Archive for: weight loss
Now that I’ve conquered the mini scooter world, I’m upgrading this summer to a Vespa (thanks Mom!). For an Italian girl, it just doesn’t get any better than that! Because it has more power than my little Bajaj, I had to go to scooter school — otherwise known as a mandatory motorcycle safety course. Of course, with more power comes more responsibility so I’m going to have to learn how to handle my classic Italian dream machine from starting, accelerating, maneuvering, avoiding obstacles and stopping safely. If your desire is to upgrade to a better, more powerful body this summer, you’ll need to know the rules of the “ripped” road.
Last summer my dad gave us a scooter he’d had in storage for quite a while. It’s a little bitty thing — think motorized bicycle versus high powered rocket — but man is it fun to ride. We did some basic maintenance on it over the weekend, checking tire pressure, replacing gear box fluid, etc.. You could tell it had been idle for years by the black, sticky fluid that drained off. Now it’s running like a champ. It is amazing what the right fuel will do for a simple engine to help it perform at its peak. If you’re looking for leaner abs and a carved physique this summer, maybe it’s time to give your muscles a tune up too.
Okay, I know exactly what you are thinking, “Here we go again, there’s something else I have to give up in order to lose weight.” It’s no wonder the weight-loss industry is booming as fast as our collective bellies are growing — sucking you into the latest diet fad or weight-loss product promising to shrink your belly once and for all. Gismos, gadgets, pills, and powders may have caused more harm than good. They are that “something shiny” that distracts our attention away from a common sense approach to losing belly fat. Let’s see if we can bust a few myths along with a few unwanted inches.
As a teenager, I had my share of traumatic moments…haven’t we all? My most devastating moment came was when I asked my mom for my first 2-piece swimsuit. My ultra-conservative father would only agree to it with his prior approval. There I stood in the glare of fluorescent department store lighting awaiting a thumbs up or down. Finally, my over-inflated teenaged humiliation was replaced with jubilation when I was approved for my first bikini. Unfortunately, for most of us, men and women alike, the burgeoning summer season creates its own grown-up trauma when a slip into our swimsuits reveals more belly than brawn. This week, we’ll explore some surprising ways to banish our bellies.
Are you one of those perky morning people who wakes up refreshed and ready to take on the day with a smile on your face, a head full of ambition, and a can-do attitude? If you had met me several years ago, you would have agreed that I was the polar opposite: grumpy, crabby, sleepy, sneezy…my own little version of the seven dwarfs! My family and co-workers knew to keep their distance until I came to life, which was usually around 10am. If you make more enemies than friends in the morning, maybe it’s time to look at better ways to fuel your day which may lead to a sunnier disposition and a slimmer you.
I’ve always been a fan of clever marketing — you know those commercials that get your attention with funny lines, edgy graphics or memorable characters? My favorite spot lately is the guy who goes around telling people to feed their lawns. The hook is that he’s got a really cool, thick Scottish accent that gets your attention when he says, “Feed you’re lawn, Feed et!” Now, instead of the mundane spring task of seeding and fertilizing your lawn, you feel like Braveheart rallying his troops to slay the enemy in an epic battle of grass versus dandelions. With that image in mind and summer weather on its way, maybe it’s time we “burn the fat…burn et!”
One of my favorite classic skits from Saturday Night Live was when comedian, Billy Crystal, played Fernando, a superficial and overtly sexual latin night club performer who greeted everyone with the phrase, “Dahling, you look mahvelous.” His character lived by a personal credo that it was always “better to look good than to feel good.” Maybe we all have a little Fernando in each of us with our desire to look good. While I don’t believe we are all vain and self-absorbed like Fernando, could it be that we put a bigger price tag on our outward appearance than our inner health? This month, let’s focus on ways to feel good from the inside out starting with our body composition.
I’ve been working on a number of home improvement projects lately. This weekend I tackled the kitchen, walk-in pantry and guest bathroom — Ugh! What astonished me in cleaning out cabinets was all of the stuff I’ve accumulated from wedding gifts, to inherited treasures, to just plain junk. The hardest part of de-cluttering for me is letting go of things. It is a family characteristic to keep things if they pass two basic tests: could it be worth money or will I potentially need it someday. Forget the fact that just a minute ago I didn’t even know I owned it! Maybe you’re guilty of the same behavior especially when it comes to your health. You may not know what your health is worth until you lose it. As we close out April, let’s do some spring cleaning of our own and find out what your health is worth, now and later.
It must be a right of passage for most kids, watching classic Disney films like Cinderella, Snow White, Dumbo, and Pinocchio, just to name a few. In true Disney form, there is always a hero or heroine who must overcome his or her fears to defeat the evil witch, monster or various inanimate objects brought to life by overzealous animators. To this day I can’t tell you everything that happened in those movies as my view was inevitably obstructed by the clever hands-over-eyes technique employed whenever something scary was about to happen like the Evil Queen who tempts innocent Snow White to bite into a poisonous apple. “This is no ordinary apple. It’s a magic wishing apple,” says the queen, enticingly. Fortunately, for us, our apple crunching outcome is far more positive. As apple trees begin to blossom, check out the amazing health benefits of apples.
