High tech Gadgets & clever Apps for the Fitness Nut

 

May took us all around the gym, techniques, classes and exercises that are to help us get in shape, tone those muscles, energize us and loss a few pounds along the way. Along the way we discovered what we loved and what’s not so much in our interest to achieve divine health for ourselves.

As I finish out the month I want to share with you 4 of my all time favorite workout apps and gadgets that gotten my attention and best of all I actually learned to use, being the low tech high touch girl I am.

 

fitbit

Fitbit Aria your Wi-Fi scale to track your every move in weight, BMI and body fat while keeping your information private and syncing with your favorite Fitbit app automatically. Getting on a scale never looked this good.

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 A sleek and modern looking Smart Rope to jump with that has its own build in app tracking your fitness with embedded LEDs. Go ahead be a kid again and show us what you got!

sworikit

SWORKIT girl! No gym, no excuse as it says. Makes working out a blast anytime anywhere with your personal favorite workout videos ranging from cardio, strength training, yoga to stretching. Customize it with your favorite music and the time you want to spend on getting in shape. This one has become my new all time favorite, right out of ABC’s Shark Tank.

healthy-out

HealthyOUT makes eating out or ordering in bliss and stress free. Whatever your nutritional needs are this app has you covered. Choices range from heart healthy, vegan, gluten sensitive, paleo and anything in between. Available in over 500 US cities  this app takes healthy traveling for the nutrition minded to the next level.

So, whether you are looking to lose a few pounds or just increasing your energy maybe its time to step it up to the next best version of you with one of the many fabulous and tech friendly gadgets and apps available today. When it comes to your health, we all know how important it is to have the attention and support of professionals such as doctors, coaches, nutritionists, trainers and therapists. But not always can this high level of care fit into our already so busy schedules or it might just seem out of reach. This is where technology comes into play and all the clever apps and gadgets to make your and my life the best healthy journey available to us. Having accountability, guidance and support makes all the difference in sustaining the transformation we all so much desire.

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For the love of YOGA

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One of my favorite ways to exercise is yoga. I love how practicing yoga reconnects my body and mind, how it spiritually centers me and gives me inner strength I have not found through anything else in life.

I found yoga at just the right time in my life. My youngest daughter had just been born with some serious health issues and times were stressful to say the least. For weeks I split my time between the Pediatric ICU  and taking care of my 7 year old daughter at home. Rushing from one to the other, barley sleeping and taking care of myself. It did not take too long for my body to show signs of exhaustion and inflammation, holding so much anxiety in for so long had taken its toll. I had heard of yoga and its health benefits, especially in the case of high stress levels and even had planned on taking a class eventually. I already had everything needed at home for it when a flyer in our mailbox announced classes for beginning yoga students were being offered right down the street from us at the community center. It was perfect timing and just what I needed to keep my sanity and get myself some much needed self care.

Fast forward 15 years and I am as fanatic about yoga as I was on the first day. Nothing and I mean nothing compares to how I feel after stretching and twisting in my favorite poses.

If you are  a fellow yogi the following will sound familiar to you and if you are new to it or have never taken a class let me shed some light on the different forms of yoga. Either way you might learn something new and who knows try it even. After all if Jennifer Aniston and Kate Beckinsale swear by it, why shouldn’t you.

First the physical health benefits of yoga:

  • reduces stress
  • relaxes your nervous system
  • lowers your risk of heart disease
  • increases flexibility, super important as we age!
  • toned and strong muscles
  • weight loss
  • balances metabolism and hormones
  • improves energy and vitality
  • protects from injury
  • better sleep

The most common yoga practices:

  • ASHTANGA yoga ~ a specific sequence of postures always in the same order will work you to the core linking movement and breathing
  • BIKRAM yoga ~ very popular form of yoga using a series of 26 poses taught in artificial heated rooms having you work up a sweat like no other
  • IYENGAR yoga ~ if you have old injuries this might just be the best practice for you. Using props all the attention is placed on being in the right pose with the proper  alignment
  • RESTORATIVE yoga ~ more rejuvenating than a nap , this practice uses bolsters, blocks and blankets to position you without exerting any effort
  • YIN yoga ~ main focus here is gently stretching the body
  • VINYASA yoga ~  these poses will get your heart rate up and is also a great form of yoga to test your abilities and limits while focusing on your breathing

To find the right practice for you try several different classes with different teachers. Taking a variety of classes will expose you to various levels and experiences which teach different things.

