Friday, May 30, 2014

May Fitness Basics: No Calories?

People make a common mistake with food: think "low ---" or "organic" means we can eat however much we want. But words like "organic" just mean it is better for your body because artificial fertilizers and hormones were not used to grow, feed, or produce it. They still contain calories and we still have to watch our portions. Portion control is always key.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Work your Core with Up and Down Planks

I have a love-hate relationship with "up and down planks". Well, I mostly hate them. But I do them because they are so effective in building core strength. They also work your arms as well because it is almost like doing a pushup.

If you want to add an extra level of intensity, attempt to get through these as fast as you can. You can break them up into sets of 10 and do 3 sets before going on to another exercise.

Cheers Eights &Weights!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

May Fitness Basics: The Anatomy of the Plank

Let's talk about the anatomy of the plank. It is a great exercise for your core when done right. What does 'right' mean? Try to keep a straight line from your heel to your head (as straight as possible), tighten your core so that your lower back does not sag in, and tighten your glutes so your bum does not lift up. Look down. Looking forward or upward causes your back to curve in as well.

Want better abs? Work on your planks.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May Fitness Basics: Carbs or No Carbs?

Have you cut out all carbs to lose weight? No-carb diets are constantly in high demand. However, is the premise true? In fact, most no-carb diets still contain foods with carbs like beans that people think are purely protein. But our mindsets need to change. We don't simply put on weight because we eat carbs; the body needs carbs for energy. We put on weight because we eat more carbs than we need. 

If you choose to eat no carbs, your body will look for the energy elsewhere, especially if you exercise a lot. So for instance, it will look for the energy from the protein you eat. Thus, instead of this protein being used to replenish muscles and tissue, it is being used for something other than its intended purpose.

Eat your carbs, but remember that portion control is key!

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Try this Tabata Routine

Looking to spice up your workout? Try adding in some intensity with the Tabata workout. What is Tabata? Well, I'll tell you! Tabata is a 4-minute workout program that has you do 8 rounds of 4 exercises. Each exercise is done for 20 secs as hard as you possibly can, with a 10 second rest before the next exercise. Sounds easy? Give it a try and you'd be sweating like crazy.

I found the exercise below on Pinterest and wanted to try it out because it incorporates both Tabata and regular HIIT. It is a total of about 16 minutes so I did it 3 times. Just so you know, it wasn't easy! Which means you should definitely try it out. Download it, save it on your phone, and do it when you get home.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, May 12, 2014

May Fitness Basics: Losing Weight

One mistake a lot of people make is with the fad "lose 10 pounds in 10 days" diets. While losing weight is great, losing weight too quickly can negatively impact your body (organ function, etc) and let's be honest, when it's too quick, you're probably not making healthy choices a habit. Do it slowly and make it last a lifetime.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

May Fitness Basics: Metabolism

I think it is important to understand metabolism. Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. Even when you're at rest, your body needs energy. The amount of energy your body needs to perform basic life functions is called Basal Metabolic Rate. Everyone has a different BMR and it is based on factors like your sex, age, amount of physical activity, etc. e.g. Men naturally burn more than women. However, these basic life functions take up about 70%of your energy needs.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May Fitness Basics: Running

Think you are not fit enough to run? Well, it is probably mostly mental. Runners train very hard, but that training is not limited to the physical. It is a combination of mental and physical. What are some ways you can get over the mental block? Research has shown that actually calling yourself a runner really helps. And while you train, be confident in the time and miles you are putting in.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

May Fitness Basics: Pushups

It is no mystery that females tend not to like pushups. The pushup is one of the most dynamic exercises. It works several muscles in your upper body and your core. Ladies seem to be afraid of pushups because we think men can do them and we can't. But pushups are a result of persistence; continuously doing them and building more strength and a better body as you do. Want abs? Incorporate some pushups in your workout. Want to get rid of arm flab? You already know

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May Fitness Basics: Diet and Exercise

Your diet AND your exercise habits are equally important to lose weight and tone up. Don't exercise endlessly without eating healthy and don't starve yourself and not work out. We all need a healthy balance of both to achieve our goals. And let's not forget the right mindset!

Cheers Eights & Weights

Monday, May 5, 2014

May Fitness Basics: Lifting Weights

Women sometimes have the impression that if we lift weights, we'd just become Tyrese. Men produce hormones that allow them grow larger muscles than women, and so doing cardio and lifting weights alone will not usually make a woman huge. A lot of the women you see that have larger muscles are either not doing cardio to burn the fat over the muscles, or are taking supplements because they want to look that way. Building muscles actually helps your body stay in fat burn mode, and gives you that toned look. Don't neglect your lifting!

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

May Fitness Basics: The Abs Myth

A lot of people make the mistake of just doing thousands of crunches and hoping for abs. The truth is that you need a good combination of cardio, strength (e.g.cCrunches), and a healthy diet to get abs. 

People tend to struggle a lot with stomach flab and crunches do not resolve the issue. Focus on eating well, lots of cardio to burn the fat, and then strength training to build muscle tone. I am not a fan of regular crunches as they strain the neck if not done right, so I get my strength from other forms of abs exercises like v-sits, planks, and even deadlifts.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Friday, May 2, 2014

May Fitness Basics: HIIT

I thought I'd start with a question asked by about the effectiveness of HIIT. If you haven't heard of HIIT (high intensity interval training), it is a mode of exercise where you alternate between very high intensities and low or moderate intensities continuously. 

This helps the body burn more fat, build more endurance, and continue with the fat burn for more hours than steady state training. You can do HIIT with the same exercises you know (like running, elliptical, body weight exercises, etc). With HIIT body weight exercises, you are actually mixing up some strength with your cardio too. So uber awesome fat burning capabilities.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May is for the Fitness Basics

For our May challenge, I will be discussing some basics to help you in your fitness journey. This includes information about how the body works, and talking about some fitness myths that may or may not be true.

Feel free to ask questions if you have any!

Cheers Eights & Weights!
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