Thursday, September 30, 2010

Putting those Fitness Balls to Use

Sarah Stanley, fitness advocate and marathon runner, recently took Harbinger's Fitness Balls to task. She wanted to see if they'd provide the flexibility of working out whenever she got the time and, sure enough, she loved 'em.

Check out her review on her site: Sarah Stanley Inspired.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Yoga 101

Despite being practiced for several millennia, yoga is continually attracting new devotees and for good reason. Not only is it a strength-building exercise, it has been shown to have all sorts of other benefits for the body.
The slow stretching of yoga poses (asanas) increases the range of motions in your joints and can stretch the ligaments and tendons, as well as the muscles.

If you've ever done the Plank pose, you know that yoga can build upper-body strength. The Chair pose works the lower back and most of the poses build core strength that is critical to more intense exercise.

Whether or not you incorporate meditation into your yoga routine, the deep breathing and its biochemical responses are proven to create a sense of calm.

Many believe that a regular yoga routine can help with depression, hypertension, high cholesterol, asthma and arthritis.

No matter why you do yoga, it's good for you. And if you haven't already, it's easy to get started.

1. Find a qualified instructor at a local yoga studio or get DVDs to follow at home.
2. Buy a high-quality mat. It is an essential investment.
3. Try out a few different styles of yoga: ashtanga, bikram, and sivananda are some of the most common.

Do you practice yoga? What's your favorite pose?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Congrats to the Olympia Winners

This past weekend in Las Vegas, Olympia welcomed the biggest and best in the world of bodybuilding. For the second year in a row (and his fourth personally), Jay Cutler took the title of Mr. Olympia. Phil Heath and Branch Warren came in 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

Iris Kyle took home the Ms. Olympia title with Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia coming in second and Debi Laszewski in third place. Erin Stern won for the Figure category; Adela Garcia took first in Fitness and in the Bikini category, Sonia Gonzales took first place.

For more results and video, check out's coverage.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Women's Fitness and the Price We Pay

It's nothing new to hear that Americans are more overweight than fit, but a new research report by George Washington University has put dollar figures to it. The annual cost, they figured, for an obese woman is $4,879 a year in lower pay, additional health care, loss productivity and, in case you hadn't heard, extra gasoline.

It seems fitting that these depressing stats should come out the week before National Women's Health and Fitness Day. On Saturday, September 25 communities around the USA will be hosting events to get the word out to women that health and fitness is critical. Every year, they shout out their call to action: regular physical activity.

We know it's important for a woman's physical and mental health to exercise. Spread the word.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Water, Water Everywhere: Staying Hydrated

Don't let something as simple as water get in the way of your best workout. Getting and staying hydrated is a fundamental part of exercise. It keeps you performing at your best, but if you forget your body will surely let you know.

Dehydration during exercise can cause a dramatic drop in blood pressure and that can lead to faintness, nausea and dizziness. So how to stay hydrated?
  • Drink 8-16 ounces of water before your workout.
  • Drink another 8 ounces every 15 minutes, if possible, during your workout. Keep water handy.
  • Drink another 16-20 ounces to replace the water you lost through sweating.
Of course, this is on top of the 8 glasses of water you should already be drinking every day.

Sometimes this much water can get a little boring, but you can always jazz up your water with some orange or lemon slices, sprigs of lavender or cucumber slices. This variation of flavored water is far better for you than sports drinks or diet sodas.

What do you do to stay hydrated?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

How Important Is Cardiovascular Cross-Training? Part 5 by Michael George

This is the last in a series of training blog posts by celebrity trainer and Harbinger friend Michael George. Whenever possible, we like to bring you some of the top fitness experts in the country, like Michael, who trains celebrities, athletes and just regular folks, too!

Let us know what you think!

