Monthly Archives: February 2012

Get Moving with Some Motivation

Have you ever struggled to get off your butt and get into the gym? Are you nodding yes? It happens! How do you stop it from happening? Find your motivation! It’s not always easy, I mean I work in a gym and there are days that I can easily talk myself out of a workout.

What motivates me!?

*Feeling great after a workout. I get an amazing surge of energy, and I feel like nothing can get in my way.

*Getting in my “me” time!! It’s the only time I don’t worry about anyone else. It’s all about me

*Reading Blogs/Success Stories: I love reading other people’s success stories, it motivates me to work harder.

*Set goals!!

*Rewards: When I set a goal, I like to treat myself.

*Goal outfit!! I purposely buy a samller outfit that I absolutely LOVE. That way I have to work hard to get into it.

*Stress relief: Nothing like sweating out the stress!

*An exercise class: To change it up, I will do a class

*Hire a trainer!! Definitely worth the money, it can be a great way to change up a workout, or even learn something new.

*Track your measurements

*Keep a workout diary/log

*Get a before picture, during and after picture. Sometimes, you often don’t realize how far you’ve come.

What motivates you?

Buzz Off Scale

Everytime I walk by the scale at the gym, I am tempted to step on it. Here’s the thing….I got into a fight with the scale the last time. I know, that sounds silly! I went to weigh myself one day; I was feeling great, my clothing was feeling loose on me, a co-worker mentioned that I was looking slimmer. I stepped on the scale, and I went from feeling great to feeling HORRIBLE! So I haven’t stepped on the scale since. I have taken my measurements, and they are down. So does it matter that my weight went up? No!

Dear scale…..BUZZ OFF!

Some experts will tell you that it’s important to weight yourself 3-4 times a week, maybe even daily. (I think weighing yourself daily is too extreme!!) Here is why you need to cut back on the weigh-in’s.

Your weight will fluctuate: Your weight changes constantly; fluctuations in that number on the scale every day, or even in the same day, are normal. Then you’ll start to stress about your changing weight. It’s not worth it!!!

You’re probably gaining muscle: When you exercise, you’re building metabolism-boosting muscle, which means that while you’re burning fat you may also be surprisingly heavier on the scale. Focus on that number, and you can demotivate yourself!

For me…it’s about the inches and how great I feel. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!

Weight doesn’t tell the whole story: Even when calculated to your BMI score, your weight doesn’t tell you everything. Body fat percentage is more accurate than BMI since it calculates how much of your body is fat compared to muscle. But don’t just rely on the scales that calculate body fat, they can be wrong!

Whole Wheat Pizza Recipe

Quit eating like a rabbit! You can eat your favourite foods, you just need to find a healthier version of it. My most favourite thing to splurge on is pizza!! Mmmmmmm….give this recipe a try!

Barbecued chicken pizza. Of course, you can put whatever you want on it.

SERVES 8 , 2 pies

Ingredients

Dough

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 ounce yeast, 1 package
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup bread flour
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt

Filling

3 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 green pepper, cut lengthwise
1/2 cup black olives, sliced
1/4 cup sun-dried tomato, chopped
1/2 cup reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon oregano

Place warm water, sugar and sprinkle the yeast on top of the water in the bowl. Let yeast stand for 5 minutes until it foams.

Add oil, flour and salt. Mix and let it stand on a greased bowl covered with plastic wrap for 1 hour until at least double in size.
Dough is now ready for use so you may use it for calzones, or regular pizza pie.

Spread tomato sauce, and sprinkle with oregano. Arrange peppers, sun dried tomatoes, and olives on top. Add mozzarella cheese and bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

No Equipment Necessary

It’s been a little while since my last blog, no real excuse. Just that I have been super busy, and that’s not an excuse, it’s a fact. The good news is, is that I have managed to get my workouts in. And that is my priority! I will be back on the blogging track for the next few months.

So let’s get back to blogging with a workout that requires no equipment. This program can be just the ticket if you’re a beginner trying to break into the habit of training before getting some equipment or a gym membership; if you’re traveling and want to maintain your shape on the road; or if you don’t have the time to do your regular training routine but you want to do something.

