Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Flat Bellies

Well It's that time again....
Everyone starts thinking about swim suit season
and looking for ways to get muscle definition, and flat tummies...

So here are some of my flat belly tips!

Back in 2010 I told you about a German Study that found that

The first 10 minutes of jogging specifically targets visceral fat

Visceral fat is the realllly dangerous type of fat that surrounds your organs...
It contributes to chubby bellies, and makes your organs run less efficiently...

So its really important to reduce this type of fat....
(it typically starts to decrease the fastest after you start exercising... but be patient.. you might not see results right away)

So Step 1
add cardio to your routine.. try to do 3-4 times a week of at least 30 minutes

Step 2
add full core exercise to your regime... instead of just targeting your abs

The Plank
1.Start by lying face down on the ground or use an exercise mat. Place your elbows and forearms underneath your chest.

2.Prop yourself up to form a bridge using your toes and forearms.

3.Maintain a flat back and do not allow your hips to sag towards the ground and don't stick your butt in the air.
-hold for as long as you can focusing on keeping your abs tight and your hips up.. start with 10-15 seconds and work up to 3 minutes
T- Stabilizer
Get into a push up position
(a). Shift your weight to your left hand and rotate your body, raising your right arm into the air so that your arms and torso form a T
(b). Hold for one or two seconds, then return to start. That's one rep.
-do as any as you can in 1 minute
Nose-to-Knee Crunch
Get in plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart on a stability ball
(A). Draw your right knee toward your chest
(B). Hold for 1 second, then return to plank position. That's 1 rep.
-do 2 sets of 12-15 reps
Oblique chair lift
Lie on your back with hands resting lightly behind your head, feet on the seat of a low chair or the edge of your couch, knees bent 90 degrees.
Keeping shoulders flat on the ground and knees together, drop knees to the right.
Then pull your bellybutton in and up and lift shoulder blades off the floor, twisting the left shoulder across your body toward your right hipbone.
 Lower to the starting position. That’s one rep;
do 15 reps, then switch sides and repeat.
-do 2 sets of 15 reps on each side.

Step 3
Watch your diet.
Reducing sodium intake will reduce bloating and water retention
Women's Health Magazine has a 1500 Calorie meal plan you can find here
Eat foods that fill you up and keep you feeling full for longer...
Fibre:oatmeal, whole grain bread and pasta, fruit and vegetables,
Protein:use whey protein in your shakes, eggs, beans and legumes, lean meat and fish
Fat: yes you read that right... fat - good fats.  mono and poly unsaturated fats will keep you feeling full
Avocados, olive oil, almonds,

Monday, April 25, 2011

Diet Plans

I left this "top searched" fitness trend for last...

because I am most wary about it.

I don't necessarily think diet plans, restricted eating, eliminating food groups ect... is healthy.

When you decide to do a diet plan that focuses on a certain food, or food group you need to really do your research, make sure you will be getting all your essential vitamins, nutrients and minerals.

My advice to you....
Make sure you are filling up on healthy, fresh, nutritionally dense foods
Avoid eating nutritionally empty foods (junk, white bread pasta, processed foods ect....)
Everything in moderation... you can allow yourself to eat dessert occasionally..
And watch your portion size!! That one is Key!!
Measure out what a serving of pasta is sometime... and compare it to a restaurant serving - you are likely getting about 4 servings.

That being said..
I think the Mediterranean Diet is something to consider looking at.
It isn't a really restrictive "diet" intended to short term starvation...
It is more a healthy way of eating focusing on heart healthy foods

Lots of plant based foods, replacing fats and butter with health healthy olive oil
Limit red meat and instead focus of fish and seafood
Using spices to flavour food rather than salt
Get exercise
And have the occasional glass of red wine.
Read more about it Here

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Funny

Here's something funny for your Friday.
This girl is hilarious.  The video is a little long
but if you have ever been to a gym I think you can sympathize.

Just ignore the gloat face and do your workout!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Bridal Bootcamp
Bikini Bootcamp
Survivor Bootcamp

Bootcamps are a huge trend right now - usually targeted at women
They are usually out of the gym, sometimes outside, are high intensity, and a great thing to do with your girlfriends and to switch up your workout

The combine :
circuit training
Somtimes hand to hand combat
and Yoga

Some companys include nutritional support and a full fitness assesment as well

Make sure you do your research, check out the companies credentials...
what training do they have - personal training, kinesiology... are they "nutritionists" or dieticans (which actually requires school)
Also check reviews from people who have done a bootcamp with the group or company.

