Be Well Workout of the Week: The Workout to Do When You Have No Time

If this week is a downright crazy week for you, and finding time to fit a workout into your day feels nearly impossible, try this quick full-body circuit workout on for size. It’s made up of three mini 10-minute workouts that are perfect for breaking up throughout the day (or spreading throughout multiple days for that matter, if you’re in that much of a crunch). As long as you have a set of dumbbells (or two water bottles of some cans of beans, really!), you can do these mini workouts whenever and wherever you can squeeze ’em in.

The goal with these is simply to push yourself to make it through each circuit as many times as you can in 10 minutes. And of course, the goal is to try to get through all three of these circuits in one workout session, but let’s be real: life happens. So when you do find the time, set your alarm for 10 minutes, get going and see what you can accomplish. You got this!

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How to Find Your Best Running Stride, According to Science

Finding your running stride can be kind of an awkward process — especially if it doesn’t feel natural. But it turns out you might not actually need to go through a bunch of trouble and awkward workouts find your best running stride after all. A recent study found that messing with your natural running form probably won’t improve your performance and will likely make running harder. Pass.

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Walk It Off: 12 Nature-Filled Spots to Go for a Long Walk Around Philly

Pennypack Trail | Photo via Flickr

Is there anything better than a nice long walk in nature? The answer is no — and recent research reported on by the New York Times hammers this home.

As the New York Times reports, people may be best able to reap the mood-boosting benefits of walks if they take place outside in nature. For a study published last month in PLOS One, researchers flipped around the standard workout scenario — instead of focusing on the intensity of a workout, they emphasized the length of the activity at a low intensity, hypothesizing that this tweak may increase enjoyment and, eventually, participation. Because if you enjoy a workout, you’re more likely to do it (duh).

Study participants were asked to complete three activities, at about three hours each: an outdoor walk, an indoor walk on a treadmill, and, as a control session, spending time in a lounge room with computers, reading materials and other participants, encouraged to chat. After each session, the participants moods were recorded. Walking outside, in nature, was found to have the greatest effect when it came to a mood boost. We will take that as all the excuse we need to go get lost on a walking path this weekend.

If you would like to do so too, here, 12 nature-filled Philly-area walking paths (many paved) where you can enjoy a long jaunt through nature, sans hills and protruding boulders and, hopefully, reap the mood-boosting benefits. Added bonus: The natural sounds of the environment can help improve your sleep.   Read more »

Do This: Race to Race Street Pier

HgAthletics and Charge Performance and Wellness have teamed up for this month’s edition of the HgRunClub, taking place next Tuesday, July 25th, at 6:30 p.m. And let me just say, it’s sounds like it’s going to be a good one. The duo has conjured up a fun run of sorts: A race to Race Street Pier and back, with a few fun rest stops at local landmarks to mix it up along the way.  Read more »

This Fun Exercise Actually Burns Tons of Calories — Here’s Where to Do It in Philly

Dancing is kind of an innate human activity. I mean, babies do it! Their little bodies and pudgy limbs bounce up and down and flail, happy as can be. And then we grow up and we start to feel awkward and self-conscious about our moves. But as TIME recently reported, dancing is actually a really great workout. So it’s time we all get over ourselves.

Get this: As TIME reports, according to a report from the University of Brighton in the U.K.,  just 30 minutes of dancing will burn you around 300 calories or more — which is equal to or more than you would burn during an easy run or swim and even — *gasp* — cycling. The reason dancing burns so many calories is because your body is constantly moving in all sorts of directions. “There is a lot of accelerating and decelerating in dancing, which the body is less able to do in an energy efficient way,” the report’s coauthor Nick Smeeton tells TIME. So basically, your body works harder to keep up with the changing rhythms of dance, expending more energy.

So, if you’ve never quite gotten into other forms of cardio (we totally get it — the treadmill isn’t exactly our idea of fun either), dancing might be a great way to mix up your routine while getting a killer calorie burn in. To get you started, we compiled a list of six local dance classes to try. Bonus points: They’re super fun!  Read more »

This Bella Vista Gym’s Birthday Is This Weekend (And You’re Invited!)

Charge Performance and Wellness | Photo courtesy Charles Scogna

Say hello to your weekend plans! This Saturday, July 15th, Bella Vista’s Charge Performance and Wellness is welcoming everyone (yup, even you, non-member-type folks) to help celebrate the gym’s first birthday in a BIG way — with a cookout dubbed Charge-A-Palooza and, of course, a workout.  Read more »

My Top 5: Booty-Toning Resistance Band Exercises

Everyone wants to have a nice booty, right? That’s where Katie Gould of South Philly’s KG Strong comes in. If you recall, her summertime gym bag is always stocked with a resistance band (like this one), which happens to be a great tool for whipping your rear end into shape. We asked her to show us her five favorite booty-toning resistance-band exercises. And the best part? You can basically do these moves anywhere — the beach, your living room, waiting for the train (if you’re bold), or even on a paddleboard (which you’ll see Gould rocking out on below because she’s a superstar). Here, Gould has chosen her top five resistance band moves that target the tush and will leave your buns toned and feeling a serious burn. Read on to get your best booty yet.

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Do This: Run This Liberty Bell-Inspired Route This Weekend

Add this to your to-do list of things to get done before you head to the Shore this weekend (you know, before the heavy drinking and eating commence): The Philly Distance Runners have organized a 10.5-mile run through Philly in which your steps will “paint” the shape of one of Philly’s foremost landmarks, the Liberty Bell. Hellooooo, Instagram-worthy Strava screenshot! Read more »

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