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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Love your butt

As a personal trainer I have come to the conclusion that no part of a woman's anatomy suffers more self-scrutiny than her butt.

"Too big","too saggy" and even "too small" is my female clients' mantra. It's time to hoist our derriere northward and uncover the perky butt inside all of us.

It's not that hard but your backside will be with some tush toners. With these exercises you can sculpt a bodacious bottom and learn to love your butt!

Gluteus Max-u-fabulous

1. Squats

2. Lunges

3. Step-ups

4. Ball Leg-curls

5. Movie Stars aka Jane Fonda side-lying leg lifts

6. Donkey Kicks aka The 20-Minute Workout on all fours leg kicks

7. Deadlifts these are awesome for your hamstrings - if you do them properly - think of building a strong, firm ledge for your butt to sit on.

Kick-Butt Cardio:

1. Walking uphill

2. Running

3. Cycling

4. Nordic Pole Walking try the DEBFIT Pole Walking Club

5. Hiking (again the uphill factor)Love your sexy butt, damn it!

weight loss the holy grail

A shiny New Year spins many people on the ever hopeful search for the Holy Grail that is, the quintessential weight loss diet. It's seductive yet elusive in it's urban myth qualities.

We know it's out there, somewhere (damn it!!) We feel it's presence full of svelte thin-bodied promises yet remains frustratingly just beyond our reach.For those of us that wish to lose weight - how on earth do we truly know how to do it!?

We are under constant attack by diet information with new studies - super-duper diet pills - shakes - books - endorsements and elaborate eating systems, however as a society we are still fat. But it's not our fault, really it's not.We have various "experts" who cannot seem to agree on even the most basic information. We are weighed down with both information and misinformation.

So who do you believe, who can you trust? I can tell you right now that if they have a product to sell, make it your prerogative to check into their claims, as well as their motives.

I am not a MD, dietitian or nutritionist but I have dedicated over 20-years to health and fitness and as a personal trainer I have seen IT ALL when it comes to eating plans that work, don't work and the dirty dozen that do irreparable damage to the body. But not only that, I also speak from experience as I come from fat genes myself. It's not new information or a magic pill. It's common sense.

1. Eat lots of fresh fruit and fruit juices/smoothies in the morning. No cooked, canned or processed fruits - doesn't count people. Do not worry about calories or negate fruits that you may have been brainwashed not to eat such as bananas. Phooey! Your body is designed to 'clean house' in the morning and fruit scrubs like nobody's business - on an empty stomach. What you are trying to do is not interfere with the elimination cycle with food that requires digestion. Fruit digests quite nicely, first thing in the morning, thank you very much.

2. Aim to eat meat/fish/poultry 3 meals a week. We don't need protein at every single meal. Eating that much animal product is good for no one except your doctor and the meat producers. Again, brainwashing from various popular diet gurus who had phenomenal marketing strategies behind them. Remember good marketing is not indicative of a good eating plan.

3. Eat more salads. If you normally have a pretty, colourful garnish salad on the side IT'S TIME TO CHANGE. Move that small salad to a bigger plate and add to it. Make the salad the center of your meal and watch the pounds fall off.

4. Quit eating so much processed foods - stop it right now.

5. And please start eating more raw vegetables. If there is a magic food out there for weight loss, fresh fruits and veggies are it.

6. Limit the amount of dairy products you consume to 3 times a week. This one can be tough, I know. But eating dairy at every meal upsets the digestive system, some more so than others and becomes habit forming. So habit forming we forget there are - in fact - other food groups out there that we haven't touched with a 10-foot fork in a long long time. And if you think low-fat dairy is the answer - read the ingredients. Dairy producers need to load up their product with fillers and sugars so as not to lose the flavour (which the dairy product is now devoid of since the fat has been removed). And so much processing involved in removing the fat. If you want dairy go for full fat = less processing and full of flavour and keeps you fuller longer. Just not dairy at every single meal.

7. Eat more nuts and seeds. They taste good and are soooooooooooo good for the body. Don't get suckered into the fat content of nuts. It's good fat which your body needs to survive. They are packed with essential fatty acids, protein and B-vitamins. They are portable, digestible and quite frankly a remarkable food.

Yoga Good Sex Life

I'm going to reveal a secret to you ... Yoga makes sex better. Yoga strengthens your sexual core like nobody's business. It all comes down to a group of muscles called your Kegels named after the doctor who discovered them. Boring. The medical term is Pelvic Floor (also kinda boring) and in Yoga, this muscle group is referred to as your Mulabhanda.

Pretty cool term but I like to call this wonderful little bundle of sexual core muscles your Venus Lock ... now don't you want to know why these muscles help you have better sex.

OK, let's go.When women have an orgasm the Venus Lock (Kegels, Pelvic Floor, Mulabhanda) contracts and these contractions help you have a stronger, longer, deeper orgasm. If your Venus Lock musculature is not strong and out-of-shape than your orgasms will be weak.

That's a fact. Take for example women who have had children, what Doc probably didn't tell you (and unfortunately it is considered a bit of a dark secret among the medical profession) is that strengthening your Venus Lock is not only great for re-tightening that area but is essential for orgasm. Men love the feel of a stronger Venus Lock as well, and not that you shouldn't care about this but it's all about you and your pleasure. Priorities girls.