3 little secret in regards to how yoga may influence your weight loss and nutrition style:

  • yoga slows you down to be present, getting you more attuned to what your body really wants and needs on nourishing wholesome foods
  • gets you out of your old habits as you become more and more mindful
  • many yoga exercises such as twists are geared toward detoxifying internal organs in a specific way and aiding digestion which helps your body to function better

And yes, yoga in itself is enough to maintain a healthy body and stay in great shape. There are yoga practices that are extremely challenging to the body and not even I have tried them yet. Important is you are moving your body daily for at least  30 minutes to one hour, whether that is through a combination of different modalities or being consistent with one form of exercise. If yoga is your thing, absolutely, just try to mix it up with different styles to work your whole body.

~Yoga is the journey of the self through the self to the self ~

~ Namaste~

 

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8 Weight Loss Exercises with big Results

31908_10151716905864115_2069089274_nIn just a few weeks all things summer will be on everyone’s mind and with that another beach season, lighter clothing and showing of a bit more skin. Exciting or terrifying? It all depends on how you look at it.

Wherever your travels take you too this summer, a road trip along the breathtaking Amafi coastline, a visit to an exotic resort and spa in Bali, hiking across spectacular  mountains tops in the Alps or staying right in your own backyard. Truth is we all want to look and feel fabulous showing off a toned slim and fit looking body. How we achieve results that will give us our desired changes and results depends all on the exercise we choose.

No matter how much you take care of what you eat, if you don’t exercise it  shows. And if you got a few pounds to lose to fit back into that summer dress and the bikini from last year you also got to step up the game. As we get older our body loses muscle tone little by little and fatty deposits are found in its place. Muscle is known to burn fat, however with its decline it gives way to wrinkles, cellulites, overall weight increase and metabolism slow down.

So on my quest to find  more feminine  forms of exercise that are both exhilarating and fun, as well as give big results that make a difference I came across a few workouts that promise to deliver big results.

  1. Ramp up your metabolism by adding short intervals of high intensity sprints while out walking or jogging.
  2. Build muscle by adding push ups, crunches,  squats and planks to your workout.
  3. Combine your cardio workout with lifting weights to burn more calories.
  4. Buy a wobble board, inflatable disk or stand on one leg – balancing like this engages all your core muscles.
  5. Use a weighted jump rope to work out your shoulders and arms at the same time.
  6. Sign up for a spin class – nothing kills it like intense pedal pushing.
  7. Take the steps like Rocky adding weights to work your upper arms.
  8. Power vinyasa yoga matching your breath to the movement – MY FAVORITE always.

Whichever you choose remember to have fun with it and give yourself and your body enough time – make a strategic plan and you will get to your goal faster!

 

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The Reluctant Fitness Nerd

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I would be lying if I said I am nuts about daily exercising. Nothing is further from the truth than that, my husband can attest to this. After being together for nearly 30 years he has yet to get me enthusiastic about any form of exercise and I have tried it all (at least I think so).  Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy  winter skiing, running on the beach (when temperatures are below 75F with low humidity),  yoga and pilates. However, the only real reason I do these activities is to prevent any of my families heritage health dilemmas, ranging from various forms of terminal cancer to cardiovascular disease. I am adamant about not ever going down that path and aspire to die healthy of old age.

I do have to admit I have always taken my health and fitness a bit for granted. I eat delicious  healthy food daily, I work out as it suits my schedule and have never really struggled to stay fit, maintaining my weight and looks. But right around this time of the year, with our annual summer travel to Europe approaching I start to make my workout regime more of a priority, much to my husbands delight.  I also find as am getting older what has worked all these years to get me in shape fast is not doing it anymore and I got to step up my game plan.

For that I mean being consistent with a daily workout routine and finding joy in it. If it is not fun and exhilarating than why exercise? What was good enough until now, is not any longer. It is also not about how look on the outside, it goes deeper than that. Yes, I do want to look fabulous at whatever age I am at, but I also want to feel vibrant and energetic. The way I treat my body at 47 has tremendous impact on how I will look and feel at 67 and beyond. I know that.

So my quest for this month is to find a better way to incorporate fun and reinvent my approach to fitness and exercise. A way that has me  jump out of bed at 5am ready to get my yoga on, strength training to turn my wings and  thigh’s into toned extensions of myself and a mindset shift on exercise that stops the chatter telling me how I rather be doing something else.

I am starting May with a 30 day challenge planking my way to toned arms, belly and thigh’s. I have been considering this exercise for its simplicity and yet superior results. No need for fancy workout clothe or equipment. Just me and the floor, at home build into my daily yoga practice.

