A sweet (and natural) way to cut back on sugar!

 

As a health coach I recommend people cut back on sugar and eat things unsweetened so that they change their tastes and crave sweets less.

When that’s not possible, I always recommend natural foods rather than chemicals. I also work with and write for Diabetic Lifestyle, so sugar is always a topic I keep in mind when doing product reviews.

Recently I discovered Dolcedì – it’s a sweetener in plastic bottles that you squeeze, the consistency of honey, but clear. It can be used any way you would use traditional table sugar or honey; and because it is sweeter than table sugar, you can use less to achieve your desired sweetness. It’s neutral flavor enhances the taste of food and drinks without altering them. Dolcedì is also perfectly soluble in both cold and hot drinks and can be enjoyed with pancakes, on yogurt, in fruit salad, and in baking. With 25% fewer calories by weight than table sugar, Rigoni di Asiago Dolcedì is made from the concentrated and filtered sugar extracted from 100% organic apples.

Eating low-glycemic foods is one tool to help keep diabetes under control. As a low-glycemic alternative to sugar and other sweeteners, Dolcedì is a healthier choice for diabetics. It has a glycemic index (GI) of 22.5 +/- 5.

The glycemic index (GI) is a rating system for foods that contain carbohydrates. It helps you know how quickly a food with carbohydrate raises blood sugar, so you can focus on eating foods that raise blood sugar slowly.

As you see in the tables below, the graph on the left shows the incremental glycemic curves for sugar (glucose) vs Dolcedì. As you can see, sugar causes the blood sugar to spike, while the Dolcedì helps maintain a lower, steady blood sugar. The graph on the right compares the GI of both sugar and IMG_5022

http://rigonidiasiago-usa.com/dolcedi/
So if you’re looking for a sweeter way to cut back in sugar, this might be your best natural alternative!

Fall Back Into a New Fitness Routine with these NikkiFitness Faves!

NikkiFitness tested and approved fitness gear for Fall 2015:

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1. Ashtanga Yoga Rug $44.95  http://www.ashtanga.net/store/organic-cotton-mysore-practice-rugs-c-21.html

These hand-loomed fully organic cotton practice rugs are currently the only onesin the US.

The Mysore Practice Rugs offer a great feel, remind practitioners of the ‘old school’ method when yogis practiced on cotton, they absorb sweat, and work great on top of any sticky mat helping prolong its life. For extra stick on your down dog, I recommend wetting your hands a bit before the sweat kicks in to glue you down. The cotton rugs are sanitary and also easy to clean.

 

2. Fabb activewear fabbactivewear.com

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Match point tennis tank 47.99

This high-performance, breathable, and supportive tank is ideal for tennis but also great for running. Form fitted to go with the natural curve of your body, this top will have you looking sexy while staying classy. It’s made from FABB breezy fabric- a breathable, moisture wicking material for staying dry, while also being shrink and fade -resistant. The built-in bra, odor-free material and fashionable design will leaving you feeling confident to grab lunch with girlfriends, hit the stores, or run errands before or after your workout.

Better basic pilates legging 87.00

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This women’s workout legging has the perfect amount of stretch to allow ease of movement while also providing the compression needed to help you feel supported. A staple piece to any wardrobe, this reliable legging is perfect while on-the go and extremely versatile in use. Feel comfortable, stylish, and confident with the extremely flattering fit and soft feel. Definitely a FABB fave!

 

 

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3. Men’s and Women’s Toe Socks that are ingenious, by Injinji $12-30.00 http://www.injinji.com 

I was out running the other day, and got a blister on one foot and had a bleeding tow from a sharp toenail on a nearby toe, on the other foot.  Now I know how to avoid limping home. The Injinji socks for men and women (in many bright colors like tangerine and daffodil) offers increased two-way stretch, enabling the material to better stretch across a foot arch and providing compression throughout the foot. The fit of the individual toe-sleeves are redesigned for a better, snugger fit throughout the toes without any excess material. Dreamy durable, light fibers make for cool, dry and bloody and blister-free feet. They have ankle-height for a nice summer run, as well as calf and knee- height for when the weather calls for a legging attached to your sock!

And whether you’re a snow junkie, hiking and outdoor enthusiast, or looking for compression, Injinji has you covered with socks for Hiking and outdoorCompressionTrail Running, and Snow socks (click on the link).

 

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4. Indoor Swim for Family FItness by FINIS http://www.finisinc.com 

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean your kids have to forget how to swim. Take your lessons or family fun time indoors at your local gym, community center, apartment building or hotel vacation with some fun gear that makes your kids want to jump in while you fit in your laps. I love the goggles and cute “animal head” swim caps! They even support education and giving back to the community through the So More Can Swim program.

H2 Jr. Goggle

The H2 Jr Goggles are designed specifically for kids faces and provide the ultimate leak-proof fit. Double silicone straps and easy-to-adjust back clips make these easy to provide a secure fit to any young swimmer’s head. Ideal for swimmers 4 to 12 years old.

Retail Price: $12.99   http://www.finisinc.com/product/801

Mermaid Swim Fin
The Mermaid Fin is a fun, monofin pool toy, ideal for young swimmers, that teaches a balanced dolphin kick while also allowing children to increase their confidence in the water. Ideal for children 12 and under, the Mermaid Fin is great for encouraging imagination and fun in the water while developing swimming skills.
Retail Price: $31.99    http://www.finisinc.com/Mermaid-Swim-Fin
Designed for Ages 6+
Shoe Size: male 1-6, or female 2-7 (Euro sizes 33-39)

Animal Heads Swim Caps
These playful and creative swim caps encourage kids to get in the water and make swimming more fun. Retail Price: $9.99   http://www.finisinc.com/myCarousel

Kids swim Diapers (Solid or with Designs): Required by most swim schools and public pools, reusable swim diapers are great alternatives to disposable diapers. Snug elastic around the waist and legs create a secure fit to contain solid waste.  FINIS provides an array of sizes that translate into comfort for the baby and confidence for the parents. A soft woven polyester lining gives the diaper an extra soft layer against the baby’s skin. UPF 50+ keeps harmful UV rays away from sensitive areas. Phthalates and PVC free.Retail Price: $9.99

 

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5. Pack good-for-you-food with Go Stak! 12.99  http://www.blenderbottle.com/all-products/shaker-bottles/blenderbottle-gostak

GoStaks are a smart and sleek advancement in portable nutrition. Durable jars secure tightly to carry powders, vitamins, supplements, snacks, and more. The 150cc jar hold 87% of protein powder servings so whether you pack pre-, intra-, and post-workout supplements to the gym, or simply need a versatile system for snacks and small items, the GoStak has you covered from milk and formula powder for baby, carrots and berries for older kids, nuts and protein powder for adults, and everything in between.

