15 Minute Tone Up

workout

Let’s face it lovelies we are busy and sometimes fitness takes a back seat! If you’re like me finding ways to incorporate it into your lifestyle is important. A simple way to do so is to dedicate 15-20 minutes in the morning, right when you wake up, and at night before bed. Here are a few exercises that focus on parts body that most lovelies want to tone up.

situpsbybed

Abs

25 Sit-ups: We all know how to do these.

25 Cross Sit-ups. Pull your body up as if you are doing a regular sit up but once you are almost at your knee cross your body over to one side of your knee and then the other. Come back down and that’s one sit up.

pushups

Arms

25 jumping jacks: Based on counts of three, so One, two, three, ONE, one, two, three, TWO, one, two, three THREE. You get the point.

25 Push Ups: You can do standard push ups or the ones on your knees as long as your form is right, hands spread apart, you are dropping low enough to the ground and pulling your body back up. Bottoms down lovelies!

squats

Lower Body

25 squats: Keep your back straight as you drop your body down and then back up, that’s one.

25 star squats: Stand up straight, touch the ground with you hands (back should be straight up), and jump up with your hands in the sky. That’s One. Continue until you have completed 25.

You can vary the number, but try not to do less than 10 of any one exercise. And Remember, tighten your stomach while you are doing each activity, it helps to build Ab muscles. This is a quick regime before bed and after waking up. It doesn’t take too much time out of your day but helps to tone up key areas of your body. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference.

Staying Active in the Winter

Now that the holiday season is here, we all know cookies, cake and pie, and casseroles of all kinds will be present at the dinner table (or in the office). So instead of imagining a BEWARE sign popping up every time you come across an apple pie, indulge a bit and then kick it up a notch when it comes to your exercise routine by staying active at all times. I know you might be wondering, “How on earth could I stay active at all times when I’m either at work, in the car, or at home trying to rest after a tough workout at the gym?!” Well here are a few tips from me to you.
 
 1. Instead of sitting at your desk all day try standing. Yes, I said standing. Many companies are starting to use automatic desks that move up and down with just the click of a button. So instead of sitting all day, which present multiple health risks, try standing and allowing yourself to burn up to 50 calories  more than if you were only sitting.
 
2. Take a brisk walk. If you are at home on a Saturday morning and it’s become a habit of yours to drive to the coffee shop that happens to be within walking distance, put on a pair of comfy shoes and hit the concrete. Even if you are at work take 15 to 30 minutes of your lunch time and go for a walk around the premises or in a nearby neighborhood. The point is to get out, enjoy the fresh air, catch some vitamin D and burn some calories.
 
3. Well we all know drinking water is important but nutrition and public health advocate Charles Stuart Platkin explains how drinking ice water has a hidden advantage. Our body’s temperature is about 98.6 degrees. By drinking 1 liter of 40 degrees ice water you can burn about 30 calories as your body works to change the temperature of your ice water. Talk about an easy tip to follow!
So, there are three easy tips you can incorporate in your life to “stay active.”
Happy Holidays!

The Importance of Stretching

We spend so much time discussing healthy eating that we forget that half the battle is exercise. Whether you go to the gym, yoga, pilates, swimming or just for a run around the block, it is always important to start every workout with a few stretches.

Right before you begin your stretches, take 5 to 10 minutes and do a light warm up. For example, whenever I would go to the gym I jog from my car to the front doors.

It’s also important to understand why stretching is such huge component of any exercise routine. For one, stretching should take place before and after a workout, getting your muscles ready to be worked before and then getting them ready to relax and not tighten up after a workout. According to the Mayo Clinic, stretching may increase flexibility as well as improve the range of motion in your joints.

Stretches should be gentle and slow, if you start to feel any pain stop and adjust yourself. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds, longer if you prefer but 60 seconds max. Be sure to switch sides and repeat. Below you you will see a chart of fifteen key stretches you should do before any workout routine. Review the picture carefully before attempting.

