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When to take a break

Have you been working hard at your routine but don't see results yet? Take a break. Skip the gym and call up your best friend for a day or evening of fun. Relax and take it easy. When you retun to the gym the day after you will be revitalized. Better yet, you will feel the benefits of your exercise routine immediately. Have a great weekend!





Lunges and squats

If Bob Harper can make unfit people fit with lunges and squats, why can't you try them on your own?






Get healthy by doing good

Self magazine's team has some great tips for you to become healthier while you help others achieve the same goal. What are you waiting for? Begin your good deeds today!



Motivation is as important as commitment

When asked about their incentives to exercise, most people offer the following list. They believe that exercise will allow them:

  • more energy to spend quality time with family
  • to be able to fit into all the clothes in her closet
  • to be able to live a long, healthy life and to enjoy time with her friends and family
  • to not be uncomfortable in public
  • to not become breathless climbing stairs
  • to be able to do "active" things with family and friends
  • to be able to play on the floor with her children
  • to be able to wear nice clothes

Of course, incentives to exercise differ from person to person.  One way to make your resolution for a more active lifestyle stick is to actually think of what is it that motivates you in particular. You don't need all the reasons listed above as motivation to go to the gym. All you really need is one reason. Then, fully commit to it and to your exercise routine.


(Post by Thomai Serdari)

Zumba Basics

Ready to try something fun? If it works for you, you may want to incorporate it to your daily routine at the gym. Zumba is a great cardiovascular exercise that also promotes agility, balance, and core work.




(Post by Thomai Serdari)

Sports in the Rain

When rain becomes as persistent as it has been today, most of us look for excuses to stay indoors and stay inactive.  Rain by itself is not a good excuse to skip exercise. 

If you have a gym membership, you may take advantage of the rainy day and prolong your workout at the gym. You will  not be missing anything in such weather. Extend your cardio by 15 minutes and do an extra set of your weight training routine.

If you don't have a gym membership and usually work out outdoors, the only thing you need to modify is your outfit. While all other layers should remain the same, a pair of waterproof shoes and a good waterproof jacket with a hood should be added. That's it! You are ready to go!! Whether you like jogging around Central Park or you are lucky to be in the suburbs and meet your friends for soccer, football, baseball etc. your exercise routine will only be enhanced by the bad weather. It is more fun to play sports in the rain and it is productive to feel challenged by water puddles while running. Not to mention that skipping over the puddles adds a little bit of interval training to your workout.

Go ahead then… workout in the rain. It is fun. Tell your parents that it is perfectly safe as long as you add a layer of waterproof clothing to keep you dry and warm.


(Post by Thomai Serdari)

Fitness for Swimming

When we choose to train in specific sports, let’s say swimming, we are often under the impression that all the training takes place while performing that particular sport. For example in swimming, one thinks that all training takes place in the pool.


Think about the most important traits a good swimmer should possess. These are:


1. Power/Strength

2. Co-ordination

3. Agility

4. Muscle as well as aerobic endurance

5. Reaction time (Balance)


We have discussed each one of them in different entries. For example, boot camp exercises we had posted here increase your power and both your muscle and aerobic endurance. The drills that most soccer players follow allow them to improve their coordination, agility, and balance. Pilates is proven to improve all of the aforementioned skills.


As you can see, liking one sport does not necessarily mean practicing only during the time allotted to that sport. If you are good at basketball and wish to improve your game, spending time at the gym performing focused exercises that would improve your reaction time, agility, and acceleration would greatly benefit you.


In the end, making that trip to the gym will allow you to discover a whole lot about yourself and about your abilities as a swimmer, soccer player, basketball champion or tennis star. Fitness is the key word here, rather than swimming. Have you hit the gym yet?


(Post by Thomai Serdari)


Working out should be fun, not torture

Do not set goals that are hard to achieve or goals that are arbitrary. What does it really mean to fit in a certain size of dress by Friday? Is it going to make you a better person?Focus on what exercise can do for you long-term. A person who is balanced achieves fitness on all levels: on body, mind, and soul.

Forget all external pressures and focus on yourself.

Here is something fun to illustrate the point:



(Post by Thomai Serdari)

Exercise and winter blues


I have been inconsistent for the last three months. In November I was preparing for a trip, which became a good excuse for me to skip the gym. There was always a project that had to be completed and my usual trick of taking the train that gets me to the gym before it gets me home did not work!

The trip was wonderful and I remained active throughout the ten days of my stay in a different city. But I did not go to the gym. I didn’t even go to the gym in December when I was back in New York. A few new projects came up and kept me away from my fitness routine. While I am not the type of person who gets involved with the holiday frenzy, the prospect of Christmas and the idea that during the break I would have plenty of opportunities to resume my training were the perfect excuse for missing even more work outs in December.

The rest will sound a little bit like a weather forecast. The blizzard was impressive and completely inconvenient. The trains were not running. I lost my TV, phone, and Internet connections for three days, and, in reality, I had a few miserable days stuck at home. Even worse, my break from work was over, the illusion that I would be working out like mad for two weeks completely evaporated.

Fast forward to the last week of January: Here we are!  It is freezing cold and everything has become too heavy. The boots, the overcoat, the gym bag are all weighing me down. Yet, the desire to work out is back with me… along with a few more minutes of daylight at the end of my workday. What a delight! I challenged myself with a difficult workout during the weekend and was overwhelmed with a sense of satisfaction when my routine was over.  In fact, I cannot wait to hit the gym again today. Looking back, I cannot comprehend how I was able to bare these last three months without a consistent fitness routine.


(Post by Thomai Serdari)


Working out in the winter


When the weather is as brutal as it is today in New York City, our options for a good work out are limited. Still, there are a few things one can do to get the blood going.

Option #1: Dress warmly (really warmly–in layers) and go out in the park for a long walk. The secret is not to stall but to keep a brisk pace. Central Park is still covered in snow and ice. While certain parts can be treacherous, if you have the right shoes you can take a friend with you and walk all around the park. This is a great work out.

Option #2: Start with your gym clothes and add layers. Make it to the gym. Yes, cold weather is no excuse to skip the gym if you are so lucky to have a gym membership. Once inside, do a little bit of cardio to get the blood flowing and to get you in the mood. The rest should be fun.

Option #3: Lacking the energy to dress in layers, you decide to stay home. That is perfectly fine, as long as you invite a couple of your friends/classmates and proceed with the following three tasks: a. Clean the living room; b. Watch the video below and dance to the music. Continue dancing for one to two hours.; c. When finished, open the living room windows for a good fifteen minutes to air the room (yes, even if it is cold) and put the furniture back in their place. It is fun!




(Post by Thomai Serdari)