Fun fact: Muscle is about 18-20% denser than fat tissue. Looking at the picture below, you can see that even though they may weigh the same, muscle is much more compact than fat. So, it makes sense that more muscle = a leaner body, despite what the scale may say. A pound of muscle takes up less space in your body than one pound of fat. To help you visualize what I mean, check out the pictures on this site posted below. Remember, muscle also burns fat! Your metabolic microwave kicks into overdrive when you have more muscle because it burns more calories naturally. It all comes full circle. So this year, jump on board! Happy New Year everyone!!
You know, peanut butter gets a really bad rap. “Too many calories, too much fat,” and why does everything with peanut butter in it get labeled as “bad” for you? But wait… Finally! A reason why you should eat peanut butter! Even better, why you should eat it everyday! A recent study by the British Journal of Nutrition (2013, 109 , 2015-23) showed that eating peanut butter with breakfast controls blood sugar throughout the entire day, even if you have a high-carb lunch. Also, having peanut butter at breakfast caused a reduction in the participant’s desire to eat, even 12 hours after breakfast. Now, don’t go all crazy and start eating it out of the jar by the spoonful. 1-2 tbsp. will do just fine. 😉
As New Year’s Eve approaches, many of you may be thinking about that little black dress waiting for you in the closet. It’s all ready to go out for that NYE party! However, your first thought, like many people, may be about how you are going to look in that dress after the holiday festivities.
First of all, you are beautiful regardless of what your mind tell that person you see in the mirror. It’s all about confidence. We all know confidence automatically boots when you exercise and when your body feels good on the inside and strong on the outside. One of the best ways to look great in any dress (which are usually sleeveless or strapless), is to feel secure about how your back looks. So, here are some great exercises to do at home to get a strong and defined back:
- Front arm levers: stand in a lunge, right foot in front. Start with weights in both hands and your sides. Palms face back. Lift both arms up at the same time, keeping them straight, until your arms are next to your ears.. Lower back down to start. Do 10 to 12 reps. Switch and repeat with left foot forward in a lunge. Remember to keep your core tight!
- Bent over rows: Bend over, arms in front and away from your body with weights in both hands. Make sure your back is level to the ground and your knees are not over your toes in the squat. Pull the weights all the way back until your hands are next to you ribs. Return down. You should try to make your shoulder blades touch when you pull back. Do 10 to 12 reps. Repeat.
- Double back fly: just like the rows, lean over into a squat with a flat back and lower arms down and out away from your body. At the same time, lift both arms up to the side while keeping them slightly bent. (palms down) and try to touch your shoulder blades together as you squeeze at the top. Lower back down. Use your core to keep back flat. Do 10 to 12 reps. Repeat.
- Supermans: (works upper and lower back) Lay face down, arms and legs spread out in front and in back of you. At the same time, lift arms and legs as high as you can, reaching them towards the corners of the room. Squeeze at the top for two seconds and lower down. Keep your neck in line with your back. Do 2 sets of 10 to 12 reps. To make it harder, add ankle or hand weights.
Do these exercises 3 times a week and you will see results. Reward yourself along the way for the progress you make! Maybe even buy a NEW little black dress! 😉
Most people ask for tablets, iPhones, purses, tools, clothes, etc. for Christmas. Me, I ask for a BOSU ball. 🙂 Honestly, I acted like a kid opening a gift from Santa. I became obsessed with it a few months ago because there are SO many ways to use it to strengthen your core and take strength or cardio workouts to the next level. What can you do with a BOSU ball? Well, here are a few ideas:
– Mountain climbers: act as though the ball was the floor and do mountain climbers as you would normally. Because you aren’t on a stable surface, the only way to stabilize yourself is by tightening your core. See where I’m going with this?
– Push-ups and push-up to t-ups: Use it for a standard push-up. Or, you can do a push-up, then take one hand off the ball and turn your body so you are in a side plank and that hand is reaching as far as it can towards the ceiling. Hold three seconds. Put the hand in the air back on the ball, do a push up, then switch to the other side. That’s one rep. Do 10-12.
