Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Kettlebell Workout

I’m taking a much needed vacation but that does not mean a vacation from exercise. I like to workout and just because I’m not doing my usual routine does not mean I will abandon my fitness. I’ve decided that I will do the following workout multiple times while I’m away. If you are looking for something fun and different to do give my workout a try.
The workout is structured into a circuit of three super-sets. Six exercises that will workout your entire body. By performing these exercises as a full circuit you will also be building cardiovascular endurance.
Rest only as needed through the circuit. When you finish the circuit, set your timer for 3 minutes to recover. After that rest period hit it again; go through the full circuit. Do the full circuit two or three times.
  • Kettlebell Squats (10 reps) – hold the kettlebell in front of your body, like a goblet, then push your hips back and lower down into a full-deep squat.
  • T- Pushups (5 ea side) – This is variation of the standard push-up that includes an arm-extended side plank at the top. To perform the movement, lift one hand off the ground when you reach the top position of the pushup, continue raising your hand reaching upward, rotate your entire body while keeping your legs and torso straight. When you are rotated and fully extended your body should resemble the letter T tipped on its side. Rotate back down and place your hand back on the ground. Alternate sides each repetition.
  • Kettlebell Lunges (10 ea side) – hold the kettlebell in front of your body again, then lunge by stepping forward with one leg and lower your hips down with your back knee tracking under your spine. Go down until your rear knee nearly touches the ground. Drive up through your heel of your front foot to push back up into a standing position.
  • Alt KB Pushups (5 ea side) – set the kettlebell on the ground on its side. Now do pushups with one hand on the kettlebell and the other on the ground. When you reach the top of the push up position alternate hand positions.
  • Jump Squats (18 reps) – perform a bodyweight squat except with each movement, explode off the ground into a jump. When you land go immediately into the next squat movement.
  • Rocking Planks (10 slow reps) – perform a plank by going into the pushup position, but rest your upper body on your forearms instead of your palms. Then to perform the rocking plank shift your weight forward up above your head by extending your toes. Then rock back by pushing back down. Do this movement slowly.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Quality over Quantity

Processed foods (chips, cakes and cookies) are loaded with calories and provide you with little to no nutritional value. DUH! However, natural foods (such as fresh fish, meat, fruit and vegetables) are lower in calories and packed full of health boosting vitamins and minerals.
Cutting back on processed foods and replacing them with natural, nutrient rich foods is an vital part of achieving any health and fitness goal. Eating poor quality foods has a negative impact on your energy levels, your muscles and more and this makes succeeding with common health and fitness goals like weight loss or building muscle very difficult. However, eating natural foods has the opposite effect and provides your body with the fuel it needs to accomplish any health and fitness goal.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


I love me some bananas and you should too. Here's why:
They are tasty and nutritious. Duh! When compared to an apple, a banana has 4 times the protein, 3 times the phosphorus, 5 times the vitamin A and iron. Plus bananas are a Super Food and that means they are good for: hangovers, constipation, brain power, blood pressure, PMS and ulcers.

Need a pick-me-up before a tough workout? Eat a banana! A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.
Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.

PS: Monkeys also love Bananas and monkeys appear to be happy so eat up!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Fall Fitness Playlist 2013

I know that nothing gets you through your workout like music—a good melody to distract from the pain, a steady rhythm to keep the pace or a jolt of extra emotion to get you closer to the finish line. That’s why I put together a 45 minute playlist for you. I used it for cardio activity but you could use it for anything that needs you to be energetic.
Tegan And Sara – Closer - Sultan & Ned Shepard Remix
Party Supplies – Touching Your Face
Jessie J – Wild
Daft Punk – Get Lucky - Radio Edit
Holy Ghost! – Dance a Little Closer
Avicii – Wake Me Up
Drake – Hold On, We're Going Home
Justin Timberlake – Murder
Rihanna – Cheers (Drink To That)
Ellie Gelding – Anything Could Happen

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Create Some Heat In The Comfort Of Your Home. An Indoor Workout Just For You!