There is much more to planking than we think off.  According to the experts the simplest movements in exercise can sometimes lead to the greatest results and gains in fitness. When done right, planks are the best exercise for

  1. core conditioning
  2. work your glutes and hamstrings
  3. support your posture
  4. improve your balance
  5. reduce back pain
  6. improve your mood

How-to instruction to  basic planking:

  • position elbows directly under your shoulders and wrists in line with your elbows, stand on your toes or knees if necessary (body is in a straight diagonal line from shoulders to heels)
  • push your body into your upper back and hold chin close to your neck (imagine holding an egg with your chin)
  • once in position contract your abdominals pulling your belly button in, squeezing your tailbone and thigh muscles simultaneously
  • continue to breath normal as you hold each plank for 20 -30 sec. for starters, the goal is to hold it for 2min. eventually
  • rest for about 1min. and repeat 3-5 more time

If you feel strong enough you can go ahead and add Kegel exercises, side and reverse plank to challenge your self. Just be careful not to let your head, shoulders or hips to drop, holding your breath or trying to hold a position too long, Start slow and work your way up especially if you have back pain or injuries.

Let me know how it goes. I want to know how I can best support you on your fitness journey.

 

 

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Nutrition Smarts for the work-at-home CEO

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Maintaining my healthy eating habits and ideal weight has been tricky lately. As much as I love working from home being a girl boss in  yoga pants and not having to deal with rush hour traffic, living the entrepreneurial dream comes with its challenges. My biggest one –  having the kitchen right there, open 24/7 like an all night dinner is very tempting when I get stuck on writing copy or start procrastinating on a project. Getting ready for a girlfriends event a few weeks ago I was faced with a dilemma I had not experienced in a long time, what to wear, nothing in my closet fit right!

Changes had to happen and the had to happen fast. Since I live by my calendar (if its not on my schedule it just won’t happen), I started to also write in times for a snack break, lunch and afternoon tea out by the pool right away. After all I tell my clients to do so, yet I thought of myself as super woman that does not need to schedule eating breaks in her calendar because she got everything under control. Oh well, live and learn.

I am proud of myself as taking the time for a small break mid morning and another in the afternoon with a 30 minute lunch break has actually improved my work flow as much as it has helped my snack cravings and “let’s just check the fridge” moments. I am happy to be back on track with all  my projects and yes, my clothe fit much better again.

How I did it:

  1. Put it on the schedule, midmorning 15min. lunch 30-1hr(up to you) and mid afternoon 15min. Same time every day. This is based on my own 8-9hr work day.
  2. Add  fun to your break like going outside, playing with the dog or calling a friend. I love sitting out by the pool soaking up extra vitamin D to keep me going. Just set a timer to keep you on track.
  3. Make sure to eat mindfully, paying attention to you and your food. No over the kitchen sink eating here!
  4. Plan ahead and meal prep (make extra the night before for leftovers), keep fresh fruit & veggies, nutrient tense foods and delicious healthy snacks at hand.
  5. Stick to this like your life depends on it! Because honestly, it does. You will see.

Off you go. Let me see that calendar with your breaks written in and you following through over on social media or drop me a note.

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12 Herbs & Spices for Weight Loss

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With all the information available to us about losing weight from books and diet pills to surgery it can be overwhelming. So when I work with my clients one of the key components is looking at their current nutrition style. I always have them add new foods, herbs and spices that they would have never thought of on their own. Herbs and spices not only add flavor to your food, but can do wonders for your metabolism and overall health.

Spices to consider adding more off are

  1. Black Pepper (fresh ground) boosts fat metabolism, promotes absorption of key nutrients and improves digestion.
  2. Cayenne Pepper is known for it’s fat burning abilities due to it’s capsaicin content.
  3. Cinnamon helps to lower blood sugar and promotes the processing of carbohydrates.
  4. Ginger is know for it’s diuretic abilities, improves gastric mobility and prevents cholesterol absorption.
  5. Ginseng combats fatigue and increases stamina so you can exercise. It also lowers blood sugar.
  6. Turmeric speeds up metabolism and also burns fat.

Herbs that host plenty of health benefits for weight loss are

  1. Basil is known to help lower blood pressure and relax the nervous system.
  2. Cilantro has antibacterial properties for gut health.
  3. Mint is fabulous for digestion, stimulates the nervous system and fights fatigue.
  4. Parsley is great for kidney function, bone health and your immune system due to it’s high amounts of vitamin C, B12, K & A.
  5. Oregano is loaded with antioxidants, manganese, iron and omega 3’s
  6. Green Tea is a fat burner  and a great source of  antioxidants improving brain function and lowering the risk of cancer.