Sign up with a friend and get ready for summer!!

Here are a couple links for calgary/canada
Click Here Here and Here

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tai Chi

The second activity that is being searched a lot on yahoo is

Tai Chi

This is a centuries-old Chinese practice that combines meditation, medicine and martial arts.
It is an exercise for the mind and body that combines slow fluid movements called forms.

It is meant to improve the flow of qi (or chi) - the life energy thought to sustain health and quiet the mind

If you are thinking this is just an exercise for seniors in a quiet park on a sunny day... think again.

Its a great way to get moving, its low impact, the mediation aspect is great for stress levels, and doing it outside also adds the benefits of being in nature!

This video has some more information as well as a beginner tai chi exercise
Check it out! (the work out starts at about 4minutes)

Go to this website to find out about tai chi classes in Western Canada

Monday, April 18, 2011

Are you Making These Mistake?

When you get out to the gym, or are ready to workout at home
You want to make sure you are getting the most effective workout possible...
So make sure you are avoiding these common mistakes from the Cosmopolitan website that women make when exercising...

Mistake #1: You don't think about your tongue when you do sit-ups.

Women tend to use their neck muscles more than their abs when they do crunches. Totally uncomfortable, not to mention a huge waste of time. Shift the focus back to your abdominals with this trick: Press your tongue flush against the roof of your mouth before starting your reps. It helps keep the strain off of your neck so your stomach is forced to do the work.

Mistake #2: You stretch before cardio.

There's no danger in sitting on a mat and trying to touch your toes, but it doesn't do much for you. The best way to warm up your muscles and prevent injury before going on a run or jumping on the Elliptical is to mimic the exercise at a low level. So get on the machine you're about to use, set it at the easiest level, and exercise for about five minutes. Then start to increase the level until you're at the desired speed or difficulty. This is way better than stretching, since it gets your heart rate elevated and helps avoid burnout.

Mistake #3: You lift the same weights every time.

If you're using free weights or weight machines once or more a week, you should be slowly upping the poundage. Since your muscles build up resistance over time, aim to increase the weight by about five pounds every two or three weeks. As long as you can do 15 without feeling anything more than fatigue (as in, you're not shaking, panting, or about to pass out), you don't have to worry about ending up with arms that could star in an action flick.

Mistake #4: You do real push-ups (improperly).

Most women have a hard time doing the knees-off-the-ground version or push ups and when they try, their form ends up suffering, making the move sort of pointless. So go on, do the modified style. Plant your arms directly below your shoulders and keep everything from your knees to your neck in a straight line as you slowly lower yourself to the ground. It will still work our arms, chest and back!

Mistake #5: You prep with a pre-gym snack.

Downing an energy bar before the gym can actually zap your energy.  Many of those bars are high in fiber, which is normally a good thing, but it takes forever to digest. And that digestion requires energy — energy that would be better spent on your muscles. You end up feeling sluggish and having trouble pushing yourself. If you're ravenous beforehand, opt for a banana, which is digested super quickly and won't inhibit your gym time. (Just steer clear of the apples many gyms offer at the front desk — they're high in fiber too.)

Mistake #6: You overindulge afterwards.

There's nothing wrong with replenishing yourself after a strenuous sweat session — in fact, it's recommended you get some protein and carbs in your system within an hour of working out. You don't want to totally undo all the hard work you just put in, which is extremely common. A recent study found that people tend to overestimate the number of calories burned and underestimate the number of calories consumed. To keep yourself from eating so much your workout becomes pointless, make sure you check the label of whatever you're eating and aim for something in the 150 calories or under range. (In other words, not that mega-muffin at the gym cafe.)

Mistake #7: You don't weigh yourself.

