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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Winter Blues

Ah...the winter blues. The time of the year that I could really dig into some movies, popcorn, pizza, wine, football junk food (even though I can do without the football)... I continue to teach my exercise class. (Thank goodness for all you great women out there that join me 3 times a week. I know you think I'm doing it for you, but I need you as much as you need me). And I'm loving the Zumba type dances we are doing. I thought this picture says it all....Hang in there, spring is around the corner (somewhere).
Well, if we can't laugh at ourselves, then life has gotten too serious!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Truth about Flat Abs

Over the years, I have had students come to me with that one problem spot: How do I get rid of the belly pooch? I eat right, I do all the ab exercises and I still don't have the flat abs that I want. (Well, I'm right there with you! I got more in my belly than I like too!)

But....what to do? Well, let's dispel some myths: It is still showing up on the magazine covers: "Blast that belly fat with 5 exercises a day!" or "Eat this one vegetable and watch your belly fat melt!" etc. You cannot work on one area in your body and make it thinner. It's called the "spot reduction" myth and it has been around forever. Having said that, what can you do to obtain the best abs possible? You probably already know the answer:

Cardio Exercise Regularly (5-6 times a week)
Strength Training (for the whole body)
Eat Healthy (unprocessed, nutrient dense foods)

There is nothing wrong with body sculpting (or strength training) to get well defined muscles. However, in order to see those muscles, you must reduce that fat around them. Cardio exercise and strength training will help reduce the fat by revving up your metabolism. Cardio (running, swimming,dancing, biking, etc) helps you burn more calories, even hours after you are done working out. Strength training (that is lifting weights) builds muscle  - and guess what? The more muscle you have, the more calories your body needs to maintain that muscle. So it just makes sense that you will be able to burn fat.
Reducing your calorie intake is the third element. Keep track of what you eat by writing it down or use one of the online fitness trackers, like Make sure as you reduce your intake that you pick nutrient dense, whole foods.

So one more thing about those abs. Most of us will never see those six-pack abs. Chances are you would have to be unhealthy thin in order to come close. Genetics play a role in what shape our body is. I, for one, have always been curvy - even when I was in my 20s. Be healthy, but embrace the fact that (and to quote Lady GaGa)...Baby, You Were Born this Way!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

5 Things that happy people have in common

  Are you Happy? I used to wake up every morning with this question - is there anything I need to worry about today? Isn't that just the silliest thing you've heard? But that's what I would do...
Until I realized that this wasn't doing me any good...
So here are 5 things that happy people have in common:

1.Instead of worries and distractions, they find something that makes their heart grow. Start out the day being grateful. Forget the newspaper or TV. Take a moment to reflect on the good things in your life.

2 They have inner happiness: Inner happiness cannot be taken away; find uplifting material to read, find your core of peace and calm.

3.Instead of accumulating things, they work on relationships. If you define yourself by what you own, trouble lies ahead.

4.Happy people take care of their bodies. Wellness can make your body healthy. Oh yes, the mind and the body are intimately connected.

5 Their life has a purpose - Find this, and you'll find inner happiness. Here are the standards for purpose. Not one, but many things are a part of the cloth of life woven together.
Personal growth
Hobbies, recreation
Education, study

Welcome! Why are you here?

It's January -- Happy New Year! my Christmas decorations are put away, My closets are clean and organized, I have lost the holiday weight gain, I have a list of goals for the year and my taxes are done....OK, not really!
But I am excited for the new year. I feel that January brings a time of introspection that can only take place during the winter months when there is less distraction, no holidays looming. It feels like I can wipe the slate clean.
If you would like to comment on what kinds of goals or visions you have for the upcoming year, please do so. Not necessarily new year's resolutions; that always sounds to me like a do or die approach. We make goals, set them high but it's OK if we don't reach them; we need goals to keep ourselves growing and changing. Without a vision, we will perish.
Look for my next post to be some ideas and inspirations for you.