A healthy and balanced diet is important, but let’s face it, sometimes it’s just not enough. Exercise is a key component to maintaining your health, especially heart health. Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women? My good friend, Andia Winslow, is a professional golfer, amazing fitness trainer, founder of The Fit Cycle, and so much more. I love working out with her. I think most of us would agree, working out with friends is more fun than working out alone. That is why she came up with a series of fun friend exercised that make working out more enjoyable. And when you haven’t seen a friend for while, try meeting up for heart hour instead of happy hour. Not only is heart hour cheaper, it’s healthier for you as well. Check out our partner workout video we did for the American Heart Association.
Andia breaks things down in more detail at goredforwomen.com.
There are also snippet videos of each exercise that can be found on youtube. If you want to improve your core strength and get some nice abs. Try this plank exercise below:
Of course there are many forms of exercise you can do to keep your heart healthy. If you love spinning, kickboxing, dancing, running or rowing, do what makes you happy. There is nothing worse than choosing a form of exercise you don’t enjoy. It does not even need to be in a gym. Sometimes grabbing a mat, a bottle of water and heading outside is a great way to start and/or end your day. Andia and I have done this quite a few times. Don’t hesitate to start stretching if you happened to arrive at the park before your friend joins you.
I love yoga, especially Bikram Yoga. Bikram Yoga, consists of 26 Hatha Yoga postures and 2 breathing exercise. Oh and did I mention that it is in a 105 degree room for 90 minutes? So you sweat, you sweat a lot! Two common myth about yoga are that you have to be very flexible and that it is only helps increase flexability. I’ve personally seen amateurs with limited flexibility try yoga, then start practicing on a regular basis and their flexibility improves by leaps and bounds. Yoga does not only help improve flexibility, it helps build strength, work various organs, increase metabolism, and so much more. There are even certain postures that keep your heart muscle strong and healthy. One of my favorite postures is this posture below, standing bow.
Standing bow posture is great for increasing circulation to the heart and the lungs. It also is great for those who have lower back pain, helps improve spine health, and opens the diaphragm and the lungs.
Balancing Stick (L): Standing Head to Knee (R)
Balancing stick is great for cleaning out the heart. It clears the arteries, flushing the heart and increased blood flow throughout the entire body. Standing heat to knee also improves circulation. To find out more about these postures and others included in Bikram Yoga check out Bikram Yoga NYC. It’s a great studio and they have 4 locations in Manhattan, making it super convenient.
Andia has created a variety of fun partner workout exercises, in addition to those seen in the GoRedForWomen Partner Workout Video.
I have a love/hate relationship with this next move.
The Partner Leg Throw is designed to tighten your abs, especially the lower, hard to tone abs. The person lying on the ground starts with their legs straight up in the air at a 90 degree angle, while holding the ankles of the person standing. It is then the job of the person standing to throw the other person’s legs to the left and right. Each time the person on the ground must come back up to center before their legs are thrown to the other side. But here is the key: keep your core tight, back on ground and legs straight. Guaranteed, if you do this a few times your abs will starts to burn.
Ts to Vs with a partner is another great core workout and it helps with your balance. Start this move by positioning yourselves so that the soles of your feet touch with your legs completely straight. Your arms will be stretched out besides you with your spine straight. Bring your knees into your chest and then back out straight again, being sure to touch soles every time, and repeat. A tight body is a light body, so make sure you are using your muscles and everything is tight.
With all of these moves be sure to breathe. Quite often we forget to breathe, so make a conscience effort to focus on your breathing. You wouldn’t want to scare your partner because you forgot to breathe, right? Finally, drink lots of water and stay hydrated! If you need help drinking more water during the day, set reminders in your phone and carry a reusable water bottle with you.
Until next time, remember to #GoRed!
Special thanks to Kerri Lynne Hamm for all the beautiful photography.
Thanks to Monique Walton for producing the Go Red Partner Workout Video.
Thanks to Andia Winslow for being a great fitness advisor and creating the best fitness videos ever.