Tired Of Doing Sit-ups and Crunches? Then Give This “Water Bottle” Core Workout A Try!

18 Aug

It’s not always easy or affordable to buy a weight set. So, here are 3 alternative “Water Bottle” exercises you can do at home without the need to invest in fitness equipment:

  1. Plank weight transfer: A plank is an isometric core exercise. You lay prone and you hold your body off the ground using your elbows without piking your glutes or sagging you back. Then, you transfer a bottle of water from one side to the other using opposite arms. So, the left arm takes the bottle of water that is placed next to the right arm and transfers it to the left side and the right arm does the exact opposite. This works the deep core muscles including the transversus abdominis which in turn allow for creating a more defined rectus abdominis. Perform 8-12 reps per side.
  2. Side plank arm reach: This works your obliques and lower back erector spinae muscles. Basically, you lay on your left side, raise your hips from the ground using your left elbow as you hold your right arm towards the sky. Then, you pivot your right arm under your body and cross it over to the opposite side (as you hold yourself up on you left elbow) and then return your arm back to its original position. Perform 8-12 reps per side.
  3. Water bottle Russian Twists to Jack Hammer: This works the transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, and the internal and external obliques. Sit with your legs bent at the knee. Lift your legs and twist your torso left to right while you hold the water bottle parallel with the floor. Then, extend your water bottle back towards the floor and extend your legs away from your body without touching the ground and return them both back to their original position (for the Russian Twist). This completes one cycle. Perform 8-12 reps.

Are you ready to #finishitwithfinishfit?

What Are The Benefits And Cons Of The Paleo Diet?

11 Aug

An often misunderstood piece of the Paleo diet is in the use of standard cuts of meat instead of organ meats, bone broth and other collagen sources (which should in fact be included in the Paleo Diet).

-How would you define it?

If the caveman didn’t eat it, neither should you.

-What can you eat on the paleo diet?

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Healthy fats from nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, fish oil and grass-fed meat
  • Lean Meats
  • Seafood
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Healthy Fats

-Who does it benefit?

It benefits those looking for Improved blood lipids, weight loss, and reduced pain from autoimmunity

-What are the pros and cons of this diet?

  • Pros: It will remove the foods that are at odds with your health (grains, legumes, and dairy)  and it will also increase the intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Basically, anyone trying to get healthy and lose weight would benefit from this diet. It can reverse the signs and symptoms of insulin resistant, Type 2 diabetes. And, it can help fight against autoimmunity (a process where our own immune system attacks “us”)
  • Cons: 1) its expensive 2) You don’t eat grains or dairy which may be good for your health 3) Could be difficult for Vegetarians since it excludes beans. 4) It would be hard to get all the necessary carbs (i.e. an athlete needs about 3-6grams/Lb of body weight).

-Is it effective?

Yes! 1) You are more likely to eat a healthy diet without additives, preservatives, or chemicals. 2) You can get lots of Iron from the red meat. 3) And you will notice greater satiety (hence, greater weight loss) due to the increased# protein intake.

Are you ready to #finishitwithfinishfit?

Use Your Pet To Catapult Your Fitness Program And Help You lose weight

5 Aug

There’s nothing like working out with your pet. Here are 10 Specific exercises you can do with your pet so you can both shed extra pounds and get in shape.

