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Fitness Pro Workout For Weight Loss

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource

Michael Stefano Between poor eating habits and lack of exercise, don't be surprised to see the number on the scale creeping up, unless you take action that is.

You can compensate for those extra calories by adding a few routine activities to your daily schedule. Firefighter and personal trainer Michael Stefano says burning calories has never been easier than with his 10 simple ways to get physical without going to the gym. Just as following a healthy eating regimen has never been simpler than with eDiets.

Stefano, the author of The Firefighter's Workout (HarperCollins), says the sad fact is that too many of us spend our time eating a lot and moving a little. It doesnt take a rocket scientist to realize that too much food and too little exercise equals a whole lot of fat.

"Doctors have come up with a new label for this all-too-common problem of the under-active foot combined with the over-active fork, or simply, foot and fork disease," he tells eDiets.

We’re living life in the fat lane... and it’s killing us. Every year, there are an estimated 300,000 deaths that can be attributed to obesity. Meanwhile, more than 60 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese. Something must be done, says Stefano.

Firefighter's Workout Book "Look at our ancestors. They didnt just go to the grocery store and buy already-prepared foods. They worked in the fields. They cooked. They moved," he says.

Stefano says it's time to get back to your roots. You can turn your chores and hobbies into calorie-burning activities. Not only will your life be more organized when you get up and get moving, you’ll also be boosting your weight-loss efforts.

Of course, there is no substitute for the real deal -- exercise and healthy eating. But you can step up your efforts, kickstart your metabolism and improve your life with Stefanos 10 workout-free weight loss tips.

1. Walk, don’t drive. Walk to work. Walk to the store. Walk to school. If its too far to walk, then ride your bike. Just leave that car at home. Everywhere you go people are walking, from the mall to the hospital. Walking is an option, even for those individuals who aren't in the best health.

2. Learn to play. Find an activity you like to do, whether its golf, racquetball, softball or using a hula-hoop. If you enjoy doing something, it doesnt feel like exercise. Youre having fun doing the thing you like to do best.

3. Fire the gardener. Theres a lot to be said for doing your own yard work. Having a lawn service is a luxury you shouldnt afford. Get out there and do your own lawn and landscape. Gardening can burn up to 400 calories an hour. Its an activity you can do during summer, spring or fall.

4. Take the kids to the park. Whether its your son or daughter, your niece or nephew, take them out and about. Youll quickly realize why so many active children stay thin. Play tag. Push them on the swings. Youll find you're not only burning calories, but building muscle as well. The best part is youre also forging a bond with the children.

5. Wax on, wax off. Wash your own car. Car washing burns 300 to 400 calories an hour and can save you $15 or $20. During the summer, its a great excuse to get outdoors. All of that scrubbing and drying and youll be moving and losing those extra calories.

6. Take the high road. Always take the stairs. Leave the escalators and the elevators for someone else. Climbing stairs is not only a great calorie burner, it also helps tone leg and butt muscles. When you work on the fifth floor, adding a trip up and down the stairs will burn an extra 50 calories every day. Devote five minutes to stair climbing.

7. Skip the valet. Whether youre at your favorite restaurant or at the mall, bypass the valet. Also, stop circling the parking lot five or six times. Instead park as far away as possible. Make it a habit. Think of all the extra calories youll burn when you walk to and fro your destination.

8. Throw your TV out the window. Being a couch potato is one of the lowest calorie-burning activities you can do. Limit the amount of TV you watch. When you do sit in front of the tube, get up during the commercials and move around. Or get on the treadmill and do some sort of activity while youre watching.

9. Volunteer. Whether youre serving food in a soup kitchen or repairing houses for Habitat for Humanity, the list of volunteer opportunities is endless. Its the perfect way to stay active and lend a helping hand at the same time. Youre not only improving your physical well-being, but your spiritual and psychological well-being as well. Feeling good about yourself is a critical aspect of losing weight.

10. Last but not least, exercise. If all else fails, lose weight the old fashioned way... burn it! As research has shown time and time again, exercise is one, if not the most, crucial component of weight loss. You dont need to spend hours in the gym, but 30 minutes of exercise three to five times a week is the closet thing there is to the fountain of youth and the best way to burn calories.

If you don’t have the time to exercise 30 minutes a day, why not give Stefano’s “Anytime, Anywhere” regimen a try? Perform one or two sets of each of the following exercises.

Modified Push Up MODIFIED PUSH-UP
Upper Body/Core
Lie face down on the floor or mat, hands on the floor, palms down, slightly wider than shoulder width apart, and toes curled under on the floor. Your knees are bent and remain on the floor throughout the exercise. Exhale as you slowly push your body away from the floor. Inhale, lowering yourself back down to the point where your chest barely touches or comes within a few inches of the floor. Repeat to muscle fatigue (in the range of 20 repetitions).

Leg Raise LEG RAISE
Lower Body/Core
Lie supine on a mat or padded carpet, legs straight, both hands under your buttocks to help maintain the proper pelvic tilt (engages abs). With your head held off the floor a few inches, exhale and bring your knees to your chest. Inhale as you straighten your legs (make sure you keep the lower back pressed firmly into the floor), then return to the starting position. Ankle weights will increase intensity, while maintaining the knees in a partially bent position and tapping the toes to the floor will reduce it. Repeat to muscle fatigue (in the range of 20 to 30 reps).

For more of Stefano's fat-burning and body-sculpting workouts -- or to get your copy of The Firefighter's Workout Book: The 30 Minute a Day Train-For-Life Program for Men and Women - click here.

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