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Posts tagged "Women's Health Magazine"

Try - TRY - not to heart this guy too hard. :)

I had a gentleman ask me once how my message relates to men. I responded “how could it not?”. We’re half the planet, mothers, daughters, sisters, girlfriends, friends, co-workers, aunts, nieces, best friends, wives and more. Pretending like the pressure to be perfect is simply a female issue is absurd: it affects every relationship we have and our impact on the world around us.

We have AWESOME dudes who follow this blog as well, and it means a lot to have their support and energy when dealing with body issues for women (really, everyone). For health enthusiasts, it really shows we’re all on the same side, you know? Male trainers and health advocates have a major voice when it comes to promoting health and realistic goals for women.

(P.S- I know I’m terrible, but LOOK at those eyes). :)

As women, we’re used to hearing about fitness in terms of inches and dress sizes. We may know better, but we’re up against near-constant reminders and pressures to look good and take shortcuts to get there.

The truth is, being a healthy woman isn’t about getting on a scale or measuring your waistline—and we can’t afford to think that way. Instead, we need to start focusing on what matters–on how we feel, and how we feel about ourselves.

I started thinking about exercise as an investment in myself instead of a chore, and I started focusing on the example I wanted to set for my girls. My schedule was dominated by career and kids–not to mention a very busy husband–but thinking about exercise this way made it a priority, even if I had to get up earlier to do it.

That’s what being fit meant to me: feeling good inside and out, and taking control of my health.

Michelle Obama on fitness, health and investing in ourselves.

Read more.

I love these moves because they require nothing more than your body weight and a chair. Try them individually, or as a quick finisher at the end of your cardio.

Details here (& video)! Lean Legs Workout

Take It To The Gym! The Slim Workout

This is a 6 week cardio plan that you can take to the gym (or do anywhere). All you need is a stopwatch (or timer).

The beauty of this plan is that it leaves you TONS of flexibility: you can follow the intervals with any cardio machine you like (treadmill, elliptical, rower, bike) OR take it outside and run, jog, hike etc. Simply boost or lower the effort you put in to the right level for YOU.

If you’re using a  heart rate monitor, find your maximum (220-your age for men, and 226-your age for women), and simply add a percentage point to each of the suggested intensities. (2-3 becomes 20-30% of your maximum heart rate. 5-6 becomes 50-60% of your maximum heart rate, and 7-8 becomes 70-80% of your maximum heart rate).

If you don’t have a monitor, use the ‘talk test’ & the guidelines below and check your breathing. It’s YOUR workout, so while you should push yourself, you can dial things back if need be.

2-3: Easy. You should be able to talk normally, and notice a small boost in heart rate.

5-6: Moderate. You’ll start breathing a little more frequently, and can speak in short sentences. You’ll feel like you’re working, but know that you can push harder.

7: Hard. You’re heart rate is up and you’re pushing yourself. You can speak a few words at a time, but your breathing should be more labored. You won’t want to be speaking very much.

8: Really hard. This is an intensity you only reach and keep up in short intervals. Give it your all (it’s not long). Speaking is very difficult, and breathing is fast. Your heartrate should be WAY up.

Add 2-3 cardio interval workouts like these to your routine each week for 6 weeks, in addition to your resistance workouts. Each workout is only a half hour, and you’ll work up to tougher intensities as you go.

Save a copy of this for your phone/timer! Switch up the machines/exercise you’re using from week to week (or willy nilly) for best results.

Printable version here.

Changing something as teeny tiny as your grip can make a BIG difference to your muscles! Play a little & experiment with different grips when you lift/curl and you’ll feel the difference. Trust me. :)

Other lifting tips…

  • Take longer to lower the weight than you do to raise it. When doing a curl or lift, contract quickly (shortening the muscle) and take 2-4 beats to lower down.
  • Think about the muscle being targeted when you lift. Focusing mentally on that one spot can help isolate the muscle and allow you to get more out of each rep.
  • Don’t forget your core! Tighten your core muscles during lifts to help your form and avoid straining your lower back.
  • Lift enough, but not too much. If you find it difficult to do any exercise with proper form, you’re probably using too much weight. Use a weight that you can control - not one that controls you. Similarly, if you’re breezing through your sets, it’s time to up the ante: add more weight so that your sets are challenging, but do-able.
  • Make sure you’re well hydrated before you lift - studies show that well hydrated exercisers can perform 17% more reps over three sets. Replenish your fluids often during your workout!

Lifting tips & above pic from my copy of The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises - a WICKED resource if you’re an instructor or fittie! It’s got full photos for pretty much every exercise WITH modifications and using tons of different tools. I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s been around awhile: you might be able to find it in stores or second hand if you’re on a budget, but it’s fairly inexpensive online.) 