 

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6. Justin’s Snack Packs – dip, scoop, and devour. www.justins.com

Justin’s -the maker of naturally delicious nut butters and organic peanut butter cups debuted- its Snack Packs this summer and my gym bag now has a special pocket for them. One side of the portable container carries Justin’s nut butter, the other side is gluten-free pretzels. I’ve managed to snack on them morning, noon and night, as  breakfast on the go, and pre/post workout snacks, and saved the chocolate nut butter for desert. The Snack Pack does not need refrigeration and delivers the great taste and high-quality ingredients one would expect from the brand at just 200-210 calories per pack in 100 percent recycled plastic and provides a portable pick-me-up in three tasty varieties: Chocolate Hazelnut Butter and Pretzels; Classic Almond Butter and Pretzels; Maple Almond Butter and Pretzels. They are available online, at Targets and more.

 

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7. MacroBars ($1.99-2.89)  https://gomacro.com/shop/

My new favorite bar where it’s happy hour any time of the day! Available in 11 incredible flavors, these are GoMacro’s original and most popular bars that are guaranteed to satisfy your hunger and deliver plenty of clean-burning natural energy. All MacroBars are USDA organic, non-GMO project verified, kosher, gluten free and vegan certified. There is a different flavor for each day of the week, including granola coconut, sesame butter and dates, banana and almond butter, and apples and walnuts.

Each of the three new THRIVE bar flavors (blueberry lavender, curry apricot and ginger lemon) contain ingredients that have been selected to target specific systems in the body – neurological, digestive and cardiovascular. At only 180 calories, each GoMacro Thrive bar contains 3g of fiber and 4g of protein. Thrive bars are USDA organic, non-GMO project verified, kosher, gluten free and vegan certified.

40% Off Discount For All Readers
Lastly, GoMacro is glad to extend a special one-time discount to all my readers, just enter code “BLOGGER” at checkout and get 40% off your first order!

 

 

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8. Hot read:  Inches Aren’t Everything http://steamromance.com/books/ $11.95 paperback, downloads

This fall when you are recovering from sweat sessions and it’s a little cold outside, warm up with a good book… One that puts you IN THE MOOD to go to the gym or turn on that NikkiFItness video instead of skipping your next workout. It might put you in the mood for other “calorie burning activities” as well…with the newest book from Steam Romance. Inches Aren’t Everything by Sarah B. Daniels, is an erotic yet suspenseful tale of the elite trainers of Body Management Corporation (BMC) and the between-the-sheets rival battle against its head trainer, Dean Stoddard, and his colleague, Orlanda Kennedy.  I sat down to start reading this with another book as a backup when this failed to get my attention… and lets say that other book remains closed. This page turner takes Shades of Grey for a body sculpting class. Read it, then work out, and repeat.

 

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9. Febreze Laundry Odor Eliminator  $8.99 http://www.newfebreze.com

Now that this product review article has you all hot and sweaty, time to get “clean” again.

One thing about working out, it often leaves you too tired to do laundry right away…You undress and throw the stinky athletic wear into your hamper. They sit, getting smellier and smellier for the next two days. To help banish these odors, Febreze has created the Febreze Laundry Odor Eliminator. It’s an in-wash solution used with your detergent. The odor eliminator targets hard to get odors while your detergent focuses on washing away dirt and stains. Febreze Laundry Odor Eliminator is sold at Walmart, Mejier, HEB, Kmart, A&P, Pathmark, Stop&Shop and many other grocery, drug and mass retailers. It’s available in a 50-fl ounce bottle in “Fresh Scent.” And now we’re getting fresh again…

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10.  Hit it where it hurts: Salonpas pain patches  www.salonpas.us (prices vary)

Getting fit sometimes results in aches and pains and reaching for over the counter (OTC) pills is not always the healthiest solution. Doctors agree that topical OTC analgesic products, in the form of creams, gels, sprays and patches, are a healthier solution for pain management because  “Acetaminophen has a narrow therapeutic window, meaning the difference between a safe and effective dose and an overdose, which could led to liver toxicity, is a relatively small increment in milligram consumption,” says Dr. Aristotle Economou, author and acclaimed Beverly Hills physician. “Topical pain relievers such as creams, gels and sprays work locally and large reduce, although they do not entirely eliminate the systemic risk, that OTC pain pills can present. The Salonpas patches are the first and only topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSADs) approved through the FDA’s rigorous New Drug Application process which is the same process used to approve prescription medicines.” By putting the medicine right at the site of pain, bypassing the stomach and liver, Salonpas can use less medicine to deliver an effective dose.

I recently used them for a pulled calf muscle and a sore back, as well as for normal muscle aches from working out after being off on maternity leave for 6 weeks. Try the Salonpas Pain Relief Patch and Arthritis Pain Patch which are the only FDA-approved OTC pain patches, Salonpas Pain Relieving GEL-Patch HOT, and Salonpas Pain Relieving Jet Spray and the Salonpas DEEP Relieving Gel for your sculpting soreness and love your liver!

 

Fit in your fitness with NikkiFitness Faves!

