A Perfect Indoor Workout – No Equipment Needed

It has been a rainy week here in the Florida panhandle.  Needless to say, it hasn't been an ideal week to be working out outside.  So, today, we have a perfect indoor workout that you can do absolutely anywhere.  Whether you are traveling and stuck in your hotel room or you head out to your garage, this is a great workout that requires no equipment.

If you wait for perfect workout weather, you aren't going to get too many workouts done.  Put the excuses aside, lace up your shoes, and get busy on the FOF Fifty.

FOF Fifty

The structure today is very simple.  You will complete 50 reps of each exercise, and you will go through the list of exercises twice.  Complete the workout as fast as possible with good form.

REPS = 50

  • Chest to Floor Burpees
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Squat Jumps
  • Reverse Lunges (25 each leg)
  • Russian Twists (2 count)
  • Flutter Kicks (2 count)
  • x 2

If you have a kettlebell, and want to add a twist to this workout, we've got a weighted option for you today too.

**Weighted Option***

REPS = 50

  • Swings
  • Thrusters (2 hands)
  • Rows (25 each arm)
  • Overhead Split Squats (25 each leg)
  • Chest Press with Flutter Kick
  • Burpees
  • x2

Lace Up and Get to Work

If you are dealing with dreary November weather like we are, put your excuses to the side, and get this workout done.  I promise, a good sweat session will elevate your mood and help you tackle your day.

We are moving into Thanksgiving week.  During Thanksgiving week, we will be posting FOUR workouts on our Facebook page to get done during the holiday week.  Make sure you check out the workouts.

If you are in need of a reboot to keep you on track over the holidays, make sure you come try out a week of classes for free at any of our in person Fixed on Fitness locations.

Enjoy your Wednesday!

~KP

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes That Will Please a Crowd

Thanksgiving is just over a week away.  I really can't believe that it's already here.  To be honest, I am so far from being prepared for the holidays, but they are coming, so apparently it's time to get in gear.  I can't handle a complete all out food bender, even if it is just one meal, so I have some healthy Thanksgiving recipes that help me balance out the few not so healthy dishes that I choose to indulge in.

This year, I am so thankful that my mother in law has offered to cook for us.  Her stuffing is amazing....it's not even close to good for you, but I am going to eat it and love every bite.  So, to go along with the not so healthy items, we will be cooking up some sides that aren't loaded with bread or crackers.  

This weekend, we cooked up a primal friendly pre-Thanksgiving feast, and today we are sharing the healthy Thanksgiving recipes we tried, along with some of our long time favorites.  I am not including recipes for turkey or ham...those are usually pretty standard, and since I'm not a chef, I'll let you go out on your own for these :).

**All of these ideas are primal friendly.  We do include dairy in our diet, but you could easily substitute dairy free milk and omit the cheese in many of these recipes.  While I did not use any refined sugar, I did use coconut sugar in a few of these recipes.**

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Thrusters and Burpees: 4 Rounds for Time

Thrusters and burpees...what's not to love?  Today's list might be short, but this workout packs a good punch.

See, we have this little saying at our Fixed on Fitness classes.  It's known as the "short board workout."  What this means is that the board contains very few lines.  At first glance, it looks pretty easy.  However, it's a short board.  This means it's going to be tough, and there's no way around it.

So, don't get turned off by the simplicity of this workout.  It's a great one, and all that you need is a kettlebell.  Are you ready for some thrusters and burpees...and a run? 

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The Best Dark Chocolate Bar – Our Favorite

We must have chocolate on the brain.  So, what is the best dark chocolate bar out there?  Since last week's post about the health benefits of dark chocolate, we have received quite a few questions about our favorite dark chocolate bars.  So, today we are going to share our favorites with you.

We understand that many of you might not have a local, gourmet chocolate shop (we certainly don't), so we have included brands that are easy to find at most grocery stores or online.  To make things more interesting, we did a blind taste test (with our kids) to find out which chocolate bar really is the best based on taste.

