Up Your Fit

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Archive for summer fitness

Summer Cleansing and Cooling Foods

Summer can be a good time to change your eating habits. You can begin by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoiding all foods that can make you sick by raising your blood pressure, triggering headaches and migraines, or add extra pounds. Summer is also a good time to spend more time outdoors to burn calories and get your heart rate up! Consider starting some enjoyable physical activities which you can turn into healthy habits – hiking, biking, running? Or working out with me a few times each week! But when it’s hot and humid outside, we all want to be cool, so here are some food for summer ideas that might help you feel and look better in the heat.

The best hydration for summer is FRUIT! It will keep your insides cool. Try to eat fruits grown in season, such as melons, apples, grapes, pears, cherries, apricots, berries, plums, peaches, mangos, papaya, tomatoes as well as all citrus fruits. Go for organic whenever you can. Fruit is both cooling and can act as a laxative, which can not only help your body to cool off, but also help with your summer detox and weight loss.

Leafy GREEN vegetables can also have a cooling effect on the body. You can make refreshing and cooling summer salads with slightly bitter-tasting, cleansing greens, such as dandelion greens, watercress and endive. Other cooling vegetables include: asparagus, cabbage, cucumbers, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, zucchini. As for roots vegetables, you can eat daikon and beets when you are hot.
La Jolla Fruit stand
Turmeric Detox Dressing is perfect match for your summer salads because it contains turmeric and avocado – two cooling foods. Recipe below . . . . :

Have you tried sea vegetables? Summer may be the right time to experiment with them (kelp, spirulina, kombu, hiziki, arame, dulse) because they ALL can help you feel cooler in the heat.

When you exercise more, you need extra protein. Healthy sources of protein that have a cooling effect on the body are: mung beans, grains such as black or brown rice, quinoa, millet, and (my new favorite) kaniwa . . . plus tempeh, soy milk and fish are all great protein.

Finally, herbs and spices such as peppermint, nettles, red clover, lemon balm, cilantro, marjoram can be a perfect addition to your cooling meals. They can also help simple detox of your body and boost your immune system.

Tumeric Detox Dressing
Ingredients:
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Juice + zest of 2 Lemons
¼ avocado
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. ground turmeric
1 Tbsp. raw local honey — if not vegan
Pinch of iodized salt (to taste)

Directions:
Blend all ingredients in a blender.  Add more avocado if you desire a thicker consistency.

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Getting motivated

Take the stairs to burn calories and lose fat!

A lot of getting fit is mental. Many people who struggle with weight loss simply have had a series of failures to lose the body fat. For example, I had one client who was 30 lbs. overweight and had a desire to lose the weight, but gave up after one tough session. It makes me sad to see people resist exercise due to the fear of pain, and other mental inhibitions. Our society is so customized to convenience and pleasure that we won’t even walk ten minutes to the grocery store and carry a few pounds of bags home. Come on, admit it! We have all been there. We all have the extremely reasonable excuses why NOT to get in shape. I’ve met a few others who have had erratic work schedules and just could not achieve losing much of anything, except their health.

Conversely, many fitness professionals have the urge to train the strong athletes and naturally gifted: isn’t that what bootcamps are all about when you really get down to it? Very few “bootcamps” actually accommodate obese campers. The over-weight end up in the back of the pack, feeling discouraged as usual. Unfortunately, many fitness instructors cater to the strongest.

When will we wake up? Weak, strong, flabby, skinny-fat, and pot-belly people hear me out! Your time on this planet is limited. Forget the ridiculous “boot-camps” and coaches that make you work out till you puke. Or the instructors that get in your face or negatively encourage you. This is not the answer. The answer is patience, perseverance and internal motivation. One day at a time: get out there.

  • Start with doing something active every day. Even if it’s just walking around the block.
  • Try hiring a personal trainer or coach to jump-start your training. It’s worth every penny to get you over the “hump” of even starting up a fitness plan.
  • Looking more for weight-loss? Try cardio and high intensity interval training. Looking to get cut and build muscle? Try resistance training. And do both often, so you work all your different energy systems of the body.
  • Frequency: if you can only designate one day per week to work out, that’s better than nothing. However, the more often you workout, the quicker results appear. (See the first bullet point)
  • Lastly, eating right combined with exercise is how you get the most bang for your buck! It’s the magic combination, don’t just do one without the other. I recommend keeping a food journal. I like the Canvas Food Journal app to use on a mobile device.