1. Body Weight Squat (legs)
2. Side to Side Lunge (legs)
3. Inverted Push-Up (shoulders)
4. Push-Up (chest)
5. Close-Grip Push Up (triceps)
6. Lying Torso Raise (lower back)
7. Weightless Concentration Curl (biceps) I better explain this one…no making faces!! LOL You will need to be standing, grasp your left wrist with your right hand. Apply pressure with the hand as you slowly and deliberately curl your left arm. Once your elbow is fully bent, give your biceps an extra squeeze and hold for a second before slowly lowering. Once all your reps are done switch sides.
8. Crunch (abs) WORKOUT

EXERCISE SETS REPS

Body-weight squat 2-4 15
Side-to-side lunge 2-4 15
Inverted push-up 2-4 15
Push-up 2-4 15
Close-grip push-up 2-4 15
Lying torso raise 2-4 15
Weightless concentration curl 2-4 15
Crunch 2-4 15

Treadmill vs. Outside Walking

Which one is better for you? Which is YOUR best option!?

Walking Outside:

Walking outside will challenge your balance and stability. You will also have more obstacles while walking outside. While walking outside you start and stop (A challenge to the muscles to come to a stop and to start from zero.), walk up and down curbs, sometimes you come across stairs, sidewalks are sometimes sloped, natural inclines and declines, etc…

Treadmill:
Treadmills only go uphill, very few models have downhill incline. And the downhill incline is really nothing special. Going downhill challenges muscles in a completely different way. On the treadmill, the tread is moving and you may not be giving yourself a good push off with your back foot. If you are using the treadmill, with no incline you will burn fewer calories than you would if you were outside. So what you will need to do is add in an incline. What you don’t want to do is hold onto the handrails. There are a few reasons as to why you want to avoid holding to the handrails. You will reduce the calorie burn, and throw your walking posture off. If you decide to walk on the treadmill, train yourself to walk a speed you can sustain without holding onto to the machine.

Don’t write the treadmill off just yet. IIt does have its benefits.

Like..

*It’s a great way to burn calories and give basic training to your walking muscles and practice your walking form.

*Workout Programs are available, giving you a controlled challenge

*The treadmill also has readouts for calories burned, heart rate, etc..

*You can go a little faster on a treadmill, which means that you can burn more calories.

*Safety: If you don’t have access to a safe walking route, a treadmill is a good substitute.

*Weather: You can usually control the indoors weather, but never the outdoors weather.

Which one do you prefer?

My advice!? Just get moving!!!!!

Smoothie Alert!!!! Spinach and strawberry goodness!

Ingredients:

Love smoothies!! When done right, they are full of nutrition, very powerful and extremely easy to make.

Enough said….let’s get to the recipe!

Yields 4-5 servings

6 oz fresh spinach
8 oz frozen organic raspberries or strawberries
1/4 cup honey
1/2 ripe bananas
4-5 cups soy milk or organic low fat milk
1/4 cup flax seed meal

Place all ingredients except frozen strawberries into the blender and blend until smooth. Add frozen fruit and blend for another 30 seconds. Serve

This recipe is courtesy of: http://eatgood4life.blogspot.com

Love the Eat Good 4 Life Blog, great recipes to be found! 🙂

Treadmill Workout

Choose a challenging treadmill setting at which you can sustain for no more than one minute.  After one minute you should feel like you just challenged yourself.

Here is what you do next:

1 Minute Work – 2 Minutes Recovery: Next, after going all-out for one minute (the work interval), go easy for one to two minutes (the recovery interval). “Easy” may be a 2.5 mph walk at zero incline, or a 3.5 mph trot. But after one to two minutes, you should feel ready to charge full force again, though your heart rate may still be slightly elevated.

Use the Rate of Perceived Exertion Scale: An RPE of 1 means very easy. A 9 to 10 means you’re so out of breath you cannot speak, and people nearby can hear you heaving. For the fittest people, shoot for level 9-10 work intervals. Beginners should aim for level 6 or 7.

Do 5 to 8 Cycles: An all-out effort, followed by a recovery interval, is one cycle. Aim for five to eight cycles. Always warm up first for about 10 minutes, and this should include intervals a few levels below your maximum level.

Check with your doctor before starting a new routine!  Don’t forget to drink lots of water, and stretch!

Walking=Weight Loss

Here is a little stat for you…On average most people take only 2,000 to 3,000 steps a day. Which isn’t enough!! Studies find adding 2,000 steps a day helps maintain your current weight, while 12,000 to 15,000 steps a day helps drop pounds.