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Burpee Medley: 12 Variations To Challenge You

Happy Halloween!  Today, we don't have treats, but we do have a killer burpee medley for you.  No tricks here either.  The burpee medley includes twelve burpee variations to take your burpee game up a notch.

Warning.  If you hate burpees, you need to do this workout.  It won't make you hate them any less, but this workout is a great challenge.  The burpees combined with some running make for a killer cardio workout.

No excuses.  You don't need any equipment.  Have you had your hand in the Halloween candy?  Trade that candy for some burpees, and get busy.  Trouble staying away?  Read this.

The Burpee Medley

Make sure you watch the video above with the exercise demos for this workout.  Many of the burpees might be new, or we might use a different term than you are used to.

Please note that this workout is not for beginners.  If you are new to fitness, check out one of our other Wednesday workouts, such as the Anywhere Workout.  If you are not efficient at burpees, I would suggest cutting your reps to 12 on this workout to speed it up. 

REPS = 15

  • .30 Mile Run
  • Burpees
  • Chest to Floor Burpees
  • 2-Count Burpees
  • Broad Jump Burpees
  • .30 Mile Run
  • Double Burpees (2 Push ups)
  • Jump Lunge Burpees
  • Dive Bomber Burpees
  • 8-Count Burpees
  • .30 Mile Run
  • 2-Count Double Burpees
  • Squat Jack Burpees
  • Plyo Burpees
  • Plank Up Down Burpees

Get Going

Don't delay, and definitely don't think about this workout before you start.  If you do, chances are, you aren't going to get started.  I hope that you find this workout challenging but slightly fun (in a scary way).

Get this done before you head out trick-or-treating, or make this your post sugar rush workout.  Either way, you won't regret it.

Happy Halloween!

~KP

6 Surprising Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate

Oh, the sweet tooth.  I have a strong one.  Last, week, I gave you some tips on ways to keep your hand out of the Halloween candy.  Today, I want to give you an option to eat instead.  Let's talk about dark chocolate.  Note...we are not talking about milk chocolate or Hershey's Special Dark chocolate.  We are talking about high quality chocolate that is made with minimal ingredients.

I haven't always been a fan of the dark stuff.  In fact, many years ago, I found dark chocolate (of all varieties) to be extremely bitter.  However, over the years, I have grown to love what I thought was a bitter taste.  

Just a few squares will do the trick.  In fact, I don't even think it would be possible to eat an entire bar because it is so rich.  Not only will dark chocolate satisfy your sweet tooth with just a few squares, it has some great health benefits associated with it.  

#1 - Antioxidants

The high levels of antioxidants in dark chocolate have contributed to its "superfood" status.  Antioxidants help protect your cells from the effect of free radicals.  Free radicals are by-products of chemical reactions in our cells as well as toxins that we are exposed to in our environment.  Many of the benefits of dark chocolate come from its abundance of flavanols, which is a type of polyphenol.

Cacao actually contains some of the highest levels of antioxidants found in any food.  This is even in comparison to foods such as the açaí, pomegranate, cranberry, and blueberry. 

The higher the percentage of cacao in your chocolate, the more antioxidant rich the chocolate is.

#2 - Vitamins and Minerals

Not only is dark chocolate rich in antioxidants, it also contains other vitamins and minerals.  These include iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.  

According to the book, Genius Foods, by Max Lugavere, cacao is one of the richest natural food sources of magnesium.  If you don't know much about magnesium, it is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body.  And, many Americans are deficient in magnesium.

Eat some chocolate, and get some vitamins?  Yes, please.

#3 - Healthy Fats

The fatty acid profile of cacao is very good.  In fact, cacao butter is one of the healthiest natural fats in the world.  See, dark chocolate is made up mostly of monounsaturated fats (the fat found in olive oil) and saturated fat.  The saturated fat found in dark chocolate is stearic acid, which is a form of healthy, saturated fat.  It contains very little polyunsaturated fat.

In addition to containing a good fatty acid profile, dark chocolate is low in sugar and stimulates minimal insulin production.  

#4 - Brain Health

Dark chocolate can actually increase blood flow to your brain.  This has been shown to improve cognitive function.  The flavanols in cacao have also been shown to reverse signs of cognitive aging.

