Dumbbell Work Outs!

So I hope everyone is sticking with their work out routine/diet! It’s been a long journey for myself but if you can just stick with it I know you’ll realize it’s worth it. So far I have lost 24 pounds! It’s so exciting being able to fit into cloths I haven’t been able to fit in for years. It’s also very exciting to be able to wear cloths that previously didn’t look to flattering on myself. I feel healthier and feel very proud of myself. I hope that you can get to this point as well! I would post some pictures of my before and after, but I am entirely too embarrassed.

Anyways, today I am going to write to you about work outs you can do with dumbbells. I feel like with just a set up dumbbells at home, you can do a lot to work out.

P.S. When I write out all these work outs, use whatever weight you feel comfortable with.

Dumbbell workouts for abs:

1. Crunch

You can lay on your back to do a normal crunch, but lay a dumbbell on your chest and hold it there while you do crunches.

2. Leg Raises

Lay on your back on the ground (or a bench if you have access to one.) Place the dumbbell in between your ankles. Raise your feet and legs up into the air to about a 45 degree angle. That is one rep!

3. Side bend

Hold the dumbbell with one hand along side of your body standing up. Tilt your body to the side away from the dumbbell. Do this as many times as you feel necessary and then switch sides.

Dumbbell workouts for triceps:

(This is what you want to do if you have problems with the upper part and bottom or your arm being flabby.)

1. Two arm tricep extension

Take a dumbbell with both hands on it and hold it behind your head. Elbows point up, raise the weight above your head and stretch out your arms. When done, put them back to starting position. Repeat. (If you get super strong and want more of a challenge, try it with one arm.)

2. Tricep Kickback

Put your knee and hand of one side on a bench (or couch/whatever you can find to work) and put the dumbbell in the other hand. Other foot on the floor. Put your upper arm parallel to your body with elbow bent. The weight should be dangling down. Keep your upper arm in position and swing the weight back to straighten your arm.

3. Lying tricep extension

Lay down on your back. Put a dumbbell in each hand. Palms facing up, upper arms toward the ceiling. Put the weight above your head and bring it to above your tummy. That is one rep.

4. Bench Press

Lay down on your back and put a dumbbell in each hand. Take the weights and push them up and down. That is one rep.

Words of motivation for the day:

You can do it!!!

And

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Heart Rate: Resting, target, and maximum

I think something that is very important to know when you are beginning to work out is your heart rate. It is good to know what your resting heart rate is, your maximum heart rate and your target heart rate.

Resting heart rate

Your resting heart rate is as simple as it sounds. It is your heart rate while your at rest. The number of times your heart beats per minute. The average person has a resting heart rate of 60-80 beats per minute. It increases with age and can be lower if you are someone who is very physically active. A good time to calculate your resting heart rate is first thing in the morning, before you even get out of bed.

Target heart rate

Knowing your target heart rate is really important when you start exercising because when you are doing cardio activity you will want to be in your target heart rate zone for it to really do you some good. The table below shows what your target heart rate is and your maximum heart rate is for your age. Find your age and when you work out that should be your target. When you first start working out it is ok to start very lightly and hit the bottom end of your target heart rate. As the months go by and you keep working out you should be working your way up to the high end of the target heart rate. Obviously the higher you are on the scale the more work you will be doing and the more calories you will be burning. With the exception that you should NEVER go over your maximum heart rate. If you start getting close to it you should cool it down a bit. The figures below are an average, so use them as a guideline. They are not absolute numbers.

Age Target HR Zone 50-85% Average Maximum Heart Rate, 100%
20 years 100-170 beats per minute 200 beats per minute
30 years 95-162 beats per minute 190 beats per minute
35 years 93-157 beats per minute 185 beats per minute
40 years 90-153 beats per minute 180 beats per minute
45 years 88-149 beats per minute 175 beats per minute
50 years 85-145 beats per minute 170 beats per minute
55 years 83-140 beats per minute 165 beats per minute
60 years 80-136 beats per minute 160 beats per minute
65 years 78-132 beats per minute 155 beats per minute
70 years 75-128 beats per minute 150 beats per minute

This is how you go about finding your heart rate: 

-Take your pulse on the inside of your wrist. (The thumb side of your wrist.)

-Take the tips of your first two fingers, not your thumb and place them lightly over the blood vessel on your wrist. You should be able to feel the pulse.

-Count your pulse for 10 seconds. I personally can’t count seconds and beats at the same time, so watch the second hand on a clock while you count your beats. After ten seconds is up, take the number you got and times it by 6. (That makes it equal a minute.)

That is your heart rate!

So figure out your heart rate in the morning and figure out your heart rate when your doing your exercises. This will help you know if you are pushing yourself too hard, or if you aren’t pushing yourself enough.