Power up your workouts! Get motivated and go out and get started, we have several more months of showing skin and looking healthy on the beaches this summer.

Look better by standing taller

The way our bodies appear has more to do with what’s going on inside than you realize. When you are feeling down you actually tend to look down, and slump forward. As humans we have body language saying so much to each other. We cross our legs, fold our arms, close our bodies off to the dangers of the world. When feeling insecure about the state of our bodies, we suffer thinking we’ll be this way the rest of our lives. Do you think your body does not react to these negative thoughts? Of course our body feels the hatred and anger the brain emits! Loving your body today will most likely help it feel good and strong and healthy for tomorrow. You can think of it as, “I am just getting older” or “today is the youngest I will be for the rest of my life.” Your young body is alive and thriving so will you choose to let it sit there on the couch wasting precious time? Or take it out and see what it is capable of? Seize the day, my friend!

One chronic problem with many of my clients is that they hunch over and have poor posture. Do you know how much better your chest will look if you just stand tall and feel proud of who you are? Good posture is an amazingly simple way to look taller, leaner and more attractive overall. Men are notorious for doing a lot of bench press and or push-ups and tend to get really tight pecs and proportionately weaker upper back muscles. Thus, the hunched back problem festers. Even women, especially taller women and big-breasted women have to fight against our natural tendencies to slump forward. Also, focus on strengthening those beautiful upper back muscles by doing more fly, rows, and lat pull-downs to develop a nicer posture. If you keep your posture in mind throughout your training, it will improve.

Baby got back! Work those back muscles to improve your posture.

So, keep your chin up. Love yourself. Love your body. Because one day, you may look back and regret not taking advantage of these younger years.

Sunny weather = showing more skin

Are you ready to unveil to the world all your glory on the beaches and boardwalks of summer? How is that tummy looking? How are those thighs? Do you look good nearly naked? If you are confident in your physique then you probably don’t need to read this. But those of us who are striving to look a little better this spring and summer than we did last year, read on.

First off, it IS possible to achieve a lean healthy looking body! Now stop all that negative chatter and have hope.

Slim down before hitting the beaches!

Slim down before hitting the beaches!

Two of the greatest methods for getting that ideal body is through exercise and good nutrition. Easier said than done, eh? From my experience, we have to make it an on-going lifestyle to get the fat off and keep it off. Here’s a few tips this spring for looking slimmer and leaner.

  • Cut back on sugar. Sweets are a big culprit in adding extra empty calories to our diet, especially when consumed not before, not during nor after training. Like at 10 PM! Ease off on those girl scout cookies…
  • Drink more water. Staying hydrated
  • Drink less sweetened beverages. Or cut it out completely. Sodas, flavored drinks and other sweet drinks are a huge source of extra calories that just turn to fat! Just stick to water as the best beverage.
  • Speaking of fat, easy does it on the Easter candy, and other foods high in fat such as trans fats and saturated fats, like butter, cream and cheese. Instead eat healthy fats occasionally like plant-based foods, for exampl avocados, olive oil, and flax seed oil.
  • Don’t skip meals and get really starving and binge. Eat every 2 – 3 hours and prioritize eating more of the calories early in the day and taper off for a light meal at dinner.
  • Workout, get outside in this beautiful spring weather and go for a jog, go ride a bike, or just walk. Soon you’ll be showing the world your tan lines and if you skip workouts today, you’ll regret it in the summer!
  • Buy a nice new pair of running shoes to inspire you to feel excited to run, and throw out those old smelly shoes. Running shoes have limited miles available, so don’t use the same pair for too long.
  • Set a plan and schedule your workouts. If you have a job, you make sure to schedule that into your day, that will pay your bills. Well, if you schedule exercise, it will keep your heart healthy and help you to enjoy your life longer after you retire for that “job.” You are going to have your job your whole life, you are not going to have your job. Make fitness a priority.
  • Track your progress. If you can, take measurements of your waist and hips with a tape-measure to track your progress, instead of just weighing yourself.
  • Lastly, try to team up with a friend or join a running group, softball team, or bootcamp, like http://www.upyourfit.com/ my class in PB San Diego, CA! Power to the teamwork!

Well, if nothing else I hope this gets you pumped up to be healthier and connecting to your physical body. We are in our heads so much, it’s time to get out and go for it! You have the potential to be so much more than you can even imagine.

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