You know sitting's no good for your health, but there's not much you can do about your sedentary desk job. The whole 10,000-steps-a-day thing seems like a pretty lofty goal anyway, since that much walking amounts to traversing roughly 5 miles daily.
And for many Americans, it is a lofty goal: Back in 2010, research showed our average daily step count was more like 5,117. And today, experts estimate we're not getting all that many more. People who wear fitness trackers might have a leg up on the competition—data from over 10 million US Fitbit users show an average daily step count of 8,170—but even those activity-minded folks aren't always reaching the coveted 10K a day.
Despite all this news, it's easier than you might think to get there—even without breaking a sweat (although we definitely recommend doing that, too). You can build up slowly to 10,000 daily steps by breaking that goal into smaller pieces throughout the day, using some of these easy-peasy activities. Here's how to add more steps to your day, with step count estimates from Purdue University, and without exercising more. (Kick-start your new, healthy routine with Women's Health's 12-Week Total-Body Transformation!)
PARK FARTHER AWAY.
Stop fighting over those precious first-row spots and park your car in the farthest corner of the parking lot, whether it's at work, the kids' school, or the gym. Every extra minute of walking you do from your car door to that building's door is worth 84 steps.
TAKE THE STAIRS.
Each flight of stairs you add to your day is roughly the equivalent of taking 38 steps on flat ground. Work on the third floor? You can nab 152 steps bypassing the elevator when you arrive and when you head home for the day.
THROW A LIVING ROOM DANCE PARTY.
Put on your favorite song and boogie around the living room and you'll be about 400 steps up.
MOW OR RAKE THE LAWN.
At 120 steps per minute, 15 minutes of outdoor chores will help you rack up 1,800 steps.
While focusing on crunches will strengthen your abs, it unfortunately will not get rid of fat around your waist. To see a difference in this trouble spot, it's essential to regularly include calorie-burning cardio in your routine. And not just any kind of cardio—it's important to focus on interval training; alternating between moderate and speedy bursts of exercise is the key.
A study in the International Journal of Obesity revealed that when compared to women who cycled at a consistent pace for 40 minutes, women who worked out for 20 minutes but alternated between eight-second sprints and 12 seconds of low-intensity cycling lost more belly fat after 15 weeks. Work out half as long and lose more fat? Sounds good to us!
You can do intervals with virtually any type of activity. Here are some ways to incorporate them into your routine:
1. Use visual goals: Run or bike at a moderate pace, and then look ahead and sprint to the mailbox that's 50 feet away or up the hill or to the end of the street. Once you reach your goal, reduce back to your moderate speed. After your breathing returns to normal, choose another goal to race to.
2. Use time: Watch the clock, and move moderately for two minutes, and then zoom as fast as you can for one minute. Repeat this pattern for at least 30 minutes.
3. Use music: Make an interval playlist, alternating between fast-paced peppy tunes and slower, chill tunes. Walk, run, or dance to the beat. Here's a 60-minute walk-run playlist, or for a faster-paced workout, try this 40-minute running playlist.
The hourglass figure is something that most men prefer in a woman. It represents a strong symbol of feminine beauty as well as a healthy representation of good genes. Famous celebrities like Nikki Minaj, Kim Kardashian, and Sofia Vergera are among a few boasting one of these sexy curvacious figures.
And due to all of the above, more and more women around the world are trying achieve a sexier look by getting wider hips to sculpt out that hourglass figure they desire.
Now Increasing your hip size is not the easiest muscle on your body to enhance. But it can be done, and it is definitely worth it.
The Game Plan for Bigger Hips
Now how to actually do it? Well, the good news is that most of the methods we use on this site to firm and pop out our booties also work to accentuate the hip muscles as well.
How about having a flatter stomach, firmer thighs, a popping round bubble butt, and making your hips look wider. Sounds pretty nice right?
Well, this may come as bad news (for some), but the absolute safest, most natural, and most effective way to widen your hips is through proper exercise and nutrition.
Now before you cringe at the thought of exercise, just know that it does not have to be as torturous and boring as you are probably thinking. Dare I say, it can actually be fun and empowering when you start to see fantastic results. Lucky for you we’re going to tell you exactly how you can start exercising today and get those results you want, and as soon as possible.
Now the concept is pretty simple really, although most everyone seems to get this wrong. For the best results we simply want to combine elements of weighted training (for sheer growth and continual progression) with lower load/higher repetition exercises (for shaping, and increased muscle activation).
