Showing posts with label weight loss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weight loss. Show all posts

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Practicing Self-Defense to Complete a Full-Body Workout

Mixing hobbies and fitness is beneficial for achieving multiple goals with the least amout of energy. Self-defense classes can be fun and raise your skill level but in and of themselves don’t necessarily increase your fitness. Mixing kickboxing with cardio, stretch and strength training can help in getting in shape while moving through martial art belts quickly.

Practicing kicks, blocks, and combinations works well for raising a heart rate. Combining this with squats, jumping jacks, burpees and other fat blasting efforts will get anyone huffing and puffing quickly. All that effort will raise the heart rate and improve fitness levels while having fun.

 There is a growing body of evidence that interval training has a higher impact on weight loss and health than a consistent heart rate found in activities like jogging (1). Short bursts of energy with interval periods of rests has a high success rate. The cycle is repeated throughout the entire fitness session of 40, 50 or 60 minutes.

In experimentation I have found it is possible to cycle through kickboxing, strength training, and yoga to achieve a total body workout. For example, kickboxing offers ( kicks, punches, and combinations) to raise the heart rate, slow down that heart rate through Kata (sequenced shadow practice), raise again through strength training (push ups, squats, burpees, weights), stretch and finally strengthen through yoga.

It is a complete practice of raising the heart rate for cardio and weight loss while still increasing the strength of the body. It has the bonus of stretching muscles for maximum flexibility. All of the fitness needs are covered in each exercise session.

This doesn’t mean it works for everyone; nor that it is a perfect workout. However, there are only three types of exercise that include cardio, stretching, and strength training (2). Trying to find an appropriate sequence that maximizes the most benefits of each with the least amount of energy is something that keeps me busy and in shape. If you are going to learn self-defense you might as well get in shape at the same time.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Biking-Working Out While Commuting

Making the decision to put effort into biking is an important one that can do wonders for physical fitness goals. The reasons may be many, but it is possible to save on cost, improve fitness, use time wisely, and help the environment all through the activity of biking. The hardest part about biking is getting the courage to set out on a daily commute.

I am the type of person who jogs or does kickboxing/martial arts 40 minutes every morning and then heads to work. My daily commute takes around 20 minutes in the car. The total commute time and working out is 1 hour. Biking into work is approximately 40 minutes which gives me a net plus of 20 minutes saved in the morning.

The time saver in the morning makes it easier for me to wake up, have a cup of coffee, and make my way to work without being in too much of a rush. Considering the mild weather of San Diego, which neither gets too hot or too cold, it is a great place to bike without the fear of extreme weather differences. You can typically count on the weather being reliable for biking purposes.

A bonus occurs when I come home on the bike and add another 40 minutes to my workout. That is a total of 1.2 hours every time I commute without a car and just about provides most of the fitness I will need. Add a few weights and sports and that is it. Biking may take a lot of motivation but is based on habit. Once I get into the habit, it will become easier. For now, just a couple of times a week.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Eating and Fitness-Seeking Alternatives of Habit

You are busting your rump at the gym and running five miles a day, but you are not achieving your fitness goals. The result is you are not losing weight, staying the same, or worse gaining weight! The problem isn’t how much you work out but what you put in your mouth. Finding healthy alternatives will make a big difference in whether or not you will be able to achieve your desired body shape.

If you look at the average person in this country you will find that approximately 75% are overweight or obese. The problem has become such an epidemic that laws and regulations are being passed to counter the danger. This may be one of the first generations to decline in lifespan.

The problem lies in many areas and can be broken down into sedentary lifestyle and overeating. There are many ways to further break this down into average calories burned and the type of food eaten. Between the two food is likely the hardest challenge to overcome.

Much of what we eat is based on habit, and it can be difficult to change automated habits. The problem is that they are so embedded in your memories, backgrounds and ethnicity that it is strenuous to think about changing. Who doesn’t remember mac & cheese as a child or hot cocoa? Throw in a couple of pudgy pies and you might as well put a few more notches on your belt.

Yummy warm memories that taught you how to be chubby!

Finding alternatives and slowly adjusting your eating is a more successful way of getting in shape. As eating is our biggest challenge, it makes to improve this as soon as you decided to get into a fitness program. Finding small changes and adjustments through the use of alternatives can make a big difference in our overall outcome.

