Friday, November 30, 2012

How to do squats and jump squats in proper form

Think you know how to do proper squats? You may want to double check here and see if you are in fact doing them correctly, or if you're just hurting your knees and don’t even know it! 

Whether you've done them before or not, this quick tip will help you get really good at executing proper squats and jump squats to strengthen, define, and mean up your legs. When you can execute these moves correctly, then you are ready to add weights if you want to further sculpt or add more lean muscle mass. 

No matter how old, how new or how advance you are, you must learn to always execute with proper form so you can avoid injuries and continue to remain strong for many years to come. Follow this simple tip to get your legs super strong. This way, you'll feel empowered in your daily activities while also improving in your fitness or athletic performance.

P.S. Now that you know how to do proper squats, why not workout with me? Join me for my 10-Minute Body Burn guaranteed to burn fat, rev up your metabolism, mean up those lean muscles and boost your energy level like never before. :)

Try this *WOW with me: Fat Burn: Cardio and Strength Training (WOW 1)

(*WOW - Workout of the Week)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How to stretch all your major muscles without pain

Here is a simple sequence of stretches you can perform everyday at home or after your workouts to nurture all your major muscles, release tension (especially in your back) and recover from soreness.

I've added modifications to the moves so that no matter how old, how new or how advance you are, you will enjoy them and will want to do them consistently... especially when you start to feel improvements in your daily movements and notice less tension or pain in your body. 

I cannot stress how important it is for every one of you to stretch your muscles. Daily movements (repetitive movements at work and at home), not enough movement, too much movement or intense use of the body... ALL this can cause the muscles to shorten, tense up or feel tight (stiff) and sore. As a result, you will lose flexibility (range of motion), and become prone to injuries and feeling aches and pains. 

ALL this, then, decreases the comfort of your day-to-day movement; compromises your athletic or fitness performance; and not to mention, causes you to experience back problems sooner if not later. Strength training and cardio exercise is good, but not good enough without the stretches. They have to go hand in hand. Most people don't realize this until it's too late.

I have to credit the strength of my body to the fact that I stretch. I wouldn't be able to perform as well if I were to focus on strength training and cardio without also including my stretches. There has to be a balance, like most things in life.

Be patient when stretching and keep breathing deeply. Be mindful as you move so you do not overstretch or overdo it because that can have a negative impact on your body as well. Just move slowly, be mindful and listen to your body every step of the way. Relax and enjoy! :)

P.S. Since you’re going to know how to stretch properly from here on, why not try one of my Fat Burning 10-Minute Home Workouts? See if you can keep up with me! ;) Click here for your 10-Minute Body Burn with Me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fat Burn: Cardio and Strength Training (Week 1)

Enjoy this 10-Minute Body Burn with Me. Get the full details on this workout below.

I want you to look and feel your best for the holidays! So here it is...

All you need to do is workout with me 10 minutes a day from wherever you are. I know you may have been unmotivated in the past, or perhaps you just don't have enough time. Some of you travel and have no access to a gym. 

Some of you think you're "too old" or "too new" for this. If you're fragile and weak it's not because you're old, it's because you have not been using your body the way it was designed to be used. Somewhere along the way, you stopped challenging your body. Without challenge, your body cannot grow strong. Your muscles and bones deteriorate or become fragile when they don't get challenged the right way. And what you don't use, you will lose. 

It's not too late to change your mind!

You do not need anything to get in shape or to feel good in your body — let alone excuses! All you need is you (your own body weight) and 10 minutes a day right where you are! I will be right there working out with you!

I'll keep our workouts short and simple and brief you on proper form. I'll show you various modifications so you'll love the challenge and be able to execute the workout whether you're a beginner, intermediate or advance. Your muscles will burn! You will blast fat fast! 

I KNOW it works! I've put some of my clients to the test, and they come back each week feeling stronger and having more energy. They even report their clothes fitting better. 

No more than 10 minutes will go by and your workout is done for the day! This will improve your metabolism and overall circulation, strengthen and tighten your muscles, exercise your heart and improve your stamina. So, no more excuses. Just get it done, right here, right now! I promise to educate and entertain you through the entire workout. :)

Here are the details on this workout:

Round 1 (Move as fast as you can in proper form)
- 1 minute round-the-clock jump squats (30 min. clock-wise, 30 min. counter clock-wise)
- 30 seconds push-ups with shoulder taps
- 30 seconds mountain climbers (or spider climbers)
- 15 seconds bicycle

Round 2 (Repeat round 1 with these different timed intervals, moving as fast as you can in proper form)
- 40 seconds round-the-clock jump squats (20 min. clock-wise, 20 min. counter clock-wise)
- 20 seconds push-ups with shoulder taps
- 20 seconds mountain climbers (or spider climbers)
- 20 seconds bicycle 

If you're ready for *WOW 2, click here for Lean and Mean: Cardio and Strength Training (Week 2) 

(*WOW - Workout of the Week)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Let's make your heart smile and your cheeks hurt!

