Monday, December 31, 2012

Sleep Sassy

It never fails. Every year a few weeks after my birthday getting out of bed is a struggle. Why? Just to remind me I'm another year older? Or is it probably because I slept funky? Luckily I have my chiropractor's cell number so I can call him up for a last minute appointment. Love him for that! I know from personal sleep experience that there are three sleep positions that help ease strain on your head, neck, and back so you can wake up refreshed and tackle your fitness goals.

• If you sleep on your back, put a small pillow under your knees.

• If you sleep on your side, avoid tucking your neck and chin into the fetal position.

• If you sleep on your stomach, put a pillow under one side of your body so your head and neck aren't strained.

I know these are not "new" but sometimes we all need a little sassy reminder.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What Not To Say To Your Trainer

I’ve compiled a list of things you should never say to your personal trainer.  I’ve asked some of my colleagues about the cringe-worthy, annoying things their clients say to them on a daily basis. Here is the list. I know you’d never say anything like this  but I’m sure these things have crossed your mind. I strongly suggest you zip your lip.

1) “I don’t want to lift—don’t make me bulky.” (Says the woman lifting a three-pound weight.)

2) “I ate pizza this weekend, so I did two hours of cardio before our session—is that okay?”

3) “I need to look good in a bikini in two weeks. Can you make that happen?”

4) “I want a good workout—but I don’t want to sweat.”

5) “I wasn’t sore at all from that last workout!”

6) “I’m doing the Master Cleanse so I can’t work out too hard—I don’t want to pass out.”

7) “I heard on an infomercial that you can get in shape in just five minutes a day.”

8) “But on Biggest Loser they lose 20 pounds a week!”

9) “I’m too old to get in shape.”

10) “So sorry to do this but can we cancel our appointment? I'm just walking in from a late night with the girls. I'm drunk beyond belief.”

Monday, December 24, 2012

12 Days Of Christmas Workout

My Christmas Eve/Day workout this year will be done to the theme of the Twelve Days of Christmas. This routine is done using just your body weight. You need enough open space so you can jump, squat and lie down without hitting the wall.
Start with exercise 1 for 1 rep, then do exercise 2 for 2 reps and exercise 1 for 1 rep, then 3 for 3, 2 for 2, 1 for 1 and so on – like the song! These are the exercises I chose:

  1. Squat
An oldie but goodie. I’ve talked about this one quite a bit. Just remember that The knee should always follow the toe. Have your toes slightly pointed out in order to track the knee properly.

  1. Pistols aka one legged squat
Stand holding your arms straight out in front of your body and raise your right leg off the floor. Push your hips back and lower your body as far as you can. Pause, then push your body back to the starting position. Stand near a chair just in case you loose your balance.

  1. Triceps press up
Start with legs extended, toes on the floor or on your knees, hands on the floor with arms extended underneath shoulders. Place your hands together with your index fingers touching and your thumbs touching.
Slowly bend elbows and lower body to floor with the chest almost touching the hands. Remain in proper alignment with abdominals held in tight. Exhale on exertion. Repeat for 8 times. Progress to 3 sets of 8 times.

  1. Jumping lunges
Center your right foot, with your knee aligned over your toes. Bend slightly forward with your back straight and your bottom sticking out a little. Take a breath, push against the floor and jump up and switch legs, landing with your left foot centered and your right foot in the behind the left. Rest for a beat and then jump again and switch legs.

  1. V-sit ups
Sit with your feet lifted off the floor, knees bent into your chest, hands clasped behind your head. Lean back and extend both legs straight out, touching your back to the floor but keeping your head and shoulders off the ground. Sit back up and return to your start position. That's one rep. Repeat as many times as you can in a row for one minute.
Be sure to brace your abs during this entire move and try not to use momentum to come up and down. If it’s too tough to do with the legs extended, keep your knees bent as you lower and sit up.

  1. Push ups
Push Ups are effective. You are lifting and lowering your body weight and by using proper form—stomach pulled in toward your back, hands in line with your shoulders—this move becomes a full body exercise that goes beyond your chest to work your abs, shoulders, and upper back.

  1. Jumping squats
Stand with your feet slightly apart with your knees aligned over your toes. Bend from the hips to lower your rear until you are in a full squat, keeping your back straight. Keep your knees aligned; don't let them fall open. Push down with your heels and explode up into the air. Don't let your knees hyper extend; keep them slightly bent. Go right back into a full squat when you land and repeat. Do no more than one set of five repetitions because you do not want to work to fatigue with this exercise.

