I hope everybody has had a great year in fitness and nutrition in 2009. I did!
New Years in a great time to reflect on the past year and think about what you want in the coming year. 2010 is a big one so let's really make some changes. Here are some of my fitness and nutrition related resolutions for the new year. Feel free to comment or email me with yours!
Resolutions for 2010:
1. Take more courses on weight lifting.
2. Use my new juicer to make lots of veggie juice to be used as an antioxidant and detoxifying cleanser
3. Use my new food processor to make healthy soups, hummus and tabbouleh
4. Learn more belly dance and dancing styles in general.
5. Try to remember that I'm not invincible and rest is recuperation is necessary for health and wellness.
Have a safe and Happy New Year.
See you in 2010!
December 31, 2009
I hope everybody has had a great year in fitness and nutrition in 2009. I did!
December 29, 2009
The key to weight loss and maintenance is a metabolic system that digests food efficiently. Here are three simple ways to speed up your metabolism:
1. Weight Lifting
Muscle burns calories, therefore, building muscle mass increases the metabolic rate. You don't have to have huge muscles for this to be effective. A simple strength training routine 2 to 3 times a week will sufficiently build the muscle required for a long term metabolic increase.
2. Smaller Meals and Calorie Rotating.
Diet has to be 80% of weight loss, and fitness results in general. Eating a huge, heavy meal is really hard to digest and will slow your metabolic rate. Eating smaller meals, especially fruit and veggies will keep your metabolism running more frequently while at the same time, digesting meals more easily. Also, if you know you are going to be eating a lot at a family gathering or work function tomorrow eat light today and the day after. The reason for this is because like with exercise, you can "shock your body into changing." Giving your body different meals consisting of different foods and portion sizes keep your metabolism "surprised" and constantly working in different ways to aid digestion. So really, you are using that big meal to your advantage!
Cardiovascular activity revs up the metabolism for up to 24 hours after exercise. This type of metabolic increase is temporary but very useful for weight loss and maintenance. Have you ever noticed how hungry you get an hour or so after a great cardio workout? That's your body ready to digest a satisfying meal to replenish lost nutrients and hydration.
December 28, 2009
"This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind...let it be something good."
December 26, 2009
Having a home gym is super convenient and economical. For the cost of one month at a gym, you could already have a basic set up! The larger investments such as cardio equipment will last for years and will pay off in the long run.
Here are some home gym equipment buying tips:
1. You get what you pay for
Do not buy machines from Wal Mart, Canadian Tire of similar chain discount stores. The equipment is terrible! The first elliptical I had broke in TWO WEEKS. I have had other cardio equipment from these stores break in less than a year. It's very disappointing, frustrating and a waste of money. It's much better to pay a little more for a much longer life.
2. Dumbbell Types
Most dumbbells sell for around a dollar per pound. They are a little more expensive for chrome, or hard plastic heads. If you are trying to save money then basic grey hex dumbbells are the way to go. They are durable and do the job. If you are buying nice weights for a home gym set up expect to pay a little more. Try to avoid the foam/vinyl covered weights. They scuff, peel and are in general, not as long lasting.
3. Resistance Bands/Tubes and Stability Balls
These items are easy to find. If you live in Toronto try Canadian Tire, Wal Mart, Sears, Winners, Honest Eds, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sports Chek, and other sporting goods stores. Make sure the ball is the right size for you and that the bands are challenging enough.
It's not a bad idea to pick up little extras to motivate you. Some examples are: Punching bag and gloves, jump rope, medicine balls, weight bench, push up pro handles, BOSU ball, aerobic step, and pedometer.
Buying for a home gym is fun! Once you get everything you need, stay in, and get fit!
December 24, 2009
It's not too late to give the gift of fitness. Until January 1st 2010 I'm offering the initial assessment, 3 personal training sessions, nutritional counseling and a custom program for home workouts for $199.
If you live in Toronto and would like to hire a personal trainer for yourself, or a loved one, feel free to contact me anytime by phone 647 308 KALI (5254) or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are an international client looking for custom programs, be in touch for great holiday discounts. $79 for Fitness or Nutrition programs or $129 for both!
Happy Holiday Clients and Readers!
December 22, 2009
December 21, 2009
"The lion in the jungle makes every other animal sit up and take notice as soon as he lets out a roar. He didn't get that way through artificial paraphernalia or through springs and wires and trick dumbells. He became the king of the jungle through constant natural use of every muscle in his body."