Consider the difference the calories in regular apple pie of 420 and low-fat apple pie of 190. Imagine if you could drop your calorie county by 50% every time you put something into your mouth. Finding alternatives may just turn fat gain into fat loss without changing the actual quantity of food. With a little research, you might be able to figure out how eat more food than before while reducing your overall calorie intake. The next time you eat breakfast have oatmeal instead of your favorite frosted cereal.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Should Yoga be Part of Your Corporate Wellness Plan

Yoga is a sport that is in perceptual search for health and tranquility. Through stretching, breathing and focus one is able to calm their mind and strengthen their body. Because yoga requires almost no equipment and can be practiced by people of any fitness level it is a solid exercise that is included in a growing number of corporate wellness programs. Wellness enthusiasts can expect to find physical and mental advantages when they engage in this ancient practice.

Wellness programs are becoming a popular way to reduce corporate costs associated with obesity, ill health, and disease. According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, Johnson & Johnson saved $2.71 per $1 dollar spent on wellness. Wellness programs can include anything from smoking cessation to healthy eating. Yoga seems to tie all the different health improvements initiatives together in an unbrella practice.

Physical Advantages:

Yoga improves flexibility, range of motion, strength and balance that is important for the sports enthusiast and graceful aging. Because yoga is preventative by nature, it encourages your body to adjust slowly before major health complications. Business people should consider the merits of yoga in keeping their health and motivation high.

One of the nice aspects of yoga is that you can start at any fitness level. It is an adaptable activity based on the needs of each person. Strength training can be enhanced by power yoga, cardio through incorporating faster movements, relaxation through slower breathing movements, and flexibility by stretching motions.

Mental Advantages:

Yoga improves focus and stress management. A person will hold a pose, focus, and breath slowly. The hope is that one can move into the higher brain and become part of the "nothingness". When the world around stops a person begins to connect with themselves at a deeper level and understand their needs better. The practice is akin to meditation.

Stress is a major killer in the country, and our complex lives are not getting any easier. There are lots of competing interests and stressful events that go on each day. Reducing stress will have an impact on motivation, satisfaction, health and retention. Reducing chronic stress can free a person to perform to their fullest potential.

Leonard, B., Mirabito, A. & Baun, W. (2010). What's the hard return on employee wellness programs? Harvard Business Review. Retrieved

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Melt Calories Playing Beach Volleyball

Volleyball is one of those sports you don’t move more than a few feet but still reap all of the benefits of a solid work out. It won’t take much time for you to build up a good lather of sweat when you jump, bump, and spike the ball over the net. Within minutes, your heart rate will be into its fat burning zone, and the calories will start melting off.

You can burn as much as 450 calories in an hour playing volleyball. It is comparable with swimming and running. Your heart rate will rise, lower, and rise again as you wait for the ball and run to keep it from hitting the ground. Raising and lowering your heart rate has been known to strengthen your cardiovascular system.

It is hard to find sports that are both fun and fitness packed. Volleyball not only gets your heart rate up but also improves muscle tone. Natural jumping jacks, burpees, and sprints are built into the sport, and you don’t even know it. It takes lots lot of energy to chase that ball around, and you use every part of your body to score the next point.

Unlike many sports that require repetitive use of the body, volleyball uses the full range of motion. This whole range can help people develop total body fitness versus just focusing on one area of the body. As the muscles grow and develop, they do so in an even manner creating a more attractive body form. Look at the serious beach volleyball players and see their sleek and muscular design.

Few sports are as fun and as fitness directed as volleyball. Beach volleyball is one of my favorite games because the sand offers more resistance and freedom of movement than court volleyball. The jumping, running and diving in the sand will put your coordination to the test. Because you don’t even feel like you are exercising you will keep coming back for more.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tennis as the New Fitness and Social Sport

Having fun, getting in shape, and meeting interesting people makes for some of the best fitness routines that will keep you on track. Tennis is one sport that helps you stay motivated while expanding your social network.  

Doctors recommend that everyone gets a few hours of high intensity exercise in per week. That won’t be hard to obtain if you find a group that meets a couple of times a week.

