Wednesday, March 28, 2012

10-Minute Home Workout Series 11: Crazy Eights

When it comes to boosting metabolism, increasing lean muscles, and maximizing fat burning, high intensity interval training has been identified as being one of the most effective.

Previous research has shown that just 20 minutes of high intensity training, 2-3 times a week, can yield greater results than slow and steady long-drawn-out conventional aerobics done 5 times a week. So choose a few of my 10-minute workouts and perform them back-to-back for a total of 20 minutes (not including warm up and stretching time, of course).

Saying that, however, I’m fully aware that some people cannot perform high-intensity-type workouts due to legitimate health or physical (or sometimes even age) issues. So for those people, you may have to stick to more conventional-type workouts and it may have to be longer workout sessions with higher frequency per week in order to achieve the same results. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

BUT, if you are willing and able, and decide to incorporate high-intensity-type workouts in your regime to get maximum results while cutting your workout time short, please be sure to practice proper form first and foremost!

Take the time to build an aerobic base so your body has a good foundation to warm up to this type of workout. Always start with the modified moves (beginners to intermediate) and slowly advance from there. Don't just jump in and expect your body to do this type of workout if you don't first practice and get familiarize.

Like anything you do, it doesn't just happen, you have to start some where. And you have to be consistent in the practice. This way you can build your body to work like a fine-tuned machine and it will perform well for you in all areas of life.

If you do your best and give it your max effort, that is considered YOUR advance level. So don't compare yourself to others or their fitness level. As long as you're doing your best each time, you will get stronger and better... and when you do, your body composition, strength and endurance will change to match your abilities.

So don't worry about the weighing machine — focus on your performance! As your performance improves, so will your body. This much, I know for sure!

Here is the list of exercises and program description for Crazy Eights:

Repeat each set for 8-10 rounds.

Set 1
20s - Jump Squat (alternating between narrow and wide)
10s - Hit the Deck (push up into child’s pose)

Set 2
20s - Burpee (with 4 knee tuck lateral hops)
10s - Push up (with rock climb)

Start with Set 1. Perform the 20s (20 second) exercise at maximum effort, and then slow down, but keep moving for the 10s (10 seconds) of “active rest” exercise. Repeat this 8-10 rounds (total 4-5 minutes). Then, perform Set 2 and do the same.

Take breaks if you need them, but keep them short (5-15 seconds at a time). If you do your best, in a short time, you’ll find yourself taking less and less breaks! :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Can you really "bulk up" from strength training?

Myth about Women and Strength Training: "I'll bulk up."

You won't, in large part because women have only a fraction of the "male" hormone testosterone, which helps promote muscle tissue growth. As a result, women build less muscle mass than men, and they do so at a slower pace. Also, when you strength train, your body will need a bit more energy than usual, and you may feel the need to eat a little more food.

Now, here’s the thing: if you’re not eating the right kinds of foods and portions, and simply eating to satisfy hunger, you could very well gain unwanted pounds and mistake that look of weight gain with “bulking up because of strength training,” but in fact it’s not the strength training that’s “bulking you up,” but more so the not-so-clean foods you were eating or started to eat.

Keep this in mind: a pound of muscle takes up about 18 percent less space than a pound of fat, so as you burn fat and replace it with lean muscle tissue, you'll actually look leaner, not bulkier.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dr. Oz's Two-Day Wonder Cleanse

I often hear, "I saw this really good detox product. Should I get it?" Or, "What do you think about that cleansing product at the store? I 'heard' it's pretty good." Hmmm... 

...Okay, people, here I go again... please don't believe that something is good just because it says so on the box, or some celebrity is using it. Even worst, don't think it works because it has fancy print ads or commercials. If you don't do your research and simply use products based on all the marketing gimmicks, you could really hinder your efforts in the long term, if not the short.

Because I believe in natural healing and healthy weight loss, my answer always guides in the direction of proper food combination and self-nurture. If you don't learn to do things from the inside out, you can become too dependent on the outside world to provide temporary relief... now, that's a whole lot of personal power to be giving away, don't you think?

I dig around a lot to find ways to refine the information I share and came across one of Dr.Oz's article, which I love. It promotes natural healing and explains what a cleanse is. I'm so grateful I don't have to write it all out. LOL. (Thanks for saving me some time, Dr. Oz.) :) 

Also, please keep in mind there are many ways to do natural cleansing: juicing, liquid diet, alkalizing diet, etc. This here is just one of many ways. Check out Dr. Oz's Two-Day Wonder Cleanse article. Click here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

If you're going to cheat, learn to cheat smart!

I admit, I have a sweet tooth and I love desserts!! Though I indulge when I'm dining out, I do choose wisely, or try to share my portions. However, at home, I have no excuses, I know I have more control over the contents of my food (in this case, my desserts lol). So how do I satisfy my sweet tooth while keeping in shape? The answer is NOT exercise... I call it "cheating smart". 

I don't like my clients or myself to feel deprived. Life is for enjoying – so enjoy! But be smart. There are always ways to make a healthier, better version of something you enjoy eating. Just get creative! 

