Thursday, October 31, 2013

Peak313 Pumpkin (or watermelon) full body workout!! Try it!

I've been wanting to do this awesome looking pumpkin workout all month. I still plan on doing it some time this week though! and will post pictures too!
Let me know what you think or if you have done it before. :-)

PUMPkin Power: Full Body Workout Using a Pumpkin! (by

I was inspired one day while moving our 4 pumpkins around on the porch. I create a workout out of nearly anything, so I thought I’d create a routine that has a festive theme!
This workout is for anyone who needs to pop in an exercise, but doesn’t have the time to get to the gym. The beauty of it is that  your kids can join you–just give them a tiny pumpkin to hold and watch them have fun! My kids did!
Also, group exercise instructors–what a FUN way to hold a class this month! Provide a few pumpkins and create a circuit, make some partner exercises,  or have a “BYOP” class where they each have their own! I played around with this one night in class and they had fun with it! Here are a few of them in motion! (We used 3 that night and weighed each after–28, 18, and 14 lbs) Yikes!
PUMPkin Power |
A few things to consider with your pumpkin:
1.) Stem
The bigger and longer it is, the harder the exercises may be, so take note
2.) Weight
This is an obvious one. Ideally, have 1-3 to choose from depending on the exercise.
3.) Shape
Some exercises are easier with a rounder pumpkin, while others a more oval shape. It’s not a must, but take shape into consideration.
There are 10 exercises here. You don’t have to do them all, so mix and match with what you feel like doing that day. Some are more upper body natured, while others are lower, full body, core, or cardio! I will section them off like that below so that it’s easier for you to pick and choose. Have fun! (In the summertime, the pumpkin can be replaced with a watermelon in most exercises!)
Also, you can do each exercise for reps or for time. If you do for reps, then shoot for 3 sets of 8-20 reps (depending on the exercise) and if you are doing them for time, then set a timer and do as many as you can in a 20 or 30 second interval and then rest.
Print off both graphics below to keep with you as a quick reference, but be sure to review the explanations below! (PDF is here)
PUMPkin Power (Upper Body & Core Workout) FREE Printable (Pg1 of 2) |
PUMPkin Power Workout:Lower Body & cardio) FREE Printable (Pg2 of 2) |
Explanation of Exercises
Upper Body/Core (Click on the image below to see the exercises close-up)
1.) Pumpkin Push-Up
Lay pumpkin on the ground (I placed mine on it’s side) and place one hand on it and the other on the floor. Push-up and down. Do all reps on one side, then switch sides. MODIFICATION: Place knees on the floor
2.) Bicep Curl
Lift pumpkin up and down with upper body.
3.) Pumpkin Twist
Sit on the ground with legs bent. Turn side to side while holding the pumpkin. MODIFICATION: Sit more upright
4.) Pumpkin Plank Reach
Place pumpkin on the ground. Go into a plank position and then move yourself back from the pumpkin far enough to where you fingertips barely touch it. Reach out and tap the pumpkin, alternating arms. MODIFICATION: Plank on your knees
5.) Weighted Ab Reach
Lay on your back with pumpkin in both hands. Lift pumpkin above your head, bend your knees, and then lift up and down with the upper body.
PUMPkin Power (Upper Body & Core Exercises) |
Lower Body/Cardio (Click on the image below to see the exercises close-up)
6.) Wall Sits
Go to an open wall. Assume a “seated” position against the wall. (Try and keep legs parallel to the ground) Hold the pumpkin with your hands for a more upper body workout, or lay it on your lap to feel the intensity in your legs.
7.) Shoulder Bridge & Roll
Lay on the ground and place the pumpkin at your feet. (I put it on it’s side) Place your feet on the pumpkin and lift your rear end up off the ground. Now roll the pumpkin out slightly as you push the feet out a bit. Roll it back in, drop your rear end and repeat.
8.) Pumpkin Quick Feet
Place the pumpkin on the ground and quickly tap the feet–left and right–on it.
9.) Step Up & Squat
Go near a set of steps. Step up on a step while holding the pumpkin and lift it in the air. Step back down, bringing the pumpkin down and squat. The higher the step, the harder it will be. Repeat doing all reps on one side, then moving to the other. MODIFICATION: Don’t lift the arms in the air as you step.
10.) Straight-Leg Deadlift
Grab the pumpkin and stand hip-width apart. Lower down (slightly bend in legs) making torso parallel with the ground. Engage the hamstrings as you lift up from the ground to starting position. Repeat.
(not picture) Pumpkin Jack
Hold pumpkin above head and do a jumping jack, pushing the pumpkin up and down in the air as you jack!
PUMPkin Power (Upper Body & Core  Exercises) |