I got all of this information off of the American Heart Associations website, so it is accurate and right. You can believe me!

This table is a good reminder that not everyone is going to be at the same level. I work out with my mom who is 58 and she always quits before me. And that is ok because my heart at 21 can handle a lot more than hers can.

Motivation for the day:

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Spring is here!

After writing my last post, I went home and tried to do those ab exercises I put on here. A couple of them were entirely to hard to do. So my advice would be (and this is what I am going to do for myself because I am not near fit enough for some of those) to try them, and the ones you can do, do them more often and work your way up to the harder ones. Also, I just do some old fashioned crunches and sit ups, those are a good place to start as well. 

It’s starting to get so nice outside! If you’re getting bored with your work outs in the gym or your home, get outside and find all kind of things to do to burn some calories! I read an article a few weeks ago that said you naturally burn more calories outside because there are declines, inclines, and more obstacles than your flat indoor surface. So going outside can never be bad!

Here are a few things you can do outside to work your body out:

1. Gardening

Whenever I pulled weeds, changed the mulch in my front yard, and planted flowers I had never been more exhausted! The next day I was more sore than a work out at the gym. It is also fun and goes by fast which is always good.

2. Park bench dips

If you’re at the park, sit down on a bench. Put your hands down beside you, scoot your butt forward off the bench and dip yourself up and down. Do 12-15 reps of these.

3. Park bench push up

When you’re done with that, turn around and use the bench to do a push up. You can put your hands on the bench and do some, then switch it up and put your feet on the bench and hands on the ground and try some of those push ups. Those will be a lot more challenging.

4. Tight rope walk

Find a curb, beam, or anything that you can balance on and walk back and forth, hands held out to the side so your body is like a T. Walk back and forth for 3 minutes.

5. Side shuffle

Bend your knees and put them out to the side. Shuffle to the right and to the left. Repeat back and forth for 1 minute or as long as you can do it.

6. Steps

Find a staircase and walk/run up and down it. Do it for as long as you can. This is one of the best things you can do. Do it often enough and you’ll have killer legs!

7. Swimming

Swimming is one of the best work outs for your body! There is no impact so it is great for your joints.

8. Mowing

Using a push mower is great! You might hate it, but the reason you hate it is because its kicking your butt! Use it more often instead of a riding one and you’ll get the grass mowed and your workout all in one activity.

Motivation for the day:

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Being healthy sucks at times!

So this week has been so hard! The newness of my diet/workout has worn off. School has been so stressful, and so many times this week I have almost broke down and quit. It is so much work, and I just about gave up this week. I had to sit down and remind myself of why I started in the beginning, how much I love being 15 pounds thinner/healthier, and how awesome it is to walk across campus and up 3 flights of stairs and not be worn out! I also noticed in the midst of this week that I am an emotional eater. I was stressed out, to the point of tears at times and all I wanted was my comfort food: Mac and cheese and chocolate ice cream!!! The moment I realized that I wanted those things because of how I was feeling, I was so proud of myself. I knew I had made progress, and it was awesome that I noticed this problem and told myself no. Little victories!

If you are someone who is an emotional eater you should realize that it is a problem, and it can be fixed. My first step was hearing about it on some website. I had no idea that that was what I was doing. When I was down or stressed, I would eat foods all the time that made me “feel better,” (even though they never really did.) So first know that this is a thing, then go to google and search ways to cope with it! Really all it consists of is realizing that you have this problem, and telling yourself no. You have to find other ways to deal with stress and sadness. There are much healthier options! I have never been a big fan of the gym but I realized that when I am stressed, it helps a lot to go to the gym and have a hardcore work out.

My second point to make this week is: live a little! Yeah our goal is to work out/loose weight/be healthier, but sometimes you just have to kick that diet to the curb and go out to eat, make yourself happy. (Then get back to it the next day.) Maybe that is horrible advice, but if I didn’t get my cravings in every once and a while I would go crazy. I try to replace them for as long as I can, but it’s ok to cheat every once and a while ;). On the other side of that, if you go out to much or have a bunch of special occasions right in a row, don’t get crazy!

Another note I want to point out is: look at what the sugar content is in the foods you are eating! I started out just watching calories, but one day I decided to look at the sugar in something and I could not believe how much was in it! A can of pepsi alone has way more sugar than you are even supposed to consume in a day.

So that’s it for my rambling of the week.

Encouragement for the day:

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Workouts to burn that belly fat!

Hey! It’s been a few weeks since I have posted. I have been on spring break. Being out of my routine made it very hard to keep my diet and fitness goals, but I think I did pretty well. Lately I have been loosing weight, but not where I want to loose it. My stomach is just not wanting to budge. After talking to some friends who have been trying to loose weight, I gather that this is a pretty common problem. So I have decided to dedicate this post to work outs geared toward your tummy.