December 19, 2009
1 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion sliced
3 to 4 large portobello mushrooms stems and gills removed (take a teaspoon and scrape out gills), sliced
1 small red bell pepper thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
2.5 thinly sliced reduced-fat provolone cheese
4 whole-wheat buns split and toasted
December 17, 2009
Try These Three FUN Outdoor Winter Exercises
1. Running in the snow.
The snow provides resistance, like running in the sand. This helps to develop sexy hamstrings and glutes. It's also much harder on the cardiovascular system and will result in a stronger heart, more sweat, and stronger legs. If you have a dog they'll love working out with you!
Who says exercise isn't fun? Do you remember how hard it was, even as a kid, to run up and down the tobogganing hill? Grab some friends and find the biggest hill you can. Reward yourself afterward with low fat hot chocolate or green tea.
3. Playing in the snow.
If you have kids or you're just a kid at heart, perfect! Play in the snow by having a snowball fight, (no ice balls, please!) building a snowman or making a fort. Hauling snow around is heavy and constant movement results in fat burn after 20 minutes, no matter what you do!
Have fun this winter while staying in shape and improving your overall fitness condition with these three fun outdoor winter workouts.
Workout this Winter!
December 15, 2009
I have a soft spot for the treadmill. It was the first piece of equipment I used and with it pretty much alone (I didn't know how to lift weights yet!) I lost a lot of weight and started my fitness journey.
Over the years the treadmill keeps winning me over and with any luck I can pass along my enthusiasm for this machine onto you, with ten benefits of the treadmill:
Ten Benefits of the Treadmill
1. In comparison to walking/running outside, speed and incline can be controlled and recorded. It's also great for avoiding going downhill because shin splints are never fun!
2. Using the treadmill is easier on your joints than running or walking on pavement.
3. Using the treadmill is convenient. You do not have to miss a workout due to bad weather.
4. Staying balanced on the treadmill requires core stabilization. It's great for the abs and low back!
5. Most treadmills nowadays are equipped with heart rate monitors to make certain that your workout are intense as need be.
6. Using the treadmill is a form of cardio that is great for your heart, circulation and overall health and well being.
7. The treadmill is great aid for weight loss.
8. The treadmill keeps your workouts safe. Running outside can be a hazard with potholes, traffic, cyclists and other pedestrians.
9. Having a treadmill at home makes exercise super easy. Even if it's first thing in the morning walking on one does not require much concentration and it helps you to wake up and start the day on a healthy note.
10. Overall treadmill workouts are beneficial to cardiovascular health, energy and stress levels, weight maintenance and sexual health.
If you do not use a treadmill yet at home or the gym consider trying one out for 15 to 40 minutes after a weight workout.
December 14, 2009
"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."
"What is not started today is never finished tomorrow."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
December 12, 2009
With only less than a month until resolution time, I'm throwing out a few suggestions to readers and clients of Kalisthenix.
I'm a big fan of goal setting. I believe it's necessary in all facets of life development and even though I think resolutions should be made all year long, the end of the year is a wonderful time to really think about all of the bigger things you would like to accomplish.
1. Do something that REALLY scares you
This year I started taking belly dancing lessons, and consequently this led to me performing a routine on a stage, in front of over 100 people. I'm a fairly reserved person and the only thing that scares me more than dancing on a stage is singing on one! However, because the idea of doing this scared me so much, performing my routine without any major errors, and having fun in the process has really helped me to 1. Overcome by fear of public performance and 2. Discover a new activity I thoroughly enjoy. Not only am I continuing with my lessons in the New Year, I have also auditioned, and been accepted in to a dance teacher's training course starting in January. Sometimes doing things that scare you can be life changing!
2. Pick something up that you have already tried but couldn't do
When we are not good at something right away, it's natural to want to quit. If you tried to train for a marathon, or fell on your butt last year ice skating and gave up trying, now is a good time think it over and analyze the reasons why you gave it up. Was the goal was truly unattainable, or did you quit prematurely? If something like running a marathon was truly important to you, figure out a different approach to attaining the goal and get back to it! Reaching a challenging goal you have attempted more than once is ultimately more fulfilling than something you can do right away!