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Book review of Finding Sheba and Beneath by Heather Moore, H.B. Moore

"Finding Sheba" by Heather Moore is a romantic, tragic, thriller book all rolled into one. I can't imagine how many months it took the author to gather historic information about Queen Sheba and the Middle East to make it seem as accurate as possible. It took me a couple chapters to really get into the story line because it kept jumping from character to character and their particular story. However, by the end of the book the characters all came together so it made more sense why the book was written that way. I got so involved in the characters stories that I didn't want to put my kindle down. I didn't know who to trust, who was telling the truth, and who would be the betrayer. I liked the history aspect and using the bible as their reference during the quest. It was so intriguing to read what really happened to Queen Sheba and how secrets can alter or change the course of history and peoples heritage. I can't wait to read more adventures involving "Omar Zagouri". Oh-and I think this book would make an awesome movie!!

You can purchase it here:

Book Description:
An ancient legend is reborn . . . One that might prove the Bible false.

For centuries, historians have theorized the Queen of Sheba as only a seductive legend, and scholars have debated over the legitimacy of King David or King Solomon. When undercover Israeli agent, Omar Zagouri, stumbles onto a tomb in Northern Jerusalem he unknowingly finds the final clue that threatens to overthrow government claim to the Holy Land, pits wealthy collectors against one another, and sends ruthless archaeologists scrambling to find the queen’s secret burial place. An assassination attempt on the Coptic Pope, His Holiness, Patriarch Stephanus II, is only the first in the chain of lethal crimes. Omar must find a way to prevent the greatest discovery of the century from becoming the most deadly. 

I read "Finding Sheba" back in August so I was thrilled to read this short story this month by the same author. I was so enthralled with the story that when it ended I thought my kindle had make a mistake and not downloaded the entire story!! ;-) I kept forgetting it was a short story. I loved that "Beneath" introduced the two main characters that were in "Finding Sheba". This book is 8 chapters long. I loved it!! Thanks Heather!!

You can purchase it here:

BENEATH is a short story approximately 25 pages long.
Chalice Stratford's hands won’t stop shaking, and not only is she required to give up her medical practice, but she’s forced to enter the witness protection program since the serial killer who brutally scarred her is still at large. Working in a museum in Bordeaux, France, the last thing she expects is to be abducted in a museum theft gone wrong. Omar Zagouri, the man behind the heist, is not who she expects, and Chalice soon learns he might be the one man who can put her demons to rest.

