Sunday, September 29, 2013

Spice It Up!

Variety is the spice of life. This is true especially when it comes to your workout routine. The benefits are much greater when you mix up what you do rather than sticking to the same moves for years on end. How many years have you seen the same people at your gym doing the EXACT same routine day after day and you never see them change? That's because exercise variety maximizes benefits and minimizes obstacles to working out, such as injuries, plateaus, and boredom.

So what should I include in my routine to get results?

Aim for equal amounts of cardio and strength training each week and make sure to include flexibility exercises into every workout.
Yes you should make sure to stay consistent with the cardio and strength training but try to vary the intensity, frequency, duration, and variety within the exercise type. You will get optimal results this way.
  • Intensity is measured by the percentage of your maximum heart rate you reach during an activity.
  • Frequency refers to how often you perform an activity.
  • Duration refers to the amount of time spent performing an activity.
  • Variety refers to the number of different exercises you perform for a specific exercise type -- for example, the number of different cardiovascular exercises you do or the number of different strength-training exercises you do.

In conclusion, make sure your workout is working for you by getting the right mix of flexibility exercises, strength training, and aerobic exercise.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

At Home Workout

Looking for a workout that doesn’t require going to a gym or equipment? I know your life can get busy and that means you won’t always have time to get to a gym. For this workout all you need is your body, some open space, some items that you’ll find around the home and a spare 30 minutes.
The workout itself includes six exercises. Each exercise should take no longer than five minutes to complete and for each one, you should perform three sets until failure…

Exercise 1 – Push Ups

Push ups are one of the oldest but most effective bodyweight exercises around and do a great job of targeting your chest and arms.
1. Kneel on the floor and place your hands on the floor in front of you, making sure they are parallel to your chest and about shoulder width apart.
2. Straighten your legs out behind you and hold your core muscles in.
3. Slowly bend your arms until your nose touches the floor, keeping your core tight and your back straight at all times.
4. Slowly straighten your arms and return to the starting position.
5. Repeat until failure.
6. Repeat steps 1-5 two more times.

Exercise 2 – Pull Ups
Pull ups are an extremely challenging bodyweight exercise that target your biceps and upper back. To perform them, you’ll need either a pull up bar or a sturdy frame that can fully support your hanging bodyweight.
1. Stand under the pull up bar or sturdy frame and grab it with both hands (palms facing forward), making sure that they are about a shoulder width apart.
2. Bend your knees, take your feet off the floor and hang, allowing your arms and shoulders to fully support your bodyweight.
3. Slowly bend your arms and raise your body up towards the pull up bar until your biceps are fully flexed and your chin is above the bar.
4. Once your biceps are fully flexed and your chin is above the bar, slowly lower your body back down into the starting position.
5. Repeat until failure.
6. Repeat steps 1-5 two more times.

Exercise 3 – Tricep Dips
Tricep dips are a top exercise for targeting your triceps. To perform them, you’ll need a solid, sturdy chair that won’t bend or break when supporting your bodyweight.
1. Sit on the chair, stretch your legs out in front of you and bend your knees slightly.
2. Place your hands on the chair next to your butt with your fingers facing forward.
3. Lift your butt off the chair and move forward slightly.
4. Slowly bend your arms, lower your body and stop when your butt is almost touching the floor.
5. Slowly extend your elbows, straighten your arms and return to the starting position.
6. Repeat until failure.
7. Repeat steps 1-6 two more times.

Exercise 4 – Bodyweight Squats
Bodyweight squats are an excellent way to give all the muscles in your legs a full workout.
1. Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart and clasp your hands together in front of you.
2. Slowly bend your legs and lower your body down until your butt is parallel with your knees.
3. Slowly straighten your legs and raise your body back up to the starting position.
4. Repeat until failure.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 two more times.

Exercise 5 – Planks

Planks are one of the best exercises you can do for your core and a fantastic way to finish off any bodyweight routine.
1. Kneel down and place your forearms on the floor.
2. Bring your knees off the ground, balance on your toes and forearms, tighten your core muscles and hold this position for as long as you can.
3. Repeat steps 1-2 two more times.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Get Smarter With Exercise

Fitness can improve your life! Duh! There are so many benefits you can gain from regular activity. Mental benefits! Here are a few:

1) BELIEVE IN YOURSELF:- Working out helps your overcome personal obstacles (running faster, going longer distances etc) and physical obstacles (biking up hills, getting through an obstacle course etc). When you prove that you can overcome these obstacles you build confidence and gain the mental strength to overcome other obstacles in your daily life.