Allow me to share one of my favorite desserts with you. It takes 2 minutes to whip together; it's nutritious, healthy, and perfectly SWEET and a little crunchy! All under 200 calories. I eat it almost everyday... lol.

Penny's Strawberry DeLight (one serving)

5-6 medium strawberries (sliced or chopped however you fancy)
1 scoop of low fat frozen vanilla yogurt (I like the Chapman's brand)
1/4 cup granola or your preferred crunchy cereal sprinkled all over (I like the Kashi brand of cereals)

See? Isn't this easy? Not only is it tasty and easy to make, but you get to eat a dessert that's actually good for you. You get your vitamin C from the strawberries, calcium and protein from the frozen yogurt, and fibre from the granola. 

Be sure to choose healthy cereal options that are high in fibre; don't worry, most of them are sweet to the taste buds. ;) Also, stick to only one serving as recommended here or you would end up consuming too many unnecessary calories... and then, you might just have to go to the gym to work it off! LOL. But other than that, enjoy! 

Enjoy this gym-free, guilt-free dessert. Mmmm... Life is good...

Want more? Click here to check out another healthy yumminess for less than 200 calories!

Friday, March 9, 2012

What you see is rarely what you imagine it to be

What you see is rarely what you imagine it to be. Don't get so fixated with what others are sharing on Facebook (or anywhere else for that matter) if it's going to bring you down!

Most of us have heard the phrase "A picture speaks a thousand words." But here's the thing, though pictures speak a thousand words, they most often do not speak a thousand "truths".

Let's use Facebook for example, you may be looking at photos of old friends, exes, estranged relatives, colleagues, mentors or celebrities... and you may think their life is cheery and effortless like the smiling photos they share so publicly. 

Maybe deep down you’re envious or saddened by what you see because you feel you’re not as "popular"—or you secretly wish you had what they had. I know these feelings stand true for all of us to some degree.

But the thing to remember here is this: Do not devalue your unique life path, or undermine your own inner greatness. Each and every one of us have our battles in life—our unique set of challenges—no matter how well we put up an opposing front (be it on Facebook statuses, photos or in person).

The truth is... things are not always what they seem.

In my business of guiding people (including myself) to achieve wellness, I've gathered enough insight to share a piece of truth about the cheery, even sexy photos that we see so often online or on print…

…The smiling couple is kissing, but little do you know they have not been happy for a while and are feeling resentful inside. The guy with the fancy house and car lost his job a while ago and is too embarrassed and stressed trying to be someone he’s not. That "popular" girl who is the life of the party seems to have everything going, but deep down feels stuck and is battling depression with drugs.

Yes, they may have been happy in that moment the photos were taken, but what's really going on behind the scenes is usually not what you imagine it to be. In most cases, photos do not truly portray how a person really feels inside. After all, why would anyone want to share photos that show how lost, sad or ill-spirited they feel?

With this, perhaps I could enlighten you with some thoughts… Next time you browse around on Facebook (or wherever else) and start to feel intimidated, envious or compare yourself to others, instead of focusing on how much “better” someone else is, focus on how you can personally improve.

Use this opportunity to learn from as many different people as possible, from different careers, lifestyle choices, to personal beliefs. There is something to learn from everyone, including the people with whom you disagree.

Understand that everyone has different styles of "being". Allow others their free will "to be" however they choose. They’re neither "wrong" nor "right". They've simply chosen to experience life a certain way in this moment in time. It isn’t yours to judge but to learn from. And so it is that you, too, get to choose how you want to experience life in each moment.

Pay less attention to what other people are doing if the thing you’re paying attention to is not serving you for the better. We each have our own style of living that no one could ever duplicate in the "exact" same way. So embrace your uniqueness, nurture it, find ways to refine, strengthen and display it… and you’ll see for yourself that it is during this deliberate life practice that all the right people and circumstances will flow to you in abundance.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

10-Minute Home Workout Series 10: ABS-olutely Cardio

Really?... Just 10 minutes to a better mind and body?

The key to boosting weight loss and getting the most out of your exercise routine is to make sure to incorporate high-intensity, short-burst-type exercises, at least 2-3 times per week (along with a balanced, well-portioned, nutrient-rich diet).

Many studies have confirmed that exercising in shorter high-intensity "bursts" with short rest periods in between burns more fat than exercising continuously at a slow "comfortable" pace for a long session.

These high-intensity, short-burst-types of exercises are the closest to how the human body was designed to move—like that of a hunter-gatherer. Many recent studies have already highlighted the benefits of this type of daily movement. Go ahead and look it up—see for yourself! 

Learn to optimize your workout time. If you "don't have the time to workout," execute a few short 10-minute workouts, at your maximum effort, 4-6 times a week, and observe how much better you feel as your body changes for the better. 

Remember, first and foremost, always focus on executing with proper form to prevent on-set or delayed injuries. So start slow, go at your own pace, and move up from there.

ABS-olutely Cardio

Set 1
1.) Palm Plank Pike (fast) - 30s
2.) Knee Tuck Hug - 30s
Repeat this set 3 times.

