Fitness

My Go To Fitness Tools

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Photo credit courtesy of Richmond Renew Me Today

1. Nutrition and Exercise – number one is by far my diet and nutrition coupled with a healthy exercise regimen. Nutrition is 80% of the reason I am fit today; 20% is the exercise. So what do I do to stay healthy and fit? I drink a nutrient dense shake everyday, balance my foods with the right balance of protein, veggies, fruits, healthy fats, and starches; as well as maintain a constant exercise routine. Sometimes I do PiYO, sometimes I follow the 21 day fix, sometimes I just take the family with me on a long walk and clean the house; the key is staying active and making sure you get at least 30 minutes of heart pumping activity into your day.

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2. Fitbit – Oh my Fitbit is like gold to me. I have owned the Zip, the One and now the Fitbit flex. I have to say my favorite is definitely the Flex. I like the convenience of not having to take it off unless to charge. It’s even waterproof! I just wrote a great post on Fitbit Flex accessories to add some chicness to your flex band so check it out 🙂 Fitbit is great because it tracks your steps throughout the day, activity, and sleep. It tells you how many calories to eat based on your given activity. So you really get amazing accuracy on how many calories in vs. out. My favorite aspect is that it syncs with Myfitness Pal. They talk to each other to calculate food, exercise, etc. You only have to log food and exercise in Myfitness Pal and it will automatically sync to the Fitbit database.

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3. Myfitness Pal – is an amazing tool which I have also written all about in the past. It allows you to set goals with regards to gaining. maintaining, losing weight and it tells you how many calories you need to accomplish that goal. It also tracks the nutrients in the foods you are eating to let you know if you are above the percentage for carbohydrates or fats for example on a given day.

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4. Polar Heart Monitor – I am a huge advocate of wearing a heart rate monitor when doing cardio. It really will give you the most accurate number of calories burned based on how hard you work that day. You also can track your heart rate throughout your workout as well as calories burning to determine if you need to step it up or slow it down. I log my calories into Myfitness Pal and am able to see how many additional calories are in my ‘bank’. I recommend getting one with a chest strap; you will get the best results that way.

These pretty much sum up the tools I use daily to maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay fit and active. What are your go to fitness tips and tricks?

-Yesenia Whipple

Fitness

Why does PiYO work so well!

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I’ve been practicing PiYO which is a fitness program which incorporates a little Pilates and a little Yoga; a fusion of the two. So why does this work so well? As mentioned above you are using Pilates to sculpt your muscles, Yoga to increase flexibility, and nonstop movement to keep your heart rate up and calories burning.

I cannot believe the results I am seeing with such a low impact program. My legs are stronger, leaner, less cellulite! My abs are starting to chisel, and my arms are just a whole new level of tone. My rear end is getting plump and pretty!

I am in love with this program. Each workout is only 30 minutes long and there are a few cardio-ish (I know that is not a word! :)) workouts thrown in which also incorporate the hybrid Pilates and Yoga practices. Oh did I mention my flexibility and balance are improving too; which I struggle with. I have never been flexible and don’t aspire to do a split in this lifetime; but it is awesome to see flexibility and balance getting better and better every week.

As for my diet; well that of course plays a big part. I eat very clean. Lean meats and veggies and balance my healthy fats, starches, and proteins, fruits, and veggies to give my body what it needs to be at its’ best.

I am happy to share any tips with you if you are looking for a program like this in your life! It truly is amazing!

-Yesenia Whipple

Fitness

5 tricks to transform your body and avoid plateaus

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Do you ever leave the gym and think ‘I just worked my rear off; I better have a six pack tomorrow’ and then wake up the next day feeling bloated, flabby, and disheartened? You say to yourself ‘I have run a total of 10 miles this week; why am I not seeing results?’ There are a few reasons you likely are not seeing the results you want.

1. Have you heard the saying your diet makes up 80% of your overall fitness and health? Well it is true. If you are working out 500 hours a day but not eating the right foods and the right portions you are going to feel bloated, be bloated, gain or stay at the same weight, etc… You first need to calculate your daily caloric intake needed in order to lose the weight or maintain the weight you want. A great free app for this is My Fitness Pal. Then you have to fuel your body with the right foods to keep your cravings at bay. If you are eating the right foods  you will not likely binge on the bad stuff b/c your body will feel fulfilled and fueled. You will feel GOOD. Make sure to eat lean meats, fish, proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, fruits, and veggies. If you have some wine at night keep your starch intake lighter that day. If you need help with this let me know I can help come up with a plan that will fit your lifestyle and caloric needs.

2. Strength training is critical. You need to pump that iron. Muscle burns fat and muscle via weight training is what will transform your body. Keep cardio to 3 times/week and get those strength training sessions in. If you have problem areas focus on building muscle in those areas. I’m telling you this will make all the difference. You will transform your body by adding weights to your routine.

3. Muscle confusion goes hand in hand with strength training. If you only focus on one muscle group every time you strength train you will not see the results you want. Mix it up and you will actually burn more calories and see faster results.

4. Rest days to most people are torture. You want to get a good workout in. Get those calories burning. But your body NEEDS to rest. If you cannot just take that day off then do yoga or mild Pilates. Your muscles need to rest and recharge. If you overwork them you are prone to injury and you will likely plateau sooner than expected.

5. Mix up your routine. Just like muscle confusion you will need to at some point switch up your routine in order to avoid or get over a plateau. Plateaus do happen so to prolong getting to one OR to get over a plateau you just need to make adjustments to your workout schedule and find some new exercises to work your muscle groups. Even switching up your cardio or adjusting the foods you are eating can get you through these times. Don’t get discouraged; it happens to everyone whether a novice athlete or a beginner to the fitness world.

Transformations don’t happen overnight. But if I told you there was a way you could lose up to 18lbs in 21 days would you be in? That is just 3 weeks and it incorporates everything listed above. A plan you can follow where everything from portions, lists of foods, and workouts are provided for you. It is like having your own personal trainer spelling everything out for you. I have not had one person on this program not get results. Did I mention you can have wine and chocolate on this 21 day journey? So what’s holding you back? What do you have to lose except some pesky lbs. and self doubt. You got this; so let’s do it! I’m just a comment or click away

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Image credits: Mashable

-Yesenia Whipple