In desperate need of a warm up, we ventured down to sunny Florida last week. Mark’s parents have a lovely home there and it has become our winter respite. Our daily routine includes tennis, golf and a swim in the pool which includes a walk by the neighbors Gardenia bush — my favorite flower. In fact, Gardenias were the centerpiece of my high school prom bouquet. While other girls had corsages, my date went all out with a bridal like bouquet that he insisted I carry it all evening. Okay, awkward! Even though the details of the dance have faded, I am amazed at the power of scent to trigger memories. It’s no wonder aromatherapy has become such a beneficial tool in our wellness arsenal. What better way to celebrate the bloom of spring than with the power of the flower.
If you’ve put on a few pounds since bootcamp and want an easy way to lose weight, then this is perfect for you. If you’ve got something coming up, a sports event, a fitness test, a class reunion, or beach vacation where that gut you’ve been sucking in will be unleashed (or unbuckled), then this is for you too.
Losing weight doesn’t have to be a losing battle. And as they say, starting is the hardest part. Sure, some people say sticking with it is harder, but when you see results and you feel those results, then sticking with the workout plan becomes very easy…and we’re going to talk about how to easily burn those calories, lose the fat, and get in better shape in just weeks.
Good questions with answers below…
(1) How long is a workout? Should it be a half-hour or a full hour?
Depends on your goals and current fitness level. 30 min is great for a beginner / maintenance plan or high intense workout. 60+ min is needed for longer events like marathons, triathlons, spec ops training, but fine for a body building workout. Like I said — all depends…
Mine are usually 2–3 hours long full of calisthenics, running, swimming mix in the summer and shorter with weights and light cardio in the winter — see how
According to scientists at the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory of the Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition of the University of Pittsburgh less body fat improves physical and physiological performance in army soldiers.
According to results of this study soldiers meeting the Department of Defense (DoD) body fat standard and those exceeding the standard were subjected to a Wingate cycle protocol to test anaerobic power and capacity, an incremental treadmill maximal oxygen uptake test for aerobic capacity, isokinetic tests for knee flexion/extension and shoulder internal/external rotation strength, and the Army Physical Fitness Test.
Results showed that group 1 performed significantly better on 7 of the 10 fitness tests. In Soldiers with similar amounts of FFM, Soldiers with less body fat had improved aerobic and anaerobic capacity and increased muscular strength.
Learning to fish is a rite of passage for most kids, boys and girls alike. I remember catching my first fish on Kelly’s Island in Ohio while on our annual summer camping trip with family and friends. My elation turned to terror when I watched my poor little prize gasp for breath while it flopped around the bottom of the boat. With my arms flailing and my fish’s fins flapping, I managed to release the hook and return him to the water. Apparently, fishing was not my calling. It did, however, teach me good lessons in patience, coordination, boating and even a bit about biology. There are very few things that panic both fish and people more than the inability to catch our breath. As we continue our A’s of April series, let’s look at how we can improve our odds against asthma.
There is one key component to reaching your fitness goals, regardless of your current fitness levels. Consistency.
That may sound oversimplified but that doesn’t make it any less truthful. However, most people have lives that make this one component very difficult to obtain.
If you’re serious about your fitness goals, if you’d like to transform your body from the state it is in now to that of a modern day Spartan on the inside and out than what I’m about to share with you can help you achieve your goals.
If you’ve ever traveled around Maine in the early spring, you may be puzzled by the sight of buckets, bags and assorted tin cups attached to the trunks of trees. No, it’s not lawn art. It’s actually a tell-tale sign of spring — the tradition of tapping maple trees. In fact, this past weekend we celebrated Maine Maple Sunday when sugar shacks pop up all over the state to boil down the collected buckets of sap into sweet nectar of the pancake gods. While we may think of maple syrup as a delectable indulgence, it is chock full of health benefits.
With hundreds of programs shuffling around the fitness world, how do you know which program is right for you? Are you suppose to be following a fat loss workout, muscle-building workout, Crossfit, yoga, Pilates, P90x, Insanity, or whatever the latest craze is at the time? Understanding which program is right for you is always a tough question, and luckily I am here with some answers to help.
I’ve recently discovered picking and pawning shows on the History channel — yes, I am a total geek! My favorite game is to count how many times they use the well-worn cliché “back in the day.” So now it’s my turn. Did you even notice how comic book heroes always had a secret source for their superhuman strength? Back in the day, Popeye had his can of spinach. Today, even Ironman has gone green with Chlorophyll shakes — you know, to ward off the blood poisoning brought on by the Palladium core required for the ARC reactor in his body! Fortunately, for the rest of us, going green is a little less complicated but the results may be just as powerful.
Growing up I never had a nickname. It was always Chris or Chris Anne and, of course, the occasional “Christine!” when I was in big trouble. When my brother was born he got the nickname Tiger which I thought was a really awesome name because he sounded so tough. Guys always have the coolest nicknames like The Duke, Maverick, Indiana, and even The Babe. Occasionally they can be less flattering especially if you find that a certain protruding part of your anatomy is becoming name-worthy in it’s own right. If so, it may be time to banish that belly.
Did you ever see the movie Signs? I’m not usually into scary movies but this one sucked me in! The writer/director, M. Night Shyamalan was able to weave drama, suspense, science fiction and family tragedy into a faithful message of hope. It all begins with crop circles on a family’s farm and ends with our heros battling for their home and survival from alien invaders. Fortunately, the signs we usually encounter aren’t extra-terrestrial in nature. From flashing road signs to beeping message lights on our smart phones, signs are designed to get our attention. Your body is filled with them — maybe it’s time to pay attention to our internal signs.