Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

Heart Pumping Tabata

Are you ready for some tabata? This type of interval training incorporates 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. Tabata workouts are great for your heart and body because it provides aerobic and anerobic benefits.

Today’s tabata workout will include these 4 exercises:

1. Burpees

2. Plank

3. Lunges

4. Jumping Jacks

You’ll do each exercise  for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds for a total of 8 rounds. Do 4 minutes of each exercise with 1 minute of rest. This gives you a 20 minute heart pumping tabata workout! Check out the video below to see 3 variations of each exercise, choose to do the variation of intensity that works best for you.

Have a great workout!


The Beginners Guide to Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy – What is it?

Hydrotherapy involves the use of various properties of water to promote physical and mental therapeutic effects.  Done primarily in warmer water (ideally in temperatures ranging from 93-98 degrees), the temperature combined with water properties is intended to allow neural and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, as well as enhanced flexibility, balance, and coordination, which can easily be transferred to land-based exercise.

DSC33061 300x300 The Beginners Guide to Hydrotherapy

Benefits of Hydrotherapy:

  1. Increase in efficiency of total body circulation and decreases in swelling, particularly of distal joints (less issues with extremities, such as in osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis)
  2. Softens and relaxes the body, which promotes pain relief
  3. Reduces tendency for muscle spasms
  4. Increases range of motion through the joints (allows them to work through fluid movements, as opposed to jerky or abrupt and uncontrolled movements as tend to happen on land)
  5. Muscular strength and endurance
  6. Improved balance and coordination, particularly beneficial for the active older adult (as falls lead to so many serious or even potentially fatal injuries)
  7. Re-education of damaged or paralyzed muscles (as in after surgeries and/or joint replacements)
  8. Found to improve conditions such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological afflictions

Properties of Water that Promote Safety/Effectiveness:

  • Buoyancy: lessened effects of gravity means less impact on the joints, particularly the knees, hips, and spine (axial load) which makes many land-based exercises doable for those who can only exercise in water. Buoyancy also allows for more reaction time so that some exercises which are difficult to do on land because they require fast actions are more doable in the water (i.e. jumping motions, lifting the legs, or even performing some stretches where it can be difficult to maintain the balance and coordination)
  • Viscosity: provides natural resistance through gentle friction against the body (about 15x more in water than on land) which conditions and strengthens the body and repairs injuries
  • Hydrostatic Pressure:  keep heart rate slightly lower than it would be on land proportionate to the work output, which means you can exert more effort without feeling as winded as quickly – this property also lends itself to improve heart and lung function.


  • Prominent inflammation (clearly visible, redness and heat are present)
  • Fever (previously heightened core temperature is not advised for hydrotherapy)
  • Heart disease/hypertension/vascular conditions (increased blood flow and/or circulation is not advised for these populations)
  • Cancer
  • Hemorrhages/infections/open wounds
  • Osteoporosis – This population is not necessarily a contraindication as they DO benefit from hydrotherapy, however they also do need true weight-bearing training in order to improve bone density and reduce risk of fracturing or breaking a bone.

Customization of Intensity:

  • Hydrotherapy can be approached as simplistically as floating in the water to benefit from increased temperature and relaxation properties.
  • Intensify your experience with some static and dynamic stretching in the water.
  • Intensify further with some dynamic movement including squats, lunges, kicks from the wall, water walking or even light jogging and other aerobics movements.
  • Increase speed, duration and range of motion as other methods of intensifying the work or increase turbulence in the water to challenge balance and stability.
  • Add objects such as floatation devices or water weights to enhance resistance and increase surface area.

Hydrotherapy Exercises:

  1. Standing lunge stretch (shallower water if possible)
  2. Standing calf stretch
  3. Standing hip flexor stretch
  4. Quad stretch (one hand against wall)
  5. “Floating” full body stretch (both hands on wall, outstretched and core musculature engaged)
  6. Knee-to-chest exercise (one hand on wall, leg outstretched to front, draw knee in and extend)
  7. Leg raise exercise (one hand on wall, leg outstretched to front, pulse leg up and down)
  8. Reverse leg raise exercise (one hand on wall, leg outstretched behind, pulse leg up and down)
  9. Pool walking exercise (versions include arms out, arms to front, feet directly in front of one another, calf raise, backwards walking, arm circles, forward kicks, hamstring curls, breaststroke arms, etc.)
  10. Quadruped floating exercise (lying supine with engaged core, paddle arms and feet simultaneously)
  11. Floating char exercise (seated in chair position with levitated legs, use arms to keep balance)
  12. Any other low impact aerobic move you enjoy!