BIO
NikkiFItness is a 37-year-old fitness expert, author of The Slimnastics Workout, a freelance fitness writer, and the star of 11 fitness DVDs/Videos/Apps including the new 2015 Anti-aging Walking Workout, 2014 Slimnastics Stability Ball Workout, the Seasonal Affective Disorder Workout, Hard Core Abs, Fit Travel Workout, Booty Camp, The Slimnastics Workout (Yoga+Plyometrics Fusion), Red Carpet Runway Workout, Military Wife Workout, Baby Bootie Camp, and the Beach Bride Destination Wedding Workout (Amazon). Nikki’s “Slimnastics” exercises have been featured in over 100 national media outlets including the New York Times, Live! With Kelly and Michael, Fox & Friends, GMA Health, Shape, Self, Fitness, and Women’s Health. Her “Improve the Move” workouts focus on multitasking toning and plyomentric cardio intervals (HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training) to cut workout time in half and boost metabolism. Nikki is an AFAA certified NYC personal (and celebrity) trainer, group fitness instructor at Crunch in Manhattan, and a 200hr RYT YogaFit/Yoga Alliance trained yoga instructor.She is also the “spokestrainer” for Huggies Little Movers and SilverSports antimicrobial fitness gear. Nikki got her start in fitness as a Syracuse University Cheerleader, where she graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism from the prestigious Newhouse School. Search for “NikkiFitness” social media, and in iTunes and Android for the App! More at  www.nikkifitness.com

#Fitnessfail to #NikkiFitnessFave – Trends and Seasonal fit fixes!

Whether they are new trends or seasonal fitness problems, you can turn these  #Fitnessfails into #FitnessFaves

Trends: Fitness Fail #1

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 8.08.00 AMCorset or “Waist” Training – It’s wearing a corset while exercising or going about your normal life activities. There have been some celebrities posting photos of themselves wearing them to work out. What people need to realize is that they are doing it for shock value and attention, they are not trained fitness professionals. Many companies claim they make your waist smaller if you wear them while working out, but it’s not true. When you work out wearing them it can restrict your movement and breath, both uncomfortable and lessening your calorie burn when you can’t do the full workout.  I could also see novices passing out from not being able to breathe, corsets crushing your internal organs, and people not eating enough because you are trying to cinch your waist and belly. Some companies are selling workout corsets for 70 dollars! I say save your money.

The only time I see that makes sense to wear one is if you have Diastasis Recti – a condition where your abs separate during pregnancy – and you should see a doctor or physical therapiest first. They may recommend you wear one (like they did with me) after you deliver the baby to help the damage heal. (And it only works with some people, I was not one of them.) If corset training doesn’t even help recently injured abs come together, why would anyone think they would help a normal person’s abs shrink?

INSTEAD, make your actual abs act as your natural corset – what they were meant to do. That’s how you get a 6 pack! Do cardio, work your core (like in my videos www.nikkifitness.com) and eat a healthy diet… if you want something drastic, become vegan and see how the results change your body (in a usually healthy way) after about a month… it may be something that works for you as a lifestyle. People are always looking for a magic pill or an easy out. The best way to lose weight and tone up is to eat right and exercise every day or your life. It’s a lifestyle, not a diet, for long lasting effects…

Abs cover

 

 

Trends: FitnessFail #2- IV Nutrient Therapy and Vitamin Infusions. OUCH!

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 8.21.34 AMScreen Shot 2015-06-30 at 8.21.52 AMOuch on your wallet (starting around $250 a pop) and your arm! These companies claim to give you an immune boost, more energy, and some offer cleanses where a medical professional comes to your home, office, or hotel for the IV treatment. The product claims include “a shortcut to rejuvenation to help maintain balance in a fast paced lifestyle and workouts.” Also, if you’re working out to look sculpted and toned, who wants water weight gained around your ankles and other places, as what often happens with IVs?

INSTEAD, drink water, eat nutrient-dense foods, and take your vitamins! Duh.

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Seasonal: Fitness Fail #3 -Beach yoga with a regular beach towel or sticky yoga mat that gets sandy and wrinkled up, so you spend your session straightening and dusting off instead of de-stressing!

INSTEADfix it with Twisted Guru http://www.twistedguru.com/Twistedguru.com/Home.html beach yoga blanket mats. They are large like a beach blanket (5×7), and non-slip like a mat.  They are reversible, have bright Zen designs, a security locked waterproof pocket for valuables while you’re relaxing in Savasana, and corner pockets to weigh it down with sand during vigorous vinyasa even on windy days. They are a bit pricey at approx $189, but think of it as a gym membership for the whole summer! (I got one for my birthday).

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Seasonal: Fitness Fail #4- Deciding to build an expensive home gym. Maybe you’re thinking it’s too hot/rainy/cold to go to the gym or work out outside… don’t spend thousands on a #FitnessFail, INSTEAD, do it on a budget and use your body as a machine!

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A favorite site of mine, uniquefit1.com , is a great place to do your one-stop-shopping for  equipment around 50 dollars or less, like agility cones, weighted jump ropes, agility ladders and other great options that double as a home gym AND you can take outside for your own boot camp! They even have kids’ equipment. Then try Amazon.com or iTunes  for video downloads and DVDs. (My NikkiFitness line of 12 fitness videos happens to be on both!)

 

Common Fitness Fail #5 – Working out then sitting the rest of the day.

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You’ve heard the saying, “Sitting is the new smoking” and that “sitting disease” can make you sick in many ways. Recent fitness studies even show that skipping a scheduled sweat session, and instead, walking and standing for most of your day (yes, without a workout), is better than making time for a tough workout and then sitting at a desk, car or couch the rest of the day.

Those are some of the reasons that I created my two new Walking Workout DVDs/Apps/Video Downloads  – so that anyone who is starting their fitness journey as a beginner, people rehabbing from injury/sickness/pregnancy, or those looking for more gentle workouts as they age, can get into a walking routine.

Problem is, that after many people workout, they then wear uncomfortable shoes which cause sores, bad alignment, muscle imbalances, the legs to ache, fatigue and future calorie burning routines may be jeopardized.