Leslie Sansone Thanksgiving November challenge


Oct 30
Twitter Fans didn’t want to stop … so we listened!
**Our Walk Plans are for “all walks of life” … for all the “ways” that YOU walk … indoors with DVDs – outdoors – on treadmills – you never have to purchase an item to join us to ….. WALK OURSELVES HEALTHY! Share our Walk Plans with friends
THANK YOU Twitter followers ….
We LOVE WALKING with U … now on to NOVEMBER!
Friday NOV 1 – 1 Mile Walk + Core Training
Saturday NOV 2 – 3 Mile Walk
Sunday NOV 3 – NO STRUCTURED EXERCISE – Do everything that restores your mind, body and soul! Sleep in, play with kids, go to faith service, cook, visit people!!
So many great choices to RESTORE!
Monday NOV 4 – 2 Mile Walk + Arm, Back, Chest Strength Exercise
Tuesday NOV 5 – No structured exercise but squeeze in some activity … clean the basement maybe?
Wednesday NOV 6 – 2 Mile Walk + Leg, Hip, Backend Strength Exercise
Thursday NOV 7 – No structured exercise – don’t sit for long hours or if you must -use a Stability Ball as your chair!
Friday NOV 8 – 2 Mile Walk + Core Training
Saturday NOV 9 – OK ….. Go for it – 5 MEGA MILES!!!
Sunday NOV 10 – Nothing structured … enjoy the restoring of your spirit!
Monday NOV 11 – 3 Mile Walk
Tuesday NOV 12 – Core and Back Strength Training Only
Wednesday NOV 13 – 3 “MEGA” Mile Walk
Thursday NOV 14 – Upper Body Strength Only – Arms, Back, Chest
Friday NOV 15 – 3 Mile Walk
Saturday NOV 16 – 4 Mile Walk
Sunday NOV 17 – OFF !(LOL – now you know I am going to say RESTORE!)
Monday NOV 18 – 2 Mile Walk + Core Training
Tuesday NOV 19 – 1 Mile Walk
Wednesday NOV 20 – 2 Mile Walk + Arms, Back, Chest Strength
Thursday NOV 21 – 1 Mile Walk
Friday NOV 22 – 2 Mile Walk + Leg, Hip & Backend Strength
Saturday NOV 23 – 5 “Really Big” Miles …. We have a DVD for that! LOL!
Sunday NOV 24 –  RESTORE …. HUG everyone! … yes .. be a Power HUGGER! Works lots of muscles … really!
Monday NOV 25 – I will be walking in Giant Eagle (our local market-you know what’s coming this Thurs!!!) – if you want to fitness walk … go ahead! LOL!  Choose your miles!
Tuesday NOV 26 – Nope …. I am still looking for food! Choose your miles and tweet me to let me know if you walked or looked for food!
Wednesday NOV 27 – I will need a stress buster mile here …. Grocery shopping gets ugly by this point! (shoving, pushing, grabbing the last sweet potatoes … you have to be fit!)
Wishing you and your loved ones all the joy, enthusiasm and LOVE that you shower me with! Forever grateful my friends! Happy Thanksgiving! – LeslieJ
Friday NOV 29 – What else would we do but a 5 MEGA Miler????? Happy Walking!
Saturday NOV 30 – 3 Mile Walk!
THANKS MY WALKERS …. Love every step with you!

Great choices for the “Saturday” 5 Mile Walks!
Great choices for 2 Mile Walks !
Great choice for 3 Mile Walk!
(3 MEGA MilesWalking to the Hits – Radio Remixes)
Great choice for Upper Body Strength
Great choice for Lower Body Strength
Great choices for Core Training
Filed at 9:45am
- See more at:

Delta Labs November instagram challenge, sunday only coupon, Green Tea and Hair Skin Nails supplement reviews.

Last month I had the opportunity to join the DELTALABS ambassador family!!
I'm so excited to be be able to try these products and do product reviews for my readers!!
I also believe along with taking the proper supplements, that healthy eating and exercise is also important!!
I post alot of pictures on my instagram page (rdevaughn4) and use #teamdeltalabs if you are interested in what I do for exercise.

Here is a little bit of information about DELTALABS:

Our Mission

At Delta Labs, our mission is to develop the highest quality, most affordable and comprehensive line of women’s health and wellness formulas founded on scientific research. We’re committed to helping every woman feel renewed, empowered, and excited about life, and strive daily to provide unsurpassed customer care to help every woman achieve her best.

