Wednesday, January 29, 2014

2-Minute Mini Workouts - How to stay fit throughout the day

With the New Year a lot of us made the resolution to exercise more this year…to be healthier and fitter.  Part of this commitment requires you to set aside time for yourself every week, time to invest in your health and thus in your future.  But, it’s also about making fitness and exercise a part of your everyday life.

Sometimes we have a hard time working out as much as we want to (or need to).  That’s what this week is all about how to exercise while on the move.

Continuing on my mission to help you all stay fit, active and toned this year, this week’s exercises will help keep you on track even when you can’t get in that extra 1 hour workout session.   Sound good?  Well get ready for the “Toothbrush Workout”! 

Ah…don’t dismiss this funny sounding muscle toner...these little sessions will help keep your legs toned, your booties lifted and your core and arms strong.  And, when schedules get pushed to the max, as will inevitably happen at some point, every mini-workout session counts (research has recently shown that these little mini-workouts throughout the day actually can add up to a full workout, giving similar health and physical benefits). 

Add in these 2 minute mini-workouts, morning and night, along with the other mini-workout ideas below to make sure you will be looking and feeling your very best, even when you can’t workout 4 or 5 days a week.

“Toothbrush Workout
 Note:  This is much easier if you have one of those electric toothbrushes…added benefit, those are better for your teeth anyway.

Leg Lifts – Back, Side, and Front
Begin by pulling in your belly, lifting you chest, and flexing your legs .  While holding on to the sink, we are going to do 10-15 repetitions on each kick, on each leg.  Try to keep the lifting leg from touching the ground so that you work the stabilizing muscles in your legs and core.
Back:  Lift your right leg straight behind you until you feel your hamstrings and glutes activate.  Pause for 1 second at the top of the lift before returning to the start position. 
Side: Keeping your right leg straight, lift your leg to the side while keeping your knee facing forward (this will work the sides of your leg); Think of pressing your hip forward.  If you let your knee point toward the ceiling you will be working the front of your leg.  Pause for 1 second at the top of the lift before returning to the start position. 
Front:  Make sure your belly is in, chest lifted, legs flexed.  Slightly turn your toes out in order to work your inner thighs along with the front of your leg.  Slowly and with control, lift your leg up in front of you.  Again, pause for 1 second at the top of the lift before returning to the start position. 

Start with your feet wider than shoulder width, belly pulled in, chest up and open.  Remember the lower you go the wider your feet will need to be.  That said, make sure you aren’t doing the splits!  Your knees should be over your ankles, not inside of your foot width or past your toes!  Keeping this position, press your knees out and squat down and back up, keeping the motion smooth.  Go for at least 40-50 squats.

Modification:  Hold on to a hand weight and add an uppercut punch as you press up from your squat.  Do 20-25 on one side, then switch hands and repeat (yes, this is where the electric toothbrush is really handy).

Walk the stairs…easy enough!  You can alternate between taking stairs one at a time and two at a time.  Go as fast as you can go while still being safe with that toothbrush in your mouth.

More ideas:
Doing laundry?  Cooking?  Watching TV?  Try some of these 2 minute (or less) exercises ideas out.

  •        Need something upstairs or downstairs?  Take the stairs two to three times instead of just the once.
  •        Arm circles!  Jog in place while doing big arm circles to the side, overhead, and in front (Note: 

    you’re your arms pressing out and circle from the shoulder, not the elbow or wrist).
  •       Do the twist: Stand with your feet hip width apart, crunch your core, and twist side to side.
  •       Tricep dips using the sofa or chair (Note: Remember to keep your belly pulled in, chest up and open, and elbows pointing behind you.  Try to get your triceps parallel to the floor at a 90 degree angle).
  •      Counter push-ups…perfect to do in between stirring your dinner on the stove (Note: As always, keep your belly in and chest open.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Conquer Your New Year’s Resolutions: Reach the Weight Loss and Fitness Level You Desire!