Tennis is a highly cardiovascular sport that shreds pounds.  Constant running and stopping will put your heart rate into the target zone improving your blood flow and strengthening your heart.

As a social sport tennis will introduction to lots of new people quickly.  Players rotate to try out new teams and experience new challenges. It won’t take long before you gain some new friends.

There are plenty of places to find tennis activities. You can visit recreation centers and ask about tennis activities, search online for clubs,  or make a call to the city’s recreation department. Tennis groups love new players and helping them gain new skills.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Multiple Benefits of Learning Dancing for Fitness and Fun

Dancing is a past time that is fun and can help you lose weight. Many people don't take dancing classes or consider the merits of including this activity in their fitness routines. Beyond helping you lose weight through burning calories it is possible that you may also consider the social benefits of dancing. There are many different types of dancing that range from ballroom to contemporary.

Salsa is one of my favorites because it has lots of flare but also is social by nature. If you ever attended one of the many salsa events in San Diego you would soon come to notice that you can dance with just about anyone you want. People naturally enjoy having conversation in a fun activity.

Dancing also helps you burn calories. Salsa dancing uses a little more energy than many other forms of dancing and one can expect to burn 250 to 500 calories in an hour. The amount is about the same as jogging making it a great alternative to other fitness activities.

Salsa also improves the overall coordination of your body. The more you practice and learn the more enjoyable it becomes. To do this activity well requires learning how to put moves into sequence and follow a timed routine. As you get better at this you will find that your balance and coordination will get better over time.

Dancing can be an extremely social sport that includes classes, events and lots of conversation. Since dancing is typically enjoyed in pairs it provides an opportunity to switch partners and meet new people. If you attend salsa events you will eventually meet many people interested in the same thing.

I have attended a few classes at Champion Ballroom Academy. They have basic and advanced classes for just about all types of dancing. On one of the nights I attended Mary Murphy taught the class. If you know anything about her she was on ABC's So You Think You Can Dance. A very down to earth and warm spirited person. Within an hour I was able to pick up 4 different moves due to the skill of the instructor.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Eating Spinach for Internal Health

Spinach is a food that every household should have on their dinner menu. Popular spinach salads, cooked spinach, and spinach recipes do more than simply taste great as they also encourage greater health. They also have health benefits for those who want to work on their insides as much as their outsides. Incorporating a little spinach into your diet will do wonders for your general health.

According to Medical News Today spinach offers benefits for improving blood glucose levels, reducing cancer risks, improving blood pressure, preventing asthma and strengthening bones. The benefits of spinach move far beyond its tastes and encourage greater blood control and lower the risk of developing cardiovascular issues.

Developing health eating habits is about knowledge, habit, and practice. It is not enough to know about healthy eating without implementing the practice and habituating that practice to formalize a habit. As we become familiar with what foods are healthy and which ones are not we begin to naturally seek out and purchase certain types of foods.

For many people cooking healthy food is something that can be difficult do because of time and money constraints. It is just easier for people to buy a microwavable box of their favorite food or stop by their local restaurant; worse to even buy fast food. So creating a habit around eating healthy food is as important as buying that food.

An advantage of spinach is that it is also a source of protein which means those who are trying to build their muscles can find a source of protein in something leafy. It isn't a huge amount but most of the calories within spinach are made of this protein so in augmentation with other sources there is a benefit. It is better to consume protein in a low calorie meal than a protein bar.

Spinach is only part of a healthy diet. Exercise, variety, fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy all contribute to health. The process of living healthy requires you to spend time thinking about the alternatives for your diet. Spinach is a good augmentation for salad and can be used to develop some low fat dies. Boil it and use it as a side dish on a regular basis.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

5 Tips for Busy Professionals Who Want to Get in Shape 2015

The New Year is the time that people want to lose weight and take a few steps to getting themselves in better shape. The problem is that many people have way too much on their plate and can't find the time or commitment to achieve their fitness goals. Despite knowing that habits should change we still have a difficult time making small changes that can add up to being in greater shape and better health. Making small changes can be extremely helpful in hitting your target without stressing about where and when.