It’s Not About Us – It’s About You

At Delta Labs, we are committed to helping women lead healthier, more invigorating and fulfilling lifestyles. By partnering with some of the nation’s leading scientific minds, nutritionists and world renowned physicians, we’ve developed a complete line of all natural health and wellness formulas to help
you achieve your goals.

Quality ALWAYS Comes First

The quality of ingredients a woman ingests is the most important choice she can make.
When Delta Labs was first established in 2010, we had one guiding principle that could never be broken. That is, to use only the safest, highest quality, most effective and all natural ingredients in every product we offer.
And today, we continue to uphold that very belief, which is why our entire Delta Labs line is manufactured under strict cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practice) guidelines established by the FDA. And, every product carries the prestigious NSF Certification, which guarantees to you unsurpassed quality control in every serving you take.

30-Day Money Back Guarantee

No questions asked – ever. At Delta Labs, we understand that our long term relationship with you depends on your positive experiences with our products.
If for any reason you’re ever dissatisfied with a product, simply give us a call to return your bottle. It’s that easy. You can reach us 1-800-481-1938. We’re open Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Eastern (6:00 AM to 2:00 PM Pacific) time.

Delta Labs Is Green

Help us be Green, and we’ll give you 5 greens off your next order!
Delta Labs is committed to creating a greener planet for this, and future generations. By actively minimizing our carbon footprint every day, we can stay true to our core values, which are to Nurture, Nourish, and Evolve not only our bodies, but our planet too. That’s why we’ve established the Zero Carbon Footprint Program. Here’s how it works.
Every order you place comes with a pre-paid postage sticker with our return address printed on it. Just peel off the sticker, slap it on your empty bottle, and drop it in the mail! It’s that simple. When we receive it, you’ll receive $5.00 off your next order at Delta Labs.

They offer 8 products here: 

Save $5 on your deltalabs order with code: CRAFTSNFITNESS

I have been able to try the Green Tea supplement. I only take 1 in the afternoon instead of the 2 they suggest. I don't get jittery and I tend not to snack or feel hungry when I remember to take the Green Tea supplement. I need to be more consistent with taking it to see better results!! 

Formulated for today's health-conscious woman looking for a safe, sensible, and clinically proven approach to natural weight loss, Green Tea Plus combines the proven potency of seven natural weight loss aids, including the most highly tested energy boosters ever - Green Tea Extract, Raspberry Ketones and Green Coffee Bean - into a unique formulation to help support your weight-loss goals!

I'm currently taking 2 capsules of the Hair Skin and Nails supplement daily. I've been taking it for over a week now. So far I've noticed my nails being a little stronger and growing faster. I will post a review in another couple of weeks after I've had the chance to take it a full 30 days. At that time I will also do a blog giveaway for some samples of this product! 

Our Hair, Skin & Nails formula is designed to help your hair grow faster and stronger, reduce chipping and breaking in your nails, and create softer, younger, more luminescent looking skin. With 28 scientifically proven vitamins, minerals, herbs, antioxidants and bionutrients, we guarantee you’ll see clear, visible results within 30 days.

Save $5 off your next deltalabs order by using my special code: CRAFTSNFITNESS

Here are some special things coming up in November!

use this special code for Sunday only!! 50% off-awesome!! 
(can't be used with my $5 off code)

Join us for an instagram challenge #hot4holidays with Rebekah Borucki, another deltalabs ambassador. She will post more details about it on her blog later today here:

VegaOne starter kit product review. Natural, plant based, dairy gluten and soy free!

Last month I received the VegaOne starter kit complimentary for blog review. I have been able to try 4 of the 5 packets but because of being sick for 3 weeks, I got a little behind with my reviews.

Below is some information about VegaOne and the starter kit and then my personal review. You can also find more pictures on my instagram page-rdevaughn4.