  1. Figure 8 –  Move your treat around your leg in a figure 8 format as you pass the treat from the left to your right arm and back.(Similar to a kettlebell figure 8 exercise). Here you’re working our quads, glutes, and obliques.
  2. Plyometrics (Jumping Jacks with a treat) – Jump up then down and touch the ground in front of pet and the jump up again. This works power, speed, agility, and it exercises your heart and quads.
  3. Core – (Superman to Banana) – Lie on belly lift arms and legs up while you hold treat. Turn around on your back as you lift arms and legs up. This works your core and Erector Spinae Muscles.
  4. Core (Bird Dog) – Hold treat as you extend opposing limbs. The elbow of the right hand touches the knee of the left leg and back. Alternate limbs. Your pet should follow you as you hold the treat. This works the core stabilizers.
  5. Core (Plank treat transfer) – Transfer the treat from the right side of the ground to the left side using your left arm and then from the left side to the right side using your right arm as your pet follows you. This is similar to the “plank weight transfer” exercise (using a dumbbell).
  6. Agility – Run agility course with your dog. This is a great way to do calisthenics and cardio at the same time.
  7. Walking with your pet – But everyone knows this one. J
  8. Squats- Hold your pet as you squat down and then back up. This works your quads and your glutes.
  9. Deadlifts – Hold your pet and bend at the hips as you reach down and the push through the heals and glutes as you come up. This works your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.
  10. Do Schutzhund (Obedience, protection, and tracking) with your dog. Holding the sleeve for bite work can strengthen your upper body muscles, tax your cardiovascular system, and raise your heart rate for fat loss.

Are you ready to #finishitwithfinishfit®  ?

 

Exercise Boosts BDNF’s Which Spark Creativity, Productivity, and Physical Inertia!

28 Jul

I train many executives and CEO’s that are pretty worn out by the time they get to me. They have high pressure jobs that require mental acuity for long periods of time. Most of us can stay focused for a 2 or 3 hours at a time. But it’s an entirely different story when you have 10,000 employees and managers demanding your attention all day long.

Physical fitness releases endorphins in our bodies which boost how we feel; an affect most executives try to get from “coffee”. It also boosts brain power by creating new brain cells (aka neurogenesis) that improve overall brain function. Some studies even suggest that exercise can boost brain-derived protein (known as BDNF) in the body which is believed to improve decision making and clarity of thought.

Regular exercise also sharpens memory and ability to learn new things by increasing cell production in the hippocampus (which controls learning and memory).

Are you ready to #finishitwithfinishfit®  ?

What Is Fartlek Training?

21 Jul

-Why do some runners still shy away from the run/walk method, in your opinion?

The run/walk method (Fartlek Training) was popularized by running coach Jeff Galloway. Some runners shy away from the run-walk method as it is often associated with “beginners” rather than “elite athletes”. The stigma associated with being a “beginner” discourages some runners from using this method.

 

-Are there benefits to doing run/walk intervals? What about for beginners versus experienced runners?

When done correctly, the run-walk method can help improve running fitness, aerobic capacity, and overall recovery leading to decreased chances of injury. In beginners, the run/walk method can help build the endurance for longer runs without stopping. In experienced runners, the run/walk method can be smart way train consistently while enhancing recovery and helping to  prevent injury.

 

-Can the run/walk method improve your running speed? Why or why not?

Yes. By gradually increasing your fast interval speeds, you can increase your anaerobic threshold which would in turn lead to faster overall speeds. That is, your body will be able to counteract the effects of lactic acid buildup allowing you to run faster for longer periods of time.

 

-For those interested in the run/walk method, what are some good ratios to keep in mind? (i.e., run for 2 minutes, walk for 30)

10-minute warm-up at an easy pace

1 minute on (fast pace), 2 minutes off (easy pace)

Repeat the Fartlek as needed

10-minute cool down at an easy pace

Are you ready to #finishitwithfinishfit®  ?

Women Can Lift Their Way To A Sexy Body Without Getting Bulky!

14 Jul

1. What are the 3 best tips for women who want to lose fat and build muscle?

  • Don’t be afraid to lift heavy. The common thing I hear from women is: “I don’t want to lift heavy because I don’t wanna look bulky”. Lifting heavy can actually help build muscle mass which in turn will help burn fat calories. If you mix heavy lift days with light and medium days (an undulating Periodization Scheme) you will get the benefits of building muscle mass without looking “Bulky”.
  • You will lose more body fat by doing 20 min of HIIT training instead of doing an hour of “Steady State” Cardio.
  • Incorporate Olympic Lifts in your workouts to activate your anaerobic threshold for maximal fat burn

2. What role does lifting weights play in fat loss?

  • Muscle is the engine in your body. The more of it you have, the more fat calories you burn. Lifting helps build muscle mass which in turn helps speed up your metabolism and burn fat calories.