Set 2
1.) Plank Jump jacks (fast) - 30s
2.) One Leg V-sit - 30s
Repeat this set 3 times.

1.) Palm Plank Rock Climb (fast) - 30s
2.) Bicycle Sit-up - 30s
Repeat this set 3 times.

There are 3 sets of exercises for this workout. Each set consists of 2 moves to be performed one after the other. Do as many reps as possible in 30s (30 seconds) for each move. Repeat each set of exercises 3 times before moving on to the next set. 

For example: In Set 1, do palm plank pike for 30s, do it in proper form as fast as you can. Then, quickly move into the knee tuck hug for 30s (totally engaging the abs and moving with complete control—don’t just rock back and forth).

Then, repeat this same sequence again 2 more times (for a total of 3 times) before moving over to Set 2. Move from one set to the next quickly and seamlessly. Whatever you do, don’t take too many breaks (especially long breaks) or you would only defeat the purpose of the workout. Keep your breaks short (15-20 seconds at a time).

Try to keep moving even if it means slowing way down to catch your breath or rest your muscles. Just do your best and get it done! Have fun with ABS-olutely Cardio! :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Your genes do not create your fate… Find out what does!

Time and again I hear people “blame” their genes for the physical, emotional or mental challenges they may be "battling" in their lives. These battles can be anything related to overall health, physical abilities, compulsive or addictive behaviors, and even spiritual or religious beliefs.

After much time spent studying new truths and guiding my clients to work past these limiting beliefs, I will tell you that though I still have much to learn, however, I can now share with certainty that your genes do not create your fate. It may play a role, but it isn't a be-all and end-all. 

Nothing is black and white; there are always options and alternatives. You just have to want it badly enough to find more truths and deliberately choose the things in alignment with what you truly want for your Self. Okay, sure, you cannot change your genetics, but you can change your environment and lifestyle, and this will dramatically change your level of wellbeing and your resistance to “dis-sease” or “dis-comfort”.

Let's put it this way, if you plant tomato seeds, you're going to get tomatoes. You're not going to get a pine tree. You cannot change the tomato's genetics. But if you plant the seeds where they will get the most sunlight, nurture the tomatoes with pure clean water, feed them organic compost, and mulch them as they grow, well, you're going to grow amazing tomatoes! 

You see, genetics you cannot change. But taking control of your environment (your body) will have a huge impact on your overall wellbeing. 

It’s incredibly challenging for dis-eases to thrive in an environment that is well-nourished. So it’s up to you to nourish your being with the most healing, life-sustaining foods, experiences and sensory impressions – as well as, productive exercise, effective breathing techniques, and a nurtured spirit. 

If you're limiting your Self in any way due to what you would say "is in your genes," I suggest you see what some of the world's leaders on this topic has to say and teach you that can positively change the way you live. For centuries, millions have been able to heal themselves of dis-eases and overcome genetic challenges simply by being open enough to seek new truths. Maybe it's your turn?

Allow me to start off your journey on seeking new truths by introducing a few leading experts in natural healing:

Dr. Dean Ornish shares new research that shows how adopting healthy lifestyle habits can affect a person at a genetic level. For instance, he says, when you live healthier, eat better, exercise, and love more, your brain cells actually increase.

Dr. Dean Ornish is a clinical professor at UCSF and founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute. He's a leading expert on fighting illness – particularly heart disease with dietary and lifestyle changes. He's one of the leading voices in the medical community promoting a balanced, holistic approach to health, and proving that it works.

The author of Eat More, Weigh Less and several other best-selling books, Ornish is best known for his lifestyle-based approach to fighting heart disease. His research at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute (the nonprofit he founded) clinically demonstrated that cardiovascular illnesses – and, most recently prostate cancer – can be treated and even reversed through diet and exercise. 

Another doctor you may want to get familiar with is Dr. Richard Schulze.

Dr. Schulze is one of the foremost authorities in the world of natural healing and herbal medicine; known as one of the greatest healers of all time specializing in a combination of Herbalism and Naturopathy. He holds a Doctorate in Herbology from the School of Natural Healing and a Doctorate in Natural Medicine. Dr. Schulze also holds a degree in Herbal Pharmacy and degrees in Iridology. 

His personal commitment is “to offer people an option to medical doctors, hospitals, surgery, chemical drugs and the physical, emotional and financial bankruptcy that this system of disease management causes. Unless maintaining chronic diseases with medical doctors, drugs and surgeries, and spending your nest egg to do it sounds like fun,” he claims, “I have an alternative.” He calls it Creating Powerful Health! He continues, “It's a lot more fun, less costly than managing disease, and let's you live life to your fullest potential."

You can read his short 7-page e-book here: 4 Simple Truths to Feel Great and Create Lasting Health.
(Note: To flip the page when reading the e-book, click on "next page" which can be found on the top of the site.)

The depth of his work and success is extensive. So it's best you visit his website here to learn more. Herb

Also, his blog is so candid and informative that it would be ridiculous not to subscribe. You just might find truths here that can help you or your loved ones heal naturally. Herb Doc