You might have been told not to worry about the number on the scale or heard that weighing yourself regularly is obsessive. But the scale is actually a key tool for ditching — and keeping off — fat. Experts have found that people who weigh themselves regularly lose more weight than those who don't. It could be because we can actually see the pounds come off (motivation to keep exercising) and we also get a concrete reminder that eating unhealthily for a week straight has consequences.  Its also helpful to be able to see the pounds creeping on slowly.. rather than being suddenly suprised by a 5lbs gain.


Read more: Common Workout Mistakes - Exercise Advice For Women - Cosmopolitan 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

5km Trainin Plan: Week 8

Week 8

Goal: Run for 10 minutes and walk for one minute.
Keep training at this interval until your race. If you want.. work on tempo, but don't focus too much on your time for your first race.
 On race day, if you need to walk part of the way that’s ok.

Because the mothers day race is still two weeks ago, I will be running 10 walking 1 for the next two weeks to maintain,
The week of the run, I will probably only run 1-2 times.
Great Motivator: “I always tell my group the greatest motivator is the t-shirt and the medal on race day!” Merton says. “And be proud of yourself – you’ve just run your first 5K.”

Friday, April 15, 2011

Get Outside

The first on the list of 4 fitness Trends is Outdoor Exercise...

Now that its warming up and the snow is finally melting, everyone craves the outdoors
People head out to the patios, go for walks along the river, clean up the yard...

So why not take your exercise outdoors too?
Did you know just being out in nature, even looking at pictures of nature has mental health benefits...

So what can you do outside??

A combination of the cardio of hiking, and the strength and power of yoga..
Combine the benefits of hiking, being in nature, and yoga...
It can get a bit expensive... a weekend retreat in Canmore is $750
But if you are looking for a restorative retreat this might be the thing for you!

If you don't want to pay for a retreat or do the yoga... go for a hike!
Look up local hiking trails... make sure you pack a bag that has the essentials, food, water, sunscreen, layers of clothes, get some friends together (and always tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back)
head outside, get out of the city and get some exercise!

I will be talking about this later... but its essentially a high intensity workout...outside!

Ultimate Frisbee, Softball, Soccer....
Joing a weekend recreational team... not only is it a great way to get outside and get exercise
you'll meet new friends, or have a great time signing up for a team with your friends...

Lace up the running shoes and walk or run around the city, or drive to smaller town near by (like chestemere) and run there is an excellent resource for this... you can map routes to see how far they are, and view 100's of public routes that other people have loaded.
You can download the app on your smart phone and track your progress

Ride a Bike
Hop on the old bike, or rent one and ride around the community,
head to the local park, ride along the coast or the river...
biking is a great cardio exercise, its great for your legs and its fun!

Related posts

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New Moves

Here are some new moves I'll be adding to my strength days.

Legs: Lay on your back with your legs straight up in the air and your feet pointed to the ceiling.
 Cross the right foot in front first, then cross the left leg in front, finally open to middle split (or as wide as you can!).
Then raise your legs back to the starting position. Repeat 16 times.
This exercise targets your inner and outer thighs, as well as your glutes and calves

Fully Body/ Chest: Get into a plank position — lay on your stomach, then elevate your body using your forearms and toes.
Pull your right knee to your chest, then extend your leg back into the plank position and bring your left leg to your chest and back.
Do this sequence — alternating between the left and right leg — 8 times. Rest and do it again.

 Doing this move tones your whole body, and really works your chest

Abs: Lay on your back, flat on the floor, your knees bent, and your feet planted slightly wider than your hips.
Reach your arms between your legs and slowly sit up, using a pulling motion (as if you were tugging on a rope to pull yourself up).
Slowly lower yourself back down, keeping your abs contracted to control the move. Repeat 16 times.
These are easier on your back than traditional sit ups, and moving slowly adds to the exercise

Glutes: Lay on your back with your knees bent, keeping them in line with your hips.
 Lift your arms straight above your head and raise your pelvis up and down, squeezing your butt muscles the entire time.
Repeat this 16 times, holding the last one for 30 seconds.

Keeping your butt tight while doing this works your glutes

Let me know if you try them!!
What are your favorite work out moves?

Speed Skaters are still one of my favorites...
they are such an effective leg workout.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

4 Fitness Trends

On the Glamour Vitamin G blog I came across a list of 4 fitness trends according to searching on Yahoo

I will let you know what they are and then in the following week or so I will post more info about them!

