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Posts Tagged ‘fitness’


Lately I find it hard to keep my eyes open while studying, and difficult to stop from yawning in the middle of work. How can a girl concentrate on anything while wishing she was snuggled up in bed falling fast asleep? She can’t! It has become clear that I need more energy, so I decided to do a little research to see what I can do to give myself a boost. Here are some of the best tips I came up with – I guarantee you’ve heard some of these before, but some of them, or the ways some of them are meant to be done, were certainly new to me.

  1. Get Enough Sleep
    We’ve all heard this one. The “you need your rest” mantra we hated as kids, but now miss oh so much. Seriously though, get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. You’d be surprised how much it helps.
  2. Eat Breakfast
    Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Don’t skip it. Even if it’s just grabbing a granola bar as you race out the door, or grabbing an apple or banana from the break room at work. It’ll make a difference to how you get your day going.
  3. Drink Enough Water
    8 glasses a day ladies! 6 of those glasses are supposedly best to drink before 3pm because that’s when your body does most of it’s flushing out of your systems, so re-hydrating will help that process, as well as keep you ready for action AND (this is always a plus) help keep your skin looking great.
  4. Rub/Tug On Your Earlobes
    According to Chinese medicine, stimulating your earlobes also sends stimulation to the rest of your body. It also helps draw blood to your head and gets it flowing. So give your ears a little massage and a few gentle tugs when you’re feeling drowsy.
  5. Stretch
    Sitting around all day is enough to make anyone drowsy. Get up and stretch, let your body get some movement. You’ll notice that you perk up a bit.
  6. Work Out
    Working out releases endorphins, which in turn, release energy into your body. That pumped up feeling you get after working out? That would be those endorphins.
  7. Try Deep Breathing & Meditation
    Deep breathing allows more oxygen to get into your system, giving your body more to work with. Let your stomach inflate as you inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, and deflate as you exhale slowly through your mouth, pushing out the air until you can’t anymore. Meditation and visualization can help bring you to a place where you feel fresher and are ready to tackle anything at hand. Meditation however, does take practice. But don’t give up! I promise you that once you master it, it is well worth it.
  8. Take Power Naps
    No, not hour-long ones. Believe it or not, the perfect power nap lasts only 15-20 minutes. This way, your body only has time to go into the first stage of sleep, rather than going deeper and not having enough time to come out of it properly. Anything over 20 minutes can lead to waking up more exhausted than before. So set that alarm!
  9. Eat Healthy, Balanced Meals
    Making sure to eat healthy and regularly is an important life skill. It helps to nourish your body and get the right nutrients into your system as the day goes on. Choose healthy snacks as well, to ensure that you are getting your energy from the correct places, and also to help you keep up your energy longer.
  10. Play
    Remember how you could run around for hours as a kid? Well that’s because you loved it! Get out daily and play – literally. Do something fun with your kids, your pet, or a friend. Do something you enjoy. Make time for you to have some fun.
  11. Re-evaluate Your Relationships
    Relationships can easily drain you of your energy. If you constantly have to argue with someone, work hard at keeping up a relationship, or give and not get anything back, you need to take a long hard look at those relationships. There’s a fine line between putting in the effort, and being taken advantage of or being worn down. Be careful.
  12. Take Your Vitamins 
    Taking a vitamin supplement can help boost your energy (whether you have a vitamin deficiency or not) and make you healthier overall.

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Find out what guys know (and you don’t) about getting in shape
By Brynn Mannino

Not that we’re envious (actually, yes, we are), but guys seem to have a much easier time getting fit than women. Sure, their bodies are different, but what if there’s more to it? After looking at men’s traditional workout habits versus women’s, we found that they have a few tricks up their sleeves. For one thing, strength training burns way more calories than cardio alone, and post-workout protein shakes are more than just an excuse to drink a smoothie. But that’s not all! Read on to find out how you can improve your own fitness routine by taking a few tips from the boys.