Stretch and Strengthen for a Healthy Heart

In honor of American Heart Month, Hilton Head Health has a quick circuit to get you moving and get your heart pumping. And since everyone has different fitness levels, you can choose to perform the low impact movements, high impact movements or a mix of the two. Plus, we added some balance and stability moves for good measure. Watch our H3 Fitness Specialists perform and explain the moves below.

Perform each numbered exercise for 45 seconds and perform the active recovery movement between each exercise for 15 seconds. 

1. Hop side to side

Single leg deadlift

2.  Hop forward and back

Single leg deadlift

3. Plyo-lunge

Single leg deadlift

4. Plank position

Single leg deadlift

5. Burpee

Single leg deadlift

Enjoy your workout!



Knock Out Heart Disease by John Lippett

According to the Nurses’ Health Study, moving from being inactive to just 30 minutes of vigorous activity each day can reduce the risk of heart disease by 50%. A fun way to get those 30 minutes of activity is kickboxing.

Kickboxing gets the whole body involved using powerful movements to get your heart rate up and your blood pumping. The heart is the most important muscle in the human body. It works 24/7 to keep your body supplied with the blood, oxygen, and nutrients it needs. So this National Heart Month, team up with your heart to knock out heart disease!

30 sec jab punches

15 sec jumping jacks

30 sec hook punches

15 sec burpees or modified burpees

30 sec reverse lunges with kick

Repeat this sequence of moves 5-15 times for a 10-30 minute vigorous workout.


Super Bowl Fitness

Hilton Head Health has put together a special workout to help you stay active while you watch the 2015 Super Bowl! Since, most Americans will eat around 1200 calories during that time in front of the television. And approximately 30 million pounds of snacks will be consumed, it’s the perfect time to incorporate some Super Bowl Fitness.

Here’s the lineup:

  • Touchdown – 7 burpees
  • Field Goal – 10 Mountain Climbers
  • 1st Down – 10 Squats
  • Sack – 10 Tricep Dips
  • Interception – 5 Push ups
  • Fumble – 10 Leg Lifts
  • Penalty – 30 second Plank
  • Total Points of the 1st Half – Walking Lunges
  • Total Points of the Game – Single Leg “V” Up

See a demonstration of each exercise here:



Be Fit & Fab in 2015

Fashion is king, even in fitness!  It should be no surprise then that with the rise of gyms and exercise trends ‘gym clothes’ have taken a big step up in the world of fashion. While some people don’t care what they wear while sweating it out, as long as it does the job, many others view their workout outfits as a way to showcase their style.  The fact, however, is that fitness clothing sales are growing at 4 times the rate of other clothing.

DSC 3146 300x199 Be Fit & Fab in 2015 Fitness has become such a part of American culture.  Fitness inspired fashion has been developing since the 80’s when body suits, legwarmers and sweatbands reigned!  The Lululemon chain can be credited for making it cool and trendy to wear workout clothes everywhere after they came onto the scene in the late 1990’s with a line of high quality, comfortable clothing that looked too good to be relegated only to the gym.

In more recent years, the fashion trend has clearly driven workout clothes for women out of the dark corners of their closets to front and center.  And men are following close behind.  Major athletic companies like Nike, Adidas, Reebok and Under Armour are stepping up their fitness clothing sections for men.  In the past few years, Lululemon has expanded their line of men’s fitness clothing and is considering opening stores exclusively for the male consumer.

DSC 3147 300x199 Be Fit & Fab in 2015

For the Fit Chicks, cross-over clothes are high in demand this year.  Women are looking for clothes that are trendy, attractive and comfortable in the gym, but can transcend to the coffee house, a luncheon or with a simple change of shoes even to work.  And speaking of shoes, they have their own place in this new fashion craze. Remember the traditional black or white Ked’s you wore as a kid?  They moved over to make room for shoes with unique patterns and bright or neon colors designed to compliment your newest outfit.

Many companies are partnering with luxury designer’s to create lines of fitness wear that are selling as fast as they come out.  Look for lines of clothing by Stella McCartney, Betsy Johnson, Cynthia Rowley, Tory Burch and Ralph Lauren to name a few, as well as major design brands such as Juicy Couture and Victoria Secret.  But with the designer labels comes designer prices.  Be prepared to shell out upwards of $100.00 for fitness pants and even more for jackets and shoes.



How to Stay Fit When You’re Snowed In

Is snowed piled so high you can’t get out the front door?  Don’t panic. These 6 tips will keep you fit and energized in the comfort of your own home.