Vega One Starter Kit

Kickstart your health with 5 days of Vega One. Made from natural, plant-based, whole food ingredients, Vega One is packed with the complete foundational nutrition your body needs to build your day on. Each packet in your starter kit contains:

·         50% daily intake of vitamins and minerals

·         15 g protein

·         6 g fiber

·         1.5 g Omega-3

·         3 servings of greens

·         Antioxidants

·         Probiotics

And all with less than 150 calories!

Vega One is dairy, gluten and soy free, and contains no added sugar, artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. Use as a delicious, nutrient-supplementing addition to your favorite smoothie recipe, or simply shake with water, juice or a non-dairy beverage of your choice.

Starter Kit includes:

·         5-Day supply of Vega One in our most popular flavors: Chocolate, French Vanilla and Berry

·         Quick-start guide featuring recipes and nutrition tips

·         Valuable $5 coupon toward your first tub of Vega One

What’s New with Vega One?

The closest you can get to perfection is constant improvement.” –Brendan Brazier
Guided by the wisdom of these words and our continual mission to make Vega products even better through new ingredients and innovation, while remaining true to the principles on which Vega was built, Vega One is the result of extensive research on what passionate, informed, health-minded Vega fans wanted most in the next generation of Health Optimizer:
  1. Superior nutritional profile
  2. A one-scoop complete serving
  3. Better digestibility
  4. Improved taste and texture
  5. Superior Nutritional Profile:
  • 1000 ORAC Antioxidant Blend: we created an all-new super-fruit blend featuring maqui, acai, goji and other berries to give you a broader range of phytonutrients with over 2 times more antioxidants per scoop.
  • Green Blend: we broadened the spectrum of greens by adding chlorophyll-rich, nutrient-dense superfoods such as kale, broccoli, spinach and alfalfa, along with chlorella, to boost the nutritional profile of Vega One with 20% more greens per scoop (for a total of three full servings of veggies per scoop!)
  • Protein: we boosted our complete protein blend with SaviSeed protein, greatly increasing the tryptophan content (an essential amino acid). Vega One now boasts 15% more protein per scoop.
  • Omega-3 (and Fiber!): we added white chia—renowned for its Omega-3 content—to bump our Omega-3s per scoop up by 20%. Chia is also one of the best-quality sources of fiber, rounding out the fiber profile of Vega One nicely.
A One-Scoop Complete Serving:
  • We did surveys, focus groups and collected ongoing consumer feedback; an overwhelming majority of you told us you only took half a serving of Health Optimizer—one scoop—a day. We formulated Vega One’s single-scoop serving to maximize the nutritional density of your one-a-day scoop, so it delivers all the antioxidants, probiotics and digestive enzymes you got from the full two scoop serving of Health Optimizer, plus more protein, greens and Omega-3 than the old single scoop.
Better Digestibility:
  • Higher Net-Gain Nutrition in Every Scoop: we doubled the amounts of digestive enzymes per scoop to help facilitate the breakdown of nutrients during digestion. This allows for better absorption which means higher net-gain nutrition—and we doubled the number of probiotics per scoop, too.
Improved Taste and Texture:
With all these changes, it not only resulted in a great nutritional boost, it tastes better too!
  • Good-for-You Can Taste Good, Too: Beloved as it was for its nutritional profile, the number one complaint about Health Optimizer we heard loud and clear over the years was how (not so delicious) it tasted. Our research was resounding proof that the next generation of Health Optimizer needed a taste overhaul. Even some of our most loyal Vega fans admit to blending Health Optimizer into smoothies—just to make it palatable. Vega One offers premium nutrition AND great taste in the same scoop, but it can also be blended for those adventurous consumers
  • Ingredients Impact Flavor: After tasting every ingredient in Health Optimizer individually, we discovered a few elements that stood out in all the worst (tasting) ways. We replaced some vitamins and minerals in our blend with more expensive, neutral-tasting sources.
  • On-the-go Portability: Delivering exceptional nutritional value on-the-go has been one of the cornerstones of Vega formulation. Our research told us the taste of Health Optimizer was a barrier to the very portability it was designed for—Vega One is so delicious mixed with water alone, you’ll never have to sacrifice taste for travel again.

