Expert Fitness Tips Part 2: Get Moving

By April 17, 2012 Fitness, Inspiration No Comments
Theresa Longo Fitness

Welcome to part 2 of my Fitness Tips!
A series aimed at getting you in great shape for the summer – and beyond.

Here I share my tips, tricks & secrets for optimizing your health and wellness.

Today we talk specifically about exercise. This week I will speak to you about my regular workout routines. I always try to mix things up. I enjoy surf,  boxing, yoga, weight training, and interval training . I love tabata style workouts because they are crushing; and you see results fast. (Side note Tabata means explosive intensity for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, – in 3 minute intervals) I will talk more about that particular style of workout later on.It is important to push yourself hard; but remember to take much needed breaks. Good cardio, coupled with strength and flexibility are keys to well rounded athleticism.

Keep in mind, nobody is perfect. What is important is how you feel about yourself!

It can be difficult to get back into a regular routine if you have been taking breaks from exercise. It is important to push through the pain to lessen your recovery time!  So lets get started!
Every week I make sure to get in at least a couple intense cardio sessions. This can be as simple as taking ten to fifteen minutes out of your day to engage in cardio. Think of it as a great investment for yourself. You can try cycling, swimming, jumping rope, or power walking. The point is to raise your heart rate. Some people scoff at how little ten minutes might seem, however walking just ten minutes a day is better than nothing.  So why not? Find something you really love to do. Push through the excuse and play through the pain my friend. I also am a huge fan of RUSHFIT, and P90X AB ripper X.

Some cardio tips:
Definitely do cardio often. (Biking, Power Walk, Swimming, Surf, Extreme Sports)
Cardio gets you abs. Cardio strengthens your entire body. Cardio increases muscle tone.

Cardiovascular health is so important. Regular cardio reduces stress, helps to reverse cardiovascular blockages, improves bone strength and decreases fatigue. Power walking and  jogging can make you feel more alert, stronger, and more agile. If you are not a jogger…. it can be daunting at first – but it is easy to do! So brush aside your fear, and use this to your advantage!

For first timers or  people who want to get back into the swing of things…

Tips: Cardio

1.Start Small. Start at only 10 minutes per day. Don’t over do it.
2. Emphasis on starting small. This is key so we added it twice.  Ten minutes is plenty at first. Try biking or swimming.
3 .Add one minute. To every cardio session you do until you reach around 20 minutes per day.
4. Pick a Goal.  (For beginners and experienced athletes alike!
5. Say it to yourself: ‘OK, I am going to walk to ________ , and home again,”.

Keep going until you hit your goal.  Choosing a goal before you begin exercise allows you to know exactly where you are going to end up. It will help you to pace yourself and you won’t get too tired by pushing too hard at the start. I always think of a goal in mind before I exercise, so that I can mentally prepare, and tell my body “Ok, we have to work hard today;  stay calm and do this!”  Start out slow and focus on the goal. It doesn’t have to be a big goal either, it can be a time oriented goal.

You can say:  “I am going to swim for 20 minutes…” or “I will wakeboard until I master this trick,”. It becomes a game!

Additional Cardio tips: (And why I stopped running…)

Run only if your body is in good condition to run. You know your body best. Running should be strenuous, but not physically painful.  I recommend light jogging or power walks for those who seriously need to get into shape. I dropped running because personally, it is hard on my joints, knees, ankles and shins. Also, think about it: when you RUN you BOUNCE. Repeated bouncing  against gravity means less elasticity. SAVE YOUR MUGS AND JUGS! :D

If running feels laboured: power walk.  Cardio makes you stronger. Your body is capable of miraculous things. It is your mind that tells you any different. Congratulations! You are improving when the workout “hurts”. Lastly, when I exercise, I always become aware of WHAT my mind is thinking. I use the time that I run to think about my life, what my goals are, what I envision myself to be. I always think of positive things. It can be hard… your mind will want to wander!!! You will find your mind  wandering off and thinking other things, – but that’s OK, – simply recognize you are daydreaming ,and center yourself again and focus. Think of yourself as becoming an IRON man/woman – and think hard about it, and feel empowered while you flex and stretch. Focus on that. You are doing a great thing! Start Small, create goals, and do it often.

If you are an experienced runner and you still experience some muscle soreness after your intense sessions, you aren’t drinking enough water. Drinking water is CRUCIAL! Just do it! See my previous blog for more info. Click Here. 

Next: We are going to look at 3 fun types of exercises I do to stay in great shape. These are challenging things I really want you to try. I dare you to try it and not see results.

