Thursday, July 24, 2014

Truths About Strength Training & Abs

At one time or another most of us wonder how to get amazing-looking abs. Here are a few truths that can help fine tune your strength training routine and give you the tools to make progress toward the abs we want to see.

Truth # 1
You can't reshape the formation of your abs.
If you have uneven rows of abdominals, this is what you will have all your life. No amount of exercise changes ab formation.

Truth # 2
You cannot build showy abs (abs that have clearly defined rows of chunky muscle) by performing a truckload of ab exercises.
Exercise, especially cardio is good, but to get abs that show, you need to eat clean. No junk food. If you try to get abs from exercise alone, you are doomed to fail.

Truth # 3 
Waist size is governed by the width of your rib cage and hip bones.
Even if you remove all the fat from your mid-section you will not obtain a wasp-like waist if your skeletal structure is such that it dictates otherwise, You can improve your abs, however, with a healthy combination of exercise and diet.

Truth #4
An overweight, pear-shaped woman who desires to make big advances in her physique must use weight training in addition to cardio.
To exercise only with cardio will merely reduce overall body weight. She will end up with a smaller version of a pear-shaped body. Weight training will do the shaping.

Few of us are totally happy with the cards that Mother Nature has dealt us. But we all do the best with what we have. You can make amazing changes in your body with the proper use of weights, cardio and clean eating. Keep up the good work!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Free Zumba Classes!!!


FREE   FREE   FREE

Zumba classes Sunday nights in August

Are you looking for a group to motivate you to maintain your workouts, challenge your fitness level and to just have fun with? It's been proven that people imitate the behaviors of the groups they spend time with. What a great idea to spend time with people who model healthy lifestyles. Try something new in August, add variety to your workout program and meet new people.


August 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th

7 - 8 pm


Bring water, towel, family and friends!


Taught by my friend and colleague JoDee Geryak
AFAA certified and Zumba certified instructor at Burbank YMCA

Classes are absolutely free!

Classes will be held at St. Francis Xavier Church
Holy Cross Hall
3801 Scott Road, Burbank


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Restaurant Menu Strategies II

In May, I posted a few strategies that can help you navigate a restaurant menu to make good choices for your body and your health. This week I will share three more fat traps to beware of when eating out.
Veggie Entrees
A vegetable entree sounds virtuous but they can also be bad news. Note the ingredients in your main dish. How much cheese is included? Is the dish fried? Chefs tend to use more oil in vegetarian dishes to make up for the missing fat in the main ingredient. Next time, stick to veggie entrees made with cauliflower, sweet potatoes or parsnips which absorb less fat than eggplant and mushrooms. Ask how the vegetables are prepared. Grilled and roasted are good. Ask if the soup is made with a vegetable-broth base or with heavy cream.

Small Plates
The plate is smaller, there is less food on it so that should equal less calories, right? When you share a bunch of tapas, it's easy to lose track of how much you've eaten. Psychologically, you don't feel full the way you do after finishing a meal off a single plate. Plus many small plate offerings are fried or drowned in oil. Next time, stick to 2 or 3 small plates per person and include protein, vegetables, and carbs. Making it a balanced meal will help you feel more satisfied.

Gluten-Free Desserts 
It is actually common for people to assume that gluten-free means healthy. In fact, gluten-free desserts (or mains) are often just as decadent - or more so - than their gluten-containing counterparts. Some chefs use more sugar or fat to offset changes in taste and texture, while others use dense nut flours, which are more caloric than the grain variety. Next time, remember that a piece of cake is a piece of cake, whether it's gluten-free or not. It's a treat that should be savored. If you are gluten sensitive, look for desserts that are naturally gluten-free such as meringue and sorbet.

Be empowered to make informed choices. Delight in the time with your friends and family. And always, Enjoy Your Food.
 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Stretch, Relax and Meditate

The Stretch & Meditation class was fabulous last Wednesday evening. We were able to stretch our bodies and quiet our minds while enjoying the cooling evening breeze. The music and scripture helped to center us and left us very relaxed. One participant said, next week she plans to jog over to class and then, after she is totally relaxed, stroll home while soaking in the evening and her surroundings. Such a great idea!

I just read in the paper this morning that a new study says meditation, the practice of “quieting” the mind, goes a long way in relieving stress, even when it’s done in small doses.

There are three more Wednesdays of class in July. Some openings are still available. I hope you can take advantage of the opportunity.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Fun Tools for Functional Fitness

Three weeks ago, I introduced information about functional fitness. This type of workout uses more complex, integrated body movements involving coordination, balance and brainpower to complete the exercise. I discussed some of the advantages of this workout style two weeks ago. Today, I want to share a few fun workout tools that might be used in functional fitness.

Many functional moves are performed on an unstable surface. One example of this is a stability ball, also called a Swiss Ball, a physio ball, or an exercise ball. Lying prone, supine or laterally on the ball causes the core to engage in each movement and recruits multiple muscles with each exercise.


The Bosu is another tool that creates an unstable surface. Squatting, lunging, sitting or standing on the rounded top adds challenge to each move. The Bosu can be combined with handle bands or Pilates Balls to recruit coordination as well.


Plyo Boxes vary in height and are typically used for plyometric and jumping moves. I have a bright green plyo box in my workout studio and will use it as part of the Back To School Bootcamp in September for killer cardio moves.


Kettlebells are more unstable than a dumbbells because all of the weight is below the handle. This means you have to use more balancing muscles to control the movement.
I'm looking forward to using these tools and more to help you get a killer workout in a shorter amount of time while improving balance & coordination and challenging all the large muscle groups . 





Friday, June 20, 2014

Workout Studio Progress




We have been steadily working on the exercise studio in my home. The bright orange & green colors exude energy. The jump box is painted and ready to go. The dimmable light is perfect for working hard to push the limits or relaxing and stretching. The mirrored wall and retro chrome oscillating fan are next on the list and then we get to the fun part: choosing more equipment for variety and challenge. No machines in this room. I always like to focus on Functional Fitness. We will host an Open House soon to celebrate the official opening of the exercise studio.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Advantages of Functional Traning

Last week, I introduced information about functional fitness, the hottest new exercise trend in 2014. This type of workout uses more complex, integrated body movements involving coordination, balance and brainpower to complete the exercise.

One advantage of functional fitness is that you can work every muscle in a shorter amount of time. We are all in a hurry and looking for an efficient workout that hits every area of the body. Each functional exercise targets multiple muscle groups and requires them to act as stabilizers or prime movers, in their turn, throughout the move.

A functional workout improves balance and coordination. Improved balance will enhance sports performance, such as water-skiing on the weekends, as well as everyday function, such as leaning over a wall to pick up your child's lost ball. Coordination also improves sports performance, such as kicking the soccer ball with your kids, and helps prevent those crazy accidents involving spilled coffee.

Another advantage of functional fitness is that you can do it anywhere: at home, in the park, or in a small workout studio. Expensive, space-hogging machines are not required to get an amazing workout that challenges your cardio fitness and muscle strength.

Finally, functional fitness is a brain & body exercise. Instead of sitting passively on a machine, you must understand the exercise, be aware of the body part it is focusing on, pay attention to form and connect with the muscle pattern. Your brain is engaged and working the entire time you are exercising. This is a wonderful break from thinking about home and work issues and it stimulates the synapses in your brain to extend and grow on new pathways.

Functional fitness is an amazing way to get the workout you need to challenge your body.