Vega One Starter Kit



I was very excited to try this product because I had never tried anything from VegaOne and I kept seeing pictures on Instagram of their products. I also LOVE that its dairy free  (also gluten and soy free with no sugar added) which is hard to find and since I have lactose issues, this was perfect for me!!

I first tried the BERRY packet and followed the recipe that was provided for the Berry Explosion Smoothie. It was good. Had a little bit of an after taste but not sure what it was from. 

Next I tried the FRENCH VANILLA with using a pumpkin smoothie recipe from their website. It was absolutly awful!! I had a couple sips and threw it away. :-( I don't know if it was because I used water instead of the non dairy milk alternative they suggested. I was so sad because I love pumpkin stuff!!

After that I tried FRENCH VANILLA with frozen blueberries, strawberries, half a banana and water and again it had this weird taste to me and I only drank half of it. I have never tried a vanilla protein drink before so I guess I'm not use to it.

Last I tried the CHOCOLATE with frozen strawberries and banana which was the best out of all of them. I'm not a big chocolate protein powder fan, but I liked this one! and so did my toddler!

I use my magic bullet to make all my morning smoothies and it mixes up very nicely!! 

Overall, I liked trying this product and I LOVE the concept of a starter kit!! It is a big commitment to buy a full size protein powder not knowing what flavor I would like, so good for VegaOne for coming up with this!! Its currently on sale for 14.99 which makes it $3 a packet-not bad!

Hoping to be able to try the Vega Sport line next...
Has anyone been able to try the starter kit yet or any of VegaOne's products??

Ellie November collection Sneak Peek Video!! plus coupon code

Introducing Ellie November collection-
"Where the Heart is"

You can click on this link to get 20% off your first month subscription (making it $39.96) or you can click on my side toolbar as well.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Leslie Sansone final October 2013 challenge week!


Oct 27
The Home Stretch!
Just 3 more days and we have met the 30 Day Challenge! I think we can safely start the celebrating!!! (Have you noticed that I start weekends early too? I just can’t seem to wait for fun and free time … sounds like my teens!)
It’s been a Happily – Healthy month … and I know this because of your tweets!
You have reported ….
-Weight lost
-Inches down
-More energy
-Increased strength  
-Improved physical health
-Feel happier, feel better, feel good!!!!!
I’d call that a very BIG ROI! The return on invested “time” – for the time we put in …. We got a BIG return!
Feeling GOOD translates into doing GOOD! We put “good” back in our day … that many around us benefit from … when YOU feel good … you don’t want to keep it to yourself … you want to share it and you have the energy to be more involved in the lives of our family, friends, co-workers!
I hope you will always WALK – not just for the weight loss, or fitting into your jeans (I have room!)
But for the GOOD we can put back into the world around us!
As we approach the last few days … please remember to emphasize the days that you accomplished your daily goal! You may not have been able to keep each assignment – don’t dwell on those days at all – they are gone and done! Appreciate the fact that you had a plan each day and MOST days you worked your plan!  That is it … that is the path to all successful things in life …
1)         Get a plan!
2)         Work the plan!
3)         Don’t quit when a day doesn’t go as planned! Carry on the next day ….or better …WALK ON!
If this was your first fitness challenge – that is all I want you to TAKE AWAY – Steps 1 thru 3!
Ok my Health Seeking Walkers, let’s finish STRONG!
Here’s what I have planned for our final 3 Days of this Challenge:
MONDAY – Oct.  28
Try – The Big Burn streaming here
TUESDAY – Oct. 29
2 Miles + Strength Training for Abs-Core
Join me for a Tweet Chat on the 30th, Noon – 1pm EST…get your questions & commentary ready and I will be live!
2 INTERVAL Miles! (The Big Burn)
Thurs. Oct. 31 – YOU HAVE COMPLETED 30 DAYS!
No structured exercise today … but you can celebrate your strong condition with an active – grateful day!
Walk the streets with Halloween-ers! How Fun!
(1 Reese Cup for you, 2 for me, 1 for you, 3 for later …. Love fun, free time and CANDY … oh my … I better grow up!)
Just FYI …
NOVEMBER 1 is an official DAY OFF!
See you on Twitter …
Filed at 9:45am
- See more at:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Michelle Bridges 12WBT-12 week body transformation Trial for USA