Superbowl Sunday is here! Woot!

I love the Superbowl, even if I’m not the biggest football fan out there (I’m a Habs girl. What can I say?). I didn’t even know who was playing until a few hours ago. Honestly, I watch because of the tights they wear, the man piles (they really just seem to love throwing themselves on top of each other don’t they?), the sweaty aggression and I really like when they tap each other on the bum. I’m also watching for the halftime show (I’m a Madonna and M.I.A mega fan) and have my fingers crossed for a streaker. :) Should be fun!

Despite all this, I have a STELLAR record when it comes to picking Superbowl winners. My secret? I pick the team with the better booties. And I’ve been right 90% of the time! I haven’t seen the team tushies (yet), but I’ll post my thoughts here before kick off! I’m not kidding, it works! Using my logic, better glutes make better players. Plus, it’s kinda fun to check out the man candy: football boys have fabulous buns. Do they ever.

Other stuff I’m up to today…

1. I’ll be doing the Miss Representation challenge during commercials (though I’m not sure if I’ll get the American commercials here. Oh, Canada). If it becomes clear that I’m not seeing the same stuff, I’ll post my worst offenders when I catch them on YouTube tomorrow. Tweet me @fitvillains if you see any I should mention!

2. I’ll be doing a modified Dirty Dozen workout before kickoff! (6 reps each instead of 12 - same amount of time, but moving quicker raises the heart rate and gives me some bonus cardio. Each 6 rep circuit counts for 1/2 a round instead of a full one. If you want to use it as a strength challenge workout, you can also double your reps to 24 each and count each round as 2). Join me if you want to get a little sweat in before kickoff!

3. I’ll be making the Tone It Up guacamole & attempting to make my own tortilla chips. Should be interesting, but I’m not planning on eating a lot (I’m oddly sensitive to avocados, and I’d prefer to watch the halftime show from the living room and NOT the bathroom). We’re doing healthy quesidillas for dinner, and have tons of chopped veggies and black bean hummus ready to go.

If you haven’t planned what you’re eating for the game today, here are a few fab reading suggestions that can help you out! Superbowl Sunday is the second biggest eating day of the year. You can still have a great yummy time, but offset some of the damage by making a few tasty & healthy swaps.

6 Simple And Heathy Super Bowl Snacks via Blisstree

Superbowl Food Shockers via Shape

Healthy Game Day Swaps via Women’s Health

Soooo… who are you rooting for? Patriots or Giants?

According to a new study in Applied Congnitive Psychology, people are most likely to favor items in the middle of a row, so that’s the best place for healthy staples such as fruit, veggies, and low-fat dairy.

If you have an emergency stash of chips or candy, make sure it’s well off to one side (or at the very bottom).

- Tip via Women’s Health Magazine

Out of sight, out of body! It’s NOT all about will power: you need to make changes to your environment to help yourself out! (ideally, no sweets stashed somewhere - if you’re like me, you’ll know EXACTLY where they are!)

All you need is about 10 feet of space, a mat (if you want one) and the right attitude.

Total body in about 15 minutes! Squeeze it in if you haven’t done anything yet today.

Stressed out? Take a break and DO THIS. Exercise is a mood booster, a stress buster, a mind focuser and might be just the thing you need to get MORE out of your night. Got it?

Kill it!

Are you blasting your hearing away?

Research in the International Journal of Audiology showed that 25% of college age people may ALREADY have mild hearing loss.

Blasting music via our earphones is to blame (though if you work in a noisy environment, you might want to invest in ear plugs too). While it might be tempting to drown out the world, you can reverse some damage by dialing down the volume about 25%. If someone else, a few feet away, can hear your music? It’s too LOUD.

Start by reducing the volume bit by bit and SAVE your ears! Believe me, your older self will thank you!

- Women’s Health Magazine, September 2011

I’ve been GIDDY lately with all the questions/comments in my ask with those of you who have started finally adding resistance training to your workouts. GIDDY!

More and more women are finally getting in on all the weight-lifting, booty shaping, arm sculpting, ab defining action. And once and for all, it will NOT make you bulky! Lean, tight, fat burning? Yes. Muscle builder? Nope.

But before we all start jumping up and down, the increase in weight-lifting love has also been followed by an increase in… injury drama. Oh girls, you can’t just pick them up! You need to use them properly. Still proud of ya! But I want you in one piece!

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Great lower body BLAST from Women’s Health Magazine!

How to Do It

Three days a week, do two or three sets of this routine, resting for 60 seconds between each exercise. Shorten your break time (or get rid of it completely!) to increase the challenge even more.

See the breakdown, video & bonus workouts from Women’s Health, after the jump!

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