishes and pick up the house, I'm stressed and taxed. Although a workout isn't on the top of my list, I try to set aside 20 minutes to get moving. I promise you that it's worth it; I am always so glad I did it. I feel less stressed and more energized.

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Recipe of the Week - Healthy Applesauce Carrot Muffins

I like to throw caution to the wind and actually make a healthy muffin on occasion. It's a crazy concept, I know. My son likes to eat muffins before school, but I don't like giving him a "muffin" that is basically an unfrosted cupcake. As a result, I'm always looking for yummy-yet-healthy muffin recipes.

This recipe is a winner! It is full of healthy ingredients, yet it's tasty enough to appease my sweet-toothed son.

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Recipe of the Week - Grilled Chicken Salad With Strawberries and Spinach

I crave hot weather and humidity. Yes, you read that right - I love the humidity. I love summer food, swimming outside, wearing sundresses and being wrapped up in the warm humidity.  

Although it's technically fall, we are still enjoying warm weather in Kansas. I wanted to prepare one last grilled dinner before we stowed the barbecue for winter. I picked this Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberries and Spinach recipe from Skinnytaste, and I was not disappointed.

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The Cupcake Workout - Seriously!

Confession: I ate a TON of cupcakes on Saturday. I was stressed,  working on a deadline and in perfect view of them sitting on the counter. I probably should have stopped after the first bite, but I kept eating because they tasted delicious. (If you are looking for a great chocolate cake recipe, check this one out!) Anyway, fast forward to Sunday -  I felt lethargic and icky. I wanted to get myself moving and sweat out some toxins.

That's where this "Cupcake Workout" came from. It is NOT intended to "work off" all of the calories I consumed. It's just a workout to get your body moving and break a sweat.

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