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True Fitness Equipment

  • Six simple ways to cut calories

    Shedding pounds is usually not an easy task for anyone. It seems no matter how many diets we put ourselves through, nothing seems to make a difference. However, there are easy ways to cut calories throughout your day that won't leave your stomach grumbling the way many diets can. Try out a few of these methods below to cut excess calories and help yourself become a healthier you!

    Exercise Of course one of the most efficient way to cut calories is by exercising. Getting in cardio workouts on fitness treadmills, stationary bikes and elliptical machines can be a great way to build endurance and burn calories fast.

    Skip the whip As tempting as whipped cream may sound on a hot chocolate or latte, it's best to skip it. Why? Even though it's light and airy feel may seem harmless, don't let that fool you. According to Self Nutrition Data, whipped cream from some coffee chains can add up to 100 more calories to your drink order.

    Sleep There could not possibly be an easier way to burn calories than to sleep them off.

    "Insufficient shut-eye appears to increase production of the stress hormone cortisol, which regulates appetite," explained Health magazine.

    High levels of cortisol make you more likely to indulge. Lack of sleep also keeps your body from burning off carbohydrates. If they're not burned off while sleeping, they're then stored as fat. So, go to bed!

    Log your calories You truly don't know how much you're eating until you start writing down everything you eat. This allows you to become more aware of what you're putting in your body and you feel accountable for the things you write down. If you're not logging your calories, you're making it easier to brush off that extra piece of cake after dinner. It's also a good idea to take your food diary with you everywhere you go, as to not lose track of what you've eaten after a long day.

    Switch hands When snacking, try switching over to the hand you're less comfortable using.

    "People who snacked using their nondominant hands reduced about 30 percent of their total intake, compared with those using their dominant hands," reported CNN.

    Next time you sit down on the couch with a bag of popcorn or chips, be wary of which hand you're using!

    Increase your protein Having a diet rich in protein helps to build up muscle. Studies have shown that women who eat more protein lose more fat and maintain more muscle than those who don't. Health magazine recommended adding the amino acid leucine into your diet. Conveniently, this amino acid is readily available in many types of eggs, fish, poultry, dairy and beef. Try Greek yogurt for a creamy and delicious way to add more protein into your diet.

  • How to stay healthy while dining out

    When the weekend rolls around, chances are you may be eating at a restaurant at least once. If you're dieting or trying to stay healthy, dining out may put your plan to a halt even when you're exercising on cardio equipment like fitness treadmills and stationary bikes. However, there are several ways to go out to eat while maintaining your trim figure at the same time. Keep the following tips in mind for next time you're at a restaurant:

    Skip the bread basket
    Some restaurants provide their guests with a basket of bread to snack on before their meal arrives. As tempting as this might be, it's better to skip it. We all know how hard it is to only eat one slice when you have an entire basket in front of you. If you don't think you have the willpower, don't hesitate to ask your waiter to take the basket away. With the bread basket out of sight, you won't be tempted to indulge.

    Share a meal
    Most often, the portion sizes prepared by restaurant chefs are much more than you actually need. Even though you may be full, it's easy to overeat when you have that much food in front of you. One simple way to cut calories would be to share a meal. If you're opting to dine by yourself, Prevention magazine suggested asking your server to give you a half-portion instead.

    Grab a to-go box
    Another easy way to decrease your calorie count would be to ask for a to-go box when your meal arrives.

    "Restaurant portions have ballooned in recent years, and many of us don't know when to stop eating," Discovery Fit & Health explained.

    By opting for a to-go box right away, you can put half of the dish in the doggie bag and save it for later, before you overindulge.

    Opt for a lighter salad dressing
    Choosing a lighter dressing allows you to still have a flavorful salad, but without the heavy, mayonnaise-based topping that weighs down you and your meal. Dressings like Ranch and Thousand Island will pack more calories per bite than a vinaigrette.

    If you can't part with the creamy dressings, Prevention suggested asking for the dressing on the side. This way, the salad won't be drenched and you can enjoy its flavor without the extra calories.

    Substitute your side
    If the meal you ordered comes with fries, ask your server for healthier alternatives like steamed vegetables or fresh fruit. These options will provide you with the energy your body needs without the saturated fat. Although turning away fries is not the easiest task, your body will thank you later.

  • How to tone your abs on a stationary bike

    Many don't realize that using stationary bikes can be one of the best ways to tone their abs! Sure, they are perfect for toning your back, arms and legs, but there are stomach exercises that can be done while riding any piece of exercise bike equipment. Here are a few core-strengthening moves you can do at home on your bike:

    Keep your abs tight
    Throughout your workout, it's important to keep your abdominals contracted to help tone your midsection. Although you may not be doing sit-ups or any specific exercise, simply tightening your abs could make a world of difference for your core. However, it's easy to forget about keeping them tightened throughout your entire workout. Fox News recommended focusing solely on contracting the abdominal muscle you feel when you cough.

    Try it one-handed
    Fox News suggested only using one hand for balance on your bike instead of two. By doing this exercise, you can take your fitness regimen to the next level.