Cross-Training is Key
by Michael George BS, NASM, ACE, AFAA

By participating in diversified cardio activities you will be more enthusiastic and eager to do the activity and your cardio- workouts will become much more effective and efficient. In this day and age where everything needs to be done yesterday, this is important. So if you have hit that plateau, don’t get frustrated - try a different cardio activity such as jumping rope with Harbinger’s speed rope or 2 lb PVC weighted rope and break through the barrier.

By participating in a conglomerate of various cardio activities you will also challenge yourself to learn new skills and it’s also a great way to keep your cardio exercise interesting and fresh. For instance, say you always ride a bike, whether it’s in the gym or outside. Play a game of basketball or volleyball. You might feel awkward at first but through practice you will get better and more proficient at each skill. You can take it outside and go for a hike. Who knows you might even find a new sport or activity you like so much that it becomes a hobby or regular activity in your life.
What about taking a boxing class and learning some self defense in the process? You can use Harbinger's Wrist Wrap bag gloves for boxing and MMA.

How about taking a step class or a dance aerobic class and gaining some balance and agility skills? Remember you don’t have to be perfect from the get go. Everyone has a learning curve and has to start from the same place, the beginning. Even if you try a new activity and really give it a chance, but find it isn’t for you. You still learn something, what you don’t like. Don’t give up. Try another cardio activity. Eventually you will find a whole spectrum of cardio activities you enjoy.
Could you use a new friend or group of friends? Most people are interested in making new friends. Participating in different cardiovascular activities or sports can provide you with a very fun and relaxed way to meet new people. Health clubs and sporting events are excellent healthy choices for developing new friendships. They provide you the opportunity to meet people with diverse backgrounds who care enough about themselves to pursue recreation and a healthy lifestyle. What better way to start a new romance than by spending quality time together in a healthy environment.


Michael George is a Personal Health Coach, Fitness Expert, Speaker and the Author of "Body Express Makeover." Michael facilitates and conducts wellness programs, workshops, seminars and motivational speaking lifestyle transformation, self-empowerment and wellness principles. His Los Angeles-based company; Michael George Enterprises, can be reached at (310) 575-3500 or on the web at

Thursday, September 2, 2010

How Important Is Cardiovascular Cross-Training? Part 4 by Michael George

Here is the fourth in a series of five training blog posts by celebrity trainer and Harbinger friend Michael George. Whenever possible, we like to bring you some of the top fitness experts in the country, like Michael, who trains celebrities, athletes and just regular folks, too!

Let us know what you think!

Variety Is The Spice of A Workout Routine

by Michael George, BS, NASM, ACE, AFAA

As human beings we are naturally creatures of habit, continually striving for stability and consistency. In your workout routine, however continually repeating the same cardiovascular exercise is also the quickest way to reach workout boredom. We are all motivated by pain and pleasure. The harder it is to do something, the less apt we are to do it. If you are like most people you’re not exactly jumping for joy when it comes time to do the cardio portion of your workout to begin with. So why make it more difficult?

If you change activities on a regular basis you will find it much easier to do your cardio work more effectively. You can split up your time on various cardio machines or activities you participate in. Instead of doing 30 minutes on one activity, do 15 minutes on two separate cardio machines or activities.

In line with changing up your cardio activities you can choose a different activity such as jumping rope. You can use Harbinger’s speed rope for a quick cardio blast, or, for an even harder arm workout, you can use Harbinger's weighted PVC rope. Jumping rope is one of the best cardio activities you can participate in and the easiest cardio component to travel with. You can take it almost anywhere so there is no longer an excuse not do you cardio activity.

We have all experienced that ever-dreaded plateau where we just can’t seem to make any significant gains. This is especially noticeable if you’re trying to lose a few extra pounds. Changing cardio activities can be one of the solutions. When an activity becomes routine we tend to slack off or not push as hard, which in turn limits our progress. It is necessary to gradually and consistently push our body to work a little harder. Over time your body becomes stronger with greater stamina. It takes a little harder work to keep your body progressing.