Fitness for the Busy Family

By Alyice Edrich

Who has time for an hour long exercise session these days? With the demands of a career, children, after-school activities, volunteer positions, housework, errand running, and preparing meals, it's no wonder we slack off on exercising.

So where does one find the time let alone the motivation to get in shape? One has to look within. And if that does not work, look outward towards an event or others. Consider using a fitness activity as a way to bond as a family. Just remember that what inspires and motivates one person into action will not be the same for another. If you try to hang on to someone else's motivation, in hopes that it will kick start you, think again. These types of motivations are very easily short-lived and exercising is soon a forgotten pastime.

Now that motivation is no longer a factor, where does one find the time? Exercising is more about moving the body than how many minutes (or hours), at a time, one performs a certain routine. So if time is your excuse, get over it fast. All you need is ten minutes here and twenty minutes there.

Here are some great ways to make fitness a part of your family's busy schedule:

  1. Walk the stairs instead of using the escalator or elevator.
  2. Park in the back of the parking lot, instead of looking for a spot near the main entrance.
  3. Need to run some errands? Take the kids on a bike ride.
  4. Walk your kids to school instead of driving them. You may also consider roller skating or bike riding.
  5. Play a ten minute game of tag. There are various forms such as laser tag and freeze tag. And on hot days, you can turn on the water sprinklers and play tag in the water.
  6. Put up a punching bag in the garage and hit the bag for ten minutes a day.
  7. Instead of going to the matinee, at the local movie theater, head on down to the local swimming pool and swim a few laps.
  8. Instead of watching your favorite sitcom, take the kids to the local skating rink.
  9. Have a tennis court nearby? A 20 minute game of tennis is sure to get the blood flowing.
  10. Have small kids? Wrestling is a great way to exert some energy.

Alyice Edrich is the author of several work from home e-books, including one that helps you make $50 in two hours with no MLM or schemes. Subscribe to her free e-newsletter at to get a free e-book!

Yourself! Fitness
By responDESIGN, Inc.

This Yourself!Fitness Program for Home PC software brings the expertise of a certified personal trainer and nutritionist into your home to guide you through a personalized health and fitness program. Maya, your interactive personal trainer, builds a program that is tailored to your lifestyle and gives you one-on-one training with over 500 unique exercises that never get boring. Choose your music, your mood and your focus and let Maya, through step-by-step coaching, do the rest. ESRB rating: E (Everyone). Genre is Heath and Fitness. Imported. 7-1/2Hx1-1/4Wx5-1/4L".

Make a Promise to yourself today and begin a commitment to your health for life with Yourself!Fitness. Maya, the Yourself!Fitness personal trainer, wi ll help you choose your health and fitness goals and then she will work with yo u to achieve them. Maya will guide you through dynamic workouts featuring over 500 unique exercises--ensures no two workouts are ever the same. Choose your mu sic, your mood, your focus, and Maya will take care of the rest.

With Yourself!Fitness you will be in a one-on-one training situation with M aya. Maya will respond to your needs and guide you through your workout giving you step-by-step coaching from warm-up to cool-down.

Maya will create a unique, personalized exercise program driven by your spe cific health and fitness goals. When you are ready to workout, choose the place and the music that fit your mood and start on the path to a sleeker, stronger you.

Responsive trainer
By tracking your effort (through perceived level of exertion ratings), Maya is able to alter the course and difficulty of a workout as it progresses to ma tch your personal needs for the day. Maya will keep track of this information f or each workout and modify the long-term fitness program to match your performa nce over time.

If you are ever unsure of how to perform an aerobic routine or you just can 't figure out how to properly perform a certain exercise, simply activate the t utorial feature and Maya will take time out of the workout and teach you what y ou need to know. In the tutorial, Maya explains each step in detail with the he lp of an animated model. While in the Tutorial Mode, you can control both the c amera and speed to focus on the part of the move that is difficult for you. Onc e you understand, simply return to the workout and Maya will pick up where you left off.

Fully customizable workouts
You can customize your workout by selecting one of six focus areas for the day (weight loss, lower body, core, upper body, cardio, flexibility). Maya will take your choice into account as she builds your routine, integrating your cho sen focus area with your long term fitness goals. By combining your daily focus with your long-term goals, Maya keeps the workouts interesting and fun, but al so makes sure you achieve your desired results.

Personal profile
Before you begin the Yourself!Fitness program, Maya will guide you through a series of strength and flexibility tests and ask you to build a personal prof ile including basic information such as age, height, gender, and weight. She wi ll use all this information to build a health and fitness program that fits you r body, your mind, and your schedule.

Multiple workout locations and music options
Join Maya for a workout in your choice of six locations depending on your m ood and what will motivate you toward your goals today. You may choose to compl ete a yoga routine in the serenity of the Meditation Garden, push through a hig h-intensity cardio set at the Alpine Retreat, tone and strengthen your core und er the palms at an Island Paradise, sweat out the stress of the day in the dry heat of the Desert Springs Resort, or bounce through a step aerobic dance serie s while enjoying the panoramic views from the top floor of an Urban Oasis or Em press Dojo.