I am sure some these you have already at home. Start adding them to your foods, soups, salads, smoothies and juices. Try new ones as you go along and experiment with the different flavors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Secrets to weight loss that industry insiders won’t tell you!

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With the weight loss industry ever increasing profit margin and the rise in obesity levels world wide (see last weeks post on the most current statistics) the trend of new ‘diet” pills, weight loss programs and books hitting stores and shelf’s nationwide is most likely not going to slow down anytime soon.

With all the products out there and new ones continuously being launched why is it that the waistline of people globally are getting bigger and bigger? Daily people younger and younger are dying of complications due to  diabetes, cancer and heart disease caused by obesity. How long are we going to stay on the sideline watching for a miracle pill to cure it all, when all we need to do is make the change within ourselves, our mindset and our nutrition styles. By starting with ourselves and our family we can create a ripple effect that will eventually rich far beyond our homes and towns. It does not take a degree of some sort to know and learn what is good for your body, mind and soul. All it really takes is making the decision to change your current nutrition and life style, staying with it and never ever letting anyone else tell you otherwise.

As Gandhi said ” Be the change you want to see in the world.”  

However many pounds you have to lose, chances are you did not just wake up one morning with an extra 10, 20, 30+pounds on you. So to achieve what you desire, your ideal healthy weight, you have to allow yourself time. To get you started her are my top tips, secrets that the weight loss industry wouldn’t share with you as it is much more profitable to get you purchasing products that only start your roller coaster of yo-yo dieting in my opinion.

Yes, you lose 5,10,15+ pounds fast, with some programs even more, as you restrict your calorie intake and mess around with your natural metabolism, count points, cut out foods,  weigh every bite and stick to a rigged diet plan . But what happens when after 7, 10 or 30 days you go back to your normal way of living and eating and before you know it those 5, 10, 15+ pounds you lost a month ago are back and brought company? Now you get to start all over trying to lose even more weight. Wouldn’t it be easier to just to learn what your unique nutrition style is, eat the right foods you want to eat which ultimately lead you to a whole new life and nutrition style and best of all do not require you to purchase pre packaged meals, shakes and pills, therefor really not adding to your expenses.

It is this simple. So here are a few of my all time favorite tips to help you get started.

  1. Eat the right fats such as avocado, olive oil, fish, nuts and seeds which have proven to cut belly fat.
  2. Eliminate processed foods completely ( packaged cookies, crackers, meats and such) .
  3. To cut out cravings throughout the day balance your meals with the right amount of protein, fiber & calcium.
  4. Drink plenty of fresh water all day. Even better start your day with a glass of lemon water to optimize your bodies ph level and speeding up your metabolism.
  5. Skip the sugar and use honey instead a nutritious fat releasing alternative.
  6. Sleep at least 8hrs a night. Sleep deprived people eat about 300 calories more a day.
  7. Swap your exercise routine for a HIT, high interval training and strength training turning fat into muscle, which is extremely important as we age)
  8. Exercise alone however is not an affective weight loss solution – it must be paired with the proper nutrition style!

Aligning your desire to losing weight and reaching your ideal healthy weight might seem an impossible at times, it might scare you, you don’t know where to start, your thoughts wander to all the past failures, you might wonder if you are ever going to see the that dip on the scale again, fit into your favorite jeans, that sexy dress and so much more. I am here to tell you it does not have to be that way at all. Just decide today is the day each day you get up, one foot in front of the other making small changes one at a time that will  last you a lifetime. That’s how I build sustainable life and nutrition style changes for myself and  my clients.

 

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USA leads the way in morbidly obese Adults

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Every wondered what’s boosting the weight loss industries growth and ever expanding success?

How about this:

640 million people currently are considered obese around the globe

266 million men and 375 million women

55 million of which are morbidly obese

Obese women make the up the biggest percentage worldwide

China, USA and England leading the way followed closely by Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.

A study published last week in The Lancet, led by scientists from the Imperial College London and WHO( World Health Organization) concluded that the worlds population has become heavier by around 3.3lbs (1.5kg) each decade since 1975.

