FITNESS AT HOME
Do you love the feeling you get after having a refreshing workout at the gym or spa? If you are interested in incorporating spa fitness techniques into your home routine, there are many new options available. As a fitness and spa junkie, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to travel and check out the latest spa treatments and workout techniques at some of the finest spas. I have incorporated some of these treatments in my home workouts and would like to share some of my favorites with you.
When designing a program at home, you should try and use a place that makes you feel good, like under a beautiful shade tree in the backyard or in your favorite room in the house. Light a scented candle or use some of your favorite aromatherapy oils to get even more of a spa feeling. Be sure you give yourself some uninterrupted time. Without an instructor in front of you, it can be difficult to recall your favorite fitness routine. There are now a variety of books and videotapes that can help you design a home routine.
If your favorite fitness routine is yoga, you are definitely in luck. Yoga is a wonderful way to restore vitality to the mind and the body. It has been said that yoga can aid in preventing fatigue and stress as well as helping to improve physical ailments. Most yoga is fairly easy to learn and can be done by people of all fitness levels. There are many great educational yoga products on the market. Some helpful yoga videotapes include, Stress Relief Yoga for Beginners, A.M., P.M. Yoga for Beginners and Yoga Conditioning for weight loss. These tapes are available at natural food stores and other retailers. Another great tool is the book, "My Yoga Yournal" by Victoria Moran. This book is less of an instructional tool and more of an inspirational one. It is set up like a diary to record your progress. It includes plenty of room for reflection as well as inspirational quotes and writing prompts so that you gain the most insight from the experience. For the office bound, "yoga at your desk" brings you a refreshing break during a long work day. It's a 20 minute CD rom that can be done from any chair and easily fits into even the most hectic schedule. It's an excellent stress reliever.
Pilates is popular at spas and fitness facilities because it can help you achieve a long lean look. Originally used by dancers, pilates is an excellent workout for anyone wanting a firm, flexible body. Pilates strengthens the bodies core, and increases flexibility and agility. It works extremely well at tightening the abdominal muscles, lower back and that junk in the trunk. Most spas will have pilates machines, as well as mat pilates classes. The techniques learned in mat pilates translate easily to a home workout. Tools that can aid in your home pilates experience include the video by living arts, "Pilates Beginning Mat Workout and the book Modern Pilates, a Step by Step Guide to a Stronger Body" by Penelope Latey. These books and tapes will give you some basic techniques you need to get the most from a home pilates workout.
Tai-Chi has been described as yoga-in-motion. It can be a powerful key to increased focus and concentration. Tai-chi is actually a form of martial arts and can be used to fend off would be attackers as well as to combat the degenerative diseases of aging. Tai-Chi is easy to do by people of any age and doesn't require a large amount of space or any special tools. Using tai-chi at home can be done after training with an instructor, or by using educational materials. Books such as Inside Tai-Chi can help you learn the basics. There are also videos available such as the series from Scott Cole which includes tai-chi weight loss, back workout and a.m. workout. A great way to reduce stress, tai-chi can be a very useful addition to a busy schedule.
Would you like to take your workout to the next step? In addition to fitness videotapes, books and cd roms, there are fitness balls, mats and other small home equipment that can help give you a spa feeling and take your workout to the next level. In todays hectic world, home workouts can fit into any schedule. They are a great way to stay healthy, relaxed and refreshed. Check out our links and tips on this page for more help with your fitness routine.
Celebrity Fit Club
Even celebrities need some help staying in shape. Michelle visits the set of VH1's "Celebrity Fit Club" where she and gal-pal Maureen McCormick get a boot camp work out with celebrity trainer Harvey Walden. Michelle also visits with pop singer Tiffany and Ross the Intern from the Tonight Show to discuss losing weight and getting in shape.
Krav Maga Part 1
Dr. Rey from Dr. 90210 joins Michelle as she tries Krav Maga, a hot new trend in fitness based on an Israeli martial art. It's a great way to stay in shape and practice personal empowering self-defense. See why Hollywood celebs are staying in tip-top shape with Krav Maga.
Krav Maga Part 2
Celebrities love Krav Maga for a great workout and to learn to protect themselves. In Part 2 Michelle will get to try some Krav Maga moves for herself!
Hey pal, take a hike... to the rainforest! The rainforest is extremely important to the health of our planet. In this segment Michelle travels to Tobago and hikes through their rainforest. She also makes a stop at a plantation where Tobago's Minister of Agriculture shows off some organic crops including cocoa and bananas.
