Here in Toronto,
Caribana the Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival is less than 2 weeks away! My Twitter and Facebook feeds have been full of people who are either relishing the results of months of working out, or are feverishly fitting in crunches and squats in these last few days to get mas costume-ready. Me? I fall somewhere in the middle. After trying out Socacize and spinning classes earlier this summer, I've found a way to keep workin' on my fitness while saving money and time - full body circuit training!
One of my favourite health and wellness blogs is Hey Fran Hey - on this site, I've found tons of great tips on working out, healthy eating, and natural skin and hair care. Fran posted two home-based fitness programs that at first glance look fairly simple - but once you get down to the nitty-gritty, bust your buns (and abs, and arms, and thighs...)!
Here's Circuit #1:
And Circuit #2:
Thanks to Hey Fran Hey for the workouts!
Looks simple and straightforward, right? That they are - but the keys to maximizing the results are to repeat the circuits 2-3 times, and only rest for 30 seconds in between each circuit! This allows you to build muscle and keep your heart rate up, which helps to burn maximum calories. I'm partial to Circuit #2 myself - I love the variation and the challenge of exercises like burpees, wall sits, and high knees. The good thing is that you can mix things up a bit - do bicycles to work your obliques instead of crunches, and try walking lunges instead of stationary ones.
I've been doing the circuit training 3 mornings a week, and I feel and see the difference - as I'm fairly slim, I'm not trying to lose anything, but I'm seeing improved muscle definition and tone, and feel that my cardio has improved!
After my workouts, I've been replenishing my muscles with either chocolate milk (a great blend of protein and carbohydrates), Greek yogurt topped with Kashi Crunch and berries (an amazing source of protein, fibre, and antioxidants), or my green smoothie:
2 cups Almond Breeze almond milk (vanilla)
1 handful of fresh spinach (can also use kale or celery)
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons of flax seeds
I've tried a few different variations of this smoothie, and have to say that the fruits definitely help mask the taste of the greens - with the addition of bananas, berries, pears, apples or pineapples, your smoothie may come out green or purplish, but will taste sweet and refreshing! I find that these smoothies are great energy boosters, and contain great nutrients that your body needs to replenish itself after a sweat session.
So, there you have it! Great workouts don't need to cost a dime, and spinach smoothies can be surprisingly yummy (with the help of some friendly fruits)!
What is your regular workout regimen? If you work out at home, what exercises do you do? Have you tried green smoothies? Let me know what you add to yours!