1. Twist with weight

Abs

Hold a five pound weight or medicine ball on your hands. Swivel the ball from right to left while holding the V shape. Do 3 sets of 15 reps 3-4 times a week.

2. Leg/arm reach

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Do what the picture looks like. Hold your opposite arm and leg strait up in the air and then put them out like the picture. Return. Do 10-12 of them, switch sides and repeat.

3. Donkey Kickbacks

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Kneel on all fours with toes tucked under. Lift both knees about two inches off of the ground. Take your knee and put it up toward your nose. Then kick back like in the lower picture. Do this 8 times, switch legs and do the same. Then repeat.

4. Advance leg crunches

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This one claims if you do what they recommend, you’ll see results in 4 weeks. We can only hope! Lie on your back with knees bent. Place a 3 pound dumbbell in-between your legs. Put your hands palms down beneath your bum. Concentrate on your lower abs and use them to bring your knees to your chest. Lift your hips, head, and shoulders slightly. Return. That is one rep. Do 15-30 reps 3-4 times a week.

5. Tone it V pose

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Put your body into the the second picture’s pose. Hold for 8 breaths and repeat 3 times.

6. Plank

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This is always a good one. I’m going to assume everyone knows how to do a push up. If not, put your body into the position in the picture. Be careful not to hold your butt too high or low, you should feel it burn. Hold for as long as you can. It recommends 1-2 minutes. I know that I cannot do it that long. Repeat for as many times as you can. 10 times if possible.

7. Squat 

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Squat down. Make sure your knees don’t pass your feet. There should be a 90 degree angle with your lower leg and the floor. It’s like sitting down in a chair. This one is really good for your butt too. Do 5 sets of 5 reps. This is a hard one for me. It really burns! But it is worth it I promise!

8. Superman

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Lift your legs, chest, and arms off of the floor just as she is doing in the picture. Hold for as long as you possibly can. Repeat this 8 times.

Words of encouragement for the day:

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You have to push yourself. If you’re not feeling the “burn” it’s probably not doing a lot. Working out is never fun for me, but I know when I am exhausted and sore after a work out, it did something for my body.

20 quick tips for weight loss

1. Plan your meals.

If you plan out what you are going to eat all day, you’ll be less likely to make a bad decision last minute.

2. Don’t skip your meals.

Your body will go into starvation mode and it will be harder for you to burn calories.

3. Don’t fry foods.

Find alternative ways to cook your foods. There are many healthy ways to cook your food that doesn’t involve frying them.

4. Make a Grocery list.

When you go to the grocery story, make a list and don’t get anything else. If you make this a habit, you will be less likely to buy those cookies on sale.

5. Only eat when you feel hungry.

I know this probably sounds like a given, but learn the difference between being hungry and craving somethings, or eating just because its offered to you.

6. Stay Hydrated.

Sometimes when you think you’re hungry, you’re actually thirsty. When you are hungry next time, drink water and see if that helps.

7. Keep emergency snacks on hand.

Always have a healthy option for yourself handy in case you get hungry before you planned to eat next.

8. Eat slower.

It takes a while for your stomach to feel full, so try eating as slowly as you can so you don’t eat more than you need to.

9. Use smaller plates.

Use a kid sized plate, you won’t be able to fill it as full as you would a large plate.

10. Never eat snacks out of the package.

Ahead of time take out a healthy sized portion, place it in a bowl or other container and then put the bulk snack away. If you only have what is in front of you will be less likely to say one more 1 million times.

11. Take every chance to move.

Take the stairs, park in the back of the parking lot, and clean your house. Anything that makes it harder, makes you healthier.

12. No soda.

Drink water instead of soda, juices, and other drinks. That alone will cut many calories out of your day.

13. Chew gum.

If you are craving something sugary, pop in a piece of gum.

14. Eat fruits and vegetables.

Next time you need a snack, eat some fruits and veggies.

15. Healthy living is 24-7

Don’t get too relaxed on the weekends. If you get too relaxed, you’ll cancel out all the progress you made this week.

16. Ask for help.

When eating out, ask your server what the healthiest options on their menu are.

17. Set long and short term goals.

You might want to be 130 in the end but don’t forget to set short term goals to keep you motivated. Say I want to be able to fit comfortably in my current jeans by the end of next month. You have to feel as if you’re accomplishing something all the time.

18. Make your plate colorful.

Meals that are more colorful tend to be more healthier.

19. Get rid of your fat cloths.

Don’t hold onto them in case you need them again. Don’t give yourself that option. Its gone and going to stay gone!

20. Visualize the weight.

Pick up a 5 pound dumbbell and hold it in your hand. Feel how heavy it is and imagine that much coming off of your body.

