Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A special new year message for YOU

Time and again I hear your heart go into knots trying to make a friendship work — whether it be with a friend, or a family member. Forcing a relationship does not make it genuine. 

Someone dear once told me that a friendship (relationship) is either for "a reason, a season or a lifetime." And so I’ve come to learn that during the course of any relationship, situations will unfold to help us realize their purpose.

Don’t force a relationship to continue into the new year if you truly feel that in this moment in time you could bring nothing more to that relationship, or that it could bring nothing more to add to your growth. Who you bring into your “new” year could set the tone for your year.

You see, your spirit deserves your attention and nurturement. Whether it’s a relationship you were born into, or one you made along the way, the integrity of your spirit is somewhat compromised if you hold onto relationships that do not (or no longer) add to your spiritual growth

Don't try to force your way into a “lifetime” friendship/relationship with someone who is meant to be a “reason” or a “season.” One of your “life work” is to learn to distinguish the difference.

If something isn’t meant to be, forcing the situation will only lead to spiritual imbalance, which always leads to some form of pain (suffering). Recognize the truth for you and stay true to you. 

Be honest with yourself: Who in your life could be a reason, a season or a lifetime? Be fair to them, and yourself, by listening to your heart. And if you still don’t yet know the answer to that question, it’s more than okay! Don’t beat yourself up and hastily come to a decision. 

Trust that there is a much grander force constantly at work to restore balance for us if we’re willing to TRUST. Some refer to this powerful force as “Universe” or “God” (or whatever name that makes sense to believe). You see, once you state your intention to have clarity, the greater forces are already at work and your only job is to go with the flow until you know… and you WILL know!

And so it is vital to your spirit that you learn to trust… trust this bigger energy which its existence you may (or may not) have been questioning. When you design your "life on purpose," you choose who you want to devote more energy to and who you’d rather devote less to.

It may sound “selfish,” but selfish is NOT a bad thing because you can only give what you have. So when you take care of yourself in this fair way, only then will you have more of yourself to give; and only then can you create a kind of balance in your own Being that allows you to genuinely give back to those who really matter. 

Tonight, set your intentions as you ring in the new year! Count down to a new year filled with more people who can make your life feel abundant! xo

Saturday, December 27, 2014

3-minute-a-day vacation workout

I've been trying to make this point: Vacation time does not have to equal "weight gain". So stop fearing this notion. I'll share some tips including one of my many 3-minute workout routines.

This is why I've been posting (on my FaceBook page here) a bit of my vacation in Asia enjoying all the delicious foods, but at the same time, making conscious decisions with lighter foods and activities that can help offset all the extra calories--even without going to the gym.

I left on vacation and returned weighing the same. You may see a 2-4 lbs weight fluctuation throughout the same day depending on activities and consumption, (maybe 3-6 lbs for a bigger person), don't freak out, this is more than normal. This same-day weight fluctuation is not your true weight. Your "true weight" is your average weight first thing in the morning before you consume anything, providing you also didn't have a heavy meal the night before.

Also, you will not lose lean muscle mass in just 2-3 weeks if you choose to stay active and consume all your balanced nutrients: protein, carbs, good fats.

Furthermore, performing short, intense movements can be effective to set off your fat-burning mode especially during vacation, or right now when most of you are celebrating the holiday season with more than usual calorie consumption and less gym time.

With that all said, I'll share one of my "3-minute-a-day vacation (or holiday) fat-burn workout." In this short video I only show you a few repetitions of each exercise to keep the video short, but the actual repetition for each move goes like this:

10 burpees, 10 push-up, 10 burpees with push-ups, 20-30 spider climbers, 10 V-sit-up, 20 scissors with torso twist.

This should be done back-to-back with little to no rest. Repeat again if you wish to make it a longer workout, or just do it again later in the day if you feel like you need it.

For most of you, one set of this routine may take a little bit longer than 3 minutes to complete, but that is more than okay! Enjoy! :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Don't make this mistake after taking time off

Grrrrr..... You! ... I'm watching you!! >:( I've seen this time and time again. If you've been on a "break" from working out for more than a few weeks, please don't just return to your workout with a vengeance.

Don't hit the workout hard and heavy on the first day, picking up exactly where you left off without giving your body a chance to transition from your "off" state back to your "on" state. You will injure yourself whether you know it or not!

The adrenaline rush may make you feel good in the moment and may even make you feel strong for the next few days, but that does not mean you did the right thing for your body in the long term.