INSTEAD…

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I’ve finally found the solution for flats and flip-flops that leave you blistered and bleeding: Vionic’s Tide Flip Flops ($64.95) http://www.vionicshoes.com/women/sandals/tide-ii-toe-post-sandal.html  These are the closest open summer shoes I have found to actual running shoes, and they let your feet breathe while being super-stylish. For anyone who has fallen arches (overpronation) like me, they are critical to making sure your legs stay healthy enough for future workouts and walkabouts.

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Traditional flip-flops are notoriously bad for people and are flat as a board, which causes feet to flatten against their natural form. On the other hand, Vionic flip flops hug the arch of the foot for full support. With Vionic’s podiatrist-designed, supportive Orthaheel Technology, the gravitational forces that cause the arch of the feet to collapse can be reversed, raising them back into their neutral position helping to re-align the entire leg and preventing plantar fasciitis, so wearers can move to move dynamically in complete comfort as intended. Vionic with Orthaheel Technology offers the ONLY sandals recommended by both the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) and renowned integrative medicine doctor, Andrew Weil, MD. Vionic.

I also love their selection: from dark and muted colors, to jeweled, sequined and floral styles, and masculine brown leather for guys…. they have something for every outfit and style. And now they are endorsed by this Walking Workout expert and celebrity trainer (me)!

 

Common Fitness Fail #6: Outgrowing your fitness tracker app. 

Fitness tracker apps are great for beginners, to give you a reality check of just how little you move. Once you set goals of steps per day and calories burned, you tend to outgrow them. Hopefully by this time you’ve made fitness and healthy nutrition a part of your lifestyle and are addicted to feeling great.

Don’t stay at the same level. INSTEAD…That’s when you’re ready to Rock your Run!

 

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This app lets you you can run to the beat of your own drummer. Literally.

RockMyRun is a fantastic new app that not only blends music to a set workout-paced BPM (beats per minute), it also gives you the option of sensing your own beat – how fast your feet like to run, jump or do cardio in general – and pacing the music to your very own speed! (See below for a free offer!)

app, available for iOS and Android devices, provides professionally created, seamless mixes that are designed specifically for exercise. The app then takes in data like steps and heart rate from smartphones and fitness tracking devices to adjust music tempo in real time to improve exercise enthusiasm and performance.

RockMyRun features seamless, high energy mixes created by DJs (125-175+ BPM) that are sortable by genre, artist, latest, bpm, lyrics, and duration. Users are able to choose from a variety of genres including house, rock, pop, hip-hop, 80’s, dubstep, country, Latin house, oldies, drum and bass, 90’s, Christian rock, bmore, classical, reggae, R&B, and season.

I even used this in the NYC fitness classes I teach, and it was great to be able to pick 122-25 BPM for my chisel-type classes, and 135+ for my HIIT cardio plyometric days!

This music adjustment feature, called myBeat™ Body Driven Music utilizes algorithms to read steps per minute, heart rate and more. This information is then processed and adjusted to deliver content (music tempo – BPM) in real time to match, motivate or calm someone at just the right moment. Users are also able to manually change the BPM of the mixes on RockMyRun to help them achieve a personal goal.

myBeat™ is available in three forms: 

1) myBeat™ Manual: Users manually adjust the tempo of any of the mixes and run/walk/cycle/workout in time to the music.

2) myBeat™ Steps: Using data from the iphone accelerometer and pedometer, RockMyRun dynamically adjusts the tempo of the mix to match footstrike. This feature is specially designed for runners and walkers looking to be in sync with the music wave.

3) myBeat™ Heart: Adjusts the tempo of the music to respond to physical exertion as measured by a user’s heart rate using heart rate data transmitted via Bluetooth from any wearable heart rate device. While this feature is great for runners and walkers, it also brings the excitement of personalized, body driven music to users

Scientific studies have proven that music synched to your body can have a powerful and positive effect on people running or working out. This includes increased time to exhaustion, decreased oxygen needs, increased distance covered, and more positive emotions about the workout.

Rock My World recently completed a study with the one of the leading exercise research laboratories in the world, the EPARC lab at the University of California, whose results indicate that the Body Driven Music available exclusively on RockMyRun leads to statistically significant improvements in motivation and mood during exercise.

The basic version of the app is free, so you can chose a pre-selected playlist, genre, and beat and stream your music when you work out.

The Rockstar (premium) membership lets you work out to your own natural BPM, and gives the ability to use the full music catalog (hundreds of mixes ranging from 30 minutes to four hours long), as well as continuous play feature allowing users to play their mixes back to back without interruptions or commercials. RockMyRun Rockstar is free of display and audio ads for $35.99/year (works out to $2.99/month).

No time for a post-workout shower? No problem!

The line at the gym shower is too long.

Or you pushed your outside/at home workout 15 minutes longer than planned cause you felt so strong today.

Or the water got turned off in your home.

Or its really hot and humid out and you feel like you need 5 showers a day.

Whatever the reason, a shower that’s needed can’t always be achieved. Not to stress (sweat)…I found a way to turn this #fitnessfail into a #NikkiFitnessFave  with two new products that allow you to take your shower with you, quickly, without water. And for less than 5 dollars a pack!

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Get Shower Power in large wipes-

http://www.nathansports.com/gear/performance-gear/power-shower-wipes

 

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And these Aura Cacia Revive both cloths come in multiple scents, like “calm” and “balance” AND THEY ARE ALL-NATURAL!

https://www.auracacia.com/new-products/revive-body-cloths.php

 

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Another product that helps you feel and smell clean while working out and freshening up, is a pocket-sizedbiodegradablesingle-use deodorant wipe

Swipe is the newest, innovative product in personal hygiene and MUST-HAVE gym bag essential. The box comes with three wipes infused with a natural tea tree extract that not only provides protection, it also eliminates body odor.  The small and discrete packaging makes Swipe® travel-friendly and ideal beach bags as well. I even keep them in my purse to replace that travel-size deodorant that always crumbles and loses its lid!

Where to get it: www.itswipes.com as well as Amazon.com. Price: $3.99 for pack of three, $6.99 for pack of 10, $14.99 for pack of 25

 

Fitness – fit it in, even when you don’t have time for a shower!

