Monday, May 26, 2014

Fit and Healthy Breakfasts in less than 3 minutes

With lots that can happen in a day it’s easy to say you don’t have time to eat well to achieve your health and fitness goals. But here’s the thing: there’s always time. If you make something a priority, you will always find a way to make time for it.

And so for me, to make it work, I strive to be more efficient with my time. This includes finding ways to get things done quicker without compromising quality.

Here’s how I get my fit and healthy breakfasts ready in less than 3 minutes.

Breakfast in less than 3 minutes: Scrambled eggs with red peppers

Other than my staple oatmeal (or toast), and protein shake, I might also have scrambled eggs (or omelet) with peppers. Add your favorite herbs, spices, or health-conscious sauces for more flavor if you like. :) 

For me, I like to add a little hot sauce and sprinkle pepper. I also like to save time and prepare ingredients in advance so it won't take more than 3 minutes to cook.

Breakfast in 2 minutes: Make oatmeal taste like dessert!

Oatmeal is one of the best sources of energy for your body. This iconic breakfast staple is especially popular with health and fitness-conscious individuals. It keeps you full so you don't binge, helps lower bad cholesterol reducing the risk of heart disease, reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes, increases your body's fat-burning capabilities, and it's a good source of fiber, protein, complex carb and iron; and it actually tastes great, especially when you dress it up (a little) with other good stuff! ;)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Top 3 Reasons Why Women Should Lift Weights

To lift or not to lift? If you’re still wondering about this, perhaps the top 3 reasons here could help you decide once and for all:

1.) Look lean and tone all over while keeping bones and muscles strong
The first reason dispels one major myth: "I'll bulk up."

You won’t bulk up. 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 more energy than usual, and you may feel the need to eat more. And 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 for “bulking up due to strength training.” So you must understand, 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.

Furthermore, 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.

Aside from aesthetic reasons, strength training helps to not only maintain, but improve bone density. This can help to fight off osteoporosis (brittle and fragile bones).

2.) Improve your metabolism, for the long term
As women age, they naturally lose muscle mass. This causes your metabolism to slow, which means you could start building a spare tire by the time you reach your 30s. When you do weight-bearing exercises, you start revving up your metabolism—and it keeps burning for many hours after your workout.

Without regular strength training to build and maintain muscle mass, your body’s metabolism cools down over time and burns fewer and fewer calories. According to a study done in the US in 1992, women who do not strength train lose about 7 pounds of muscle every ten years and experience a reduction in metabolism equal to at least 350 calories per day. 

Also keep in mind, muscle tissue is more "active" than fat tissue, with each pound burning about 30 calories a day just to sustain itself. So even if you’re sitting on the couch or stuck at your desk for eight hours a day, the extra lean muscles you develop will burn more calories, helping you keep weight off for good.

3.) Blast fat fast — yes, even belly fat!
If you want to sculpt your body to look great in a bikini, then you must lift weights. A study done by the University of Alabama proved that women that were strength training lost more intra-abdominal fat (deep belly fat) than those that just did cardio.

Adding strength training to your cardio workout can certainly help burn way more calories than just doing cardio alone. This is especially true for women that manage to progressively increase the weight load they are lifting. 

It has been proven that even though more calories may be burned during a one-hour session of cardio, with strength training you can benefit from the “afterburn" effect. This means that for up to 24 hours after the workout has ended, calories are being burned at an elevated level for recovery, blasting more fat even while you’re at rest.

Friday, May 2, 2014

3 Best Ab Exercises for Six Pack Abs

There are NUMEROUS combination of exercises that can help you achieve your best set of abs. For now, let’s start with this! Here are 3 best ab exercises structured together to create one of the most insanely powerful ab workouts. When properly performed together back-to-back with minimal rest between sets, it will really activate the entire core area, and stimulate those abdominal walls to achieve your best set of abs. 

This intense "post-workout" ab routine is designed to be done after a great weight lifting routine, and/or a high intensity cardio orinterval training. Why? Well, because concentrated ab exercises are great to build those ab muscles, but done alone it's not intense enough to burn the stubborn belly fat hiding the ab muscles. 

So the best thing to do is a full body workout to trigger the fat-burning process before performing this ab exercise routine; this will prove to be effective in sculpting and developing your best set of abs while also burning that stubborn layer of fat (to reveal the sculpted ab muscles underneath).

Executing in proper form and taking minimal rest in between sets is KEY! Your abs should be totally engaged during the entire ab exercise. DO NOT rely on momentum (swinging any body part from point A to point B). All movements must be done with full muscle contraction and control or you would lose out on getting the best results. 

Here's the complete ab workout:

Beginners: 3 sets of 20-30 reps (or go to failure)
Intermediate and Advance: 3 sets of 30-50 (or go to failure)

Captain's Chair Leg raises (or knee tucks)
Beginners: 3 sets of 10-15 reps (or go to failure)
Intermediate and Advance: 3 sets of 15-20 (or go to failure)

Stability Ball Crunches
Beginners: 3 sets of 10-15 reps (or go to failure)
Intermediate and Advance: 3 sets of 15-20 (or go to failure)

For beginners, this program can be very challenging, so start with only doing one set and add another set each week to slowly work your way up to 3 sets per exercise.