The trend is much more pronounced in western countries, were the global obesity level has more than tripled in men (11% currently) and more than doubled in women (15% currently) living in the world’s wealthiest nations. The 40 year study measured the weight and height of adults world wide and  found that overall the fattest men and women live in China and the  USA, with the highest number of severely obese men and women in the USA. Predictions are said to get worse with 1 out of 5 people falling into this category within a decade. In Europe Britain leads the way with 28.4% women and 26.2% men in the continent, predicting it to be the fattest nation in a decade with nearly 40% of adults obese.

If this global trend continues as is by 2025 1 out of 5 people will be considered obese placing them at a significant risk of developing diabetes, cancer and or heart disease.

Market trends like this are what stirs the drug & food industry as well as the weight loss industry. But I don’t think this epidemic can be tackled with medications, diet pills, shakes and counting calories. What has showed some success in Europe in countries such as France is making fruits & vegetable more accessible. Lowering the costs and at the same time increasing the quality of produce available to everyone. The UK is suggesting to increase tax rates on high sugar and processed foods. Other suggestions include smart food policies and improving health care training.

But we don’t have to wait until our politician’s, scientists and CEO’s of drug and food companies get their act together. We can start right now by making changes that do not require big leaps at the home front. Whether you have 10,20 or more pounds to lose you can achieve this with a few very simple adjustments to your nutrition and life style.

For today simply start with these 5  tips:

    1. Write down your intentions and keep them in a visible place, like taped to the bedroom mirror, fridge or the dashboard of your car.
    2. Get to the source of whatever is keeping you in a rut. Are you in a stressful relationship that causes you to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s every night? Are you stressed at your job and feel too tired to exercise after work? If you don’t tackle the root of the behavior, it will be much harder to accomplish your goal.
    3. Be clear about what your life would look like once you achieve your goal. If you resolve to go the gym more, how will this benefit you? Get connected to the result of your action, and you will be more likely to stick to your plan.
    4. Share your goal with friends and family. Hold each other accountable for achieving your goals. If you want to go the gym more, have a friend call you two or three times a week to check on you or invite them to join you. Vow to eat cleaner and lighter, make it a family affair and include them in meal preps, shopping and cooking.
    5. Reward yourself with every little accomplishment. If your intention is to lose weight and you lose 1 pound per week, pamper yourself with a massage, manicure or anything that helps you celebrate you!
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5 ways to a healthier YOU!

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  1. Eat breakfast ~ it does not have to be breakfast food, whatever you eat will keep you from binging and throughout the day, speed up your metabolism and get your day off to the right start
  2. Stop counting calories ~ it’s hard not to when that’s all everyone else talks about, (sorry Oprah:). Your body needs food dense in nutrients, so stop playing that game, enjoy your food and change the way you think about it.
  3. Ditch the sugar ~ and with that all refined foods together. Consuming refined foods (pasta, breads, cookies and the like) not only aids to your waistline, but also causes inflammation in your body leading to premature aging and disease.
  4. Eat nutrients ~ antioxidants and nutrients found in a whole food diet will give the body what it needs to stay strong, healthy and young. Increase your intake on berries, dark green leafy veggies, nuts and seeds, avocados and omega 3’s.
  5. Get moving ~ exercise will increase your metabolism, detoxify your body, keep your joints flexible, lower your stress levels, help you sleep better and keep your mind clear.
  6. Look out for more simple and easy tips to come to rejuvenate your nutrition style and make changes that that will last you your life time!
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5 Reasons to start your day with Water

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Ever wondered that no matter how much you exercise and watch your nutrition style those last 5 pounds are just not coming off, your skin is not glowing and vibrant looking like some other people you know, you are half way through the day and you could just fall asleep on the spot or your afternoon right around 3 pm always turns into a sprint to the pantry or nearest vending machine?

Well, here is what you might be missing, something so simple yet just not paid attention too enough.

DRINK FRESH WATER FIRST THING IN THE MORNING BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE!

Here are the 5 reasons why this small addition to your morning routine is to your health benefit.

  1. Weight loss ~ Drinking at least 16oz of fresh water will boost your metabolism by 24%!
  2. Glowing skin ~ Water purges toxins out of your blood which in turn will keep your skin glowing and healthy.
  3. Balance your lymph system & ph levels~ Glands that help you perform your daily functions, balance your body fluids and fight infections.
  4. Healthy Colon ~ Fresh water on an empty stomach purifies your colon and helps with the absorption of nutrients throughout the day.
  5. Increases the production of new blood and muscle cells.

I personally add the juice of one lemon to my daily 16oz glass of room temperature water. For all the goodness of lemons keep your eye out for my next blog.

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