Last week I heard from my GirlsGoneSporty ambassador group that Michelle Bridges was going to be offering her successful 12WBT-12 Week Body Transformation program in the USA. She currently resides in Australia where she is known as "the most influential personal trainer" and has written a couple of books.  Her program has only been exclusive in Australia-UNTIL NOW!

I immediately looked her up on Facebook (because I had no idea who she was) and read her bio, reviews about her program, what the program involves, etc. I was very impressed with what I read.

I signed up for her free 5 week trial USA program, and heard back earlier this week that I was accepted!! Whoohoo!!

I signed in with a new user name and password and begin watching the intro videos and doing the "pre season" assignments. Some assignments were pretty quick. Others, like the goals, took some time because I put alot of thought into them.

Below is me doing the various stages of the Fitness Test that I completed last night. 

Entered my results into the computer under my profile.

Next, I weighted, measured and took pictures. yuck!

WHOOHOO!! All done with my "pre season" assignments. Basically its a "prep week" before starting the 4 week trial.

 She also sent me an email yesterday with a beginning program survey. It only took a couple of minutes.

Now I'm waiting for my week 1 assignment email which should be coming later today. I'm excited to see what this program is all about. 

Trial signups have CLOSED, but check back with me here on my blog and on instagram (rdevaughn4) to see pictures and my progress. 

The official 12 week program will be open to all US participants in spring (January?) 2014

(For those of you who have been reading my blog-Yes I'm still doing my "Fit Pregnancy and Parenting" Bootcamp while also starting this trial program. Michelle Bridges says you can do your own toning and cardio dvds at home if you dont want to do her video exercise clips she provides.) 

Below are the website and facebook links if you want to read more information.

Move it! The Seven Best Reasons to Exercise

 Working out can do wonders for how you look on the outside, but that’s not all exercise is good for. Better mental health, stronger bones even easier orgasms, here are some of the other amazing benefits you’ll enjoy if you get your heart rate up more often.

1. Move it… for better memory

The effects of exercise on your brain have been well documented, but one of the most recent studies suggests it has many benefits for memory recall. Researchers at Dartmouth College in Hanover recently surveyed two groups: a sedentary group and an active group. The active group who’d exercised for the past month and on the day of testing performed better in memory tests, and improved their anxiety levels. Some researchers believe it may be partly due to a protein called BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor) which acts like a ‘reset’ button for the brain – which is why we have greater clarity and are less stressed after exercise.
In The Memory Book, Judith and Janet Wiles discuss exercise and memory, saying the best thing to do to boost memory is getting regular exercise like walking. “It’s the key for getting more oxygen to the brain cells,” they write, “and providing optimum conditions for memory.”

2. Move it… for improved mental health

The same study at Dartmouth College also found that regular exercisers enjoyed reduced anxiety, compared to the sedentary group. And how about depression? Kate Carnell, CEO of Beyond Blue, says that if you’re a sufferer there’s absolutely no doubt that regular exercise should be a part of your treatment plan.
“It’s essential. We’re not 100 percent sure as to why regular exercise can help alleviate depression, but there are lots of theories,” explains Carnell. “We think exercise changes levels of chemicals in the brain, including serotonin – and also stress hormones. And, we know that endorphins are released with exercise which can help to lift mood. Exercise also helps you sleep better, and increases energy levels. Even regular exercise at a fairly low level helps quite significantly”.