2) DON’T BE SO ANGRY: Anger is something EVERYONE deals with. Anger is a natural emotion and is not inherently good or bad. And everyone deals with it differently. A bad way to deal with anger is through physical or verbal aggression towards other people.  A good way to deal with anger is to exercise as it allows you to release it physically without impacting other people. When you exercise it allows you to physically get the anger out of your system whilst the alone time you get from a workout provides you with an opportunity to think about and deal with the anger in a more calm and collected state.

4) CONCENTRATE AND BUCKLE DOWN:- In order to constantly push yourself during your workout and achieve more you need to be focused on the task at hand and determined not to give up. This brings about improved focus and determination.  These skills can be applied to other areas of your life and make you more successful in these areas.

The next time you are feeling angry, unhappy or your confidence is at an all time low why not go exercise and see what it does for you?  At the very worst you will burn a few additional calories but if all goes well you will come back feeling much more happy, confident and upbeat.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Super Sneaky Ways To Boost Your Metabolism

I know it may sound too good to be true regarding the idea that there are super foods out there which burn fat and boost your metabolism. Well, I’m here to tell you it is true that a combination of these super foods can assist you with weight loss and increase your metabolic rate. So which foods fall into the category of super foods? The list is of some of the foods that are “Super”:
  • Blueberries
  • Celery
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Pumpkin
  • Salmon
  • Tomatoes
  • Walnuts
  • Greek Yogurt

Please, please, please note these foods are NOT magical and will not immediately burn fat and increase your metabolism. However, add these foods into your diet while maintaining a fitness plan you will boost your gains. To effectively introduce super foods with an overall fitness program, follow the advice below.

1) BE SMART. EAT SMARTER:- Instead of the traditional three meals a day, break it down to five or six mini-meals. Aim to eat every 3-4 hours. In each of these small meals include some super foods but make sure they do not consist entirely of super foods. Balance is the key when preparing your meals.
2) GET MOVING. INCREASE CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE:- Increasing the amount of cardiovascular exercise you do will help increase your metabolism. This does not mean you have to participate in a ten mile run every day. Try walking to places you would normally drive, playing with your kids or doing some gardening. Anything that makes you a little more active will improve your metabolism.
3) BUILD MUSCLE:- The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn each day and the higher your metabolic rate will become. Again, you do not have to do anything substantial but incorporating some weight lifting into your weekly routine will help boost your metabolism.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What's Your High?

One of the more common questions I get from my clients is : “Is there a difference between high impact and high intensity, and if so what are some examples of both?” So I thought today I would go back to basics and answer this common question.

Essentially, in low impact aerobics, one foot stays on the floor at all times. In high impact both feet can leave the floor. For instance, running is high impact while walking or elliptical would be low impact.

Now let’s talk intensity. Adding weights to a workout or adding more high energy moves makes it higher intensity. An example would be moving the arms and legs at the same time. High intensity workouts  get your heart into a higher rate. Another example would be spinning. This means you can have high intensity/low impact workout.

Let's look at some examples of traditional exercises and how we can easily change the impact and intensity.

Reverse Lunges:
  • Low Impact / Low Intensity: Stand tall, reverse lunge and come back to start position

  • Low Impact / High Intensity: Stand tall, raise your arms over head and keep them up for the entire set, now do your reverse lunge. For even greater intensity you can hold weights overhead.

  • High Impact: Stand tall, jump into your reverse lunge- some call it a Flying Lunge. You can add more intensity (not impact) by doing the arms overhead version or adding a medicine ball.

  • Low Impact / Low Intensity: Assume a standard squat position keeping hands on hips

  • Low Impact / High Intensity: Assume squat position wearing a weighted vest or holding heavy weights or move the arms up and down overhead as you lift & lower.

  • High Impact: From low squat position explode up into a full jump in the air and land in a squat. You can add more intensity (not impact) by doing the arms overhead version or adding a medicine ball or wearing a weighted vest.