8. Supermans
If you want a flat, sexy stomach, shift your focus away from your core every once in a while and train your lower back. Lay flat on your stomach with your arms extended in front of you in the shape of the letter X. Lift both your arms and legs at the same time, as if you were flying, and contract the lower back. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on how "super" you're feeling

By combining squat thrusts with a return to standing in between each rep, the burpee is the ultimate full-body exercise. Just one seemingly simple movement challenges the muscles in your chest, arms, thighs, hamstrings, and abs. And because you're using your full body when doing burpees, it's one of the best exercises to burn fat.
Make your burpees more challenging by adding in a push up before the squat thrust and/or a tuck jump when you come back up to your feet.

  1. Mountain climbers
Not sure why this one is called a Mountain Climber. No one climbs a mountain in this position. It’s more like a sprinter getting ready to take off from her block. Still, there's no denying the power of this exercise that challenges your shoulders and quads and elevates your heart rate. Assume the sprinter starting position—hands on the ground, rear up in the air and one leg bent toward your chest. Alternate which leg is forward, only touching your front toe to the ground before quickly switching sides.
Tip: Put your timer/watch on the ground between your hands, because you won't be able to look at your wrist or up at a clock without breaking your rhythm.

  1. Burpees

  1. Tuck jumps
Moving quickly from your knees to your feet is only easy for action stars. But this is one stunt you can master with a little practice. Starting on your knees, contract your glutes and quads and jump to your feet in one motion, landing in a deep squat.Yelling hi-ya or whipping out your nun-chucks will earn you our undying love—which is worth the weird looks you'll also get. Start by doing these on thick carpet or a mat and swing your arms to help you get enough momentum.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Keeping your New Year's Fitness Resolution Sassy

Every January I hear the same fitness goals again and again "I want to run a half-marathon by March or I'm hoping to lose 10 pounds in a month. The problem with these goals is they are too large. They need to be broken down. By breaking your larger New Year’s resolutions into smaller more reachable fitness targets and tasks you will stay motivated and increase your odds of success. For example if your goal is losing weight maybe for the next 4 weeks you commit to cutting added sugar out of your diet 4 days a week and on those days you work out. Make appointments to workout. Schedule your classes online, pay in advance, just do whatever you need to do to guarantee you'll work out.
A personal trainer can  help you plan for and get over the inevitable hurdles that try to cramp your workout; for example, illness, injury, or family and work obligations.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Clean Up!

Clean up your kitchen is a great way to lose some unwanted lbs. Think about it. It's so much easier to eat right if everything you need to make a healthy snack or meal is already in your pantry. I've made a list of what you should hang on to and what is considered garbage and you should throw away immediately. If throwing away food seems wasteful to you make a donation to your local food bank. Boom you done. You've done 2 good things in just a few hours! That is sassy!

Start with your Refrigerator
1st things first...get rid of soda.
Donate: Soda and other beverages with sugar or worse still, high fructose corn syrup. Drinking your calories is one of the easiest ways to gain weight.
Replace With: Water.
If you are serious about losing weight you will do yourself a favor and drink H2O.

Donate: Fruit-flavored yogurt.
Yes it seems healthy but most yogurt is full of added SUGAR.  Check the ingredients –  HFCS get rid of the stuff.
Replace with: Plain low fat yogurt, Greek yogurt, or low fat cottage cheese. You can always add fresh fruit to plain yogurt yourself, which is a much healthier option.

The Freezer
Do you really need a pint of fat filled icecream? Chances are you CAN survive without the stuff. I promise you can. Replace the icecream with frozen grapes. Trust me they are delish and fun!

The Pantry
Ok give yourself a quick pep talk before the attack. Tell yourself that this is the right thing to do before you open the pantry door.
Donate: Most boxed Cereal
Any breakfast cereals that have HCFS or sugar listed in the ingredients, throw it in the donation box. That prob means most of the stuff you already have. Even though it might look healthy!
Replace With: Plain oatmeal; avoid any oatmeal with added sugar and go for the real deal instead.

Donate: Chips and crackers.
You know you shouldn't be eating them. They are jam packed with empty calories and most have Trans Fat as one of the first few ingredients.
Replace With: Almonds.
Just a handful is one serving. Not the entire bag. Seperate into single serving portions. Yes it seems like a pain now but it'll make life easier and convenient later.

Donate: Packaged Sweets.
As you probably already know you shouldn't even have this in your home. It’s OK to indulge now and then just not EVERY day, multiple times a day.
Replace with: Dried Fruit.
If you’re having a craving for something sweet, reach for dried fruit. Choose dried fruit without added sugar.