Can you imagine getting all your friends and family to do this video with you?? This is a must-watch video. It will make you smile, laugh and cry all at the same time. In just 6 short months, this video has already received well over 16 million views. Please watch it now. This well-thought-out display of love, creativity and humor will make your heart smile and your cheeks hurt lol. Enjoy! :))

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The power of gratitude and thanksgiving

Gratitude is powerful. It is difficult to start "trouble" with a person who is in a true state of gratitude. This divine state can influence human behaviour and neutralize even the biggest conflicts.

Gratitude is nothing short of nourishment for the soul. When you feel thankful each day for all the little things around you, a certain calm and peace washes over you that no man-made substance could ever compare in degree, safety and sustainability.

My dear friends, family, and clients, thank you today and everyday for being in my life in one capacity or another. Whether through your presence, support, conversations, comments, questions, constructive criticisms, or compliments, each of you serve a purpose in challenging me to become better at what I do and more importantly, inspiring me to be a better person all around. I am truly thankful for each of you.

Happy gobble gobble day to my fellow Americans! :) xo

P.S. Let's have thanksgiving everyday in our own way!

Monday, November 19, 2012

12 ways to speed up your metabolism right now!

I've heard people ask why the weight loss strategies they've used in the past (like reducing calories and avoiding junk food) no longer work. The frustratingly simple explanation is that weight loss gets harder as we get older, in part because our metabolism slows with age. Metabolism is a process in which your body burns calories from foods you eat and convert them to energy you can use.

Research shows that in women, metabolism declines by an average of 2-5 percent per decade, starting at age 20. For the average man, metabolism begins to decline at age 25. But here’s the good news: There are simple ways you can tweak your daily routine to counterbalance this natural dip. 

Certain activities, supplements, foods, and beverages can speed your metabolism; the faster it burns, the more calories you use, and the more fat you lose over time. Here are 12 ways you can fire up your metabolism around the clock. Some of the tips are challenging (lunges and planks) and some you'll actually love (evening glass of wine). Try to follow as many of them as you can every day to help your body find its healthy weight.

1. Eat more fiber & protein
In the process of digesting food, your body actually burns calories. This is called the "thermogenic effect of food." Certain types of food are tougher to digest and require more work by your body to break them down. Foods high in fiber and protein tend to have higher thermogenic effects — meaning your body generates heat and uses more energy to digest them, hence, raising your metabolism. 

As usual, be mindful of your portions. Don't eat more calories than you burn in a day. Learn more about your daily calorie intake here.

2. Go for the “After-Burn”
The more intense your workout, the more calories you'll continue to burn long after your workout is over because the body consumes more oxygen, a crucial player in metabolism, when it's recovering from exertion. This keeps your fat-burning metabolism higher all throughout the day. 

It's best to do a high intensity workout at least 2-3 times a week and do low intensity workouts the other days. Even going for a brisk 15-minute walk (a trip around the block) can triple your metabolic rate. And smaller 10-minute workouts done regularly can keep your metabolism fired up! Try one of my 10-minute home workouts here.

3. Drink at least 1 liter of cold water daily
The fat-burning process of metabolism needs water to work effectively. Not only does water help prevent you from getting bloated by flushing out waste, it also triggers the sympathetic nervous system, which in turn stimulates your metabolism. On top of that, cold water may raise your metabolism by forcing your body to burn extra calories to warm up the cold water you drink.

4. Do something when you wake up
Do a little yoga or mini exercise routine. Something as simple as a 8-10 minute session can double your metabolic rate first thing in the morning.

Morning workouts give you a longer lasting “after-burn effect” (as described in point #2 above). This helps you burn more calories during the day. On the other hand, you also get the after-burn with evening workouts, but your after-burn won't last as long since you'll probably end up going to bed in the evening; and when you sleep, your metabolism slows back down.

5. Eat a proper breakfast
Eat a protein-packed or fiber-rich breakfast. Digesting protein takes up to seven times more energy than digesting carbohydrates or fat. Have some eggs for protein, or have some oatmeal for fiber. Even a refreshing green veggie drink will do the trick.

It’s best you eat a breakfast that consists of protein and fiber (as mentioned in point #1) to boost your fat-burning metabolism earlier in the day so you can burn more fat. Skipping breakfast can make your metabolism (which is already slow from you sleeping 6-8 hours) even slower. That, or you end up overeating at lunch from feeling overly hungry.

6. Build and maintain lean muscles
After age 30, we lose 3 to 8 percent of our muscle mass per decade, which is one of the main reasons metabolism slows. To counteract that loss, aim to do 2-3 30-minute strength training sessions a week using moves that engage as many muscles as possible (such as squats, lunges, planks).