Together they form the perfect approach for getting the results you desire. And if you are really serious about getting wider hips, sexier curves, and a rockin’ booty asap; we’ve managed to find an awesome program that helps you do just that — known as the my bikini butt program. For your weighted sessions I have written an awesome saggy bum lifting program for you as well.
No longer does losing belly fat and widening the hips require the often thought endless cardio workouts, and crazy weight training sessions 6x per week to see results.
With some proper nutritional education, and a just a few super-charged booty blasting workouts per week, you really can start to see nearly instant results that you’ve been longing forever to accomplish.
So be sure to check out those two sources as they will be the core foundation throughout your hip building journey.
Now that’s been said, I want to go over a little hip biology, as well as some hip building exercises that you can begin incorporating immediately.
Hip-Enhancing ExercisesThe main muscles of the hips are the gluteus maximus, minimus, medius and the tensor fascia latae. These are the muscles that we will primarily want to work.
I want to say that you do not want to neglect on the big and main exercises, like the squat, lunge, etc. These types of exercises are what target the most muscle groups at a time. And these will be the best for toning, sculpting, and popping your overall lower body curves (hips, thighs, butt).
But I have already discussed that above, so now I will be going over some great hip building exercises below that you can use as well, as they are specifically targeted for widening the hips.
1) Side Lying Hip Abduction
Since we are focused on growth, we want to do the exercise relaxing a dumbell on the leg we will be lifting into the air. You should do each rep with your leg and hips lower than in this video, as to avoid over-stretching and injury when weight is applied.
2) Standing Side Abduction
This is same as a side lying hip abduction, except its from a standing position. Simply hold onto a wall and grab a dumbbell. Allow the dumbbell to relax against your outer thigh and raise that leg. Keep your back straight, and upright while doing this. As you cans see by the picture this can also be done via a resistance band for making your hips wider.
3) Sumo Walk for Hips
Recommend doing these at the ankle level, or whatever you prefer. Be sure to keep an ever so slight bend in the knees throughout the entire exercise to reduce unneeded strain and recruit more glute activation.
4) Side Lunge:
When these start to get too easy, there is an alternative way to perform these to avoid less stress on the knees while using a weighted barbell. Another great option for your making your hips look wider.
So be sure to remember that proper exercise and nutrition is of the utmost importance and truly the only way of getting bigger hips. Sadly getting your desired results cannot be accomplished by something as easy as a cream or pill — important things in life seldom ever are.
By now, you’ve probably heard that white bread and pasta aren’t the best for your health (not to mention waistline). But what if you just can’t stomach the whole-grain and multigrain versions? Are you doomed to pack on the pounds with each delicious bowl of pasta you make?
Not necessarily, says Laura Cipullo, R.D. and author of Women’s Health’s The Body Clock Diet. As she explains in her book, it all comes down to eating mindfully. Her philosophy is that you can eat essentially anything as long as you’re conscientious of how much you’re eating and when you’re eating it. So rather than having a big bowl of white pasta or a foot-long white bread sub, stick to one cup and the six-inch options. This is what Cipullo calls portion management.
She also suggests pairing refined carbs with protein and fat in order to lower the glycemic load. For example, if you want pasta for dinner, try pairing it with salmon so that you get the protein and healthy omega-3 fats. Another alternative is turkey meatballs with an olive-oil-based red sauce. This way, your body will be focused on absorbing the nutrients from the protein and fat rather than immediately turning the refined carbs into sugar. For Cipullo's complete six-week weight loss plan, order a copy of Women's Health's The Body Clock Diet.
As for the time of day you eat simple carbs, Cipullo says there's no need to overthink it. As long as you aren’t eating bowls of pasta in the middle of the night, feel free to have a moderate portion at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Cipullo also stresses that it’s important to look at these choices within the context of your entire lifestyle. “If you’re in sync with sleeping, if you’re practicing mindfulness, that can help your health and weight,” she says. Nutrition, physical activity, stress, and sleep are the pillars of healthy weight outlined in Women’s Health’s The Body Clock Diet. “If your lifestyle is overall healthy, then it’s ok,” she says. When you’re living a balanced lifestyle, you can eat well and eat whatever you want in moderation.
Try these delicious veggie noodles when you want to mix things up:
If you’re not a fan of squats, or due to knee issues, don’t feel comfortable dropping low, there’s still hope for your derriere. The revered functional movement is great for building strength, improving mobility and sculpting a curved physique, but it’s not the only exercise that can do the trick.
Single-leg lifts, lateral lunges and donkey kicks are just a few glute exercises that can help get your booty in gear without getting low. But don’t be fooled, these seven moves, demonstrated by Daily Burn 365 trainers, will still whip your rear into shape. While they don’t require explosive movements like some squat variations, the high reps, pulses and balance moves are guaranteed to make it burn.