Life can be crazy sometimes, and I know it can be hard to get to the gym. Take a walk at lunch, walk around the office instead of e-mailing your co-worker down the hall. Or try to get in a walk after work. The more you move, the better you will feel. EVERY step counts.

And remember, small changes can really add up and result in balanced weight loss.

To diet or to cut back!?

Have you ever tried to go on a “diet”? The word diet, is such an ugly word, and it can be a scary word for some people. et’s try this phrase, do you watch what you eat?

At one point or another I’m sure we have all carefully calculated fats, proteins and carbs. And we’ve tried different diets, in hopes of results.

According to a new study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is debunking most diet fads with a very simple conclusion: Calories count, but not where they come from. So what are they getting at!? Well, it doesn’t matter if you’re restricting carbs, or cutting out sugar….as long as you’re cutting back on something. (Courtesy of yahoo.com)

When they did the study, they looked at four diets: low-fat and higher-carbs; high-protein, low-fat, and higher-carbs; average-protein, high-fat and lower-carbs; or high-protein, high-fat and lower-carbs. Each diet had 750 fewer calories than the study’s subjects’ energy needs. So what did they find out? Researchers found that participants who stuck to their new eating plan lost weight. And following the calorie-cutting was the only success secret.

Do what works for you, what makes you the happiest!?

Of course, that has to be within reason. The moral of the story, all diets will work….as long as you can stick with it.

Get a workout in at work

Stuck at work? Can’t make it to the gym? No problem….give these exercises a try.

What do you need?
*A chair
*Water Bottle
*Light to a medium dumbbell

Please consult with your doctor before starting any workout routine.

Lower Body Exercises
Hip Flexion: Sit tall with the abs in and lift the left foot off the floor a few inches, knee bent. Hold for 2 seconds, lower and repeat. Repeat on the other side.

Leg Extension: Sit tall with the abs in and extend the left leg until it’s level with hip, squeezing the quadriceps. Hold for 2 seconds, lower and repeat. Repeat on the other side.

Inner Thigh: Place firm water bottle or an empty coffee cup between the knees as you sit up tall with the abs in. Squeeze the bottle or cup, release halfway and squeeze again..

Chair Exercises
Chair Squat: While sitting, lift up until your hips are just hovering over the chair, arms out for balance. Hold for 2-3 seconds, stand all the way up and repeat.

Dips: Make sure chair is stable and place hands next to hips. Move hips in front of chair and bend the elbows, lowering the body until the elbows are at 90 degrees. Push back up and repeat.

One-Leg Squat: Make sure the chair is stable and take one foot slightly in front of the other. Use the hands for leverage as you push up into a one-legged squat, hovering just over the chair and keeping the other leg on the floor for balance. Lower and repeat, only coming a few inches off the chair. Repeat on the other side.

Upper Body Exercises
Front Raise to Triceps Press:
Sit tall with the abs in and hold a full water bottle in the left hand. Lift the bottle up to shoulder level, pause, and then continue lifting all the way up over the head. When the arm is next to the ear, bend the elbow, taking the water bottle behind you and contracting the triceps. Straighten the arm and lower down, reapeat and swtich arms.

Bicep Curl: Hold water bottle in right hand and, with abs in and spine straight, curl bottle towards shoulder for 15-20 reps. Repeat other side.

Ab Exercises
Side Bends:
Hold a water bottle with both hands and stretch it up over the head, arms straight. Gently bend towards the left as far as you can, contracting the abs. Come back to center and repeat to the right. FYI…bending to the right and left is one rep.

Ab Twists: Hold the water bottle at chest level and, keeping the knees and hips forward, gently twist to the left as far as you comfortably can, feeling the abs contract. Twist back to center and move to the left for a total of 10-12 reps. Don’t force it or you may end up with a back injury.

Wrist Stretch
Wrist Stretch: Extend arm in front, palm up and grab the fingers with other hand. Gently pull the fingers towards you to stretch the forearm, holding for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.


Lower Back Stretch:
Sit tall and place the left arm behind left hip. Gently twist to the left, using the right hand to deepen the stretch, holding for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Other options:
*Take the stairs
*Take a break and walk around the office or go for a walk outside
*Try getting a few people together and pay for an instructor to come in and teach a lunch time class or a class after work.

You can even throw a resistance band into the mix. Recommended reps 12-20, depending on the exercise.