If you're lucky enough not to feel the injuries right away, just know in some small or big way, your performance has somehow compromised the integrity of your body. Sooner or later you might be wondering why your shoulders hurt, or your knees don't work the same way, or your back is feeling fragile.

Too many times I've seen and heard about people feeling so guilty for taking a long vacation or break from their workout routine that they think they can just get back to it and go hard instead of slowly and steadily spending a week or so to ease back into the routine. With this, the shock you cause to your body (muscles, joints, fascia, heart, lungs, etc.) will in some way negatively affect the functionality of your body in the long term, if not the short. 

Remember...injuries don't always happen immediately. So don't think you "got away with it" just because you didn't feel pain in the short term. Therefore, if you want to stay strong not just for the next few years, but for all of your life, be smart, take it easy and build back up to your routine. Then, you can take it to the next level from there.

Monday, September 1, 2014

How to challenge your upper body strength while tightening and toning all over

Some of my favorite workouts involve the chest, back, shoulders and core area (abs and back, lower and upper). This is one reason why I always make up new programs to challenge these muscle groups, keep things exciting, and keep my posture standing tall and feeling strong!

Here's a workout that involves those muscle groups all in one shot! It's super challenging as it recruits many muscles all at once for proper execution. So needless to say, it's a major calorie burner, as well as, total body strength and conditioning workout. :-)

- Start in a high plank position while executing (alternating) one arm lateral raise. 20 reps.
- Immediately transition into Renegade row. 20 reps.
- And finish with push-ups. 20 reps.

Execute 5 sets. First set, 20 reps for each exercise. (Each row or raise is considered a rep). Second set, drop to 16 reps per exercise, third set at 14 reps, fourth set at 12 reps, and fifth set at 10 reps.  

Be sure to choose a weight challenging enough that in each set you can only properly execute the number of reps prescribed here. Keep rest time between sets to a minimal.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

2014 IDFA International Championships Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness

August 19, 2014 – IDFA International Championships News
After months of sharing her journey to the IDFA stage with her readers and followers, Penny Phang takes home second place for Women’s Fitness at the 2014 IDFA International Championships Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness competition.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What you do first thing in the morning counts for a lot!

What you do first thing in the morning usually sets the tone for the rest of your day. If you start the morning flustered and in a big rush, feeling anxious or quietly worrying, chances are, your day will imitate a similar pattern, or create scenarios that are more of the same.

However, if you start your morning with a calm mind, chances are, as your life events unfold through the day, you'll be more effective in dealing with it. You'll be more equipped to make better decisions. With this, your day can be a more productive one, one where you can sit back at the end of the day feeling some form of contentment.

For me, I like to start my day with at the very least 5 minutes to myself to quiet my mind, focusing on my breath to "still" my thoughts. I sit silently enjoying a hot bowl of Matcha green tea. Some might call this meditation, others might call it being present to the moment without judgment. Doesn't matter what you call it, the end result is the same.

And I've come to learn that it isn't so much what happens during this 10 minutes of "quiet time," but more so, the beneficial "side effects" that occur as a result of having made the time to have this small moment in the day.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Need a short, total body-burn gym-workout?

Here is a short, intense workout involving compound and dynamic movements. Also having multiple joints and muscle groups working at once, with many different exercises involved at the same time. 

These kinds of exercises demand so much more from your body's energy systems that it burns major calories in a short period of time while also continuing with its "after-burn" effect long after the workout is over. This is also described as maximizing your calorie expenditure, or boosting your metabolism. This means you can enjoy more foods and not worry so much!

This method of working out is fun, but challenging and intense. This is why it is highly effective remaining as a short workout (20-30 minutes max). This kind of short, intense workout can supersede the benefits of a full hour of mediocre workout. 

If you have a good fitness base, you can start training your body to become more conditioned to do advanced moves and not have to spend hours at the gym when you can spend less time to do more. Learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable because change only happens through challenge. So just know that if you're not challenging yourself, you're not changing.

This workout here can be done with or without a BOSU ball. The use of the ball is simply to create more challenge as it creates an unstable surface. You can perform this exercise using timed interval, or sets and reps, or both. You can even change the weight volume and the number of reps as you perform each round. Here's an example:

- 10 cable close-grip pulldown
- 20 lateral jumpsquats
- 20 wide squat jump reach
- 10 push-up wide-leg burpee

Repeat as time permits. Maybe even time yourself and see if you can beat your own time! ;)