1. Dirty Dog
This barre-inspired move, also known as the fire hydrant, will give your glutes, outer thighs and core some serious sculpting action. Just remember to keep your hips square and lifted to get the most out of this exercise. The bent-knee hip extension will give your core and obliques some TLC, too.
How to: Get into tabletop position with your knees directly under your hips and hands under your shoulders
(a). Keeping both knees bent, lift your right leg until your right thigh is parallel to the floor
(b). Then, extend your right leg straight, with your right foot flexed
(c). Bring the right leg back down to the ground, knee bent
(d). Repeat for 10 reps, then switch sides.
2. Donkey Kicks
Another highly targeted move, donkey kicks are a great way to fire up the gluteus maximus (the meatiest muscle in your backside, responsible for movement in the hip and thigh). As you kick into gear, make sure to tighten your lower ab muscles and avoid sagging your hips on one side.
How to: Get into tabletop position, keeping your knees directly under your hips, hands under your shoulders and toes tucked
(a). Keeping your right knee bent foot flexed and core engaged, press your right foot up towards the ceiling, squeezing your glutes as you reach higher. At the top position, your right thigh and foot should be parallel to the floor
(b). Lower your right knee back down to the starting position
(c). Do 10 reps, then move on to the left.
3. Glute Bridge
Glute bridges are the perfect booty-shaping exercise because they target all three muscles that make up your butt: gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. They also help stretch your hamstrings and relieve tightness. The key with this exercise is to reach full extension, while keeping your shoulders grounded.
How to: Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor a few inches away from your butt
(a). Arms at your sides, or raised out in front of you (palms together), press up into a bridge, lifting your hips and butt off the ground. Keep your shoulders grounded, hips square and body in a straight line from your neck to your knees
(b). Hold the bridge for two breaths before you bring your hips and butt back down to the ground
(c). Do 10 reps.
4. The Clam
Mobility masters love this move because it addresses hip rotation and glute strength in one fell swoop. Not only will you work out the kinks from sitting all day, in just a few reps, you’ll start to feel the burn in those glutes and thighs.
How to: Lay on your left side with knees bent, and press up on your left forearm, into a modified side plank
(a). Square your hips and place your right hand at your waist. Your body should form a diagonal line from the top of your head to the ground
(b). Engaging your abs, glutes and thighs, rotate your top leg open (knee bent), so your legs form a diamond
(c). Then, close the clamshell returning to the starting position
(d). Repeat for 10 reps per side.
5. Lateral Lunge
Lateral lunges will not only strengthen your glutes but also the muscles around your hip and knee joints. To get the most out of this move, you’ll want to keep your back straight and your chest lifted as you sit back into the lunge. Lateral lunges can also help improve your hip mobility and stretch out tight hamstrings.
How to: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and hands at your sides
(a). Take a big step with your right foot to the right, gently landing with the right knee bent, being careful not to let it extend past your toes
(b). Sit your hips back and allow your left leg to straighten, feet planted flat on the ground
(c). Reverse the lunge and return to the starting position
(d). Do 10 reps per side.
6. Single Leg Touchdowns
A test of balance and strength, the single-leg touch exercise improves your range of motion and helps loosen your joints. As you stand on one leg, bring awareness to your upper body to help stabilize weight throughout your body.
How to: Stand with feet hip-distance apart with your weight on your left foot, arms at your sides
(a). Take your right kneed and bend it behind you, and wrap right hand around your right foot. Have a slight bend on your left knee if you need support for balance
(b). Engaging your ab muscles and squeezing your glutes, hinge forward at the waist and tap the ground with your left hand
(c). Lower your right leg down while lifting your torso back up to the starting position
(d). Perform 10 reps on each side.
7. Single-Leg Forward Reach
Last but not least, another booty balance challenge. The forward reach will help offset your weight as your leg extends behind you. The name of the game is stability and building a strong base.
How to: Stand with all your weight on your left foot
(a). Keeping your left knee slightly bent, extend your right leg straight behind you with your toes hovering just above the floor
(b). Then, reach your arms up and hinge forward at the waist as you lift your right leg up until it’s parallel to the floor
(c). Pause and hold this position for two breaths
(d). Lower your right leg to the floor as you stand upright and rest your right foot on the ground
(e). Do 8-10 reps per side.
After gaining nearly 100lbs while suffering from PCOS, my journey to lose weight has finally ended and my love and appreciation for healthy but delicious food has just begun. This my story on how I lost nearly 90lbs while still completely indulging in life.