Working out outside: Searches for treadmills and other indoor workout programs are down 26% when compared to the same time in 2009. Instead, searches for “outdoor yoga mats” have spiked, so have searches for “hiking yoga.”

Tai-Chi: If you think this form of fitness is for the older demographic, think again. According to the numbers, more people under the age of 34 are searching for Tai-Chi programs,

Boot camps: Searches for fitness boot camps are skyrocketing these days

Diet plans: The most popular searches? "Raw food diet" (up 106% this month) "paleo diet" (up 90%) and "Mediterranean diet" (up 52%).

Do any of these spike your interest? What fitness key words have you been searching lately?

Monday, April 11, 2011


This is going to be a busy week!!

Yesterday I ran for 30 minutes and I did 2.5miles or 4km
It felt way better than a week ago so Im super happy about that!!

Monday Im doing a 90 minute hot yoga class in the morning
Then I have soccer practice for an  hour at night

Tuesday in class is our last day of mountain biking in class

Wednesday I am going to strength... Im looking for some new exercises if you know any!!
I am also thinking of doing some stairs

Thursday will be a rest day... and Friday likely will be too....

Friday is Bermuda Shorts Day at the Uni... its a last class bash put on by the Student Union.
Im not sure if I'll be attending as I have an exam Saturday morning.
So I will have to try to run Saturday or Sunday.

What are your plans for the week?  Are you trying out a new class or exercise? Or finally running outside?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

5km Training Plan: Week 7

Week 7

Goal: Up your running to 9 minutes, and walk for one minute.
At this stage you should be running for roughly 27 minutes total – you’re nearly there!

Side Stitches: A side stitch is a muscle spasm of the diaphragm and often shows up with novice runners – and if you’ve eaten a bigger meal before you run. When a lot of blood is being diverted to you legs, the muscles in your side and diaphragm arent getting enough oxygen...
there is no one definitive “cure” for a side stitch – “stop, breath deeply and pick up again.”
Try not to eat at least an hour prior to running.

Friday, April 8, 2011

This Week

This week has been slightly more successful!!
I ran monday and I managed to do 4km in 30 minutes.
So I am improving slightly!!

Yesterday for one of my classes we went "mountain biking"
we aren't actually aloud to leave campus so we road all around
on the grass, up and down hills... through the snow.
And we were biking for I would guess about 1.5 hours.
So that was good!!

I am hoping to get another run in on Sunday!!

Hows your running/walking/exercising going?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Summer Salad

Mango salad

I made this a couple times this week and it was delicous and summery.

I chopped up a bunch of whatever I had in the fridge...
I didnt measure or anything, just what looked good.
I thought I would share with you my salad "recipe" and some health benefits of all the ingredients!

(one cup contains 25% of your daily intake of vitamin A -thats good for your eyes)
(eating avocados for only one week can lower cholesterol on average 17%)
(contains silica which is good for connective tissue, and can improve your complexion)
(linked to reduced risk of a number of cancers, and contains more vitamin C than oranges)
(contains a surprising amount of polyphenols.. phytonutrients which help protect agains disease)
(a powerful cleansing agent, chemical compounds in cilantro bind to heavy metals in the body and help eliminate them)
(Anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-biotic and detoxifying properties, and can help get rid of ulcers)

So mix your self up this healthy summer salad and start enjoying the benefits today!! It would also make a great salsa if everything was chopped smaller and you added more juice.
Impress everyone by bringing it to your first BBQ of the summer...

(click on the ingredient to see more health benefits)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

5km Training Plan: Week 6

Week 6

Goal: Try to bump up the running time to seven minutes, and walk for one minute. If you want an extra challenge, you could consider running with very light hand weights.

Potential Pitfall: Injuries. Running injuries run the gamut, from “runners knee” (patelo femoral syndrome) to plantar fasciatis, a stretch injury to the plantar ligament that runs under the arch of the foot.

When dealing with injury, experts agree that you should determine whether the injury is something serious or simply a regular ache or pain from running – in many cases, it could be something that rest and ice will take care of. If you don’t know, ask your doctor.
Make sure you are taking time to stretch after your runs
And to prevent runners knee, make sure you strengthen you inner quads with some exercises I wrote about here

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