1 pound of muscle can burn 5-14 calories a day. So when you put on 5 pounds of muscle, your metabolism can burn 25-70 extra calories a day. Also, because muscle takes up less space than fat, as you replace your body fat with muscles, you will look 5-10 pounds slimmer (regardless of your weight).

7. Drink green tea
This miracle beverage pairs a little caffeine with a compound known as EGCG. This compound causes the brain and nervous system to run faster helping you to burn more calories — and together they create an even greater bump in metabolism than caffeine alone. Learn more about benefits of green tea, especially Matcha green tea - the most powerful kind.

8. Get enough calcium in your diet
Calcium, which is a metabolic trigger, can help improve your muscle-to-fat ratio in two ways: It binds with fat to reduce the body's absorption of fat. And any remaining calcium typically circulates in your bloodstream, helping to break down fat cells. You can get your servings of calcium from almond milk, or low-fat dairy like yogurt, cheese, or skim milk.

9. Add herbs and spices to your meals
Different studies have said that spices can increase your metabolism by 8-20% for at least 30 minutes after eating them. For example: An Oxford University study proved that hot peppers can increase your fat-burning metabolism by adding just 3 grams of chili peppers to meals.

In a British Study: Spicy mustard made people burn an extra 45-75 calories over 3 hours.

Jalapenos (cayenne pepper) contain capsaicin which stimulates metabolism, speeds up heart rate and reduces "bad" fat in the arteries. All you need to do to get a metabolism boost from spices is to add a little bit of cayenne pepper or spicy mustard to your favorite recipes. Learn more about super spices here.

Garnish with dill weed or chivesBoth of these herbs are packed with kaempferol, a flavonoid that has been shown to increase the production of metabolism-spurring thyroid hormones by about 150 percent. 

10. Improve your thyroid function
People who have hypothyroidism (a thyroid dysfunction) or slow metabolisms add more selenium, vitamin E, iodine, zinc and copper to their diets to naturally treat hypothyroidism and help speed up their metabolism.

Your thyroid basically regulates your metabolism and you may be able to increase your metabolism simply by eating more seafood, nuts and seeds because all of these foods are high in the mentioned nutrients.

11. Get enough rest
Irregular sleep patterns can disrupt the circadian rhythm of your cells, throwing your metabolism out of whack. Do your best to get a steady 7-8 hours of rest each night. 

12. Unwind with a glass of wine
Alcohol can raise your metabolic rate for up to 95 minutes. Wine is a great option because of its antioxidant benefits. But just like anything, don’t overdo it! Too much alcohol can poison your body! Just enjoy a glass or two to reap the benefits. :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

It's almost certain you'll have back problems if...

It's almost certain you'll have back problems at one point or another if you're not doing anything relating to these 3 areas: cardiovascular exercise, strengthening and STRETCHING!

When it comes to lower back pain, it is usually what we do not do that cause the problems. Often people attribute sore back to a specific "event" — sure, while a particular movement might be "the straw that broke the camel's back," however, the stage for the injury has in most cases, been set long before the occurrence of the actual triggering event.

The simple act of bending forward to do normal, daily activities repeatedly over time is enough to aggravate your back if it is weak — never mind heavy work. This forward flexion we execute each day does not even have to be "loaded" (i.e. lifting something heavy) — damage can occur from the movement itself!

Also, here's another thing, if you're having back problems, chances are you're also tight and weak in your core area (abs, back, glutes, hip flexor), as well as, stiff in the hamstrings and calves. They are all connected to your back! If you don't learn to stretch properly, your back will eventually suffer. 

Don't rely solely on external factors for temporary relief (i.e. massages, prescription drugs, chiro, physio, etc.). Instead, learn to empower yourself with permanent relief. This can only be achieved with the help of the earlier mentioned professionals, but adding to it your own initiative for regular light cardio, strength training, and STRETCHING! You can't perform one without the other two — they work best together!

Want to know more? Read: 9 Myths About Low Back Pain

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Are you "stuck" in an unhealthy relationship?

If you truly want to change your life, you must first be willing to change your mind; whether it be social decisions, political conclusions, religious determinations, economic choices, or individual selection of everything from relationships to belief systems, everything in your life can only begin and end with you: through your thoughts, your words, your actions. In other words, your happiness is YOUR responsibility, not someone else's.

Every relationship you pursue is an opportunity for spiritual growth... they lead you to realize more and more that you must first create "well-beingness" for yourself before you can truly contribute or share "well-beingness" with another. After all, you can only truly give what you have.

Yes, perhaps deep down most of us understand this concept, but the challenge lies in "how"... How do you create this "well-beingness" for yourself? What if you're "stuck" in an unhealthy relationship and you don't know what to do? Read more here.