 

1. They work multiple muscle groups at once. 

The more muscles you work at one time, the more calories you’ll burn at one time—not only at the gym but during the days following, as your muscles rebuild, says Myatt Murphy, coauthor of The Body You Want in the Time You Have. Compounding exercises, like squats, dead lifts and bench presses, will give you the most bang for your buck, as they engage multiple muscles in your upper or lower body simultaneously. Revamp your routine by including exercises that work more than one muscle group or combine two moves (like doing biceps curls on a stability ball) in order to make the most of your time spent at the gym.

 

2. They leave magazines out of it. 

Reading while on a cardio machine could not only stifle your workout by interfering with your form, but it might also shorten your workout as well. “Looking down can hinder the oxygen flow to your lungs,” says Murphy. “The less oxygen you breathe in, the quicker you’ll exhaust yourself.” If you need a little more mental stimulation than you get from logging miles on the treadmill, Lou Schuler, coauthor of The New Rules of Lifting for Women, suggests doing calisthenic-style exercises, which mix short bursts of cardio with strength training.

 

3. They get their sweat on. 

If there’s one place sweating is socially acceptable, it’s at the gym. Not only does getting a good sweat on mean your body is heating up and, consequently, expending energy (read: burning calories!), it also detoxifies your skin, says Monica Vazquez, personal trainer at New York Sports Clubs. So don’t be afraid to break a sweat and push yourself as hard as you can to ensure you’re burning the maximum amount of calories.

 

4. They flex their muscles.

“When you strength-train, you’re not building muscle—you’re breaking it down,” says Murphy. Contrary to popular belief, the building-back-up part happens over the next 48 hours, mostly while you sleep, he explains. Contracting (a.k.a. flexing) your muscles right after a weight-lifting set continues to break down the fibers, even if only slightly. And the more you break them down, the more they’ll build back up, Murphy says. “In other words, boosting your ego can boost your results!”

 

5. They eat after they exercise. 

After you’ve depleted your energy, it’s important to refuel, “especially after you exercise, when your body is desperate to replace the stored energy it just used and will pull it from wherever it can,” Murphy says. Ideally, you want the energy to come from your stored fat, but your body may also pull from the calorie-burning muscle. By eating a mix of protein and carbohydrates after you train (thus the protein shake!), you can prevent your body from turning on its muscle, since it looks to your stomach first for fuel.

 

6. They hone in on a different set of numbers. 

Rather than fixating on how many calories they’ve burned or how much weight they’ve lost, men tend to focus on how much of a certain task they’ve accomplished—and how much more they should do next time they hit the gym. According to Schuler, steadily increasing speed (cardio) or weight (strength training) in increments contributes to improved strength and energy, and consequently, more muscle and better workouts in the future. Focus on improving your exercise stats (reps, workout time, weight lifted, etc.), rather than the number on the scale. 

 

7. They focus on getting stronger—not thinner. 

If you’ve ever tried to compliment a man by telling him he looks slim only to have it backfire, then you know: Men tend to want to look “big,” which denotes strength, while women usually want to look slim, which suggests a low percentage of body fat. Why is the guys’ way more effective? Strength means more muscle; muscle not only burns calories, but shapes your whole body. “If you’re aiming to change the way you look, you must change the shape of your muscles,” says Vazquez.

 

8. They log their workouts. 

Because of the nature of weight lifting (you should consistently increase the weight you lift) it makes sense that men record their workouts. Frankly, it’s hard to remember all those numbers! But there are other advantages to writing down workout stats that everyone could benefit from, explains Vazquez. “Not only does it keep you honest about how much you’re really working out, but it makes your success tangible,” she says. Figure out a system that works for you, whether that means jotting things down in a small notebook or creating a cheat sheet on your mobile or portable audio device, so you can build upon your improvements each time you work out.

Read more: Fitness Tips – New Exercise Advice at WomansDay.com – Woman’s Day

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I’m not going to lie. I’m one lazy chick. But bikini season is upon us and I will not be stuck feeling blahh about my un-toned bod. So while I’m watching my favorite TV shows, Woman’s Day Magazine has some easy to do couch exercises that I can get working on. Now, I’ve just tried all of these, and I did break a sweat, but it was not too much for me. So c’mon ladies, let’s give it a go and try to do each of these exercises at least once a day! Beach time here we come!