Nikki

Walk Your Workout: June 19th is National Flip Flop Day

You’ve heard the saying, “Sitting is the new smoking” and that “sitting disease” can make you sick in many ways. Recent fitness studies even show that skipping a scheduled sweat session, and instead, walking and standing for most of your day (yes, without a workout), is better than making time for a tough workout and then sitting at a desk, car or couch the rest of the day.

Those are some of the reasons that I created my two new Walking Workout DVDs/Apps/Video Downloads  – so that anyone who is starting their fitness journey as a beginner, people rehabbing from injury/sickness/pregnancy, or those looking for more gentle workouts as they age, can get into a walking routine.

Problem is, that after many people workout, they then wear uncomfortable shoes which cause sores, bad alignment, muscle imbalances, the legs to ache, fatigue and future calorie burning routines may be jeopardized.

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 7.27.40 PM

I’ve finally found the solution for flats and flip-flops that leave you blistered and bleeding: Vionic’s Tide Flip Flops ($64.95) http://www.vionicshoes.com/women/sandals/tide-ii-toe-post-sandal.html  These are the closest open summer shoes I have found to actual running shoes, and they let your feet breathe while being super-stylish. For anyone who has fallen arches (overpronation) like me, they are critical to making sure your legs stay healthy enough for future workouts and walkabouts.

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 7.31.39 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 7.31.45 PM

Traditional flip-flops are notoriously bad for people and are flat as a board, which causes feet to flatten against their natural form. On the other hand, Vionic flip flops hug the arch of the foot for full support. With Vionic’s podiatrist-designed, supportive Orthaheel Technology, the gravitational forces that cause the arch of the feet to collapse can be reversed, raising them back into their neutral position helping to re-align the entire leg and preventing plantar fasciitis, so wearers can move to move dynamically in complete comfort as intended. Vionic with Orthaheel Technology offers the ONLY sandals recommended by both the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) and renowned integrative medicine doctor, Andrew Weil, MD. Vionic.

I also love their selection: from dark and muted colors, to jeweled, sequined and floral styles, they have something for every outfit and style.

And now they are endorsed by this Walking Workout expert and celebrity trainer (me)!So join me in keeping your workout going all day long and post a photo of it June 19th for #nationalflipflopday

 

Fitness – fit it in, in your flip-flops! ~Nikki

BIO

NikkiFItness is a 37-year-old fitness expert, author of The Slimnastics Workout, a freelance fitness writer, and the star of 11 fitness DVDs/Videos/Apps including the new 2015 Anti-aging Walking Workout, 2014 Slimnastics Stability Ball Workout, the Seasonal Affective Disorder Workout, Hard Core Abs, Fit Travel Workout, Booty Camp, The Slimnastics Workout (Yoga+Plyometrics Fusion), Red Carpet Runway Workout, Military Wife Workout, Baby Bootie Camp, and the Beach Bride Destination Wedding Workout (Amazon). Nikki’s “Slimnastics” exercises have been featured in over 100 national media outlets including the New York Times, Live! With Kelly and Michael, Fox & Friends, GMA Health, Shape, Self, Fitness, and Women’s Health. Her “Improve the Move” workouts focus on multitasking toning and plyomentric cardio intervals (HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training) to cut workout time in half and boost metabolism. Nikki is an AFAA certified NYC personal (and celebrity) trainer, group fitness instructor at Crunch in Manhattan, and a 200hr RYT YogaFit/Yoga Alliance trained yoga instructor.She is also the “spokestrainer” for Huggies Little Movers and SilverSports antimicrobial fitness gear. Nikki got her start in fitness as a Syracuse University Cheerleader, where she graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism from the prestigious Newhouse School. Search for “NikkiFitness” on Facebook and Twitter, to get the free #movesoftheday and #mantrasoftheday. Her music playlists, video demos and DVDs can be found at  www.nikkifitness.com

 

Sunglasses: Critical and Over”looked” Workout Equipment

National Sunglass Day is Friday, June 26!

Rock and movie stars have the right idea after all! You should be wearing your sunglasses more often, and not just after a rough night out or to hide that you didn’t have time for makeup before school drop off… they should be a critical part of your outdoor workout ensemble!

Summer is in full swing, and enjoying a workout outdoors can be the highlight of your day. However, Dr. Justin Bazan, a medical adviser to The Vision Council, and optometrist based in New York City, says many fitness enthusiasts are neglecting to use the proper protection for their eyes, leaving their vision at risk to UV radiation, posing harmful threats to our long-term eye health.

I took part in a webinar that told of some shocking statistics. The most surprising to me is that popular outdoor workout times, like early morning (8-10am) and late afternoon (2-4pm) puts your eyes at nearly double the amount of UV exposure than at mid-day (10am-2pm) during most times of the year!  Other stats include:

  • -1 in 4 Americans rarely or never wear sunglasses, leaving eyes at risk
  • -2 in 3 Americans leave their eyes unguarded on cloudy or rainy days
  • -3 in 10 Americans don’t protect their eyes in the Winter, when UV Rays are still present
  • -Most people chose shades for comfort over protection level
  • -The most common times when people use sunglasses is when they are driving, walking or going to the beach
  • -Only 33% of adults use eye protection when they are out running or biking.
  • -Water reflects up to 100% of UV rays, snow 85%, and dry sand/pavement hits you back with 25%

 

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To make sure I can still see the running and biking road in front of me in years to come, and just in time for the upcoming National Sunglass Day, the vision council sent me these great Kaenon polarized SR-91 shades in a sun safety kit.

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Dr. Bazan explained that sunglasses don’t have to be expensive to have UV protection, and neither price not how dark the lenses are, usually have anything to do with the protection level.