3. Move it… to look younger

Exercise is one of the biggest anti-agers around. The natural glow you get after a good workout is a case in point. However, for the science buffs among you, there’s also the Telomere Theory of Aging.
Our cells divide a maximum number of times, and every time a cell divides, the ‘caps’ or telomeres on the end of the cells get frayed and damaged. But, a study of runners at the Saarland University Clinic in Germany found that the older runners had surprisingly youthful telomeres, only a bit shorter than those in the younger runners – which suggested to researchers that exercise at a cell-based level has an anti-aging effect. Dr Christian Werner, who collaborated on the study, said one could speculate that “any form of intense exercise regularly performed over a long period of time” could have a beneficial impact on telomere biology. Bottom line? Going for a run – or engaging in any kind of exercise – will boost circulation to your skin, flush out toxins and help you look younger on the outside. And the same workout may work on your DNA to keep your cells young. That’s a win-win.

4. Move it… for easier orgasms

True story – for women at least, according to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. It’s believed exercise boosts blood flow to the genitals, making it easier for you to hit The Big O in the bedroom. In particular, it’s thought interval training with a target heart rate of at least 70 percent bumps up your physiological sexual arousal.
Then, there are those lucky women who can orgasm WHILE exercising, says sex researcher Debby Herbenick, author of Sex Made Easy. “In the study I conducted at Indiana University, women wrote about a number of experiences having orgasms, often by accident, while doing sit-ups, pull-ups, yoga!” We only hope that if it happens to you in the gym, you can manage to keep a straight face.

5. Move it… to increase strength

It’s no secret that resistance training can give you muscles you never knew you had. Lifting heavy shopping bags, or your even heavier toddler … no problem. But did you know that different types of workouts can actually boost bone strength as well?
Doing weights and weight-bearing impact activities such as jumping jacks, tennis, basketball, skipping and aerobics with rapid movements in different directions are all really good for your bones, says Professor Daly. “There are little sensors in the bones that pick up when you undertake jumping and impact loading activities. These cells in the bone think, ‘Hang on, these loads are more than I am used to, if I don’t make the bones stronger they’re likely to fracture or break down’.
So as soon as you start jumping around, bones which are directly loaded will slowly add a bit more here and there to make them stronger. After some time, your bone will adapt to these new loads and so to increase bone strength further you want to try and make these activities progressively harder over time or change the direction of the movements so that the bone cells are challenged again.”

6. Move it… to combat disease

Freaking out about diabetes? Heart disease? High blood pressure? Get thee to a treadmill. “I suspect that exercise could ward off nearly all diseases and there’s no doubt it should be incorporated into everyone’s life because of the multitude of health benefits,” says Professor Daly.
Studies do show that losing 5-10 percent of your body weight can reduce bad cholesterol by 10 percent, plus lowering your risk of developing diabetes. In the case of heart disease, even small amounts of activity – like 10-15 minutes of brisk walking a day – can protect your ticker, according to researchers at Boston’s School of Public Health.
Regular workouts may also help women ward off breast cancer. The ongoing Nurses’ Health Study found that women who worked out regularly between the ages of 12 and 35 have a much lower risk of breast cancer before menopause, compared to young women who weren’t so into breaking a sweat.

7. Move it … to boost energy and ward off illness

While it may seem counterintuitive to exercise when you’re exhausted, countless studies show that a moderate workout can actually increase your energy and the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain that enhance good moods.
And did you know that you can also use exercise to ward off winter bugs? “There is evidence that people who exercise regularly report fewer colds,” says Professor Daly. “One theory is that repeated bouts of exercise cause a short term increase in activity in the immune system, which leads to an increase in the numbers of white blood cells and antibodies in the blood, which fight infection. These then act to reduce your susceptibility to infection.”
However, if exercise is too intense it can have the opposite effect – suppressing your immunity and making you more susceptible to bugs. So aim to work out six days, but don’t go overboard!