1.Use your own body strength.
The following routine is called a Tabata – Style workout. You work out extremely hard for 20 – 30 seconds, followed by a 10 second rest. Do this for 3 minutes FOR EACH EXERCISE. Every other day I like to do the following:

  • PUSHUPS: As many pushups as I possibly can. (For beginners start out at 10, increase 3 more every session
  • CRUNCHES: As many crunches as I can, including lower ab crunches. Regular crunches I try to do 50-100.
  • Technique is important when doing sit ups. For reverse crunches: (Lower abs) Lay on the floor, feet straight in the air, use your lower abs to rock up off the floor. Go here to get a randomized daily ab exercise, complete with demos!
  • SQUATS: As many as you can! Sounds simple. I know. But try it. You will be tired after 3 minutes. Remember you can only rest for 10 seconds at a time. Thats it. Also, technique is very important with squats again. Make sure that your knee does not go OVER the edge of your toe when you do a squat. Keep feet stance slightly wider than shoulders and do not lock your knees when standing up from your squat.
  • The best SQUAT TIP IS to squeeze your butt when standing from your squat rather than locking the knees.  Do one slowly at first and check. 2o Sec. on, 10 off. for 3 minutes. Squat Tip: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, lower yourself until you are in the squat (check that your knee is behind your toe) For added oomph to this: JUMP every time you stand up from your squat, and go right back down into your squat again. Try it. I dare you.
  •  BURPEES: Ah burpees. Tough to explain, so here is the step by step instruction: A) start out in a crouch, and B) jump back into a pushup. Do as many as you can. I use the 3 minute interval rule for this as well. If you take a 10 second break, every 20- 30 seconds, that is fine. Here is how to do a burpee. Be aware this type of workout is very intense. You should only do this with approval of a physician. The key is to do this every other day. Don’t over do it.
  •  LUNGES: Same deal with lunges. As many as you can. Make sure you are not over extending your knee past your little toes.

Workout Summary > Do as many as you can:

Pushups- 3 minutes. Every 20-30 seconds take a 10 second break.
Crunches & Reverse Crunches – 3 minutes. Every 20-30 seconds take a 10s  break.
Squats – 3 minutes. Every 20-30 seconds take a 10 second break.
Burpees – 3 minutes. Every 20-30 seconds take a 10 second break.
Lunges- 3 minutes. Every 20-30 seconds take a 10 second break.

Total Workout Time: 15 – 20 min. I do this every other day so as to not overdo it. You will see a difference in as little as 2 weeks. It is easy, simple, cost effective, and beneficial. Try it!

 2.Weight Training.
If you have access to a gym, or weights, you definitely should be trying to incorporate some weights into your routine. Machines are fine to use – and free weights are just as good as well.

Weight training helps you burn calories, lose weight, build muscle and strengthen bones. You should be doing it if you can!
Before lifting weights, ALWAYS warm up. It is a great idea to jog or skip, and definitely stretch a little to ensure you are not going to strain yourself. If you work out at home, some things to invest in include a resistance band, an exercise ball, and/or dumbbells. The key to weight training is to begin with a lower weight first, increasing the weight for each set.  Aside from Cardio & Weights; What else can you do to keep things fresh and exciting?

Interval training!


Interval training is fun and incorporates new fitness challenges with cardio. I love to set up stations. Each station you create means you exercise there for 1 minute and 30 seconds.  One station could be step ups. One station could be skipping. Another could be the bridge.

Each time you move to one of your stations you have to complete the challenge for 1 minute 30 seconds.

The most important thing to remember is you should always have fun. Getting in shape is a treat for your body. Do what you can do until you get better. I workout hard – but I do take days off. I remember to take 2 days off each week. Create a workout schedule for yourself.  For me, I love to engage in a wide variety of activities to keep myself active. One of the best things I ever started was boxing. If you enjoy the style of workouts I have outlined here today, you may want to consider getting involved in boxing. It is challenging and fun. It requires you to be in top shape. Well rounded fitness is key. I can honestly say boxing propelled me to get into the best shape of my life.



Make interval training a part of your routine,
Use your own body weight! Incorporate cardio!

Remember to stretch, and remember to take it easy if you are just starting out on the path to fitness. Keep in mind: Every little bit helps. It is better to do very little than to do nothing at all. In Part 3 of my fitness blog series: We will take a look at combining everything: Diet, exercise and lifestyle. I am going to show you how to put everything together in order to feel confident, collected, and strong. Click here.

Keep track of your success! Until next time friends! Be safe & Have fun! Ciao.

Check out the final installment of my Fitness Series! Click here to see some easy Lifestyle Tricks that will ensure you reach your goals.

RECENTLY I was the SUNshine girl in honor of the Masters: Click here [New Window Opens]


About Theresa

Canadian Feature Film Actress & International Model. Qualifications include live television, feature film, radio experience, TV Host, event production, & PR. Theresa flexes her knowledge of brand development and marketing while pursing a career in the arts industry in the heart of downtown Toronto. Skilled as a strategic marketing & planning expert, Theresa Longo travels nationally and internationally as a Corporate Brand Ambassador and loves to write and record original music.

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