‘Train – or complain’

Around this time of year, anyone who made a resolution to get in better shape is either psyched up to keep training – or still just complaining about weight plateaus or stubborn trouble spots. The good news is, it’s never too late to start attaining fitness goals or maintaining a fit physique with exercises that can be performed at a gym or in the comfort of your own home.

Better Butt: Olympic swimming champion Dara Torres highly recommends this elevating butt exercise: Prop a small stability ball up against a wall. Lie on your back facing the ball with your butt against it, arms at sides, feet on ball, knees apart. Lift your butt, hold for a beat as your bring knees together and then lower to start.

Toned Arms: Armed with light weights or even water bottles, you can do these arm and shoulder “Push, Pull, Kickback” sculpting moves recommended by celebrity trainer Kacy Duke.

Assume a squat position with legs bent about 45 degrees. Hold a light dumbbell in each hand, arms bent so the weights are positioned in front of the chest, palms facing each other. Extend arms straight out, pushing weights forward. Then bend elbows, squeeze shoulder blades together, and pull weights back to either side of chest. Finally straighten arms out behind you.

Great Legs: To tone and firm legs, bodyweight squats are multi-tasking exercise since they also recruit glutes, hamstrings, abdominals and lower-back.

To perform a bodyweight squat, stand with feet a little more than shoulder width apart, toes pointed 30 degrees out. Squat down pushing your butt out behind you, until you reach the desired depth. Push through your heels and then extend your legs until your knees are straight again. For an added challenge, you can perform squats holding dumbbells in each hand or weighted bar behind your neck.

Flat Abs: For “abs-solutely” amazing abdominals, try these movements on a stability ball: While lying on the ball, crunch up holding a dumbbell in one hand. Then switch dumbbell to other hand and repeat (instead of the dumbbell, you can also crunch up while holding a small medicine ball with both hands).

Motivation/Inspiration: Two health and fitness related events coming to Aventura could help you reach your goals before it’s time to make another New Year’s resolution!

Aventura Mall will host the Health & Lifestyle Expo, Saturday, Jan. 28 from noon-8 p.m. This event will be a unique gathering of a select number of doctors, healthcare providers and businesses sharing the goal to improve the lifestyle of people in South Florida. The news anchor team of WPLG Local 10 will also be at the event to greet shoppers.

On Sunday, Jan. 29 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Aventura Community Recreation Center is holding a Fitness and Wellness Fair promoting fitness and healthy lifestyle activities. The event will feature a live DJ, healthy lifestyle classes and demonstrations, plus fitness assessments with blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose screenings by Mt Sinai Medical Center. Local businesses will also be on hand with refreshments. A free six month Community Recreation Center individual membership will be given to a lucky winner, who must be present at the drawing. For more information, phone: 305-466-3883 or visit cityofaventura. com

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