Reduce stress and get a great workout with fencing. We take a look at a fun way to stay in shape with a fencing class in the sun drenched Caribbean!
Easy Tips - Fitness
iPod Fitness - Staying in shape is just a download away with iTrain! These personal training sessions work with your MP3 player and go with you while you workout. Stars like Courtney Cox Arquette use these programs developed by Hollywood fitness trainers. iTread is perfect for the treadmill while iOutdoor is great for a challenging outdoor run. Other programs include Yoga, Pilates and cycling. www.iTrain.com
Try the Trikke! It's not a scooter. It's not a bike. What is this thing called Trikke? A celebrity favorite, the Trikke gives an intense lower body workout similar to the sensation of cross-country skiing. Trikkees include Jennifer Aniston, James Gandolfini and Amber Tamblin. www.trikke.com
Mini Trampoline - The In Tone Mini Trampoline from Stamina provides a fun cardiovascular and strength conditioning workout. It's easy to use and lots of fun. The trampoline is small but allows you to work harder for a longer period of time. Includes a video and removable handle bar. Available at Sports Authority.
Don't Tread Lightly! Take your calorie-burning strides to turbo level with the Pacemaster Platinum Pro-Club treadmill (www.pacemaster.com). This powerful home gym unit boasts a 3.0 horsepower motor, goes up to 12 mph, and comes with 4 pre-programmed workouts. Run, don't walk, to add this heavy duty cardio machine to your home exercise regimen. Available at Busy Body in Studio City
Voyage Into Virtual Reality: Imagine journeying your way through your workout via canyons, speedways, even outer space! The Virtual Reality Stationary Bike from Expresso Fitness is equipped with an LCD screen that allows you to choose from 20 exciting, challenging routes or virtual worlds. Vastly improved from the original interactive bikes that hit the fitness market in the '90s, these feature moveable handlebars, and pedal resistance that changes along with the terrain, for a truly realistic ride. Sold for club and home gym use at www.expressofitness.com
Cardio-Conscious Video Games: Take part in an interactive video game -- and have lots of fun while raising that heart rate! Race through the streets of Hong Kong alongside Jackie Chan, or perform a variety of high-intensity martial arts moves. There are a slew of new video games available that you can enjoy as you play your way to a better body. At select Radio Shack (www.radioshack.com) and Kohl's stores (www.kohls.com).
Get On The Ball! The Core Secrets (www.coresecrets.com) stability ball helps to sculpt muscle, improve balance, and boost your metabolism. An instructional DVD from celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson is included, to guide you through specific, safe, effective exercises for your upper body, lower body, and core. Available at Target.
Total At-Home Training! The Body Solid EXM 4000 Home Gym is a compact exercise system that provides total upper and lower body training while taking up minimal space. Experience health club-quality workouts, and results, at your convenience. Available at Sports Authority (www.sportsauthority.com).
Weight Training Made Simple: If you're new to working out with free weights, the Danskin Dumbbell Set (www.danskin.com) is a terrific way to get started in your fitness endeavors. Complete with an incline bench and dumbbells, this set makes it easy and convenient to add light resistance exercise into your workouts. Available at K-Mart.
Balance Equals Beauty: Work your core muscles and enhance your stability with Cory Everson's Balance Board. Tone your abs, as you challenge your entire body into better shape! Available at Sports Chalet (www.sportschalet.com).
New Yoga Necessity! Yogitoes Yoga Skidless Towels (www.yogitoes.com) are the same size as a yoga mat, and can be used alone or in combination with a mat to increase stabilization and help prevent skidding. These towels, specifically created as a yoga companion for use at home or in the yoga studio, are available in a variety of bright colors.
Fashion Meets Fitness: Increase your workout motivation by sporting contemporary fitness clothing that flatters! Hard Tail designs (www.hardtailforever.com) active wear tops and bottoms in feminine styles that are just as worthy of being worn outside of the gym. Available at Bloomingdales.
Jump To It! Target those problem areas and take your cardio to a whole new level with jump rope training. Celebrity trainer Edward Jackowski, Ph.D., created Jump Into Fitness as an "anytime, anywhere" portable workout. Included are a jump rope, full length instructional DVD, and an illustration of stretching exercises to cool down with. You'll no longer have an excuse to not get in a good, sweat-inducing workout, no matter where you are! Available at Amazon (www.amazon.com).