Conquer Your New Year’s Resolutions:

Reach the Weight Loss and Fitness Level You Desire

The time for setting New Year’s resolutions is here once again, but do you really want to set “goals” that inevitably you are not going to keep? That perpetual cycle of setting goals, having a hard time following through with the goal, and then finally giving up on actually achieving the goal is disheartening at best, diminishing to your self-confidence and self-worth at worst. That’s why this year, you are going to follow these simple steps to liberate yourself from the downward spiral of New Year’s Resolution defeat and finally achieve success!

Are you ready for success, confidence, empowerment, more energy, and happiness? Great! Read on!

 Step 1

Pick one issue to tackle, not many. Picking multiple goals to achieve can be challenging, and when life gets extra busy or stressful, probably at least one (if not multiple) of your goals will go out the window.

Step 2

Set realistic goals. Although it would be great to lose those twenty pounds in a few weeks, it simply isn’t realistic. Setting too high of expectations is essentially setting yourself up for failure. Remember, it took you time to get to the state that you are in, it is going to take time to get back out of it.

Step 3

Be specific. In order to achieve a goal it has to measured. This way you know whether you are staying on track, or need to make adjustments. Some examples are: “I want to lose a pound a week” or “I want to attend three fitness classes each week”.

Step 4

Tell people about your goal. The act of telling others, especially those that you care about (friends, colleagues, family) instantly creates accountability. After all, all of those individuals will now not only be watching your progress, but they will be asking you about it. This means that when you are tempted to slack off, you will know you have all those sets of eyes paying attention; fear of public humiliation can be very big motivator and it just might be the very thing that keeps you going all the way to achieve your success. Hint: Ask your friends and colleagues to be positive and encouraging…you don’t need any nay-sayers in your path.

Step 5

Get a coach or a trainer; you will need a cheerleader. One of the things I hear most often is “I almost didn’t come tonight but I knew that if I didn’t, I’d be getting a call from you”. Having a coach or trainer there by your side creates accountability and will help to keep you on track. In addition, a coach will help push you to go farther and achieve more than you would, or thought you even could, on your own.  However, in order for this to work, you can’t merely just go to a group class or anonymous work-out (they won’t know if you come or not). Instead, you need a place where there is a strong relationship between the instructor and the students; you will respect them more, get more out of the class, and show up more often.

Step 6

Know the benefits of achieving your goal. You need to know what you will specifically be able to do when you achieve your goal.  Such as: “I will be able to wear my ‘skinny’ jeans” or “I will be able to run around the playground with my (grand)children”, . Make a “vision board”, put up pictures, talk to your friends, and make plans to take advantage of the benefits of your success!

Step 7

Have fun! Let’s be honest, we have countless things pulling for our time, and if we are bored or even just dislike what we are doing to reach our goals, we are not going to sustain that activity. We have to have fun, laugh, be around good people and places, and relieve stress. Find a program that will bring you joy and comradary, while still being challenging.

Step 8

Give yourself time; forge through setbacks. To have lasting benefits you will need to make lifestyle changes; make your goal a part of who you are. This is why it is essential to enjoy what you are doing and have a positive support group. Become the person who inspires others and you will experience the benefits of your success tenfold.

Have this year be your year; achieve a better, happier, and healthier life and will reap benefits for years to come.  Follow these steps and conquer your New Year’s resolutions!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year!!!!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season with a safe and fun New Year's celebration!  This is such a wonderful time of year, to celebrate all that is around us, to celebrate life, and to celebrate all the pontential the New Year brings.

Have you set you New Year's resolutions yet?  Mine is to get back into meditating regularly.

If you haven't set yours yet, take some time to yourself to really think about what you want in this upcoming year (and beyond)...  What do you want it to look like?  What do you want it to feel like?  What do you want to achieve?  Then figure out an action you can take to help bring all of that to fruition. I will be posting a guide for how to actually stick to your New Year's resolutions (reaping the benefits) later.

So stay tuned!  There are videos, exercises, and tips for bettering your life even more coming your way!

Happy New Year!  I wish you all a joyous, loving, fulfilling, successful, and peaceful year!