Tag Archives: Exercise

21 Days To A Fab Summer Bod

Vine Vera 21 Days To A Fab Summer Bod

Losing weight too rapidly can be ineffective as well as dangerous. Electrolyte imbalances can result from a lack of nutrients and it is likely that most of the weight loss will be in water and lean muscle rather than fat. One pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories, which means that you need to lower your caloric intake by 500 to 1,000 calories per day in order to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. This can be done by swapping out high calorie foods for lower calorie ones that still satisfy your appetite.

Eating

  • Load Up On Breakfast
    When you skip the first meal of the day, your hunger will build up and you’re more likely to over-eat later.
  • Eat Eggs
    Eggs are full of protein, which is key to feeling full. Reports from “Good Housekeeping” show that in a study of 30 overweight women, those who consumed two scrambled eggs with two slices of toast of breakfast, ate less food for as much as a day and a half later, than those who ate a bagel breakfast with a similar calorie count.
  • High Fibre
    To keep the calories down and the stomach full, eat high fibre foods, which are likely to fill you up longer. Aim to incorporate beans and salads into your meals, and choose pears for snacks.

Vine Vera 21 Days To A Fab Summer Bod 1

Drinking

  • Drink Water
    Water is a calorie-free way of flushing waste and fat from your body to help you lose weight.
    Ditch Sugary Drinks. Fruit drinks, juices, and sodas all contain a high calorie content. The average soda has 200 calories, which means giving up a soda a day translates into a 21 day total of 4,200 calories that you didn’t put in your body.
  • Skip the Treats
    Beware of drinks with bubble shaped lids. Those frothy blended coffee drinks are basically glorified milkshakes with an untold amount of calories. Try to avoid alcoholic beverages, which can also be well disguised diet killers.

Switch Out

  • Low Fat
    Try replacing some of your regular food options with healthier ones that are lower in fat and calories. For example, try to select skinless chicken breast when choosing poultry, as this is the leanest part of the chicken.
  • Lean Meats
    When choosing meats, look for the words “select” or “choice” on the label, which tend to be a less fattening option than “prime cuts.” In addition, tenderloin, sirloin, chuck and round are all examples of the leaner cuts of meat and are a better option for dieting than others.
  • Bake Your Food
    Baking food rather than frying it eliminates the fatty oils that add calories.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
    Use calorie free apple cider vinegar as an alternative to salad dressing.Exercise
  • Boost Your Routine
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 150 minutes of exercise a week, which means 30 minutes a day, five days a week. If you’re pressed for time, you can split the routine into 3 ten-minute intervals.
  • Increase Your Intensity
    Increasing the intensity level of exercise will help to drop weight faster.

Woman measuring her waist

How are you preparing for beach weather? Let us know how your dropping weight and feeling great!

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Reduce The Muffin Top by July 4th

Muffins with tape measure

You may not yet know what you’re doing on the Fourth of July, but you do know what you’re going to wear. You knew as soon as you saw the star- spangled, midriff – exposing two-piece that it would end up on your body on Independence Day. There’s only one problem. Your winter hibernation has left you with a rather unpleasant souvenir: a few extra pounds hanging over the waistline of your pants, a.k.a., a muffin top. How is that going to look with your patriotic ensemble? Never fear, here are some ways you can lose that muffin top way before the fireworks start.

No More Spot Reduction
You may be thinking that the best way to get rid of fat on a specific part of your body is by focusing most of your exercises on that body part. However, most personal trainers are now advising against spot training. Why? It seems some body parts lose fat more quickly than others. That means the body tends to retain a lot of excess fat around the stomach, and the fastest way to lose that fat is to perform exercises that help you to lose fat overall. While abdomen focused exercises may help you tone the area, more muscle mass will raise the metabolism, making it easier to burn fat.

Woman on stationary bike

More Cardio
Cardio is a great way to get your heart pumping, making your body work harder and burn more calories. Zumba is a great way to get in your cardio, as are swimming, hiking, cycling, and kickboxing. HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, tends to work more effectively than long workouts at moderate levels of intensity and remember to keep walking. You should be taking about 10,000 steps a day, which can be monitored with a pedometer.

Strength Training
A great way to build muscle mass is by strength training. Women who engage in strength training for 25 minutes two or three times weekly can gain about two pounds of muscle and lose twice as much fat within two months.

Woman doing crunches

Abs Exercises
Although spot reduction is not the recommended way to reduce the muffin top, performing exercises which focus on the abdominal muscles can help you tighten up the area. However, you’ll get best results doing them in conjunction with cardio. Crunches and sit ups are probably the most common abs-based exercises.

Side Muscles
While you’re focusing on your waistline, don’t forget to work the muscles on the sides. Leg lifts are good for this: Lie on one side with your legs outstretched. Raise and then lower the top leg, keeping it straight. Turn over and repeat with opposite side.

Woman with jump rope

Intervals

    1. Pick Your Type of Cardio
      Running, swimming, jumping rope, and biking are all good choices.
    2. Warm Up
      Designate the first ten minutes to increase your exercise level from low to moderate. Easy means you can hold a conversation easily; moderate and you will only be able to get out three to four words at a time.
    3. Do Ten Sprints With Breaks For Recovery
      Your sprints should be 30 seconds long with 30 second recovery periods, or light exercise. Sprints should be done at full intensity, exerting enough energy to achieve breathlessness. It is important to keep moving constantly, even during periods of recovery.
    4. Exercise At Moderate Intensity For the Minutes
      Perform the exercise of your choice for a steady ten minutes at moderate intensity without pause.
    5. Do Ten More Sprints
      Repeat step 3.
    6. Cool Down
      Wind down with five minutes of low-intensity exercise.

