Saturday, December 7, 2013

Lose Weight With Yoga

Yoga is one of the most effective workouts for fighting stubborn body fat. Studies show that yoga lowers levels of stress hormones and increases insulin sensitivity. This action signals your body to burn fuel rather than store it as fat.

Yoga promotes fat loss. Studies also show that when you choose a form of yoga that raises your heart rate enough to burn calories, and you practice it two or three times a week, you will see results. The practice of yoga is credited to many health benefits, such as enhanced flexibility, muscle toning, stress reduction, and improved physical and mental health.

However, yoga should be part of your total weight loss program, not the sole component. You must still include in your workout a time for cardiovascular exercises; indoor and outside. A brisk walk outside for twenty minutes or more, in fresh air, does wonders for your overall well-being. Include some type of resistance training using free weights or machines. Above all, choose a diet that is low in saturated fat. Signing up for a yoga class could be the motivation you need to stay on track and lose stored up body fat.   

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Are you Almost There?

Why can't you lose those last ten pounds? You cleaned up your diet and started eating whole grain foods. You walked, jumped, leaped and sweated off twenty pounds or more. Now, just ten more to go and you will reach your goal weight........(crickets)......Stepping on the scale every morning for the last three weeks and it has not budged. "What's up?"

You are not alone. We all have reached a plateau at some point. The last ten pounds are harder to lose than the first ten or twenty. The reason is, for every pound you lose your metabolism slows down by up to 20 calories per day. The slimmer you become, the less calories you burn.

To adjust for this change, you must rev up your cardio workout. Start doing cardio workouts 4 or 5 times a week instead of just 3. Increase your intensity and burn more fat using interval training. Incorporate low, moderate and vigorous cycles in your workout. Power walk by pumping your arms when walking outside or on a treadmill. Change your workout music to tunes with a faster beat and try to keep pace.

Remember, if you keep doing things the same old way, you will continue getting the same old results. So change your workout routine often to avoid the plateau effect.

If you had success reaching your goal weight, what helped you lose your last ten pounds? I invite your comments.                                                      .                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Lose Weight By Reading Nutrition Labels

According to a new study, just by taking an extra minute to read the nutritional labels on food purchases could help you lose nearly 10 pounds. A United States National Health Survey examined 25,000 consumer's shopping and eating habits. After analyzing the results, the study found on average, women who read the nutritional facts weighed up to nine pounds less than women who did not check the label on their favorite foods.      
First they analyzed those who read the nutritional label when purchasing foods, then they moved on to the relationship with their weight. Women who read labels had a body mass index 1.48 points lower than other women, meaning they had less body fat proportional to their height and weight.
Fifty eight percent of men read food labels as opposed to 74 persent of women, according to the research. The men who read food labels had a body mass index of 0.12 points lower than men who did not read the labels.
In summary, if we take the time to read nutritional labels, we can make informed healthy food choices that enable us to lose weight and keep it off.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Lying leg curls and seated curls are both exercises that work the hamstrings. However, which is better at targeting the inner hams? The more popular of the two is the lying leg curl. It is the go-to move for hitting the  back of the thighs.

Lying Leg Curls

There are a few ways to make the most of this exercise. First, keep a slight bend in the legs at the start of each repetition. The slight bend will not only maintain constant tension on the hamstrings, but it also helps to protect the knee joint from injury. Second, for the majority of the set, try to keep hips down and close to the bench while focusing on the hamstrings. Third, avoid trying to look up from the prone position. Protect your cervical spine by keeping your head neutral and eyes focused forward to alleviate neck strain.

Seated Leg Curls

The seated leg curl puts an immediate stretch on the hamstrings. Many leg curl machines allow you adjust the settings for the back support, the quad pad and the arm for your legs. You want to avoid over-extending your legs at the start of each rep and keep the quad pad snug to your quadriceps. A snug position helps to keep your legs in position throughout, but just loose enough to allow some room to move. Last, the back support should allow for solid support of your lower back. Some lifters sit up or bend forward holding tight to the support bar in front of them. This position puts an even greater stretch on the hamstrings at the start of each rep. It is fine to use this position as long as when you sit back your support is properly placed to support the lower back.

Which Has Advantage?

The seated leg curl has the advantage. When doing seated leg curls, your legs are bent at the hips about 90 degrees in relationship to your torso. This motion stretches the inner hamstring muscles more than lying leg curls. So, if your inner hams are lagging behind, just take a seat.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Journey To Fitness: SWIM WHILE YOU EXERCISE: A way to stay cool while losing inches and toning muscles is swimming. Swimming is a good choice when you want to add variety to your exerci...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


A way to stay cool while losing inches and toning muscles is swimming. Swimming is a good choice when you want to add variety to your exercise routine. Sometimes, we just need a break from traditional cardio or resistance training regimes. There is so little risk of injury that you can still maintain a swimming routine throughout your life. You can also choose a swim partner. Exercising can be more fun with a partner and you are more likely to stick with your routine.

