Friday, February 27, 2009

Music Revs Your Workout

A recent study conducted by Brunel University’s School of Sport and Education has revealed that, music can significantly increase a person’s physical endurance (up to 15%) and make the experience of cardiovascular exercise far more positive. There is nothing like a great Justin Timberlake remix of Sexyback to keep you going for those last 10 minutes on the treadmill. An energetic playlist may be just the thing to push you through your workout and even burn some extra calories. Here are my picks for the top 20 heart pumping workout songs that are sure to get you through your hardest workout:

1. The way I are- Timbaland

2. Sexyback- Justin Timberlake

3. Just Dance- Lady GaGa

4. PYT- Michael Jackson

5. The way you move- Outcast

6. Disturbia- Rihanna

7. Flawless- George Michael

8. Juicy (Nevins remix edit)- Better than Ezra

9. Speedup- Funkerman

10. The Sweet Escape- Gwen Stefani

11. Work (Steve Pitron & Max Sanna Radio Edit)- Kelly Rowland

12. Return the Favor (Feat. Timbaland)- Keri Hilson

13. Shawty get loose- Lil mama (feat. T-Pain & Chris Brown)

14. Got your number- Nadia Oh

15. Krazy (feat. Lil John)- Pit bull

16. Top of the World- Pussycat Dolls

17. I got it from my mama-

18. Fergalicious- Fergie

19. Chelsea- Stefy

20. Right Round- Flo Rida

**ANYTHING by Girl Talk!

**Add your favorite workout songs in the comment box!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Spring Break Slim Down: Cardio

Many people think they can't get a decent cardio workout at home but I'm here to show you that's not true! Cardiovascular exercise is a crucial part of weight loss and weight management. If you are like many of my friends and you hate to run, here are some easy and fun alternatives you can do right in front of your T.V!

1. Stairs- Step up on the first step and then back down. Then step up to the first and then the second stair and step back down to the first stair. Step from the second to the third and back down to the second and so on to the top of the stairs and then go all the way back down. Repeat this three times. This should be very quick.

2. Mountain climbers- Start in the push up position on the floor with hands shoulder width apart. Bring your knees up one at a time into your chest. The faster you go the more you’ll burn so go as fast as you can for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat this three times.

3. Jumping jacks- Do five normal and one the fifth one jump up as high as you can. Do this 25-30 times.

4. Invisible jump rope- Use your arms as if you are holding a jump rope and do 50-60 small jumps in place.

5. Squat jumps- Start in the squat position and reach with your arms jumping as high as you can and coming back down into the squat position.

6. Lunge jumps- Start in the lunge position with your right foot forward and in one motion jump and switch legs so when you land you are in the lunge position with your left foot forward. Keep arms out with fingers locked in front of you for balance.

7. High kicks- Stand shoulder width apart, knees bent and arms up in boxer position at chin height. Swivel your left foot to the right and kick as high as you can twisting your torso and keeping your foot flexed. Repeat for the other leg. Do this quickly but properly until winded. (This is fun to do listening to an up-beat song kicking along to the fast beat!)

**If you want to just get your blood pumping or don’t want to get really sweaty before class simply go for a brisk walk. You should always use the opportunity to walk every chance you get, so never take the bus to class. (Walking everywhere is what many New Yorkers swear by to stay slim)

** Another great idea is to buy a workout DVD. Sometime you need someone telling you what to do for motivation and encouragement.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Spring Break Slim Down: Upper Body

If you are that girl that always blames the "fat arm" for detagging a picture on facebook, these exercises are for you. They are easy to do at home or at the gym and are convenient only taking less than 10 minutes out of your busy schedule.

Push ups- Standard (as many as you can) or the knee version (which you can make harder by elevating yourself on a stair or Bosu ball (half stability ball with flat bottom) if you’re at the gym.

Laundry lifts- Take your laundry basket and lift it by the handles up to your chin with your elbows out. Do this 10-15 times. You can easily change the weight by adding or taking out some clothes! You can use a container of laundry detergent and lift it behind your head, elbows bent and straighten it up over your head.

Tricep dips- Place your hands shoulder width apart behind you on a secured bench, stable chair, or coffee table. Using your arms to support your weight lower yourself like you’re sitting in a chair with your legs bent and feet placed about hip width apart on the floor. Straighten out your arms and keep a little bend in your elbows in order to engage your triceps. Slowly bend at your elbows and lower your body down towards the floor until your arms are at about a 90 degree angle. Slowly press off with your hands, and push yourself straight back up to the starting position. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench and keep your head straight. Make it harder by straightening your legs out in front of you. Make it even harder by lifting one leg out keeping it at knee length with your other bent knee.

Stair push-up- Get into push up position at the base of a staircase. (If it is a gross stair in your dorm or its outside you can cover the first stair and the floor with a towel) Lift yourself up onto the first step with your right hand, follow with your left hand. Do one elevated pushup then bring your right hand back down to the base of the stairs then your left hand. (This exercise is really fun to do on the side of a pool and move up and down along the side of the pool- just an idea for spring break or summer!)