Monday, September 9, 2013

It Takes A Village To Get In Shape

Not so into working out solo? Does the thought of running alone on the treadmill keep you lying on your couch? I have a great answer to this dilemma. Take an group exercise class! Every class is filled with like minded individuals who naturally encourage you to work to your maximum potential while the instructor maximizes your fitness motivation. I know there are so many different exercise classes to choose from that it’s not so easy to find one that’s both fun and matches your fitness goals. I’m here to help. Here are some group classes to try. This list is a combination of classes I love to take, teach and classes that are my BFF’s fav. I hope this helps.

#1 Body Pump
This class is high intensity but not high impact. You lift weights at a fast pace which in turns gets the heart rate up and you’ll burn major calories. Like 450 per class.

#2 Kettlebell
This class is a great alternative to Body Pump. Instead of a barbell this class uses the flexible and versatile kettlebell. This class will improve your balance, flexibility and functional strength. It’s a tough workout but if you work hard you can burn up to 1,000 calories per class.

#3 Bootcamp
This class is a “military” style workout and the moves are easy to follow. Think moves like pushups, squats, sprints and lunges. This class isn’t for everyone. If you have knee or back issues I would seriously think about this class before you take. On average you can burn up to 600 calories per class.

#4 Spinning
This is one of my favorite classes to take. You use a “special” bike that allows you to change the resistance and allows you to wear shoes that clip into the bike so you can work hard without worrying your feet will fall off the pedals. This class really tones the lower body and you can burn up to 700 calories per ride.

#5 Yoga
According to the popular LA based yogi Olivia Kvitne from Hot 8 Yoga studio, “Yoga not only promotes flexibility and builds smaller muscles that other workouts miss, but it also cultivates a mental "toughness" that will help you live a more calm and joyful life off the mat. Restorative classes are the most gentle and will simultaneously introduce the meditative aspect, hot yoga takes all the challenges yoga already offers and adds the element of heat for increased detoxification as well as another demand on the mind and body. There are many classes in between so make sure to let your teacher know if you are new to the practice so they can make sure you are starting off with a strong foundation and understanding of the basics.”

#6 Barre
The use of the ballet barre helps to tone and strengthen the muscles in your legs, back and abs while giving you a great cardiovascular workout. Free weights are also used to sculpt the muscles of the upper body. I recommend incorporating this class into your workout routine 2-3 times a week. You can burn 600+ per class!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Why am I gaining weight you ask yourself? I am doing everything right. It can be frustrating experience for women who just want to lose weight in order to improve their health. Weight gain can lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease and stroke. Both are connected to being overweight but that is not always the case. (Heart disease and stroke are among the leading killers of women.) What are some common causes of unexplained weight gain and what can I do about it?

Quality over quantity
Fast Foods and soda have a lot of calories and are high in fat so my advice to you is to limit your intake of these foods, and consume a healthy diet that contains many fruits and vegetables, whole grains as well as lean meats, such as chicken or turkey. Also, be sure to read nutrition labels carefully. ​

Let’s Get Physical
Wanna prevent excess weight gain and reduce your risk of disease? Workout. Physical exercise does not have to be difficult and can be easily incorporated into your everyday life; for example, you can take the stairs instead of the elevator, or use an exercise bike while watching TV. If you’re a little more active, try a dance class such as ballet or salsa, which will help not only help to prevent weight gain but also teach you a new and exciting skill. Or get a trainer to help you find different exercises to add to your routine.
Pregnancy. During pregnancy, it is essential to gain weight in order to provide enough nourishment for your growing baby, but you should only gain 15 lbs not 60. Your baby does not need the 2nd cheeseburger or a 2nd dinner. You do NOT need over eat. If you are taking care of yourself, it is natural and healthy to gain weight while pregnant.
Do you Medicate?
Sometimes medications can lead to unexplained weight gain in women. Some medications like antidepressants and corticosteroids can it make it difficult to lose weight

Quitters Win...when it comes to Smoking!
So you may gain a few lbs after you quit but improved respiratory and lung health, far outweigh the possible weight gain. Keep healthy snacks within reach to keep your mind off of smoking. I suggest carrot sticks, fruit and lots of water. Natural popcorn works great too!