First, choose a bathing suit that fits well and will be secure on you. You do not want to have wardrobe malfunctions while you are working out. I prefer to wear the women’s Olympic style one-piece suit for swim exercise. It crisscrosses your back so you avoid any concerns with the straps. You can purchase one at most sporting goods stores.

The body-shaping benefits of swim exercises are the result of burning calories while building muscle. You can burn 500-700 calories per hour, depending on how vigorous you work out. In addition to blasting calories as you swim, you build lean muscle that ignites your metabolism to keep burning calories hours after your workout.

Research has found that swimming helps to fight off aging. Swimmers are biologically 20 years younger than their actual age. The research also shows that a swimmers blood pressure, cholesterol level, cardiovascular performance, central nervous system and cognitive functioning are all comparable to someone far younger than their age.

A pool might not be the first place you think of when you are trying to shape up and slim down, but perhaps it should be. Look no further. Exercising in water can help you whittle a sexy sculpted silhouette.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Make a Fitness Plan

The reason most people gain weight is that they eat more calories than they burn. So to lose weight, you need to reduce the number of calories you eat and increase the number you burn. By doing this, you will use up energy stored in your fatty tissue to make up the difference. If you have a  realistic goal in mind, you can lose two pounds every week until you reach your total weight loss

First figure out how much you are eating by keeping a daily food diary for three random days. Write down everything you eat and drink for breakfast, lunch, dinner and between meal snacks. There are many calorie counters online that are available and you don't have to join a program to use. The one I like is It will grade the food value and also give the nutritional facts. Add up all the calories you consumed in a day; it is probably a lot more that you think. Now, start by reducing your food intake by 500 calories the first two days. Reduce it again by another 200 calories the following days and continue until your total calorie intake is down to approximately 1200-1300 calories a day.

You will need to burn off 7000 calories a week to lose the two pounds. Choose an aerobic exercise you enjoy and find out how many calories you would burn in one session or one hour. Maintain a fitness journal to help keep track of your workout sessions. Write down how you were feeling, what motivated you, and what made you smile. Keep track of your successes and the amount of weight loss. Your journal can be a highly useful tool that will help you reach your desired goal. The important thing is to get into the habit of exercising regularly.

Make a plan to be fit and healthy. Listed below are things to do to prepare your fitness plan:

  - Decide on your goal weight
  - Prepare yourself mentally. Visualize the fit and healthy body you will have when    you reach your goal.
  - Enlist the support of family and friends.
  - Get rid of unhealthy foods in the refrigerator and pantry. Replace them with healthy choices.
  - Determine how many daily calories you are currently consuming and how many you need to reduce.
  - Make a 7-day meal plan that includes eating 5-6 times daily at 2 1/2-3 hour increments.
  - Find the exercises and physical activities that you enjoy.
  - Write out your weight-loss plan. Writing it down will help keep you committed to your goal.

Once you have your plan, get moving. Start visualizing yourself daily. Take photos of your weight before, during and after you triumph. Stay committed and you will be on your way to a slimmer, healthy lifestyle.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Make the Right Choices

Everyone can benefit from having someone coach you, no matter what your goal may be. When you choose a coach, a specialist or a personal trainer, they will stay with you every step of the way. You will be sure to get the most out of your workouts. Face it, we should all be held accountable for making the right choices and committing to our goals. You must choose to live fit and healthy.

Even if you already participate in some type of fitness program or you exercise occasionally, you can still benefit from having your own fitness coach. They will start by assessing your current fitness level and your goals. Next step will be to make necessary changes that will jump-start you to the next level. Your diet and fitness program will consist of a weekly personalized meal plan and effective exercises to maximize your workouts. Your program will continue to change in order for you to achieve the best possible results.

Working with your coach will keep you excited and motivated to continue your workouts. He or she will be right beside you pushing you along and showing you how to get it done. You will feel energized to get up and get going. If you need a wakeup call or someone to assist you when shopping for healthy meal items, talk to a fitness nutrition specialist. They can help you stay on track.  

As a certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition my coaching program includes utilizing many motivational strategies, such as, nutritional guidance, fitness assessments, instruction on proper exercise technique, correct breathing technique, flexibility and the necessary stretching exercises. So stop talking and start doing. Today is the time to make a change.
Healthy fitness starts on the inside. Get fit and look fabulous!   

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Rev Up Your Metabolism

Food can directly affect metabolism by altering the way the body functions. It can change the amount of energy it needs for bodily processes, such as digesting food. When we eat, we burn calories and our body generates heat. This is known as the thermos effect of food, which is influenced by how much and how often we eat.

To rev up your metabolism, eat 1200 or 1500 calories per day. On the days you workout, your total daily will equal approximately 1500 calories. On your off days, you will reduce caloric intake by 300 calories. To help you get started, try African mango. It not only increases metabolism but it also removes cholesterol. You will truly notice an enhanced alertness and revved up energy level. More energy means more activity and more calories burned.