**I strongly encourage you to buy a pair of 5lb weights. You can easily do bicep curls, row, butterfly, overhead raise, etc. You can do these exercises just watching T.V, in the morning before class, or squeeze into your busy schedule whenever!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Spring Break Slim Down: Lower Body

The lower body tends to be a womans most insecure part of her body. Although I encourage full body workouts, I tend to pay more attention to my butt and thighs because those are the places I feel most self conscious about. It's not easy making that bikini bottom look good so let's do our best from here on out and firm that tush!

1. Elevated lunges- (Step required) Extend your right leg behind you and rest you toe on top of the step. Sit into a deep lunge until left thigh is parallel to the floor. Rise up to starting position and repeat 12-15 times for beginners and 20-25 times for advanced. Repeat on left side. Do each side 2-3 times alternating. (Hold a pair of dumbbells if you have any- I strongly recommend buying a pair of 5 lbs)

2. Couch potato- Stand facing the arm of your couch, bed or chair. Place your hands on the furniture and bend down so it is supporting your weight. Lift your right leg up so it is parallel to the ground and pulse your leg in the air for 35 seconds. Without putting your leg down, bring your heel back to your butt and kick your leg out 35 times. Still keeping your leg up bring your knee into your chest and kick back 35 times, then you can finally put your leg down and start with the other leg. (If this is easy for you do 2-3 reps or go longer for each kick. Strap on a pair of ankle weight for an even better result- I even more strongly encourage buying a pair of 3-5lb ankle weights)

3. Butt burner- Lie faceup with knees bent, feet flat on the floor and butt off the ground. Dip your hips down hovering over the ground and slowly back up again. If you have a weight place that on your pelvic bone to make this exercise harder. For an even harder exercise lift one leg straight up and dip your hips. Do this 10-15 times then lower your leg back into the beginning position. Without lowering your hips, do the same with the other leg.

4. Squats- Stand with feet shoulder width apart and place your hands behind your head keeping your chest out and your elbows back. Sit back like your sitting in a chair and bend your knees to lower your body as far as possible without losing the natural arch of your spine. Squeeze your butt and push yourself back to the starting position. Make sure to keep your chin up and back straight.

5. Leg lifts- Start on your hands and knees. Lift one leg up to the ceiling bending your knee at a 90 degree angle. Keep your foot flat so the bottom of your shoe is facing the ceiling. Bring your knee back down without touching the mat and repeat this move 40-45 times and then switch legs. Starting in the same position lift your leg to the side with your knee bent at a 90 degree angle. (This should awkwardly look like a dog peeing)

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Spring Break Slim Down!!

It’s almost here, teeny-weeny bikini week, also known as SPRING BREAK! It was harder to get into the gym tonight then it was to get into Brothers Bar when it first opened! The SRSC was at maximum capacity going one-in one-out! This will frustrate even the most intense exerciser. So here are some easy at-home exercises you can do in your dorm, apartment or house to get that workout in and avoid the mayhem. First start with my abdominal exercises! The next couple of days I will post lower body, upper body and cardio exercises. (Stairs required for some exercises)


1. Side plank dip- Lie on your left side and lift yourself onto your left hand keeping your legs straight and hip off the ground. Hold your right hand up to the ceiling and in a slow motion swing your right hand through the hole created by your body and the floor (under your left side). Bring your arm back up to the ceiling all the while keeping yourself balanced and hips up. Do this 10-15 times for beginners 20-25 for advanced. Then switch.

2. Plank and lift- Get into plank position keeping butt down and feet shoulder width apart. Lift one leg as high as you can off the ground and then switch and lift the other leg. Do this 25-30 times.

3. V-up- Lie on your back with your legs straight. Hold your arms straight above your chest, your fingers pointing toward the wall behind you. Contracting your core lift your legs off the floor and stretching your arms toward your toes so your body forms a “V” position. Keep your back straight. Hold to the count of three, then return to the starting position.

4. Bicycle- Lie faceup on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. Put your hands behind your head. Bring your knees up to about a 45-degree angle and slowly go through a bicycle pedal motion. Simultaneously touch your left elbow to your right knee, then your right elbow to your left knee.

5. Leg lift with reverse crunch-
Lie on your back with your legs in the air. Place hands under your butt if you're on the floor or behind your head if you're on a bench. Lower your legs so they hover above the floor. Lift them back up then push your hips off the ground as far as you can. Bring your hips back down to the starting position and repeat 12-15 times.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Slim down secrets for TONIGHT!

So you just got a new sexy little dress that you desperately want to wear tonight. Unfortunately you’re resembling something a little closer to Rosanne Barr wrapped in saran wrap then Jessica Alba in Sin City. While I can’t promise that your fellow bar goers will mistake you for the Mrs. Cash Warren, I can suggest some helpful hints:

1. Shapewear- I absolutely love my shapewear. Some nights especially on a Saturday after an already long weekend of drinking, eating and lame workouts it just gives me that extra boost of confidence and helps me suck it in one more night! Spanx offers a great variety but are on the pricier side. Shapewear also sells a wide variety with varying prices.

2) Wear Black- Black is slimming, whether its tights under a wavy dress, black skinny pants or a sexy black top with a dark wash jean, it’s bound to shed pounds immediately.