Having trouble focusing or just in a bad mood?  Try reaching for a square of dark chocolate. You might get a mood boost from the four psychoactive mood boosting chemicals such as caffeine and theobromine.

#5 - Heart Health

Dark chocolate has actually been shown to improve heart health.  The magnesium and flavanols found in dark chocolate help improve the cardiovascular system by promoting improved vascular function and regulating the heart rate.

One study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition actually found that consuming dark chocolate resulted in decreased blood pressure in healthy individuals.  Cacao also boosts nitric oxide production which is associated with increased vasodilation and improved endothelial function.

#6 - Protect Your Skin

Dark chocolate on your skin?  Well, you don't have to actually put chocolate on your skin.  However, the flavanols in dark chocolate can help protect the skin from UV damage from the sun.  In addition, the flavanols can improve blood flow to the skin.  They can also increase skin density and hydration.  Dark chocolate can help reduce stress hormones that break down collagen in the skin.

Beware...not all chocolate is created equal.

It's extremely important to buy quality dark chocolate if you are looking for health benefits.  Buy chocolate that contains at least 75% cacao or higher.  The higher the percentage, the better.  Ideally, I try to buy 85% or higher.

One note here is the difference between cacao and cocoa.  While these two words sound similar, there is a difference.  Check out this article that goes into the the major differences between cacao and cocoa.

Also, take a good look at the ingredients.  You are looking for as few ingredients as possible.  Sugar should come after the cacao ingredients, not first.  Make sure that the chocolate has not been processed with alkali (known as Dutch processing).  This process reduces the bitterness of the chocolate, but it also reduces the flavanols.  

Other things to look for on the label would be 100% organic, fair trade, and soy free.  Many bars contain soy lecithin as an emulsifying agent.

I think I'll grab a square.

Next time you have a sweet tooth, try reaching for that dark chocolate instead of a more traditional treat.  Again, make sure it's the good stuff, not the commercially produced, sugar loaded, fake ingredient chocolate.  As with anything else, moderation is good here.  Nothing is good in excess, including chocolate.

If you want a more deep dive into dark chocolate, check out this article from Mark's Daily Apple.

Next week, we will be sharing our favorite dark chocolate brands, and we will be doing a blind taste test to come up with our clear favorite.  Make sure you check out the post.  You might find a new brand to love.

Enjoy!

~KP

A Weighted Workout Without The Gym

No need to head to the gym for today's workout.  Like all of our workouts, this weighted workout can be done outside, in your garage, or in your living room.  All you need is one weight and a clock.  

This workout was born this week because I had a few people at camp that could not run. I'm pretty sure the non-runners got the harder workout with this one.  This is a great weighted workout to put on your list.  You can modify the rounds based on how much time you have, but you won't need more than 40 minutes to get this done.

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Avoiding Halloween Candy: Tips To Help You Succeed

Halloween candy.  For many people, myself included, Halloween candy is a temptation that can be tough to resist.  It's everywhere.  Between the candy bowl at the office, treats at home, and the post Halloween candy collection, it can be tough to stay away.

Don't fret.  We've got some tips to help you stay clear of the Halloween candy.  So, before you go buying up the candy aisle at Target, read on, and get ready to conquer that candy temptation.

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Tabata Workout: Running Tabata

Running tabata has been a staple at Fixed on Fitness since 2009.  If a tabata workout is not part of your exercise library, make sure you add it.  Tabata is simply a style of workout that includes 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds.  

We love tabata workouts.  You can use any combination of exercises, and you can also incorporate tabata sets into your cardio workouts.  Check out the version that we did this week at FOF.

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5 Family Friendly Activities For Fall

It’s finally fall!  With cooler weather in the forecast, fall is the perfect time to take your family outside.  We all have a basic need to be outside, and when the weather is cool and crisp, there’s no excuse to lay on the couch and binge on the latest Netflix series.

We have two kids, so we are always looking for a few inexpensive outdoor activities for fall.  Here are five family friendly fall activities for you to enjoy.

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