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Fitness



Chia Seeds Live Up to the Hype

The chia plant didn’t have the best introduction to the American market. (Ch-ch-chia, anyone?) But don’t be fooled into thinking that chia seeds—which are being added to everything from smoothies to cookies—are all hype. The truth is, chia seeds may be just what your diet is missing!

chia

Chia’s Superfood Superpowers
Chia is the ancient Mayan word for “strength” and these tiny seeds, which are primarily grown in Southern Mexico and have been eaten for thousands of years, live up to their name. They’re packed with amazing amounts of goodness to keep you strong and vibrantly alive. Here are just some of the superpowers packed into the minuscule seeds. A serving boasts:

  • more Omega-3 fatty acids than salmon
  • more calcium per ounce than milk
  • more Vitamin C than an orange
  • fiber, iron, magnesium and potassium
  • tons of antioxidants and anti-cancer properties

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EXCLUSIVE: Training Plan for Obstacle Races like the Warrior Dash

mud run

A client came to me not long ago and said she was planning to do a Warrior Dash event with her daughter. She wanted to know if I thought she could do it. Would she be able to participate with knees that didn’t let her run very fast or very long?

My response was the running was the least of her concerns when it came to an obstacle course type of race. I told her I wasn’t worried about her at all because I knew she was strong, fit and capable. I knew months of functional fitness training (plus clean eating!) would get her through the race just fine.

Her concern was indicative of the mistake most people make when they sign for a Warrior Dash or a Tough Mudder. They focus on covering the distance and not the obstacles that will be in their path. Working on leg endurance should be part of your training program, but it’s important to balance it with body weight training. If you are training for your first Warrior Dash, here’s a five-exercise workout I recommend to help you prepare for the challenges you’ll face:

  1. Mountain Climbers: You many not be climbing an actual mountain but you will be climbing. Using your hip flexors and core will be key in tackling walls and crawling challenges like Road Rage.
  2. TRX Row: I love using suspension trainers to practice pulling a client’s own body weight. The exercise can be made more challenging by taking your body lower and more parallel to the ground.
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The 5-Second Trick to Lower Your Stress Levels

Ask your stressed out friends how they deal with feeling overwhelmed and they’ll likely list off the usual suspects: Sleep. Caffeine. Sugar. Alcohol. Exercise. Yoga. Some of these are clearly healthier options than others, but even the easy fixes take time—something that a lot of people who are stressed out tend to have in short supply. But there is a quick fix for the times when you have too much stress and too little energy: The simplest and most effective tool for instant energy, banishing stress, and ridding toxins from the body is breath!

breathe

That’s right. Breathing—the thing we do all day and night long without thinking about it—is responsible for a whole lot more than fuel our body with oxygen. The rate at which we breathe actually helps regulate our heart rate which in turn controls a bunch of other physical aspects. Breathe slow and fast and our body and brain will automatically shift to that fight or flight mode, the one that comes with stress and sends your blood pressure and shoulder tension soaring. Focus on slower, longer, and deeper breaths and you’ll help calm your body and mind, fighting stress in a matter of seconds while also filling your body with energizing oxygen, the lifeblood of a creativity, productivity, focus, and fire for whatever our life demands.

So how can you breathe better?
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6 Ways to Turn Spring Cleaning into a Full-Body Workout

clean

 

We’ve made it through the long winter and spring is finally here and in full swing! ‘Tis the season for baseball, sunny days, green things growing and everyone’s favorite activity: spring cleaning! Since free time is something that most of us don’t have an abundance of, it’s good to know that you can easily multitask while engaging in your spring cleaning chores. According to My Fitness Pal heavy cleaning can burn up to 250 calories per hour, making it a worthwhile fitness activity. And, by adding in just a few simple moves to your cleaning routine, you can burn even more!

Here’s six ways to fire up your heart rate, engage your muscles and get a calorie-blasting workout while you get your spring cleaning on:

 

tunes

1. Blast your favorite heart-pumping tunes
Before you start cleaning, make a playlist of music that gets you pumped. Think about songs that you listen to when going for a run or doing a cardio workout at the gym. Music with an upbeat rhythm is more likely to make you not only clean faster, but help you have fun while doing it. Go ahead and blast that music and dance around with that mop or duster (and burn a ton of calories while doing it!). You’ll discover a whole new appreciation for cleaning.


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Q&A: Which Should Come First, Cardio or Resistance?

cardio weights 

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably always wondered if there is more of a benefit to lifting before you run, or if the exercises should be performed in the reverse. (Sweat then strength or strength then sweat?) It’s an age old question, but finally, we have an answer.

Well, kind of.

According to a recent study from the Department of Biology of Physical Activity at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, it turns out that the order doesn’t matter all that much. Fitness experts long ago discovered that the combination of cardiovascular exercises along with resistance increases the effectiveness of both exercises, but the order that works best appears to be based on personal preference more than any physiological differences.
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