Many of us who work full-time jobs sit in front of a computer for a large amount of time daily. We should should be taking regularly scheduled stretch breaks. “Exercise physiologist Mike Bracko, EdD, CSCS, FACSM, recommends quick two-minute stretch breaks to reverse that posture at least every 60 minutes.” Here are a few stretches you can do right at you desk!

Remember ladies this is only part one of the Workout. Be on the look out for PART 2 & 3. In the meantime check out of previous post “Five Tips on Healthy Eating.” Remember nutrition is half the battle.

Perfect Patty

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“Perfect Patty messed up” The words of Janet Jackson’s character Dr. Patricia from Why Did I Get Married Too?

Like Patricia, many of us live our lives as if everything is great. We put on this perfect façade. Everything is okay on the outside but in reality we suffer in silence.

I’m reminded of a conversation I had with a friend and for lack of a better pseudonym this person will just be “FRIEND”. We were discussing a time in my life when I really needed someone but FRIEND was not there for me. FRIEND’S response was “You’re strong, I knew you would be okay.” My response “But I don’t want to be strong all the time. Sometimes I want to ‘be weak’.”

This notion of strength and weakness is interesting. What are they, really? Often we are working so hard to be “strong” that we forget strength is recognizing when things are not okay. Strength to me is not being fearless or tearless, it’s allowing your self to feel the range of emotions that encompass our lives. Being strong means being honest with yourself and other people. It means asking for help when you need it. Often the difference between contentment and suffering is not the presence or lack of pain. It’s the acceptance of it.

The individualistic values of American society push us towards success but sometimes it can have its downside if we are not able to express or even own that inside we are not okay. In Patricia’s case she was a successful psychologist who’s identity was so wrapped up in helping others, being their rock during hard times that she forget about her self. She couldn’t properly mourn the death of her son because she would not allow her self to feel. She avoided her emotions and pushed away the only other person who might be able to share her pain, her husband. Instead she was “strong”. She kept working and doing, inhibiting the grief process, which ultimately cost the couple their marriage. As you can see rugged individualism can have some devastating effects. Can anyone relate?

Mental health is important. But there is this stigma attached to it. Recently the death of Feminista author Erika Kennedy struck me because her cause of death was due to “depression.” But what does this really mean?

About 14.8 million (6.7% of) Americans over age 18 deal with major depression each year. Every 15 minutes a person in this country commits suicide. We can’t be silent anymore. It’s time to speak. People walk around everyday like everything is going well yet hurting on the inside. I think Tupac says it best “dying on the inside but outside looking fearless.”

We (humans) are social animals. Made to be around other people. We need to feel connected and loved by others. It’s just how we are wired. Understanding, care, and compassion can have a major impact on a person’s health and well-being.

Lets break the silence. Even superwoman needs a friend.

Power Yoga

Working out can often feel like such a pain. You’ve either been at work or in class all day— or both—and, quite frankly, really just want to go home and watch the Real Housewives of “something”. I totally understand and usually feel the same way. After drinking four cups of coffee just to get through the afternoon and/or night school, hitting the gym is the LAST thing on my mind. So here’s my solution: find that one thing, better yet, that one workout where instead of being completely exhausted afterward, you are totally relaxed!

You might wonder what is that one thing… YOGA!!! Power Yoga at that! 

Now I know some of us may be concerned about the monthly fees of joining a Yoga Studio but, believe it or not, there are plenty of studios that go by donation! My roommate introduced me to the Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga in Santa Monica, CA. Oh! And I forgot to mention the class is awesome! Before going, be sure to check the class schedule on the website. There are two studios and classes range from beginners to advanced, so there’s something for everyone. Just bring your yoga mat and a bottle of water and you’re all set! Let me warn you—Power Yoga is not the easiest thing to do. You will definitely sweat and you will feel the burn; it’s much more of a cardio workout than you would think. 

Now remember donation should be done via cash so be sure to stop by an ATM. The studio is located just around the corner from the 3rd Street Promenade, just in case you would like to grab a bite afterward! 

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