Winter is coming and it’s getting cold. I don’t know about you but motivating myself to leave the comfort of my warm couch and bear the cold to get to a fitness class isn’t the easiest task. I find myself doing at home workouts on really cold days. I don’t want to abandon my health just because of weather. I live in NYC and that means my living space can get pretty cramped. But that doesn’t make a quick at home workout impossible. I do what I can (which means workout) to help reduce heart disease, some cancers, and improve mental health and cognitive function. Here are eight moves you can do right in your living room.
High Knees (3-5 sets of 30 second sprints)
Targets: Quads, glutes, calves, shins (anterior tibialis), hip flexors, ups that heart rate
How to: This could piss off your downstairs neighbor even more. (Yes, I am talking about mine! She’s a nightmare but that is another story for another time.) But go ahead, I totally support you. Run in place, bringing the knees above hip level. Keep your hands in front of you at hip level, palms down, and try and slap ’em with your knees to get the most out of this one. Or, pump your arms like a sprinter, elbows at 90 degree angles, and pump those arms fast. (Your legs will ALWAYS go as fast as your arms go!) Land on the balls of your feet (not your heels) for 10-second bursts, working up to 30-second sprints.
Butt Kicks (3-5 sets of 20 second sprints)
Targets: Hamstrings, quads, glutes, calves, shins (tibialis), and heart rate
How to: Ready to kick things up a notch? Keep running in place, but this time kick your heels to your butt with each stride. Go as fast as you can for 3-5 rounds of 20-30 second bursts, 20 seconds of rest between each.
Jump Squats (3-5 sets of 20 reps)
Targets: Quads, glutes, calves, shins (anterior tibialis)
How to: This exercise is a wonderful way to get back at your downstairs neighbor for ringing your doorbell at 2am….on a weeknight. (Yeah, that really happened. Can you tell I’m a little upset?) To start: Stand with your feet hip-width, toes forward. Sit back into a squat then drive your whole body up through your heels, shifting your weight onto the balls of your feet as you lift off. Be sure to land on the balls of your feet and immediately bend the knees into a full squat. Aim for three sets of 10-15 reps. If you can do these in front of a mirror, make sure your knees aren’t wobbling side to side while you squat or land.
Sliding Pushups (3 sets of 7-10 reps)
Targets: Chest, triceps, shoulders, core, lats, adductors, abductors
How to: Hit the floor. A wood floor is best but a kitchen floor works well for this one too! Place the hands slightly wider than the shoulders and one hand on a sock or something that can easily slide and the other on the floor. Lower yourself down while sliding the hand that is on the sock to the side (about 1 foot), bringing your chest below your elbows. Keep your chin from jutting forward (your chest should graze the floor first — not your head, hips, or anything else).  (draw your shoulder blades in and down the back to protect your rotator cuffs.) As you push up (keep that back straight!), bring the sliding arm back to the starting position. Inhale here. On the exhale, repeat. Shoot for three sets of 7-10 reps.
Modification: Can’t support your full bodyweight? Stick to the standard push-up but do ‘em with your knees on the floor.
Mountain Climbers (3 sets of 30 second sprints)
Targets: Chest, shoulders, triceps, core, hip flexors, hamstrings, quads
How to: The same but different to the high knee run. Aka the first exercise. This is the same, but face down in the push-up position. Start by hiking your left knee towards the chest. Then quickly get that leg back and pop your right knee up to the chest. Go as fast as you can for 3-5 sets of 30-second bursts. Try to keep as close to a straight arm plank as possible. And if that isn’t hard enough, make sure you only ever have one foot on the ground at a time.
Supermans (3 sets of 10-15 reps)
Targets: Low back, lats, shoulders
How to: Workout or fight crime? That’s a tough one. I’ve got a quick solution for you. You can do both (maybe at the same time). Here’s what you have to do:Simply roll onto the belly, and reach your arms above your head, keeping the legs straight. Lift your right arm and left leg at the same time, squeeze your glutes and low back muscles, then lower each and lift your left arm and right leg. That’s one. Shoot for three sets of 10- 15 reps.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fitness Is Personal

Fitness is personal. Everyone is different and therefore we all react differently to workouts.  For example take a high intensity activity like a spinning and ask someone who loves spinning to take a class and they will gladly do so and perform amazing but ask the same person to go on a long run and they might get utterly exhausted. What gives?  Most fitness routines tend to cause different effects with different people, as we all react to exercise in unique, personal ways. The truth is most people have discomforts when they start a new fitness routine. Here are a few discomforts that people face and what to do to conquer them.

Ok so this one isn’t so physical as mental. When starting a new routine progress can be slow, and the exercises themselves can quickly become monotonous. This one is true for even those that are faithful about sticking to their program. Here are a few things you can do to beat boredom:  
  • Music – The simplest solution is to find an appropriate playlist, purchase some workout headphones, and zone out to your favorite music while exercising. I like to make a playlist just for that specific workout. I realize that not everyone has time to make a separate playlist for each workout so I recommend using Spotify Radio. Itunes Radio works well too!

Foot Blisters & Irritation

I realize that talking about feet is not cute, but it is something that has to be done. If you are starting new routine, the friction and impact of cardio workouts can easily cause foot irritation and blisters. In some forms of exercise, this is inevitable and your body simply has to get used to it. However, for general irritation may I suggest the following solutions:
  • Try Moleskin – This little product can be stuck in shoes where you’re getting blisters to provide some extra cushion.
  • Keep Fresh Socks – Seems obvious, right? Duh. Actually, quality exercise socks from brands like Reebok can be pretty expensive, so many wear out the old ones too long. However, holes in socks (or even thinned out socks) are sure paths to irritation.


The answer to this one seems super simple, right? The truth is A LOT of people fail to adequately hydrate. Even experienced exercisers! This can lead to light-headedness, general exhaustion, queasiness, cramping, and of course, excessive thirst, and is one of the biggest comfort issues facing exercisers.
Guess what the answer to this problem? Hint...there is only one answer – hydrate more effectively. You don’t just need to “drink more water” in general. The important thing is to remember to hydrate before your workout – not just during and after. It’s important to enter an exercise routine properly hydrated, because your body loses moisture so rapidly during exercise.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Be Active and Drink Aqua

Keeping your body hydrated is key for healthy living. If you don't hydrate often your body cannot perform effectively and efficiently. When you’re body’s not fully hydrated, your metabolism slows down, your body doesn’t absorb the nutrients in your food as efficiently, your energy levels start to flag and your concentration levels go down. Wanna know something easy and awesome you can do so this doesn't happen to you? Make an effort to drink more water and aim to drink eight glasses per day. You'll avoid  the negative side effects if you hydrate your body and allow it to perform at its full potential