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So join me to protect your eyes and help raise awareness of this over”looked” part of your workout gear and use the #NationalSunglassesDay hashtag in your posts and share your own Rockstar #SunglassSelfie  on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheVisionCouncil or Twitter – @OpticalIndustry 

You can also participate in a Twitter chat, celebrating National Sunglasses Day  www.nationalsunglassesday.com   on Friday, June 26 @ 1pm ET ! More information www.thevisioncouncil.org 

 

Fitness – fit it in, in your shades! ~Nikki

 

 

BIO
NikkiFItness is a 37-year-old fitness expert, author of The Slimnastics Workout, a freelance fitness writer, and the star of 11 fitness DVDs/Videos/Apps including the new 2015 Anti-aging Walking Workout, 2014 Slimnastics Stability Ball Workout, the Seasonal Affective Disorder Workout, Hard Core Abs, Fit Travel Workout, Booty Camp, The Slimnastics Workout (Yoga+Plyometrics Fusion), Red Carpet Runway Workout, Military Wife Workout, Baby Bootie Camp, and the Beach Bride Destination Wedding Workout (Amazon). Nikki’s “Slimnastics” exercises have been featured in over 100 national media outlets including the New York Times, Live! With Kelly and Michael, Fox & Friends, GMA Health, Shape, Self, Fitness, and Women’s Health. Her “Improve the Move” workouts focus on multitasking toning and plyomentric cardio intervals (HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training) to cut workout time in half and boost metabolism. Nikki is an AFAA certified NYC personal (and celebrity) trainer, group fitness instructor at Crunch in Manhattan, and a 200hr RYT YogaFit/Yoga Alliance trained yoga instructor.She is also the “spokestrainer” for Huggies Little Movers and SilverSports antimicrobial fitness gear. Nikki got her start in fitness as a Syracuse University Cheerleader, where she graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism from the prestigious Newhouse School. Search for “NikkiFitness” on Facebook and Twitter, to get the free #movesoftheday and #mantrasoftheday. Her music playlists, video demos and DVDs can be found at  www.nikkifitness.com

 

Spring Product Review 2015: NikkiFItnessFaves!

Dress, walk, eat, cook, and moisturize your way from winter to summer with my Spring Products that pass the #NikkiFitnessFaves review! They make you look good, feel good and are all-natural to put spring in your step for many years to come!

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Name of Product: Vionic’s Ailie fitness shoe

Benefits for Spring:  Vionic’s Ailie is great for the transition from boots to flip-flops and it features breathable mesh uppers with innovative podiatrist-designed Orthaheel Technology which is shown to reduce over-pronation – making it a perfect warm weather walking shoe! (If you have fallen arches, these are the flats you should own! I walked every neighborhood of NYC in them.)

Website: www.vionicshoes.com

Price: $109.95

 

 

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Name of Product: Kiss My Face  2n1 Tropical Coconut Light Moisturizing Air Powered Spray®

Benefits for Spring:  Your skin can absorb 60% of what you put on it…Kiss My Face products are made from the finest ingredients nature has to offer while being earth and wallet-friendly! This lightweight formula is made with naturally nourishing antioxidants, botanicals and vitamins to help fight free radicals. And it’s parabens and phthalates-free to moisturize and soften skin after the flaky, cold winter skin-blues. I daydreamed of summer beaches with the smell of the emollient-rich coconut water & coconut oil. This one-touch, any-angle spray is designed for those hard to reach places without getting your hands and rings greasy. It’s vegan-friendly, not tested on animals and no artificial fragrances. Plus, it’s air-powered, which means no chemical propellants. Good for you, good for the environment!

Websitewww.kissmyface.com

Price: $9.99

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Name of Product: Beach House Sport

Benefits for Spring: Not ready to run or work out in just a sport bra yet because of weather or that last 5 lbs you want to lose? Do a lose fitting tank that hides imperfections with a sexy, bright, peek-a-boo sports bra underneath! This cool combo is called the “Calypso top” from Beach House Sport has an elastic banded hem, joined sports bra, racer back, “stay put” removable soft cups, a breathe-easy mesh liner, 50+ UPF protection, multi sport knit: 85% nylon/15% spandex, and breathe easy textured mesh: 93% Polyester/7% Spandex
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Benefits for Spring: Look no further for the perfect performance pant. Compression fit shapes the leg, while the banded waistband comfortably controls the rest. Compression fit, quick-dry performance, comfort waistband w/ concealed pocket, 50+ UPF protection, and performance knit: 87% polyester/13% spandex make them perfect for a sweat sesh!

Website:http://www.beachhousesport.com/?gclid=CMvj9sTbmcUCFUxo7AodTHoA-Q

Price: Pants- $47.00, Top- $67.00

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After moisturizing and looking the part, time for a pre or post-workout snack!

Name of Product: Essential Living Foods Keen-Wah Bars

Benefits for Spring: All-natural, amazing flavors, low calorie, and portable organic super foods! For a quick pick me up, snag one of these complete protein quinoa powdered energy bars packed full of organic, whole-food ingredients and robust flavors. I went even further with my order because they have so many great items that all taste amazing in eco-friendly packaging…

Keen-Wah Decadence Cayenne Bar. 42g 11840-517 1 $3.29
Keen-Wah Decadence Cacao Bar. 42g 11839-516 1 $2.25
Keen-Wah Glow Functional Bar – 30g 11846-528 1 $2.69
Enlighten Mix – 3 oz 11986-562 1 $6.99
Keen-Wah Decadence Coconut Bar. 42g 11841-518 1 $3.29
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – 14 oz 11597-233 1 $14.99
Chia Seeds – 8 oz

Website: http://www.essentiallivingfoods.com 

Price: 2-4 dollars!

 

COVER antiaging WW front

The Slimnastics Walking Workout Video featuring NikkiFitness ($10 iTunes/Android, $19.99 Amazon.com download or DVD) www.nikkifitness.com

And finally, when April showers lead to May… showers, take your workout indoors with a video routine you know you can accomplish…

The NikkiFitness ® Slimnastics ® Walking Workout is designed to give you a gentle workout that turns back the aging process! Whether you’re starting a workout routine for the first time, are rehabbing from an injury, or just taking care of your body as you get older, this workout is for you!

