Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Inspiration: Be Kind

Yoga pose: The Crow. Start in downward dog on your palms and feet, and slowly move your weight on to your palms. Balance your knees on your upper arms or elbows, and slowly lift your feet one at a time. Remember that it may take a few tries before your feet come off the floor. Look forward, not back toward your feet. 

Inspiration: "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." - Dalai Lama.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

FDA Changes to Nutrition Labels

The US Food and Drug Administration is proposing that nutrition labels be overhauled (the left picture above is the old way and the right is the new proposed way). For some perspective, food labels have not really changed in the last 20 years. The premise for the change is that the real information people need should be highlighted to emphasize calories and added sugars. The FDA is also trying to make sure that serving sizes reflect how people really eat or drink, not random sizes to sometimes drive the calories down like what we see today. So a full bag of chips would reflect the calories on the full bag.

Great news! The jury is still out on whether it would really change the way people eat though.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dumbbell February: Dumbbell Jacks

Get some cardio in by doing jumping jacks with a twist. It is Dumbbell February so that means we're including dumbbells. All you have to do is hold the dumbbells close to your chest, and do a regular jack opening and closing your legs. Try not to bounce your upper body back and forth as you jump. And note that my knees bend slightly and don't buckle as I land; this is to protect my joints. Do this for 3 rounds of 1 minute each. Mix it up with other cardio exercises.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Friday, February 21, 2014

In Nigeria? Join an Online Fitness Training Program!

Are you in Nigeria and are looking for a way to lose weight, get healthy, or stay fit? Have you heard of AllthingsFitnez? 

Allthingsfitnez is a Nigerian-based online company looking to help people reach their fitness goals through proper training and dieting. It can be difficult to get the right information that focuses on the food we eat and the lifestyle we live. And so I think this is a great idea. They currently have 3 programs:
  • The 12 weeks “fit and curvy woman” training program
  • Kaycee’s 3 month Ultimate Fitness Program
  • The ‘Perfect Body’ Online Fitness Training Program
You can find more information on their website, on Twitter (@allthingsfitnez and @lawreenzo), or by giving them a call (+2348164297612).

Check them out and let me know what you think.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dumbbell February: Bicep Curl in a Squat

This works soooo many muscle groups, including your biceps, your glutes, your quads, and your core. Start in a standing position with the dumbbells in front of you (5 to 10lbs) and wrists forward like in 'Position 1' above. Squat and do a bicep curl at the same time with elbows inside your knees but not touching them. Keep your back straight. Return to position 1. Repeat this sequence 15 times. Rest and do 2 more sets of 15 (for a total of 3 sets).

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dumbbell February: Dumbbell Toe Reaches

So this one is kind of tough. But it does really work your core. Lie on your back holding a dumbbell with your two hands over your head. Lift your legs until they are straight up and perpendicular to the floor. This is position 1. Get into position 2 by lifting the dumbbell to try to reach your toes. Your shoulders should come off the floor in the process, but make sure you are not putting a lot of pressure on your neck. Return to position 1 still keeping your legs up. That is 1 rep. Repeat this for 3 sets of 15 reps. And do not rush it. Do it slowly so you really work those ab muscles.

You can use a dumbbell from 5 to 15 lbs. But using one too heavy could restrict your motion so take note of how you feel.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dumbbell February: Dumbbell Side Planks

As you probably know, abs are more than just the front of your midsection, and strength training for abs is more than just crunches. Side planks are a great way to work your core strength, especially your obliques (side of your abs). Let's incorporate more tension in the side plank like we've been doing all month by adding in some dumbbells.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Inspiration: Be Open to Love

It's that Friday Inspiration time!

Yoga pose: Extended standing hand to big toe. If you are trying this pose, bend one knee and grab the big toe with two fingers. Straighten the standing leg completely before you attempt to extend the raised foot. The raised foot does not have to be entirely straight at first too. The more you do this, the better it gets. I love the openness of this pose :)

Inspiration: "The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves." - Victor Hugo. 

Show some love today, but also be open to receive love from those sending it your way. Open your heart.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dumbbell February: Dumbbell Burpees!

You hate burpees... I know. So logically, why don't we make it even harder? Add dumbbells :) If you don't know what a burpee is, here is a step-by-step:
  • Bend your knees with your palms on the floor.
  • Jump back into a plank
  • Do a pushup
  • Jump forward into the original position
  • Jump up with one dumbbell in each hand lifted towards the ceiling
Try to do 3 sets of 10. Here is a video to help out.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Dumbbell February: Lunge Twists

Want to work your thighs and your core at the same time? Try lunge twists with a dumbbell. 
  • Simply start in a standing position holding out a dumbbell in front of you. 
  • Step one foot forward. 
  • Bend both knees to about a 90 degree angle with your front knee not going beyond your front toes. 
  • Then twist your upper body from your waist to face the side of the front knee. You should really feel it in your obliques. 
  • Step back and repeat on the other side.

Do the whole rep 10 times on each side, and repeat it for 3 sets.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Dumbbell February: Russian Twists

Use dumbbells to work your obliques. How? Russian twists! Start seated with your knees angled and your heels on the floor (like in option 2 in the image above). Extend the dumbbell in front of you and slowly twist from side to side (twist from your waist, not your neck). As you twist to one side look at that side as well. Repeat 10 times on each side, and do that for 3 sets.

To work your core even more, lift your feet up like in option 1 in the image above. This is harder so try to hold it a little longer every time you do it.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Want a Tasty Salad? Try this Arugula Recipe

I'm obsessed with the green vegetable arugula (also called 'rocket') and so this is a no-brainer. It is a very simple salad and comes to under 300 calories. 

This salad consists of a handful of arugula (I'm not great and measuring green veggies), 1/4 cup of goat cheese, a half tomato chopped up, 1 tsp of southwestern spicy mustard, and about 1/2 of a chicken breast baked for 30 minutes in curry paste. Mmmm... Mmmm... Mmmm... Delicious. Try it today :)

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dumbbell February: Dumbbell Wall Sits

Want to work those quads? Try dumbbell wall sits! Get into the position by leaning your back on a wall and then lowering down. When you get to a point where your thighs are parallel to the floor, that's a good place to stop. Make sure your feet are about hip-width apart. Try to make the knees square so they don't go beyond your toes. Now, place the dumbbells on your groin area to add in even more resistance. Extend your arms in front of you, hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Dumbbell February: Weighted Squats

Squats work your glutes and your thighs. Holding a dumbbell increases the tension in your thighs and makes your strength workout even better. I am holding a 15lb dumbbell in the picture above. The dumbbell will also help you keep your upper body straight as you lower down. Start in position 1, lower to position 2, and lift back up into 1. Repeat this for 3 sets of 15 reps. As always, your knees should not go beyond your toes, and you should sit back rather than squat forward.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Dumbbell February: Deadlifts

Well, we've begun Dumbbell February! Let's talk about the deadlift because it is one of my favorite weighted exercises :) Deadlifts help to tone your butt (and depending on the type you choose, your abs and thighs as well).
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