3) Bloat blockers- Don’t drink anything with carbonation; the bubbles create gas and make you look bloated. Have asparagus with dinner. The low-cal, fat-free veggie is filled with fiber that will satisfy you through those midnight munchies and also help to reduce water weight.

4) Slip on the big girl shoes- Add height to your frame by wearing heels. Stilettos make your legs look longer and leaner and help to put your body look flattering and proportionate.

5) Cinch that waist- use a small belt to accentuate the smallest part of your waist (between your hips and your chest). Umpire waist dresses are also very flattering.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Top 10 ways to avoid the freshmen 15

10. Drink water- Eight glasses a day is easy when you carry a bottle of water in your backpack. Dehydration leads to false feelings of hunger which means you’re eating when your body really doesn’t need it. The best part is its 0 calories!!

9. Eliminate processed carbohydrates/white starches (rice, pasta, bread) and pop. White starches have no real nutritional value not to mention they make you very fatigued and bloated. Opt for 100% whole grain bread and pasta or brown rice. And pay attention to serving size on the nutritional facts label, you will be surprised how small a full serving really is. Pop is the number one item to nix off your list. Sodas are full of sugar and empty calories (no nutritional value). They actually make you feel hungrier then you really are.

8. Workouts should be a mixture of weight training and cardio. My biggest pet peeve is when I see women at the gym everyday on the elliptical but never doing any weight training. Ladies, you will not bulk up! Muscle burns more calories than fat. Cardio is important but you need to tone. Adding muscle to your body will actually make you look slimmer.

7. Always eat breakfast and, no, a power-bar on the way to class does not count! Opt for high protein foods like eggs, an egg white omelette with spinach and tomatoes is an ideal way to start off the day. Whole wheat oatmeal with blueberries (one of the highest antioxidant foods) is also a great choice, the oats digest slowly keeping you full longer. If you’re going to have carbs make this the meal you eat them in. Starting off your day with a wholesome breakfast revs your metabolism for the rest of the day.

6. Eat 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. The average woman barely eats 3 servings a day. This number is depending on how many calories you eat and burn in a day. This means the more you burn the more you eat. Your body needs fuel to burn calories so you need to give your body the right kind of fuel. Try incorporating broccoli and spinach into your diet, the green color of these veggies means they are packed with essential nutrients. And an apple a day keeps the fat away- apples are high in fiber which keeps your digestive tract regular and keeps you fuller longer.

5. Eat 5-6 small meals a day- Eating often keeps your metabolism revved all day long without feeling starved. Again, pay attention to portion size. Pack a mixture of 10 almonds, 10 walnuts and a small handful of raisins in a baggie and eat it in class. Eat an apple on your walk to another class or munch on a string cheese in the library; these snacks are healthy options and easy to throw in your backpack in the morning.

4. Cheat in moderation- never deprive yourself (but refrain from eating after 8). If you forbid yourself to have something, it’s going to make you want it even more. If your friends order a pizza and your frothing at the mouth just looking at it, go for it! But eat just one slice and skip the crust, dips and breadsticks. Eventually it won’t even look that good anymore and it will be easier and easier to say no to (true story). But try not to cheat after the sun goes down. Your body goes into relaxation mode and your metabolism slows down. Any food you eat right before bed will stay with you instead of being burned off like when you’re awake.

3. Protein, protein, protein- Most women do not get enough protein in their diet. Protein feeds muscles and helps make them stronger. Protein is especially important for women because it helps our body function better. Get your protein from real food, not nutrition bars that are pack with the wrong kinds of protein and a ton of sugar. Eggs and lean meats like chicken are great sources of protein and will keep you more satisfied then a bar would.

2. Watch alcohol intake. I’m not going to tell you not to drink in college, but I will tell you ways to keep your calories in check when you do. Remember that approximately one light beer, one glass of wine and one shot of alcohol is equal to about 100 (empty) calories. Now add the sugary pops and juices and you’ve got yourself a diet disaster. The worst part is the drunk munchies. Your body is consuming calories with no nutritional value. My drink of choice at the bar is a vodka soda with a splash of cranberry. Vodka is less sugary then darker liquors, soda has 0 calories and the splash of cran gives it enough taste to enjoy. And try to limit yourself; nobody likes to have their head in the toilet by the end of the night...instead drink a glass of water and eat a flinstones vitamin right before you go to bed. This will help the dehydration effect that the alcohol has on your body.

1. Make nutrition and fitness a lifestyle- You can’t be on a diet your whole life. Losing weight is not a race and it doesn’t happen overnight. Learning to read nutrition labels, exercising daily and making sure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs will ensure you a healthier and happier life. The sooner you make it a habit the less you will think about it. And once you reach your goal weight you need to maintain it, so going back to bad eating habits will only put all the weight you lost back on and statistics show plus some.

My last bit of advice is don’t stress about the number on the scale. Water weight alone can make you fluctuate a few pounds and that is not an accurate representation of how fit you are. Muscle also weighs more than fat so you might stay the same weight but look leaner. Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) instead. This number takes into account body fatness with age and height which will tell you more accurately what is normal for you specifically.