This 30-minute, no-equipment-needed fitness video provides a full-body cardio and toning workout while protecting your joints and keeping your heart rate in a comfortable range. It includes:

• A gentle warm-up and introduction to the walking variations

• Modifications to protect the joints and avoid injury

• Optional changes in the marching routine to take you forward, back, side to side and increase agility

• Lunges and squats for additional leg muscle toning, biceps, triceps, shoulders and back choreography to 
balance out the chiseling factor, and glute moves to tone trouble spots.

• Improve the move: the walking routine incorporates low kicks, V-steps, hamstring curls, running lunges, knee-ups and more, to provide a low-impact cardiovascular workout that increases your endurance while keeping you entertained

• The Caribbean video location gives your mind a vacation while your body gets a workout

The fun routine is just like a walk on the beach with a friend, and the benefits turn back time, help keep you healthy, and keep you coming back for more.

Fitness – fit it in this Spring! Nikki


NikkiFItness is a 37-year-old fitness expert, author of The Slimnastics Workout, a freelance fitness writer, and the star of 11 fitness DVDs/Videos/Apps including the new 2015 Anti-aging Walking Workout, 2014 Slimnastics Stability Ball Workout, the Seasonal Affective Disorder Workout, Hard Core Abs, Fit Travel Workout, Booty Camp, The Slimnastics Workout (Yoga+Plyometrics Fusion), Red Carpet Runway Workout, Military Wife Workout, Baby Bootie Camp, and the Beach Bride Destination Wedding Workout (Amazon). Nikki’s “Slimnastics” exercises have been featured in over 100 national media outlets including the New York Times, Live! With Kelly and Michael, Fox & Friends, GMA Health, Shape, Self, Fitness, and Women’s Health. Her “Improve the Move” workouts focus on multitasking toning and plyomentric cardio intervals (HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training) to cut workout time in half and boost metabolism. Nikki is an AFAA certified NYC personal (and celebrity) trainer, group fitness instructor at Crunch in Manhattan, and a 200hr RYT YogaFit/Yoga Alliance trained yoga instructor.She is also the “spokestrainer” for Huggies Little Movers and SilverSports antimicrobial fitness gear. Nikki got her start in fitness as a Syracuse University Cheerleader, where she graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism from the prestigious Newhouse School. Search for “NikkiFitness” on Facebook and Twitter, to get the free #movesoftheday and #mantrasoftheday. Her music playlists, video demos and DVDs can be found at  www.nikkifitness.com

 

 

RockMyRun: Music that Motivates, Free Promo Code for March!

This March, you can run to the beat of your own drummer. Literally.

RockMyRun is a fantastic new app that not only blends music to a set workout-paced BPM (beats per minute), it also gives you the option of sensing your own beat – how fast your feet like to run, jump or do cardio in general – and pacing the music to your very own speed! (See below for a free offer!)

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The app, available for iOS and Android devices, provides professionally created, seamless mixes that are designed specifically for exercise. The app then takes in data like steps and heart rate from smartphones and fitness tracking devices to adjust music tempo in real time to improve exercise enthusiasm and performance.

RockMyRun features seamless, high energy mixes created by DJs (125-175+ BPM) that are sortable by genre, artist, latest, bpm, lyrics, and duration. Users are able to choose from a variety of genres including house, rock, pop, hip-hop, 80’s, dubstep, country, Latin house, oldies, drum and bass, 90’s, Christian rock, bmore, classical, reggae, R&B, and season.

I even used this in the NYC fitness classes I teach, and it was great to be able to pick 122-25 BPM for my chisel-type classes, and 135+ for my HIIT cardio plyometric days!

This music adjustment feature, called myBeat™ Body Driven Music utilizes algorithms to read steps per minute, heart rate and more. This information is then processed and adjusted to deliver content (music tempo – BPM) in real time to match, motivate or calm someone at just the right moment. Users are also able to manually change the BPM of the mixes on RockMyRun to help them achieve a personal goal.

myBeat™ is available in three forms: 

1) myBeat™ Manual: Users manually adjust the tempo of any of the mixes and run/walk/cycle/workout in time to the music.

2) myBeat™ Steps: Using data from the iphone accelerometer and pedometer, RockMyRun dynamically adjusts the tempo of the mix to match footstrike. This feature is specially designed for runners and walkers looking to be in sync with the music wave.

3) myBeat™ Heart: Adjusts the tempo of the music to respond to physical exertion as measured by a user’s heart rate using heart rate data transmitted via Bluetooth from any wearable heart rate device. While this feature is great for runners and walkers, it also brings the excitement of personalized, body driven music to users

Scientific studies have proven that music synched to your body can have a powerful and positive effect on people running or working out. This includes increased time to exhaustion, decreased oxygen needs, increased distance covered, and more positive emotions about the workout.

Rock My World recently completed a study with the one of the leading exercise research laboratories in the world, the EPARC lab at the University of California, whose results indicate that the Body Driven Music available exclusively on RockMyRun leads to statistically significant improvements in motivation and mood during exercise.

The basic version of the app is free, so you can chose a pre-selected playlist, genre, and beat and stream your music when you work out.

But,  the special NikkiFitness Fan 1 month promo code- RMRCJ – allows you to try out one month free of the Rockstar (premium) membership. This level gets your own BPM, and the ability to use the full music catalog (hundreds of mixes ranging from 30 minutes to four hours long), as well as continuous play feature allowing users to play their mixes back to back without interruptions or commercials. RockMyRun Rockstar is free of display and audio ads and is normally available in three options:

o Annual: $35.99/year (works out to $2.99/month)

o Quarterly: $12.99 for 3-months (available via online purchase only)

o Monthly: $4.99 per month

So try out my code and Rock to the beat of your own drummer FOR FREE this March! 

Also ONE LUCKY WINNER  will get a code for *1 year* of free Rockstar membership AND a new pair of JLab headphones. All you have to do to qualify to win is follow me on twitter @NikkiFitness and retweet my post about this from 3/3/15!

Fitness – fit it in! Nikki

For more info on this NikkiFItnessFave, visit www.RockMyRun.com or @RockMyRun on social media.