Motivation for the day:

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Sometimes the Simplest Things are the Most Important

What I do to help me stay on track:

This post is going to be about what I do to stay on track. Once again, I am not an expert but as I am trying to loose weight these are things that personally help me.

1. Why do I want to do this?

The first and very most important thing you need to do before you start to loose weight is: ask yourself why you want to do it and is it really worth it to you. No one ever ends up finishing anything that isn’t really important to them. You need to sit and think long and hard about why you want to loose weight. If you do this, and have very good reasons, you can tell yourself no when you’re considering pigging out on junk food, and motivate yourself to quit being a couch potato. I also find that it helps to have more than one reason. Think about your health, you self esteem, and make up a list of reasons loosing weight will help you.

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2. You MUST have support from those closest to you.

Let your family, friends, and significant other know that this is important to you!!! Soooo many times before when I began dieting, my grandma would bake me cookies or my boyfriend would bring me my favorite junk food. When presented with my favorite things, its almost impossible to say no. Get everyone on board with you so they can encourage you, and not bring you to your demise.

3. Get rid of all the bad stuff in your house!

If you don’t have it, you won’t be able to eat it. Think of yourself as an alcoholic; you wouldn’t want to be left in a house with an full bar, would you? You are just beginning and if you’re anything like me, you’re self control needs a lot of improvement. So get rid of it ALL, and don’t buy anymore!

4. Find replacements.

If there is something you crave continuously, find another way to get your fix! I personally cannot live without ice cream or mac and cheese. As I am trying to diet, I have found other things that curb my cravings. Instead of going to a fast food place and getting ice cream that is full of 100’s of calories, I found ice cream sandwiches at Wal-Mart that only have 150 calories! Instead of eating high calorie mac and cheese all of the time, I sometimes have broccoli with cheese on it. I get my cheese fix and it is a lot better than eating the pasta.

5. Realize this isn’t a diet, but a lifestyle. 

Don’t eat things you hate and be miserable. I’m assuming you want to loose this weight for good, which means you’ll be doing this FOREVER. So if you don’t like salads, don’t eat them all of the time. You’ll get burnt out and quit more easily. Find things that you like that are good for you.

6. Put reminders up everywhere to keep you motivated!

I have something wrote on my mirror in my bathroom, a note on my phone, and many other places. This is important to me, so I want to remind myself that I can do it, and i’m going to keep doing it! I have this note on my home screen of my phone, because I use my phone everyday so I constantly see it.

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7. Keep track of what you eat.

I use an app called: My Fitness Pal. The icon is in the picture above on the lefthand side. This app is amazing! I can search virtually any food and find out how many calories it has. I swear it has all restaurants, and even homemade stuff. It’s not a hundred precent accurate, but it’s a good start. I have been most successful when using it. It helps me realize the actual nutrition of things, and I can easily pace my calories throughout the day.

Your motivation for the day:

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Hello!

SkinnyGirl <– That’s the name of my blog.

Kim <– That’s me! I will be the one writing to you every week.

What is this all about?

I am a college student, who has never ate good or exercised. In high school I wasn’t into sports, or salads. I was 160 pounds and didn’t really see a problem with my figure or my lifestyle. As I am getting older, it’s all starting to catch up with me. I have topped out at 190 pounds, and will gain no more!

Since I’m a person that had no previous knowledge of how to eat good, or excercise it was a little tuff for me to start out. My whole family eats like there there’s no tomorrow, and I was never taught how to take care of my body. Over the past two years, I’ve struggled with gaining weight, and not knowing how to stop it! I would try to diet, try the latest “magic” pill, and attempt to work out, but it would never last more than a couple of weeks. I’ve gotten to the point where it’s got to happen! I’m tired of feeling shitty about myself and tired of failing.

Over the past couple of months, I have been trying to eat good the old fashioned way, and started working out. I’ve lost 14 pounds so far!!! I have grown an interest in the quality of the food that is available to us in America, and the importance of working out.

In this blog I want to catalog what things work for me and what things don’t. I also want to share articles, videos, and anything that will help a beginner start their weight loss program. I’m new to all of this and as I learn, you will too. People that have grown up with all of this don’t understand the struggle of wanting to be fit, and not knowing what to do. There is so much information out there on the internet to be found, but you can skip Google and come right here.

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I might be sarcastic, but motivational words are what really gets me through when I am thinking about giving up. A big part of what I post will be a mix of facts and things to do, along with some words/pictures/etc to encourage you! I know I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I have without a little encouragement.

If you’re wanting to loose weight, and want to have someone in it with you, this is where you need to visit every week. I may not be able to run along side you on the track, but I am always here writing the SkinnyGirl blog and willing to help all I can! Remember, I am not some trainer telling you the things you should do, but someone just like you going through the same things. I am looking forward to sharing what I have learned with you and hope that you will share with me as well!