– In-out sit-ups: Sit on the ball. As you lean back, extend your legs out so that your body is as parallel to the floor as possible. Reach hands over your head. In one motion, bend your legs in so that they are at a 90 degree angle and reach your hands towards the ceiling. Lift your shoulders up as much as you can into a double crunch. Go back to starting position. That’s one rep. do 12-15
– Back leg lifts: Instead of a standing back leg lift, the ball can add resistance and increased core stabilization. Step onto the ball with one foot and then lift the back leg up as far as your can, arms overhead. Squeeze glutes at the top then bring leg down to the ground. Take the other foot off the ball. That’s one rep. Do 10-12 reps per side.
– Soccer ball taps: This will get your heart rate up FAST! Put one foot on the ball. Jump and switch to the other foot and switch again continually in one fluid motion. As soon as you tap one foot on the ball, it’s time to switch feet. You can stay in one spot as your do this or work around the ball as you do the taps. Notice how much you have to use your lower abs for this exercise~ You will feel it!
No matter the exercise, in order to balance, you have no choice but you squeeze your core. One word: LOVE~
Christmas Eve is a time for family, friends, and loved ones to join together for a night of laughter, happiness, giving, and for some, magic. The spirit of Christmas is about being together in the moment. Now, for many people, including me, there is a part of your heart that isn’t there with you this Christmas. It’s really hard sometimes to let yourself toast joyfully, laugh as kids open presents, or simply enjoy being in the moment. It is almost a guilty feeling when I laugh and smile; because I know my Dad isn’t here. Many of you may be feeling the same way. As I sit here, I realize what my Dad would have told me: Life doesn’t end because someone is gone. Your loved ones would say the same thing. He would want me to just be in the present, even if it’s just for tonight. Christmas Eve has always been my favorite day of the whole year, but when my Dad was sick, it became filled with heartache. When he wasn’t here, it felt like the magic had been taken from me. But, as I watched my cousins open presents tonight, laughed with my brother, gave my mom a hug and kiss, I realized that Christmas magic is what you make it. Even though my Dad isn’t here, Christmas Eve continues on. It’s ok to be sad, to cry, to feel an aching in your heart. But, live in the moment and live your life. That’s what your loved ones want, and believe me, they haven’t left you.
I came across this “12 Resilient Days of Christmas” and it really does speak to what I believe about resiliency, body, mind, and spirit. I wanted to share it on this special night and hope that it inspires you this holiday season. Merry Christmas everyone!
You burn up to 9x more fat by doing HIIT workouts than aerobic workouts done at a steady state. In fact, you could KEEP burning calories for up to 24 hours AFTER you did the workout. Some people are surprised to find that after they do the Turbo sections of the Turbo Kick workouts, they sweat even MORE 15-20 minutes after the workout than they did during. That’s because your heart rate stays pretty high even after you’ve recovered properly (this is key!). When I train clients, one of the key pieces I include in their workouts are HIIT cardio intervals.
By incorporating strength training, steady cardio, and these high intensity intervals, it puts the metabolism into overdrive. As clients go through the workout, they often find that their muscles fatigue more easily and quicker than while doing a traditional workout. Well, that’s because of the muscle confusion-based strength training and high-intensity intervals. When you work every muscle group in your body into one workout, of course it’s going to cause what everyone wants, and that’s muscle failure. Yes, I said failure. You know that feeling when you literally can’t lift anymore weight or run up and down any more steps because it’s as though your muscles cannot withstand anymore weight? That “failure” is the most successful way to train. Kind of ironic, huh? By the end of the workout, your entire body is exhausted, and guess what? You most likely did the workout in half the time as a traditional workout. That’s a plus, plus right there.
So, do yourself a favor. Get that stopwatch. Set it for a minute. Bust out some mountain climbers, plyo jumps, run stairs, or sprint as fast as you can for that minute. Then, recover for a minute and do it again. You will see and FEEL the difference after the workout. Does it really suck for a minute? Yes, I’m not going to lie. But, anything you REALLY want in life is worth fighting for. You can do anything for 60 seconds, fight for it.
Dana’s Daily Dose~
Fun fact: ‘tis the season for those wonderful, memorable, holiday smells. Smells such as cranberries, fresh baked cookies, Christmas dinner, and especially pine trees fill the air. Pine has that refreshing, wintery, smell that reminds us of crisp walks in the snow, decorating the tree, and snowball fights. But, did you know that the smell of pine also has healing effects? Check out this article from Health about the “Healing Power of Pine.”