Make a Commitment: The first step to any fitness program is the need to make a solid commitment beyond the first few weeks of the year marked by the abandonment of so many New Year new comers. It is necessary to change habits in order to develop a long-lasting fitness program that will help you achieve the next level in your goals. This takes a considerable period of time to establish.

Start Small: Don't try and take over the world in a day. Habits are formed through repetition and it is best to start out with a reasonable amount of effort and time and not something that is going to seriously hamper your life. Start small and add on later as your habit becomes embedded.

Change Your Living Patterns: One of the helpful ways in which you can improve your fitness is by changing things you might not have thought about. For examples, walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator can make a huge difference. Try and bike to work or take your tennis and go for a speed walk at lunch.

Change Your Eating Habits: Change your eating to ensure you are getting the best nutrition while lowering poor quality foods. The best foods are ones that have lots of fruit, vegetables,whole wheat, oats, and fiber. Lowering the amount of trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol is important. Move to low fat dairy like milk and cheese can go along way. Avoid white pasta, white rice, white bread, and fatty meats.

Celebrate Little Accomplishments: Losing weight and getting in shape takes serious commitment that makes a lifestyle changing. Running around the block won't do it unless you change your eating habits. nibbling on seaweed without exercises will also have a weaker impact. When you lose a few pounds or have a strong workout go ahead an celebrate because you are one step closer to your goals.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Healthy Living: Lentil Soup as a Body Scrubber

Lentils are considered a super food that does more for the body than most other food types combined. As a legume, lentils are one of the easiest beans to prepare and can go a long way in keeping your body fully stocked with energy producing fiber.  Cooking lentil soup allows the intake of natural nutrients along with a great way to satisfy hunger throughout the day. 

Lentils lower cholesterol and improve heart health (1).  The higher volumes of soluble fiber lower cholesterol and reduce risks of heart disease and stroke by scrubbing arteries. The soluble fiber develops a gel-like substance in the digestive tract and collects bile that contains cholesterol and pushes it out of the body (2). 

We know that protein is important for encouraging muscle strength. Lentils not only provide protein (18g per cup) but also stabilize blood sugar levels helping keep insulin from bouncing around (3). The slow release of nutrients and fuel acts as a buffer against quick shots of blood sugar that helps maintain weight.

Bowl 309 calories


-2 cups of lentils
-4 cups vegetable or beef broth.
-1 medium diced onion
-4 cups water
-3 celery stalks sliced
-1 large diced tomato
-2 carrots sliced
-2 garlic cloves or garlic salt
-Black pepper and oregano to taste.


-Soak lentils in water for 2 hours to soften and then drain.
-Stir lentils and all other ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on medium heat for 8 to 10 hours.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Healthy Living: Drinking Water Helps You Lose Weight

Water is the lifeblood of our bodies so it is natural we should consume enough water to ensure that the 60% of us that is liquid is adequately supplied. Water apparently has additional benefits that not only encourage the interactivity of our chemistry but also helps us lose weight. Don’t jeopardize your fitness plans by ignoring the simple no hassle activity of drinking water. 

A study mentioned on CNN shows that water can help people lose weight (1).  In the study, 48 obese men and women drank two 8 oz. of water before each of their three meals along with a low calorie diet. Half drank the water before their meals and the other half didn’t. At the conclusion of the study (3 months) the group that drank the water lost 15.5 pounds when compared to 11 pounds in the control group. 

We know that 4.5 pounds isn’t that much but even a pound a month for a person in the normal range of weight adds up to 12 pounds a year. Any extra pounds are more than you would have lost if you didn’t drink more water. If you are interested in fitness it is just a few extra pounds you didn’t have to work for. 

Drinking water also encourages the chemical compounds in your body to interact in the way they were designed (2). Before soda pop, alcoholic drinks, smoothies, and chocolate milk was the idea of plane old water. All other types of drinks require the body to clean out or use up the compounds. 

Drinking water is a habit that becomes easier the more times you do it. Most people don’t drink enough water and are chronically dehydrated. That dehydration constricts your blood vessels and the movement of nutrients within your body. You also can’t filter the pollutants out of your system as fast as you can when you are hydrated. Get into the habit and carrying a reusable water bottle around; especially around eating time.