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?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Time Keeps On Ticking....

This time of year life gets crazy. Your days might be loooong and finding the motivation to workout is not easy but I guarantee there is a chunk of time in your day that you can devote to just you. The best thing I do for myself is schedule my own workout times into my daily life. Try to take out your calendar on Sunday night and prepare your week.
Organizing your time will allow you to find a pocket of time you can devote to fitness. Schedule your workout into your day just like you'd make a dentist appointment.
I know you are thinking...Ok I do that but what the heck should I do at the gym to make sure I'm working efficiently in the short time I have? One of the most effective ways I have found to burn major calories is doing a 1 hour circuit workout.  Example: set up a full body routine with 2 minute cardio sprints between each exercise.
I suggest doing an upper to lower body exercise then abs then sprint. Repeat this sequence until you have covered every muscle group. This is my favorite way to workout! They key is to keep moving!
Finding the time to exercise can be done! You owe it to yourself. Find the time to take care of your body, and your body will love you for it!

Here is a quick 20 minute circuit to try:

1) Bench press or pushups - max in 1:00 min
2) Squats - max in 1:00
3) Pullups or pulldowns - 1:00
4) Bike or jog - 3:00
5) Shoulder press with hand weights - 1:00
6) Lunges - 1:00 each leg
7) Bicep curls - 1:00
8) Bike or jog - 3:00
9) Tricep extensions.- 1:00
10) Leg ext - 1:00 (requires leg machines - or repeat squats with weights)
11) Leg curls - 1:00 (requires leg machines - or repeat lunges with weights)
12) Situps - 2:00
13) Crunches - 2:00
14) Stretch

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Warm Up To Work

Everytime I teach a group fitness class I always have students dashing into class at either the last minute or 5 minutes late. If this is you, you should know that doing this puts you in danger of injury because your body isn’t prepared for the exercise to come. I recommend doing five minutes on the treadmill or elliptical to make sure your joints are ready for you to go all out in your fav fitness class.

There are three things you should do to get your body prepared for exercise:
1. Become Unfastened. Your joints and muscles will need to be un-wound if you’ve been sitting the entire day. I suggest using the foam roller on your back and legs.
2. Wind Up The Ticker.  As soon as you start moving and grooving your nervous system turns on. So get on a bike and make sure you aren’t working so hard you can’t sing along to your favorite Katy Perry song. Do something enjoyable that will warm your muscles up.
3. Stretch It Out. You don’t need to hold a stretch for 30 seconds yet but hold for 1-2 breaths.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stretch Me

My life is about fitness and sharing my knowledge of fitness with clients and friends. I'd like to think I inspire and have taught my hubs a thing or two about working out. When he came home from the gym one day and said "I stretched today before and after my workout and it made me feel good." I realized I have not taught him a thing.  But I think stretching is something most people put on the back burner when they workout. I see it time and time again there are people who just jump in cold, exercise as hard and as long as seems warranted, and then... screeech! ... come to a complete stop when they feel done. They then head straight for the shower, or more stinkily, back into their cars or jobs or lives, without doing any of that sissy in-between stuff that makes exercise take so much longer without really "counting" as exercise.
I know you may not have time in your schedule to devote to more time at the gym. Here is a way you can prep your body for exercise. I promise it will make your workout better.

If you can walk to the gym instead of driving, you can put together some awesome music and develop a fun routine just for warming up if you like your life to be all perky and sparkly.

Try to customize your stretching.  Focus on the parts that help with your tight areas, injuries, and imbalances, and that are compatible with your comfort level and the degree of silliness you're willing to display in public settings.

I know you've heard this one...Try Yoga! (I do not need to belabor this, as it is hard to go 5 minutes in life without someone urging you to do either yoga or pilates)

With just a little effort you can make your workouts feel better Sassy Girl!

Here are two moves you need to incorporate into your stretching program. If you do nothing else please add these two moves. Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds 

1. Torso Twist
Sit on the floor, back straight, shoulders down, abs engaged, and legs extended in front of you. Bend your right knee to place foot flat on the floor. Wrap your left arm around your right leg and twist to your right side, supporting yourself by placing your right hand behind you. Breathe deeply and hold. Repeat on opposite side.

2.Childs Pose
Come to hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart, knees hip-width apart, abs engaged, and back flat (spine neutral). Keep your knees and ankles separated and your toes curled under as you shift your weight back over your heels, lengthening your spine, relaxing your head and neck, and reaching forward through your fingertips. Breathe deeply and hold.