Customizable meal planner
Based on your Personal Profile, Maya will recommend a weekly meal plan comp lete with recipes, preparation instructions, shopping lists, and over 4500 reci pes. You are able to adjust your weekly meal plan and your daily menu so that i t fits your taste preferences as well as the number of servings you need to pre pare.

Goal oriented
Maya helps you choose your health and fitness goals and then works with you to achieve them. She will monitor your progress toward your goals and motivate you to keep pushing until you look and feel your absolute best.

Progress monitor
By keeping track of your performance during each workout, Maya is able to c reate a record of your progress toward your goals. At the end of each workout M aya will review your achievements with you and show you a graph of where you st arted, where you are today, and where you are going.

Shape Fitness Music - Walk 2: '70s Hits
By Various Artists

A reviewer on Amazon wrote: "I've been an aerobic walker for about 8 years. It's very hard to locate music designed for an aerobic walking workout performed by original artists. This CD is a find!!! It starts at a pace of 120 beats per minute and builds to 134 beats per minutes in 11 selections. The last selection is the cool down at 120 beats per minute. This pace is great for an intermediate walker - a workout, but not fast enough that you feel you need to jog. It is an hour-long workout and the songs are "blended" together so there's no gap in the music. Most of the 70's songs are easily recognizable and I find myself singing to them as I walk. I'm sure you'll enjoy the CD." - A Music Fan

You : The Owner's Manual : An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger
By Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet Oz

If there ever was a pair of docs who can make the small intestine seem truly intriguing, here they are. Dr. Mehmet Oz is an alternative-medicine maverick and a cardiologist known to implement acupuncture during open-heart surgery. Dr. Michael Roizen developed the RealAge concept of calculating one's biological, as opposed to chronological, age. Here they've whipped up a witty guide to the workings of the entire body, appropriate not just for those who can't tell their pancreas from their pituitary. Even Cheers’ Cliff Claven types who think they know it all will likely be humbled by the 50-question "body-quotient" quiz that starts off the book.

With much sassy humor (they describe the adrenals as similar in shape to Mr. Potato Head's hat), they give a guided tour of the body's anatomy and major systems (hormonal, nervous, digestive, sensory, etc.) including plenty of fascinating trivia along the way. How often should you get your thyroid level checked? How much gas does the average person produce in a day? And, most importantly, how many times a year do most people have sex?? Drs. Oz and Roizen know. They also reveal plenty of bizarre (and potentially life-saving) facts such as this: If your earlobe has a prominent vertical wrinkle, it's likely that your arteries are aging faster than they ought to be. If only 8th-grade health class had been this fun.

The docs' main goal in presenting all this info is twofold: firstly, it's your body, so shouldn't you finally learn how it works? And, secondly, they want to help teach ways of preserving the body's health and youthfulness. To that end, they've included an "Owner's Manual Diet," a 10-day menu plan designed not for weight loss, but to make you feel "years younger." Its simple recipes are each meant to benefit a certain body system, such as Tomato Bruschetta, packed with the antioxidant lycopene, which has been proven to boost immunity. --Erica Jorgensen

Miracle Cures : Dramatic New Scientific Discoveries Revealing the Healing Powers of Herbs, Vitamins, and Other Natural Remedies
By Jean Carper

For a growing number of Americans, the time for alternative medicine has come . Miracle Cures, written by CNN's former senior medical correspondent, highlights several of the most exciting natural remedies currently under investigation. There's St. John's Wort (also called hypericum), which has proven effective in combating depression; gingko biloba, a circulation-enhancer that retards Alzheimer's and other age-related memory problems; grapefruit fiber, which combats cholesterol; and many others. All of the compounds and alternative treatments listed in Miracle Cures are regularly practiced in Europe, Asia, or both. So why aren't they used in the United States? Carper points out that since "nature owns the patent," there's little financial incentive for American pharmaceutical companies to investigate natural compounds. Secondly, most American doctors are simply unaware of the testing that has been done on these techniques; most research has been done by non-English speaking physicians and written up in foreign journals. Responsibly toting up the risks and benefits of each, Carper is hoping for a sensible integration of natural remedies into American medicine.

Stop Aging Now! : Ultimate Plan for Staying Young and Reversing the Aging Process
By Jean Carper

In Stop Aging Now!, Jean Carper -- winner of the 1995 Excellence in Journalism Award from the American Aging Association (the nation's leading group of scientists investigating the biomedical aspects of aging), nationally syndicated columnist and leading authority on health and nutrition -- documents how antioxidant vitamins, minerals, herbs and food chemicals are the magic youth potions humans have been seeking for centuries.

Based on exciting new scientific findings from leading institutions, Stop Aging Now! reveals the stunning truth: Much of what we call aging is not inevitable, but is needless and can be prevented and reversed to a startling degree by supplements and foods. Indeed, aging is often due to unsuspected deficiencies that can be readily corrected, and even people in their sixties, seventies and eighties can turn back the clock and recover their youth.

Leading scientists have found that:

Vitamins can prevent and reverse memory loss and other signs of aging.

Vitamins and minerals can rejuvenate immune functions, restoring youthful resistance to infections and cancer.

Antioxidants in foods and supplements can help prevent clogged arteries, heart attacks and general bodily deterioration.

Many unfamiliar but readily available food chemicals can prolong life and preserve your vitality.

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