3. Make a major lifestyle change
A new year is like a blank canvas. It's a great time to completely reinvent yourself by making a serious lifestyle change. Whether it is cutting caffeine out of your diet, quitting smoking or promising to hit the gym three times a week, now is a better time than any to get started.
With any goal it's great to make a plan. You can do this on paper or even in your head. The most important planning tips I can offer is: set a start date, have a plan for how to deal with obstacles, and have an idea of when you want to accomplish your goal by.
Start thinking of resolutions now for a successful and personally fulfilling 2010!
December 10, 2009
A personal trainer will organize your exercises to create an effective and logical weight lifting routine but if you want to create a program of your own, here are some tips to get started:
1. Bigger to smaller muscle groups
Work the bigger muscles first such as chest, back, and glutes. This is best for a couple of reasons: The body will become warmed up for effectively, and the smaller muscles do not get exhausted before lifting heavier for larger muscles.
2. Work abs last
Abs are used in many exercises to stabilize the core and stay balanced. Work abs last so this way, they will not be too tired to support your other exercises. Also, finishing your workout on the floor is great for going straight in to a stretching routine. Get on the floor midway through the routine, and you may not get back up again so easily!
3. Work different parts of the muscle in two sets
If you are only doing two sets for biceps, use two different exercises to work more of the muscle rather than working on the same part twice. For example, perform one set of basic bicep curls for the front of the muscle, and then hammer curls for the side of the arm and forearm. Similarly with chest, bench press for mid chest, and then incline press for upper chest.
Designing a program takes some time but a well thought out program is extremely beneficial to a progressive, effective routine. Remember to change up the workout every four to six weeks and a do a completely new program every 12 weeks for the best results!
December 8, 2009
It is fantastic to discover that your weight training routine is successful because the weights have become too light. Gaining strength is a primary goal for many weight lifters and raising the weight is very psychologically fulfilling to many. However, there are more important factors to consider before raising the weight, as doing so can potentially be counterproductive or even dangerous.
December 7, 2009
December 5, 2009
These are delish. At about 60 calories per cookie, 3g of fat and about 1g per cookie (30g for the whole batch!) these make great gifts or are perfect for a sweet, nutty craving, without the post snacking guilt!
Low Carb Almond Cookies
1 1/4 cups Almond flour
1/2 cup Splenda
1 Egg beaten
1/2 teaspoon Almond extract
3/4 cup Butter softened
1. Preheat to 350 and mix all ingredients together.
2. Form into 24 small balls. Press flat on a ungreased cookie sheet. Decorate with almond slices, dried cranberries, cherries, strawberries or/and raisins.
3. Bake anywhere from 5 to 12 minutes (varies)
December 3, 2009
Email me at email@example.com for a free detailed program!
Resistance tube programs are great for holiday travel and with only one band needed, it's an inexpensive and easy way to get or stay fit.
2 minutes of walking or jogging on the spot
2 minutes of arm circles, arm hugs, swing arms up and down
20 body weight squats
15 reps and 2 sets for all exercises as either a circuit or upper/lower and repeat workout.
Resistance One Arm Row
Resistance Alternating Punches
Resistance Two Arm Row
Resistance Lateral Raise
Resistance Leg Raise
Resistance Bicep Curl
Resistance Side Squats (bent knee side steps)
Resistance to the side Triceps Extension
Resistance Inner Thigh
Resistance Hammer Curl
Resistance Leg Curl
Resistance Overhead Triceps Extension
Resistance Calf Raise
Resistance Reverse Crunch
December 1, 2009
1. Personal Training
2. Low/no fat desserts (garnished with dried fruit and nuts)
3. Fitness classes and gift cards for health and fitness services
4. Sports Massage
5. Gift cards to Lululemon, Sportschek, Athlete's World etc
6. Wii Fitness or EA Sports
7. Nike Plus
8. Fitness Apparel and Accessories
10. Subscription to Fitness themed magazine
11. Dumbbells/weights/stability ball and other equipment
12. Heart Rate Monitor
13. Sporting Equipment
14. Gift certificates to adventure activities like rock climbing
15. Take a friend out for a night of ice skating and walking around to see the lights with a skim milk latte:)
The holiday season is filled with hopes and dreams for a more fit and healthy fresh start in the New Year. Give friends and family a head start with a fitness related gift this holiday season.