Quick before you change your mind go to the food pantry and donate the not needed junk.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Walking: Making Your Steps Sassier

Here is your new morning routine.....brush your teeth, wash up, give your partner a kiss, give your kitty some love and then put on your fav tennis shoes and go for a walk. WHAT? WHY? 3 good reasons:‪

1. Morning walkers tend to ‪stick with their routine ‬

‪2. ‪They sleep more soundly (and get more deep sleep)‬

‪3. ‪Boost their immune system and catch fewer colds‬


If you start your day with exercise life hasn't gotten in the way yet. You haven't gotten too busy AND most people who exercise 1st thing are more likely to stick to their routine for years to come versus just 25% of late-day folks. Also since your body temp is a little cooler cardio based activities feel easier (even though they are not). Be sure to still ease into your workout. I recommend 5 minutes of easy paced activity to warm your muscles up to get ready for the work ahead. Ok, now its not new news about wonderful exercise is for your sleep situation. I want to make sure you know that all exercise helps you sleep as long as it's 3 hours before bedtime.
I think its safe to say that morning walks/workouts are definitely a DO for a Sassy Girl!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Staying Sassy Thru Santa Season

Ok now is the time that can wreck your waistline. Between Thanksgiving and New Year you must be careful. Yes I encourage you to enjoy the holdiays. Enjoy the food, parties and company without damaging your diet or exercise routine. Here are some simple things you can do to be proactive.

Never show up hungry to a holiday party or meal.
This one is super important! Do NOT starve yourself that day knowing you have a party to attend. Eating breakfast, and two regular meals before the party will help you from overeating! For example have 12 almonds and an apple before the feast will help you from pigging out!

Drink, Drink, Drink.
Water that is! Your blood sugar will be saved with eating so many sweets that are around this time of year. Also, drinking 8-10 oz of water while drinking your fav cocktail will help decrase the amount of alcohol you consume.

Do Not Stuff Your Face
You will eat again so there is no need to go hog wild and fill your plate to the brim. Fill your plate modestly, and wait 30 minutes after you finish before going back for seconds.

Desserts are treats.
Serve yourself a small portion, and STOP there.

The Morning After
A strong cardiovascular workout for two to three days after your holiday party will help you get rid the excess carbs and fat that are stored away. If it’s possible, throw in an extra two days of 30 minute cardiovascular activity.

Consistency is key to your exercise program.
I’ve seen it time and time again. Do NOT overtrain just because the holdiays have made you miss too many training days. You can’t make up what you’ve missed. Just make sure you are sticking to your exercise program and you won’t run into any trouble.

Remember that it is a holiday, so let yourself enjoy it Sassy Girl. Just make sure the next day you wake up and get back on track!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Playlist

This is not new news to anyone that knows me, but for those of you that don't let me tell you a little something about me...I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I get super excited about loading up my iPod with a new Holiday workout playlists. I know that "Jingle Bells" may not be the first thing you think of when you're looking for heart-pumping beats, but don't be so quick to dismiss holiday classics. I have a compiled a list of great workout songs that revolve around the Christmas theme. I know that a playlist that has nothing but Christmas songs can get old so I suggest sprinkling in a few songs to your already sassy workout playlists.

1. "All I Want for Christmas is You," Mariah Carey. Besides Nat King Cole no one does Christmas songs better than Mariah. Seriously the girl can sing!

2. "Last Christmas," Cascada.  No question Wham! is the top dog with this song, but the more fast-paced remix of this song by German Eurodance sensation Cascada is perfect for any high-intensity cardio workout.

3. "Sleigh Ride," Karmin. My song of the summer was "Brokenhearted" by Karmin so I had to check out what they were doing with Christmas tunes. Listen to their funky fresh take on this holiday song. It's an awesome workout jam.

4. "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays," *NSYNC. Another thing about me...I was a major fan of this group back in the day. No playlist is complete without this light and fun tune.

6. "The Christmas Song" Nat King Cole. This is the song of the season for me. I swear I listen to this song at least 500 times during the season. Try using it during your stretching session or during a yoga session.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sassy Ways To Tame Your Tush

Are you stuck in a workout routine that isn’t giving you the results you want? Firm thighs and tight butt are things that most people desire. Most people think “I’ll just do some long, slow cardio on the treadmill or elliptical trainer, a thirty minute circuit on weight machines or walk but those things are not really effective at firming your butt and thighs.Sure you might have a dynamo lower body workout but I guarantee if you do the following moves you will get to your goals faster! If you are a beginner you can use your body weight or if you are an experienced exerciser you can add free weights to make the moves more challenging.

1. The Squat - Starting with feet a little wider than hip width, maintain an upright back looking straight ahead. Bend your knees and lower your body into a squat position to the point where your thighs are parallel to the floor. Be careful not to let your knees go out over your feet and try to keep them inline with your ankles. Add hand weights to make this move more challenging.

2. The Lunge - There are many variations of the lunge. Starting with a basic body-weight lunge, step forward with one leg (or backward with one leg). the distance can vary but between 2 and 3 feet will work for most people. Lunge slowly into this position so that the extended front thigh is about parallel to the floor. then return to standing.