How Yoga targets your Venus Lock is via Yoga poses that zero in on this muscle group. Some examples of fabulous Venus Lock engaging poses are:

1. Bridge pose

2. Lightning Bolt or Side Angle pose

3. Dead Bug dynamic pose (OK not so sexy sounding but it works)

4. Dolphin dynamic pose

5. Zipper dynamic pose

Let's learn where your Venus Lock is actually located to help turn it on while practicing the above Yoga poses and also during any Yoga class you shimmy your little tush to in Vancouver such as Bikrams, Hot Yoga, Flow Yoga and HIPFIT Yoga.

First take note of the muscle you use to stop urinary flow, and practice contracting this muscle each time you go pee. This will give you an excellent sense of just how strong this muscle group is and can be. Work up to Venus Lock tightening exercises during the day while you're doing everyday activities. Then practice tightening and gradually .. slowly releasing. Work up to 20 contractions three times a day. I'm doing mine right now!

Motivation and Goals: Achieving Success

Achieving success in health and fitness is probably the main reason your at this site. The first thing you have to define is, what is success in health and fitness. Next you have to come up with goals (plans) to achieve that success, and motivation to help keep one working towards success.

Success for many may be to lose a certain number of pounds. I would suggest that if you are over weight, getting to your ideal body size should be one of your desired successes. Approximation of ideal weight by height and sex do exist, but are not entirely accurate. Body fat % is one of the best measurements of ideal body size, and waist hip ratio is good as well. The other two successes that are more important since they lead to achieving ideal body size, is to develop healthy eating and exercise habits.

Making and Achieving good goals is very important. Remember a goal not written is just a wish! Writing down goals and recording progress are essential to achieving success. Motivation is also very important to achieving successful changes in ones life. Click below to learn more about each.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Fitness and Exercise

When it comes to your health or losing weight, Exercise is as important as Healthy Eating. Both are needed to achieve good health and body size.

Exercise can be divided into two main categories, Aerobic (Cardiovascular) and Anaerobic (Resistance or Strength training). Both play a role in good health, and especially if your trying to lose excess fat. Aerobic is for endurance activities like running, biking, aerobics, etc. Anaerobic is for strength training, gymnastics, sprinting, etc. Some exercises or sports like climbing, soccer, etc work both.

There are two main muscle types in the body. Slow twitch (type 1) and Fast twitch (type 2). Aerobic or endurance exercise mainly works the slow twitch muscles and anaerobic or strength and speed activities work the fast twitch muscles. Many of us have about 50-50 of each muscle, but our genetic makeup gives some of us more of one than the other. this is why you may feel you very good at endurance or maybe strength or speed activities.

Exercising both slow twitch muscles and fast twitch muscles is very important for fat loss. If we only do one we are missing half the benefit. Both have been researched and found to play an important role in health and fat loss. Anytime you increase muscle you burn energy and increase your metabolism because you have more muscle mass that needs energy to maintain. Strength training has been shown to be as beneficial as aerobic exercise in helping people to lose excess fat (remember that muscle is the bodies most metabolically active tissue).

Why are we the size we are?

There are three main factors to your body size:

1) Exercise habits
2) Eating habits
3) Genetics

Note: Some people may have certain diseases or conditions that can play a role in making one obese. If you fell that this may apply to you, see your doctor or health care professional for diagnosis

Although genetics does play a role in your body size, it is a small one.
Exercise and Eating habits are by far the biggest factors in determining ones body size. The causes of obesity are normally inactivity, eating the wrong foods and eating to much.

3 factors play a crucial role in how much fat and lean body tissue we have on our body

Food and Drink Consumed (Energy/Calories In)
Physical Activity (Energy/Calories Out)
Metabolism/BMR (Energy/Calories Out)

Metabolism or BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is the amount of energy or calories your body (at rest) burns in breathing, cell production, heart beat, etc. It excludes all physical activity

Change in Energy = Energy In - Energy Out

How To Lose the Fat

In the above equation, change in energy stores also means change in fat stores (mostly). In order to lose fat you must either change Energy In (how many calories you consume), Energy Out (calories burned in physical activity), or both. To lose fat and achieve a healthy body size you will need to have both good Exercise and Eating habits (eating 5-6 small healthy meals during day with resistance training and some cardio has been shown to be the best way to lose fat) . Both are essential. Increases in lean body tissue (muscle, etc) due to exercise will increase your metabolism rates which helps to burn more calories (Muscle is your bodies most metabolically active tissue). If your under weight try eating healthy foods high in calories and do strength training.

I would recommend implementing changes to your exercise and eating habits slowly over time (more likely to become permanent). Changing to quick can be difficult to implement, and if you work out to hard in the beginning you could cause injury or just be so sore you wont want to workout again. If you trying to lose fat, it is recommended that you try to lose about 1-2 pounds a week. If you hit a plateau in losing fat and you know you still need to lose more fat (Ideal Body Size), you may need to just continue to improve your eating and exercise program.

Weight Loss and Maintenance

Achieving and maintaining a healthy body size is important to your overall health and well being. First there are serious health risks for being over weight.

Some of These are:

High blood pressure, Stroke, Arthritis, Joint/Ligament problems, High blood cholesterol, Type 2 , diabetes, Sleep apnea, Breathing Problems, Coronary heart disease, Gall bladder disease, Some Cancers

On the positive side there are many great benefits to a healthy body size and lifestyle.

Some of these are:

Increased life expectancy, More energy to enjoy life, Better self image, Increased quality of life,
Better resistance to infectious diseases (colds, etc), Look and feel better, Tend to sleep better, and Many more