 

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In the last week, Britney Spears has been all over TV performing songs from her latest album, Femme Fatale. The music is pretty awesome but what really made our jaws drop was her body. She looks better than ever and we just had to know the drill. So we asked celebrity trainer, and author of Ultimate You, Joe Dowdell how to score the pop icon’s slim and toned physique. He says these are the three key things:

By Bethany Heitman

Sleep, a Lot

Dowdell swears that getting enough rest (about seven to eight hours for most people) and drinking lots of water is the first step to getting a slammin’ bod. The reason: Your body needs to be well rested and hydrated in order to burn calories properly.

Mix Up Your Cardio

For maximum results, you’ve got to do intervals—alternating slower with more intense cardio. Studies show the easy-hard-easy-hard pattern encourages your body to refuel throughout your workout, so you keep up your energy longer. Dowdell suggests this routine: Hope on the bike and warm up at a medium pace for 3-5 minutes. Then up the resistance and peddle as hard as you can for a full minute before going back to a medium pace for two minutes. Repeat this 6 times.

Work Your Muscles

According to Dowdell, Brit has such toned thighs, sculpted abs and a great ass all due to resistance training. His three favorite moves:

The Glute Bridge: Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feel planted on the floor. Lift your hips and hold for five seconds while squeezing your butt muscles before coming back down. Doing two sets of ten will give you a nice firm booty.

Push-Ups: You’re probably pretty familiar with this classic. But, here’s a refresher: Facing the floor, keep your hands at shoulder level and your feet together (legs outstretched). Lift your body from a few inches off the floor all the way up until your arms are straight, and come back down. It’s important to keep your back straight. Regularly doing two sets of 10 will work your triceps and your core (giving you great abs!).

The Split Squat: While standing, place one foot in front of your body with the knee slightly bent and the other behind you so just your toes are on the ground (the back leg is for balance only and shouldn’t do any of the work). With your weight on your front heel, lower your body straight down and stop when your knee is an inch above the floor. Raise your knee back up and repeat. Do two sets of ten and then switch legs.

Read more: Fitness Advice On How To Get Britney’s Body – Tips On Getting Celeb Britney Spears’ Body – Cosmopolitan

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Okay, so this is sort of a two-in-one deal post here. The application seems pretty awesome, but we all know you don’t actually need it to be fit and feel great. I really love how Lea Michele speaks about the importance of being fit, and how it should be about comfort, not beauty. I just really admire her attitude here.

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Find out how to get back into your wellness routine—and stick with it
By Amanda Greene Posted February 23, 2011 from WomansDay.com

 

You’ve probably heard of "January joiners"—those eager gym-goers who sign up to get in shape at the beginning of the year, only to fall off the wagon by February. There’s a reason it’s such a common phenomenon: Sticking to health resolutions is difficult, especially when your ambitions are too high or not measurable. So we spoke to the experts to find out about common goal-setting mistakes and how to recommit to more obtainable aims. Read on to learn eight ways to revisit your wellness resolutions––and make them stick this time around.

 

1. Shrink your goals.

One of the most common reasons people fail at keeping their resolutions is because they bite off more than they can chew. "I find that my clients make New Year’s resolutions that aren’t really realistic," says Cristina Rivera, RD, president of Nutrition in Motion, PC. "They’re great for about a week, but people can’t keep them up forever." For example, one of her clients made a goal to give up soda, her favorite beverage. She went cold turkey and lasted about two weeks, then caved when the cravings hit. Rivera coached her to minimize her portions—a mini-can of Coke or a no-calorie Diet Coke––instead of cutting out the drink entirely. Photo: Thinkstock

2. Make your resolutions concrete.

Not only will setting a goal that’s too big derail you, so will making a resolution that’s too vague. "Saying ‘I will eat more healthfully’ isn’t a concrete goal," says Junelle Lupiani, RD, nutritionist at Miraval, a wellness spa outside Tucson, Arizona. "Instead, say something like, ‘I will replace my afternoon coffee and cookie snack with a piece of fruit, some nuts and green tea.’ Being sure that your resolutions are measurable can help you assess on a daily basis if you’re on track or not." Other specific—and doable––health promises that Lupiani recommends are vowing to eat a large salad every day or committing to starting each day with a whole grain and some fresh fruit. Photo: Shutterstock