    "Keep your abs contracted as you lift one arm off your handlebars and place it behind you. Switch arms after one minute," Fox News explained.

    This switching of hands will not only help to tone your arms, it will give you a quick ab workout without even realizing it!

    Sit up straight!
    Simply having good posture while working out on your stationary bike can make a world of difference. Colorado Adventure credited correct posture with helping to tone the right muscle groups.

    Making a habit of sitting up straight throughout your workout rather than slouching helps your abs look more defined and gives you a better workout.

    Opt for a recumbent exercise bike
    If you wish to give your abs an even more intense workout, try a recumbent exercise bike rather than an upright one.

    "The semi-reclined position on a recumbent requires you to use your ab muscles as you pedal, especially the lower abs and obliques," said AZ Central.

    Stand up
    Complete intervals of lifting your bottom of off the seat and pedaling then sitting back down to bump up your workout to the next level. This exercise really works on your balance and forces your core to kick into gear.

    Yes, it's possible to complete a variation of crunches while on a bike! Simply pedal while contracting your abs inwards. Do this for one minute or so, then continue with regular pedaling. This is an easy way to tone your core while getting a great cardio workout at the same time.

  • How to maintain your exercise motivation

    With the busy schedules we all have to maintain, by the end of the day, we're usually exhausted and working out is the last thing we're thinking about. However, there are ways to keep up your motivation and jump on those stationary bikes or fitness treadmills to fit in a workout.

    Turn to social media If you're struggling to find a reason to workout, fire up Pinterest. The health and wellness category is filled with motivational quotes, quick workouts and before and after pictures of people who have had success with exercise. Seeing someone in good shape can give you the inspiration you need to get up and get moving. Try searching for a role model of yours on Pinterest that, in your eyes, has the perfect body. That image will stick with you and give you constant motivation to reach your goals.

    Have your workout materials ready Sometimes, the most exhausting part of working out is actually getting everything ready. If you plan to sneak in a morning workout, have your clothes and anything else you may need all packed and ready to go to the gym. This way, you can just grab everything and go!

    Kick out negative thoughts Thoughts like, "this workout won't make a difference anyway" or "I never workout well in the morning" can really halt your motivation. Try turning these thoughts around by instead saying or thinking something along the lines of "this workout is a step in the right direction."

    Greg Dale, professor of Sport Psychology and Sport Ethics, told Runner's World, "It's important to acknowledge negative thoughts, then to rationalize them with thoughts that are positive, truthful, and relevant to you."

    Grab a friend Having a buddy to always workout with is one of the best ways to get yourself moving. Chances are, one of the friends is going to hold the other one accountable. You're much less likely to skip a workout if you have someone insisting you workout with them. Having someone there with you can also make exercising more fun!

    Explore what works best Maybe you discover you workout best in the mornings or when you're listening to music. Either way, find what keeps you motivated, and stick to it.

    "Find out what works, then feed it," sports psychologist Alison Arnold told Runner's World. "Once you figure out which positive thoughts fuel your best performance, feed them with breathing, music and continued positive self-talk."

  • Five ways to jet-set your treadmill workout

    If you've ever been to the gym, chances are you've spent at least a little time on a fitness treadmill. These classic cardio machines are a regular source of exercise, yet if you've felt your routine go flat on one of these bad boys, you could probably use a boost. By utilizing the following tips, you'll get the best workout you can out of home treadmills:

    Switch up your pace
    Altering the speed at which you run or walk on the treadmill is one of the best ways to ensure a successful workout. Start with a brisk walk for the first few minutes of your workout, then build up to a run. This will help your body gradually build up endurance so you can run for a longer period of time without getting fatigued.

    "When you chug along at a comfortable pace (as most people do), your body gets energy easily from the oxygen you inhale," journalist Liz Plosser wrote in her recent Women's Health article. "But once you switch into high gear, your muscles start working harder to process that O2, so they expend extra energy recruiting other chemicals in the body (adenosine-triphosphate and phosphocreatine, in case you're interested) to get the job done."

    Utilize the incline
    Even if you're only at a slower walking pace, having the treadmill on an incline can increase the intensity of your workout. Chris Lundstrom, a marathoner training for Boston, noted that changing the elevation makes your workout less of a drag.

    "Just like the trees and rocks, speed and incline add variety," Lundstrom told Runner's World.

    Figure out a plan before you start running to decide when and how often to alter the elevation to keep your workout interesting.

    Try out different programs
    Many fitness treadmills have set programs built into the machine to make your workout a bit easier and more fun! Experiment with different workouts until you find the one that best fits your style.

    Use weights
    To intensify your workout even more, grab a pair of ankle weights or dumbbells to use while you're on the treadmill. These extra pounds will significantly bump up the resistance level, helping you to burn more calories per workout. Weights will also help tone your body while building up endurance.

    Grab an iPod
    Treadmill workouts can sometimes become a bit monotonous. However, incorporating music or television into your exercise plan can really help to alleviate boredom. Create a workout playlist on your iPod of songs that pump you up and get you excited about working out! If you're located near a TV, put on your favorite TV show or movie. This makes the time on the treadmill go by quickly, you won't even realize you worked out!

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