Just do it!

I hope you are all having a nice Thursday. Isn’t it funny how short weeks can feel long?

Since Steve is on vacation (although he did manage to yell at me on FB to stop eating crap) last night I did some exercises at home. My back was bothering me so I foamed rolled a bit but not enough. Back felt somwhat better afterwards but I decided to concentrate on arms and abs last night.

I started off doing crunches on the floor. I have never been very good at getting my shoulders high off the floor but last night I had them pretty high for me. I was surprised because I thought with my back bothering me I might not even be able to do them but they were the best I have ever done. I have been working them at Steve’s a lot so my efforts must be paying off.

crunches

I also decided to do some planks last night. I didn’t time myself but I held my plank pretty long and made it a point to stay in it until I literally couldn’t. My arms were shaking and I was sweating but I held my position until I had to let go.

plank

Lesson: Even when I am not feeling a workout I should just go ahead and try it anyway. I thought for sure this was going to be terrible but it wound up being my best.

For my arms I did:

Bicep curls
tricep dips
overhead presses
tricep kickbacks

I did 20 reps of each and repeated twice with an 8 pound dumbbell

Here are some exercises to get tank top arms:

TT arms

http://plyometricsworkout.org/best-arm-exercises-for-women/

I found a good article on Health on why you aren’t losing belly fat: here were my top 5

You’re getting older

As you get older, your body changes how it gains and loses weight. Both men and women experience a declining metabolic rate, or the number of calories the body needs to function normally. On top of that, women have to deal with menopause. “If women gain weight after menopause, it’s more likely to be in their bellies,” says Michael Jensen, MD, professor of medicine in the Mayo Clinic’s endocrinology division. In menopause, production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone slows down. Meanwhile, testosterone levels also start to drop, but at a slower rate. This shift in hormones causes women to hold onto weight in their bellies. The good news: you can fight this process

You’re doing the wrong workout

A daily run or Spin class is great for your heart, but cardio workouts alone won’t do much for your waist. “You need to do a combination of weights and cardiovascular training,” says Sangeeta Kashyap, MD, an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic. Strength training increases muscle mass, which sets your body up to burn more fat. “Muscle burns more calories than fat, and therefore you naturally burn more calories throughout the day by having more muscle,” says Kate Patton, a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic. Patton recommends 250 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 125 minutes of high-intensity exercise a week.

You’re eating too many processed foods

“Refined grains like white bread, crackers, and chips, as well as refined sugars in sweetened drinks and desserts increase inflammation in our bodies,” says Patton. “Belly fat is associated with inflammation, so eating too many processed foods will hinder your ability to lose belly fat.” Natural foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are full of antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory properties and may therefore actually prevent belly fat, Patton says

You’re eating the wrong fats

The body doesn’t react to all fats in the same way. Research correlates high intake of saturated fat (the kind in meat and dairy) to increased visceral fat, says Patton. On the other hand, monounsaturated fats (the kind in olive oil and avocados) and specific types of polyunsaturated fats (mainly omega-3s, found in walnuts, sunflower seeds, and fatty fish like salmon) have anti-inflammatory effects in the body, and if eaten in proper portions may do your body good. But Patton warns that eating too much fat of any kind increases your calorie intake and could lead to weight gain, so enjoy healthy fats in moderation.

You’re stressed

Tight deadlines, bills, your kids—whatever your source of stress, having too much of it may make it harder for you to drop unwanted pounds, especially from your middle. And it’s not just because you tend to reach for high-fat, high-calorie fare when you’re stressed, though that’s part of it. It’s also due to the stress hormone cortisol, which may increase the amount of fat your body clings to and enlarge your fat cells. Higher levels of cortisol have been linked to more visceral fat

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