Grizzly bears hibernate in the winter, and a long, chilly season of little food and no warmth is no picnic for anyone.  Hibernation helps these animals survive by conserving energy during times of scarcity and stress.  But we are not grizzly bears.  Humans lack the metabolic adaptations that would be needed for hibernation.  Plus, we have an abundance of food available all year round.  More importantly, we have fire, clothes and shelter, all of which are much more effective ways for surviving the cold.

Hypothetically, our genes may favour fat storage; but you can control what happens by making the right food choices and getting active.  In fact, your metabolism speeds up when it’s cold and your body burns more calories to keep you warm, which means a higher metabolic rate.  So if you stick to your regular exercise routine and eat right all year round, you should actually lose weight in the winter.

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 1.16.23 PMReality Check

At this time of year, swimsuits and skimpy beachwear are usually neatly tucked away, chips and crackers are on the shelves and all thoughts of dieting have been conveniently forgotten.  We snuggle all day in front of our televisions, assuming the couch potato position, bundled up in blankets and calorific munchies, just wishing we could get in shape.  But let’s be honest: that beach body won’t happen on its own.


You need to get 30 minutes of exercise at least 3 days a week to see noticeable results.  Cold weather, tight budget and schedule, innate lethargy, or mere antipathy to exercise can keep you cooped up for days, thus sidetracking your weight loss resolutions.  But fear not – Community Times is always on the lookout for fitness programs that you can do in the comfort of your own living room.  And we’re so excited to announce your one-word resolution: PiYo, a workout that you can do in your jammies, and – get ready for this – barefoot!

You will not use weights, jump, grunt, strain, and punish your body to get amazing results, because PiYo workout is a moderately paced combination of Pilates and yoga movements.  You will use your body weight to perform a series of continuous, targeted moves to burn fat as you redefine every single muscle.

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Reasons to Do PiYo • When you’re bummed out • To lose weight • For good posture • For that part of your body you hate • Get ripped • Sedentary job or lifestyle • Body aches, stiffness and fatigue • Dieting isn’t your thing • Bored (or for no reason at all!)

PiYo is not like standard Pilates and yoga classes that make you hold long, intense poses, or lead you through dozens of repetitive, microscopic core movements.  PiYo speeds everything up, including results, with its dynamic, flowing sequences that can scorch calories at the same time as they lengthen and tone muscles and increase flexibility.  PiYo sessions also minimize the aches and pains that can come with high-impact workouts.  Because PiYo involves intense cardio, you will get significantly faster and dramatically more visible results than you would with traditional yoga or Pilates.

About PiYo Fitness Program

PiYo is a 60-day, equipment-free program with workouts scheduled six days a week.  The program consists of eight workout videos (Align: the fundamentals, Define: lower body, Define: upper body, Sweat, Core, Strength intervals, Drench, Sculpt) and two extras (Buns and Hardcore on the floor).  It also includes a workout schedule and a clean eating plan.  All you need is your body weight, a yoga mat, water, towel and a space wide enough to take a step in each direction.  The workouts range from 25 to 45 minutes, with the majority clocking in around 30 minutes.  PiYo is for people of all ages, fitness levels, and body types.  Prior experience with Pilates or yoga is not needed.  PiYo takes you through low-impact stretching, strengthening, and body weight resistance-based exercises that promote lean muscle development.

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About Chalene Johnson: High-energy celebrity fitness trainer, mother of two, and New York Times best-selling author, Chalene Johnson has revolutionized the fitness industry by turning her lifelong love of health and fitness into exciting, challenging workouts that scorch calories and burn fat. Her efficient, results-driven workouts and ability to inspire students to reach their fitness goals have made her Beachbody® programs, including TurboFire®, Turbo Jam®, and ChaLEAN Extreme® some of the most popular in-home exercise programs. She originally created the PiYo class because she wanted a workout that would provide hardcore results without straining her body.

Why PiYo Works

PiYo works simply because it combines the muscle-sculpting benefits of Pilates with the strength and flexibility advantages of yoga into non-stop fluid movements.  The fast, flowing pace increases the intensity, so you are not just sculpting and defining every muscle, you are also burning major calories and fat.

PiYo’s founder and celebrity fitness trainer Chalene Johnson — and your personal DVD trainer — will keep you entertained with her high-energy and humor while you literally flow through the workout.  She will walk you through everything you need to know in Align: The Fundamentals.  This tutorial video is crucial to get the gist of PiYo and learn the names of poses and how to do them correctly.  There’s a modifier to follow in every workout, so you can focus on form and advance at your own pace.  As your flexibility and strength increase, you will just get better and better.

PiYo is my newfound habit.  After doing it for a while, I now look taller because of good posture; I feel relaxed and invincible because of the stretching and strengthening exercises; I smile more now that my back is pain-free (plus seeing my smiley trainer); and I have lean shapely legs, toned arms, firm abs and booty, and an acrobatic body that can do anything.  You will notice results after your first week.  I used to dread doing triceps push-ups before Chalene shared a little trick that made them so easy (just turn your hands slightly outward, fingers opened).  For faster results, I highly encourage you to overhaul your diet.  At least limit sugar intake, eat less carbs and more protein, nuts and good fats like olive oil and butter (yes butter!), and lots of vegetables.  Lastly, keep pushing play!