3. What is the number one thing women should understood about losing fat and gaining muscle?

  • The number on thing I wish women understood is that, you can build muscle mass and strength through lifting heavy without getting “Bulky”.

Will you #FinishItWithFinishFit®?

Why Should I Include Kale In My Diet?

7 Jul

Kale has many health benefits that can enhance the quality of your life. Although not recommended for everyone, Kale can be a powerful ally in your pursuit of a healthy diet.  In this article I have outlined the benefits and contraindications of Kale.

1) What are the benefits of Kale?

  1. Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat.
  2. Kale is high in iron, Vitamin K, Vitamin C (reduces free radical damage caused by exposure to pollutants), Iron, Folate, Magnesium, and Calcium (i.e. kale has more absorbable calcium than a small carton of milk).
  3. Kale has 2 grams of protein (which can serve to add muscle mass).
  4. Kale detoxifies the liver
  5. Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants.
  6. Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food (mega-3 fatty acids and phytonutrients, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma, and autoimmune disorders).
  7. Kale contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, along with beta-carotene which are all essential for good eye health.

2) What are the different types of Kale?

  • There are mainly 2 types of Kale: Red and Green

The primary difference between the two is in the way they taste.  Red Russian kale is sweeter compared to green kale. Therefore, it might be the better option to start out with when trying Kale.

  • Specifically, the different types of Kale are:

1. Curly kale – Most common type of kale that can be found in most supermarkets. It has a peppery flavor but if you prefer less bitterness, look for younger kale as they have a milder taste.

2. Lacinto kale (AKA…Tuscan Kale, Tuscan Cabbage, or Dinosaur Kale). Its leaves are narrow, dark green and wrinkly attached to a hard stem that should ideally be removed.

3. Redbor kale – They range from deep red to purple color, sometimes with some shades of green. In addition to cooking, Redbor kale can be used as a granish.

4. Russian (Siberian) kale – They range from green to red/purple shades. It’s sweet and mild with a hint of pepper.

3) How should I integrate Kale into my diet?

  • Kale can be eaten raw or lightly cooked as this helps to preserve the antioxidants, polyphenols and beta-carotene content. It’s great in soups, stews, stir-fries, salads, and smoothies.
  • Kale chips made in a dehydrator can serve as great snacks throughout the day.

4) When should I avoid Kale?

  • People taking blood thinners like Coumadin (warfarin) should avoid kale as the vitamin K in kale may interfere with that medicine.
  • People with cruciferous vegetable allergies should avoid Kale.
  • Care should be taken with people who may suffer from iodine deficiency or are suffering with any potential thyroid related conditions as Kale can interfere with thyroid health due to its Glucosinolate compounds. These foods are also known as Goitrogens and can interfere with iodine metabolism.

Are your ready to #FinishItWithFinishFit ®?

Healthy Snacks That Work!

1 Jul

1. What should we look for when choosing a snack?

  • Gluten-free, Vegan, Milk, egg, wheat, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, fish and shellfish free
  • No added sugar or preservatives, salt, flavors, or colors
  • Good source of protein, fiber, and omega 3
  • Non-GMO, Wheat Free BPA-Free packaging

2. Why are healthy snack alternatives so important?

  • Even though snacking is frowned upon, it can be a great way to satiate your hunger and prevent you from overeating (ultimately helping you with your weight loss or weight maintenance goals). Furthermore, healthy snacking can help maintain stable blood sugar levels (which is especially important in diabetics) throughout the day preventing you from mid-day crashes.

3. What are some of your favorite healthy alternative snack?

  • Instead of Haribo gummy bars that are full of chemicals and sugar, choose Yum Earth
  • Gummy bears are organic and made from natural ingredients
  • Granola and Coconut Bar by Macrobar
  • Organic Fuji Apple Chips by Bare
  • Flatbread, Seedlander by Doctor Kracker
  • Of course, one should not dismiss whole organic fruits and various nuts as snacks.