Raymond Day Master Champion bodybuilder shares his story of how to keep metabolism up at any age.  

Monday, February 4, 2013

Another Necessary Nutrient

Poor vitamin-E intake is relatively common in North America. It is estimated that more than 90 percent of Americans do not meet their daily recommendation for vitamin-E intake.

A 2009 study determined that subjects who consumed extra vitamin-E experienced less oxidative stress and muscle damage from eccentric resistance exercise than those who did without. As a fat-soluble vitamin with strong anti-oxidative properties, vitamin-E lessens the havoc free radicals unleash on muscle cell membranes after intense weight lifting.

Vitamin-E speeds recovery so you can get back quicker to your workouts. Aside for the benefits to your physique, vitamin-E shields low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) from oxidation. LDLs transport cholesterol from the liver to various areas of the body and their oxidation has been linked to the onset of heart disease.

The recommended amount for the general population is 15 mg per day to protect the muscles. Some may require more. Vitamin-E can be acquired from consuming nuts, seeds, olive and vegetable oil, whole grains, avocado, and dark leafy greens.

Here are some creative ways to rev up your vitamin-E intake:
• Add ¼ cup (12mg) of sunflower seeds into your oatmeal.
• Snack on 20 roasted hazelnuts
• Add half an avocado (2mg) to your salad and 1 tbsp (2mg) olive oil on top
• Mix ¼ cup wheat germ (4.5 mg) in a protein shake
• Spread 2 tbsp (8.4 mg) on whole grain crackers or rice cakes

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Win With Water Workout

Aquatic workouts are movements that involve exercising while you are in the water.  Exercising in the water provides many benefits that working out on land cannot. First, buoyancy of the water provides an unloading of the weight bearing joints of the spine, knee, and hips. This is extremely helpful for those who cannot tolerate exercising on land due to joint pain.
Water also provides assistance and resistance while exercising. This allows you to progress through various levels of activity while increasing strength. Aquatic workouts can help you build strength in weak and injured muscles. It can also promote healing to the site of injury. Overweight patients can enjoy aquatic therapy by burning calories in an environment that assists in cushioning their joints.

The many benefits of water exercises are:    

      Lose weight effectively 
      Improve balance and agility 
      Ease arthritis pain 
      Recover from surgery 
      Alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia 
      Strengthen muscles and joints and
      Increase flexibility and strength

If you don’t have access to an indoor pool, check with your local health and fitness club or YMCA. They may offer an aquatic program or have classes in your area. Some establishments call it water aerobics. Attending a class one or two days a week, in a group setting, may be just what you need to stay on track.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Check Your Nutrient Level

We know that Vitamin D is critical for building strong bones but what we may not know is how negative amounts affect us. Low Vitamin D levels are associated with higher circulating levels of parathyroid hormone, which encourages weight gain. This explains why many overweight people routinely have inadequate vitamin D status.  

The current recommended daily intake of vitamin D is 200 IU but most health experts say it should be closer to 1000 IU, especially in the winter. When our body does get the daily recommended dose, it increases the thermal effect of our meals and boosts overall fat oxidation. It also improves muscle function and strength. 

Vitamin D produced in the sun’s rays is a vital source of this necessary nutrient. However, oftentimes, especially in the winter months or in cooler climates, it is hard to make enough from the sun. So, many of us come up short in our daily supply. Research shows that vitamin D deficiency is more common than previously thought, affecting up to half of adults and children in the U.S. 

When sunlight is in short supply, opt for less potent sources of vitamin D such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines in oil, cod liver oil, and vitamin D-fortified foods like milk, juice, soy milk, egg yolks and some cereals. Vitamin D can also be  obtained by using supplements once or twice a day with meals. Check with your doctor to have your vitamin D level tested. He or she will determine if supplementing is right for you.

When we supply our body with the necessary nutrients it has a positive effort on our health and fitness. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Get Faster Fitness Results

The new year is here and you may have already started your workout program. Congratulations! You have taken the first step. You’re on your way to reaching your goal. Do you want to see faster results?
There are a few simple things you can do in your day to day routine to boost your progress. The simplest thing people can do is take a daily half hour walk. Walking at a moderate pace will burn up to 200 calories. Burn even more by walking upstairs. Everyone expends energy from engaging in daily activities. The key is to stay physically active, even on your off days.
Increase your daily protein intake. Protein is the basic building block for muscle. The more muscle you have the higher your metabolism. A higher metabolism burns more calories and helps to reduce fat. The average active person requires one gram of protein per pound of lean body weight per day. Most people do not get nearly that much.
Egg whites are a great source for protein. If you are working out at the gym or just exercising at home, it is important to know your muscles need protein. By drinking a protein drink with liquid egg whites every three or four hours, you will keep your metabolism working to burn fat, build muscle and give you extra energy. Your energy boost will increase your desire to exercise longer and you will feel more active. Your daily walk will be longer and best of all your body will continue burning calories, even while resting.