1)    Do Body Weight Exercises: While it may be tougher to find motivation to exercise when you’re snowed in, this should not necessarily limit your options on staying active. One of the few things that will always be certain in your lifetime is that your body is always with you. Below are 10 body weight exercises that require only your body weight and the environment around you.

  • Air Squats
  • Wall Sits
  • Lunges
  • Push-ups/wall Push-ups
  • Dips with chairs
  • Supermans
  • Crunches
  • Hip Bridges
  • Single Leg Balance
  • Lying to a Standing

2)    Use your at home equipment: While a home gym may not always be your first choice, it definitely makes for a great excuse destroyer. On a rainy day, or in this case a snowy day, at home equipment can give you a wider variety of choices when it comes to working out inside. Below are 10 great pieces of home equipment options that take up very little space, and yet, are very versatile.

  • Resistance Band
  • Powerblock Dumbbells (adjustable: 5lbs – 70lbs/hand)
  • TRX Suspension Training
  • Step Aerobics
  • Jump Rope
  • Exercise Ball
  • Medicine Ball
  • Yoga Block
  • Yoga Strap
  • Kinetic (portable station to turn your outdoor bike into an indoor bike)

3)    Use an Activity Tracker: It is a recommended to get in 5 miles of movement each day of the week. The average human takes about 10,000 steps to reach that goal. Whether its walking to the bathroom, going up the stairs, or playing with your puppy, an activity tracker can help you accomplish this goal. Below are 6 different activity tracking options you could use;

  • Garmin Vivofit
  • Fitbit
  • Nike+ Fuel Band
  • Jawbone
  • Misfit Shine
  • Pedometer

4)    Have fun with a Motion Sensored Gaming Console: A new generation of technology has been growing over the past decade, specifically in the gaming industry. These gaming systems include physically interactive games including, but not limited to; dancing, working out, and sports. Below are three of the leading interactive gaming consoles you could use to stay active on a snowy day.

  • Nintendo Wii and WiiU
  • Playstation Move
  • Microsoft Kinect for the X Box 360

5)    Follow along to a Workout DVD: It can be hard sometimes to come up with something to do on your own at home. Having a Workout DVD to watch can make all the difference in the world. Workouts like P-90 X and Insanity being some the more popular ones. You can also find more great videos to on

6)    Check out our videos on our Youtube Channel: Hilton Head Health has a wide variety of different fitness videos that can provide fun workouts tdo indoors.


3 Fave Moves for the TRX by Chris Varano


Today, we’re doing 3 of my favorite fitness moves on the TRX. This piece of fitness equipment is a great way to build strength using just your body weight and it helps enhance your balance and agility. The TRX adds some variety to the exercises you do every day. It’s perfect to use indoors or outside, which is especially helpful since many places have already been hit with cold weather.

All 3 exercises are listed and the video below shows how to perform each movement. Enjoy!

1. Squat Jumps

2. Curtsy Lunges

3. One-legged squats


Fave Holiday Foods and Fitness Moves

It’s that time of year again! The Holiday Season seems to come and go so quickly that you just have to eat all your favorite holiday foods before you have to jump back into your health and wellness routine. But have you ever thought about what you’d have to do to make up for those extra, delicious holiday calories? You may want to rethink that second helping or substitute your traditional favorites with some healthier options, once you take a look at the type of workout it takes to expend your holiday intake.

Fave Holiday Dish: Stuffing (1 cup)
Calorie Count: 352
Exercise: 35 minutes Jump Rope

IMG 66921 224x300 Fave Holiday Foods and Fitness Moves

Fave Holiday Dish: Turkey and gravy
Average Serving Calorie Count: 270
Exercise: 30 minutes of Lunges

IMG 66901 225x300 Fave Holiday Foods and Fitness Moves

Fave Holiday Dish: Slice of Pumpkin pie
Average Serving Calorie Count: 323
Exercise: 230 burpees

IMG 6689 300x300 Fave Holiday Foods and Fitness Moves

Fave Holiday Dish: 1 Sugar Cookie
Average Serving Calorie Count: 113
Exercise: 375 Push ups

IMG 66911 300x225 Fave Holiday Foods and Fitness Moves


3 Easy Core Exercises with Chris Varano


Strengthening your core (which includes the mid to lower section of your back and abdominal region) is important for not only your spine, stability and posture but ultimately your health and wellness. Even though this section of your body can be a difficult area to work on, with the right moves and a little motivation, you can target this area to create a positive change. Try these 3 simple exercises with a fitness ball to help you begin to tighten your core area.

A demonstration and explanation for each of the fitness ball moves can be seen in the video below.

1. Plank

2. Roll Out

3. Roll Up


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