3. Don’t wait to get motivated.

Many people assume they can’t tackle their goals without motivation. So they wait and wait for that push to get them to the gym, but it never comes. "We have the belief that motivation has to come before action—’I felt motivated so I went,’" says Simon Rego, PsyD, director of Psychology Training at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, "when in fact motivation often follows action." Take the gym, for example. Most people can attest to feeling extremely motivated after a sweaty workout, instead of before. To get yourself to exercise, Dr. Rego recommends giving yourself permission to leave the gym after five minutes if you want. Chances are, once you get moving on the treadmill, your motivation will have kicked in and you won’t want to stop. Photo: Thinkstock

4. Get some sleep!

That’s right—the experts actually recommend hitting the hay in order to accomplish your goals. Why? Because a good night’s sleep can help you achieve virtually any goal on your New Year’s resolution list, says Pete Bils, vice president of Sleep Innovation and Clinical Research for Select Comfort. "Losing weight, exercising or learning a new skill are not human instincts; we have to work at them. You could call a sleepy brain a lazy brain—the human ability of resolve or willpower has been proven to be diminished without adequate sleep," he says. But it’s not just about willpower; the amount of sleep you get affects bodily functions, too. As Bils explains, without enough sleep, ghrelin (the hormone responsible for regulating appetite) is elevated, while leptin (the hormone connected with satiety) is diminished. So, even if you consume enough calories, when you haven’t gotten enough zzz’s, your body will still send signals that it’s hungry, which will likely lead you to overeat. Photo: Thinkstock

5. Set yourself up for success.

Sure, it’s easy enough to resolve to eat more healthfully, but if you don’t implement the necessary lifestyle changes you won’t be able to succeed. "If you’re going to have oatmeal for breakfast instead of your usual doughnut, you have to give yourself five extra minutes to boil those oats on the stovetop each morning, plus more time to eat at home since it’s not a portable food," says Cherylanne Skolnicki, wellness coach and owner of Nourish wellness consultants. "Resolutions are really about finding out how you’re going to integrate new behaviors into your life." So don’t join a gym that you have to drive out of your way to get to—choose one that’s on your route to and from the office. Or if you’re trying to drink more water, invest in a reusable bottle so that you always have it on hand. Photo: Thinkstock

6. Be patient.

"When you’re integrating a new exercise routine, your fitness levels will always change more quickly than your body composition. Fixate on how you feel and how you perform before you freak out about your weight and waistline," says Andrew Wolf, exercise physiologist at Miraval. As Rivera notes, healthy weight loss is only between one and two pounds per week, so give yourself reasonable time to make progress instead of giving up. Finally, Wolf advises implementing ways to monitor your progress that don’t involve a scale or your skinny jeans. Keep track of how many crunches you can do or measure your heart rate while you’re on the elliptical machine to prove to yourself that you’re getting stronger and more fit. Photo: Thinkstock

7. Think outside the box.

Don’t throw in the towel on getting in shape just because you hate the gym. Losing weight doesn’t mean you have to join a fitness club. There are plenty of ways to exercise outdoors—find a hiking trail or take your bike out for a ride, for example. Rivera is a fan of alternative forms of exercise, like Zumba classes. "If you have an active job, wear a pedometer and see how many steps per day you can log; if you hit 10,000 steps in a day, that’s like walking four miles," she says. "Knowing how much you’re walking could motivate you to push yourself even harder the next day." Photo: Thinkstock

8. Find a buddy.

The easiest way to make yourself accountable? Enlist a friend to help keep you on track with your goals. "I’d rather see you walk every day with a partner than run every six days by yourself," says Skolnicki. "If you can, find someone to meet you, whether it’s at the gym or outside your front door. People’s success rates go up dramatically [with a workout buddy]." Plus, she adds, working out in tandem is a great way for busy women to multitask: Not only will you get in a sweat session, but you’ll also have the time to catch up with a friend. Photo: Thinkstock

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