 

NikkiFitness Faves: NYC Boutique Class Review of Orange Theory Fitness – now in NYC!

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I work in fitness, and I love it so much, that sampling the city’s hottest boutique classes has become a hobby.

And, different from other bloggers out there who write about taking classes, I am actually certified in group fitness/yoga/personal training, and have been teaching and training for over 15 years. I know what works, what doesn’t, what’s dangerous, and what’s a gimmick.

Ratings- “Boost”: what was great and different/”Sweat”: how tough of a workout/”Safety”: what I don’t love/ “Fun Factor”: was it as much fun as a night out?

1=lowest 10=highest rating (60= perfect 10s)

Orange Theory Fitness (Tested in Tampa, Florida. Just opened in NYC!) (TOTAL= 56 out of 60:  tied with my best score ever of adult gymnastics at Chelsea Piers!)

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 6.48.57 PMThe Look:  9 – Shiny and bright! You walk into en energetic orange-lighted lobby where the friendly staff gives you an overview and fits you with a heart monitor under your shirt. The workout room is a row of treadmills, then a row of rowers, then a zone filled with TRX equipment, BOSUs, bands, free-weights and other gym toys. You’ll work as a group from one end of the room to the other three times, all the while seeing your heart rate monitor results on the TV screens, so you compete against yourself and your sweaty neighbors. (I may be slightly biased on the look being a former Syracuse Orangemen Cheerleader… but you just can’t feel lazy looking at the color Orange!)

 

The Boost Factor: 10 –  I had no idea that in my daily workouts, even though I was going faster than most people at the gym on the treadmill, that I was probably working the easiest. I visited with my cousin who walks and plays tennis, but doesn’t do a lot more cardio than that, and as she was running at a speed of 5mph on the treadmill, I was at 7mph. However, her heart rate monitor showed she was working much harder than I was, so she was actually beating me on the TV monitors, and I was getting “encouraged” by the instructor/drill sergeant. I ended up having to get the treadmill up to a speed of 9.5mph to match or beat the effort my cousin and others were putting into their workouts. On the rowing machines, something I don’t normally do because of an old back injury, I was more on par with the others, but no winning because my weekly cardio workouts were making my heart rate stay low. The verdict is, these classes force you past your plateau so that even when you are in good shape, you need to excel each day. The heart rate monitor doesn’t lie and you’ll be forced into a really tough training zone no matter how in shape you are. If you’re like me and love to be pushed, as well as work well with more of a drill sergeant than a gentle motivator as a trainer, you’ll love it. What’s more… they’ve been doing this for a few years in markets smaller than NYC, so the metrics, measurement and competition lead the way, in my view, to other awesome measurement-based workouts like Flywheel.

The Sweat Factor: 10 – I had never even tried to go above an 8 on the treadmill, so 9.5 sprint intervals? Enough said. You’ll get cardio and strength training in one hour-long session and either love it, or not have time to focus on the hard effort long enough to complain. The strength portion uses tough, multitasking and innovative moves to boot.

The Safety Factor: 9 – Good warm up, cool down, explanation, instructor involvement and stretch.

Sore Factor:  9 – You’ll feel it the next day, even if you work out most days of the week.

Fun Factor– If you’re a gym rat, you’ll love how this pushes your body, past what you would do yourself. Even if you don’t think that’s fun, you can’t complain about the results.

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Fitness – fit it in! Nikki

Exercise Routines In Household Games

Much is made these days of the various workout apps available to mobile users. There are apps that track your runs, demonstrate exercises, (at least attempt to) count your calories, and even one that incentivizes running by making a game out of running away from digital zombies. Some of these exercise apps can be very simple, but a lot of the time they’re more trouble than they’re worth. They can also make users forget just how simple (and enjoyable) it can be to design an effective exercise routine that plays like a game. So here are a few everyday workout games you can play without a mobile app, and which can help you to see real results.

The Push-Up Card Game

 

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There are several variations of this game, but Nexercise explains it in perhaps its simplest form. Basically, the idea is to use a deck of cards to dictate a push-up routine, with each numbered card representing a set number of repetitions, and each face card representing the next value up (so after 10, a Jack is 11, a Queen is 12, a King is 13, and an Ace is 14, though Aces can also be 1 depending on your desired intensity). One way to go about this workout is to do it with a partner and have colours dictate who does push-ups, so that each time you flip a card, red or black decides which of you does push-ups and the number decides how many. Another way to use the suits is to do the workout on your own and have them dictate which type of push-up you do for each card.

The Nexercise article has some helpful suggestions for this style of the game, including wide arm push-ups for Spades and other ideas. It’s a more difficult game than it sounds like, and if you’re not already in an upper-body workout routine, you’ll want to start with half a deck at the most. Still, it’s a fun and effective way to build up your strength and endurance.

Exercise Bingo

Exercise bingo is a wonderful idea that was written about at Military Fitness, and it allows you a great deal of freedom and flexibility to work on different exercises. It’s also very simple. Basically, the idea is to design a bingo card with each square representing a different exercise, and then play the game as you ordinarily would, completing exercises along the way. Another way to play the game, however, if you want to up the stakes so to speak, is to go online and find a real bingo site to serve as a platform for your own version of the game.

Now, this is still a simple practice far different from downloading a mobile exercise app, and instead it is essentially a way to enhance an existing game. But it can make for some inspiring competition between you and your friends or family. The bonus options at Betfair, one of the leading platforms, include free start-off budgets for newly established accounts. This gives you the option to play online bingo with real money on the line, something that could easily be twisted into an incentive for the exercise game. For example, if you really want to get competitive, use the online game to coordinate with your exercise bingo card and give whatever winnings there may be to whomever performs the most exercises over the course of a game!

These are just a couple of examples of the ways in which everyday games can be turned into exercise tools and motivations. And if you do a quick search, there are dozens of other examples—versions of these games, and additional games dealing with cards, casino activities, board games, etc.—that provide simple, household workout ideas. Just remember: any card can be turned into an exercise trigger, and any square on a gaming board can have a task attached to it.

Fitness – fit it in! Nikki