Are you ready to Finish It With Finish Fit®?

 

What Happens To The Body When You Don’t Exercise For 2-3 months?

16 Jun

-What Happens To The Body When You Don’t Exercise For 2-3 months?

The tendency is to lose muscle mass. Muscle is the engine in your body. When you lose muscle mass, you metabolism slows down. Hence, any additional calories eaten are stored as fat rather burned off as energy.

-What are some good types of workouts to ease yourself back into exercising regularly come spring? Why are these exercises good?

Some good types of workouts to ease yourself back into exercising are air squats, modified pushups, horizontal and vertical resistance band rows and presses. These are good multi-joint exercises that give you a full body workout.

-How long should you aim to work out if you haven’t done so in a few months? How many times a week?

Begin with 30 min a day 3X/week of strength training. Add 1 or 2 more days of walking for 30 min/day.

-Anything people should be careful of to avoid risking injury/hurting themselves?

Yes! People should begin each exercise session with a dynamic warm-up to properly get the muscles ready for exercise. For the first few weeks, they should avoid heavy lifts, long cardio sessions, and excessive stretching. The whole idea is to slowly ease back into exercise and allow the muscles to go through the neuromuscular adaption phase before progressing to more difficult exercise sessions.

Will you Finish It With Finish Fit®?

What Are The Best Butt Exercises?

10 Jun

Here are the best butt exercises:

1) Samba Dance with rotating hips:

Circle hips as you squat (increase intensity with deeper on larger circles)

2) Ipanema Walk:

Lift, swing forward, step, and lunge forward; lift, swing, step and go into a backward lunge

3) Squat Arabesque:

Place feet shoulder with apart. Shift weight to heels, keep knees behind toes, and stick out your butt behind you.  Extend leg back as you extend the arm up and forward.

4) Attitude kickback: Stand on high heels (balancing on balls of feet while keeping hips lifted) step left then right (for deep inner butt muscles like the Piriformis). The isometric hold on top will add intensity to the exercise.

5) Kneeling leg lift:

Begin in the all-fours position.  Extend one back and up, hold on top, and pulse. This gives definition between hamstring and butt for a rounded appearance. This lifts butt shelf and gives smoother appearance (with or without dumbbells).

6) Kneeling diagonal leg lift:

Kneeling cross kick-ups (targets sides of hips and inner thighs giving the glutes a carved rounded appearance and smoothing the side of the leg)

7) Suspended clam Shells:

Rotate leg away from hips and hold on top of range of motion. Tones side of glutes giving curved appearance.

8) Floor leg lift:

Extend straight legs on floor. Lift both legs up first then lift the top leg up and down (gives inner tights and butt cheeks a better silhouette)

9) Barbell or dumbbell forward, reverse, or transverse lunges (with slow eccentric contractions). Lunge forward, sideways, and the backwards as you hold the barbell or dummbell on your shoulders.

10) Banded walks:

Abduct legs with bands in the sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes

11) Lying banded clam shells:

Externally rotate,abduct, and then adduct the hip as you lie on your side.

12) Plié Squats (or Sumo Squats): 

Squat with the toes turned outwards in a wide stance position.

13) Single or double leg bridges:

Lie down on your back with your hands by your sides, your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Make sure your feet are under your knees. Raise your hips up  and squeeze your core as you pull your belly button back toward your spine. Slowly raise and extend one leg while keeping your pelvis raised and level. If your hips sag or drop, place the leg back on the floor and do a double leg bridge until you become stronger. Remember to flatten the lumber spine before the ascent and to scoop the back on the descent.

14) Cook’s bridges:

Lie on back. Pull one knee tightly to the chest. The opposite knee stays bent at 90 degrees and the foot stays planted on the floor. Lower the lumbar spine, then push that foot into the floor and extend the hips upward. Return back to the original position and scoop back up the lumbar spine.

Will you Finish It With Finish Fit®?

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