3. Hill Repeats - If you love to run then this one if for you. It’s a fantastic way to combine high intensity interval training with an effective butt and leg workout. Pick a hill or use a treadmill with an elevation setting. Aim for 45 - 90 seconds of running up hill then walk to recover for 2-3 minutes. Be sure to warm up before going all out. A good goal to build up to is 10-12 hill repeats of increasing difficulty.

Looking good and others noticing your ummmm...assets are not the only reasons to focus on butt (gluteal muscles) and thigh exercises. These two very large muscle groups are essential to the strength and stability of your hips, back and core. It is my experience that strong legs and butt muscles help keep people of all ages from having back and hip pain. And that my friend is definitely sassy!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Should I or Shouldn't I?

The average person gains 8-12lbs during the holiday season! YIKES! Since Sassy Girl's are not average chicks I know this won't happen to you!
Exercising during the holidays is so important because not only will you fight off those unwanted pounds you will increase your energy level too! Just ONE hour a day 3-4 times a week does the trick. You will feel better about yourself and you'll be in a better mood which means you can handle the insane people in the stores while doing your holiday shopping.
You can improve your health. Lowered cholesterol, blood pressure, better joint mobility to name a few are some of the benefits exercise can do for you. This does not mean you can skip your docs ok. I advise to get your doctors approval if starting exercise for the first time.
You can look better now. It's not too late to get yourself looking fab for NYE! Don't wait till 2013 do it now!

Here are a few of my favorite ways to stay motivated to exercise during the holidays.

- Shop for you! Go ahead and get that fancy workout top as a reward for being consistent with your workouts.

- Sign up for the Jingle Bell Run with your family and friends.

- That's what friends are for...Find an exercise/running buddy to hold you accountable during the holiday season.

- My personal favorite...Ask for a personal training package or gift cards for a workout studio near you for Christmas!

A sassy girl is always motivated but these 4 things may make finding a reason to workout during the holidays more fun! I hope so!

Happy Holidays Sassy!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Help Your Body Torch Calories With These Foods

There are many factors that determine your metabolism. Sex, age, muscle mass are just three that are major factors. No matter what kind of genetics you’ve been handed you can make changes to your body. There are 5 foods I suggest you include to your diet to help you move one step closer to your weight loss goals.

Start your morning right with a fat soluble fiber. Eating oatmeal helps reduce cholesterol levels and lowers your chances of heart disease.

2.Hot Peppers
Spice it up! Spicy food helps speed up weight loss. The calorie burn lasts for hours after you've eaten.  Hot peppers, like jalapenos, contain a chemical called capsaicin, which gives these veggies their heat and causes a spike in your metabolism.

3.Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt not only is delish but is one of the best foods to eat if you're trying to lose weight and boost your metabolism. Full of Calcium and protein you get all of the energy you need to keep going.

4.Green Tea

This one is super easy. Drink the green stuff. Green tea contains EGCG, that stimulates the nervous system and that means you burn calories faster. How awesome is that?


This veggie is awesome because it contains calcium AND vitamin C and that both vitamins help you burn calories faster and efficient! Calcium activates your metabolism, while vitamin C helps you absorb more calcium.

If you eat healthy and exercise your metabolism will be stoked and that means you will be leaner and healthier.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hot or Not

The Hottest Fitness Instructors in NYC! 

This was the title of a recent blog post I read. It made me so mad because not only do I have to focus on whether my teaching is effective (which should be every instructors main concern) but now I have to worry if I'm "hot" as well? When did fitness become all about the "hotness" of your instructor? I didn't get into this business because I wanted to be rated on my beauty.

I'll be the first one to admit, I feel tremendous pressure to maintain a high level of fitness. I care about having abs of steel and feel anxious when I can't workout.
I've always cared about being in shape but I never worried about back fat or having a muffin top until I became a group fitness instructor.

And I think I have an answer to why fitness pros feel pressured:
When you teach you have to look the part. All eyes are on you and if you don't appear as dedicated to fitness and healthy living as the students they might leave and never come back. Yes, it’s shallow, but its a fact. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Esp if your in the fitness biz. I feel like I have this convo all the time with my co-workers.

So that brings up the question where does this pressure to look perfect come from?

Do we place it on ourselves? Does it stem from the images of physical perfection we see daily on Access Hollywood or on billboards? Do the people we train and motivate subtly require it of us? Or is it merely a by-product of living in a society that rewards more, better, faster, stronger?

I know my body isn’t perfect. I’ve eaten candy for dinner more than I would like to admit. However, my commitment to health and fitness came first. I became an instructor to share that passion with others in an accessible and safe way. I most certinately did not do it to be rated on my looks. A very famous person once said: "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." -Maya Angelou
Ain't that the truth and shouldn't that be the main concern for all instructors?