Woman drinking water

Are you trying to eliminate that muffin top to get into that bikini? Let us know how you’re doing it? What are the best exercises for trimming your waistline?

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Look Hot When You Enter A Room

Woman walking

Everyone wants to make a grand entrance; to be able to command attention as soon as you walk into the room. How do you do it? Pause briefly before entering, make eye contact, look as if you’re happy to be there, try not to fall, or recover gracefully if you do: all great ways of using body language. But while the importance of great body language cannot be underestimated, you don’t really need it if you already have a great body. You can shape up with squats to make a grand entrance effortlessly. Here are a few squat exercise routines you can do to turn some heads when you walk in a room.

The Basic Squat
Squats are one of the best exercises for the lower body. They target all the major lower body muscles, including the glutes, hips, and thighs. The basic squat is good for beginners or those who are overweight, or suffering from knee problems.

  1. Stand in front of a chair with feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Contract abs, keeping them tight while you bend your knees and squat in the direction of the chair.
  3. Move hips back, keeping head up and torso straight. Extend arms if you need help balancing.
  4. Sit on the chair and contract the glutes to lift out of the chair and begin to extend your legs.
  5. Extend your legs fully until your back to a standing position without locking your knees.
  6. Repeat for 1 to 3 set of 10 to 16 reps.

Wide squat

Plie Or Wide Squat
This squat incorporates a little more inner thigh action and helps target leg muscles in different ways.

  1. Start in a wide stance with toes pointed outward at a comfortable angle. Align your knees with your toes, so they don’t go out too far.
  2. You may want to hold two dumbbells on your upper thighs or a singles dumbbells in front. on the shoulders, or behind the head.
  3. Bend your knees and lower down into a squat, keeping your knees in line with your toes, and your abs tight.
  4. Push back to beginning stance without locking knees.
  5. Do 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 16 repetitions.

Barbell squat

Barbell Squats
These are more intense types of squats which add weight to your shoulders and require more work form the gluteus.

  1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Hold the barbell just above your shoulders on the “meaty part,” or the trapezius muscles. Use a bar pad to protect your back if you are uncomfortable.
  3. Bend knees, lowering into a squat until your knees are at ninety degree angles.
  4. Contract glutes and legs, keeping your body stabilized with your torso tight.
  5. Stand back up slowly without locking your knees. Do 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 16 reps.

Wall Sits
Wall sits are a great exercise you can do without any equipment. They require you to hold a static position rather than working through a range of motion.

  1. Stand about 2 feet in front of a wall and lean against it.
  2. Slide down and walk feet out until your knees are close to 90 agree angles and hold with abs contracted for 20 to 60 seconds.
  3. Return to starting position and repeat varying angles of squats to work the body in different ways.

One Legged Squat
This is an advanced exercise challenging your balance and stability. This version incorporates the use of an exercise ball to add more of a challenge.

  1. Put an exercise ball behind your lower back and lean against it.
  2. Lift your left foot slightly off the ground moving your right foot toward the middle to maintain balance.
  3. Contract the muscles in your right leg, keeping the left leg lifted, lower into a squat, resting your hands on the wall if you need extra balance.
  4. Return to starting position, repeating all reps on the right leg before switching to your left.

Tips For Safe Squatting
Keep your weight over your ankles and your heels not the floor throughout the movement. Knees should always remain in line with your toes. Send the hips back, not the knees forward. Keep shoulders back, maintain a natural arch in your lower back and keep the neck and head in a neutral position.

Are you squatting to improve your hotness? What are you doing to make heads turn? Let us know!

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What You Can Do About High Blood Pressure

Woman monitoring her own blood pressure

You go for a routine check up. The diagnosis: High blood pressure, a.k.a. The Silent Killer. It is asymptomatic. It sneaks up on a third of Americans without them even knowing it. High blood pressure does not make your head ache, it does not make you bleed, it does not make you break out in a rash, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there and it certainly doesn’t mean it’s not deadly. It works against your heart and arteries and can cause kidney disease, blindness, brain hemorrhage, and, eventually death. Of the 29% of Americans with high blood pressure, only 54% have it under control. However, if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you can keep yourself in that percentage. Here are some tips on doing just that.

Lose weight
Blood pressure can increase with weight, and, if you suffer from sleep apnea, as a result of excess weight, your blood pressure can increase even more. Losing just 10 lbs is enough to bring about a significant reduction in blood pressure.

While you are slimming down, you may want to pay special attention to your waistline. Men with a waist measurement greater than 40″ are at risk for high blood pressure, as are women with waist measurements exceeding 35 inches.

Exercise
If you have high blood pressure, you can reduce your blood pressure by 4-9 mm of mercury by performing at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days. But, it’s important to keep it up. A lapse in consistency can cause blood pressure to go back up.

Woman jogging

The Dash Diet
The Dash diet, also known as the Dietary Approaches to stop Hypertension is the suggested diet for lowering hypertension. It consists of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and is low in cholesterol and saturated fat and high in potassium.

Limit Alcohol Intake
Although small amounts of alcohol can lower your blood pressure, too much alcohol can reverse the effects. Women and men over 65 should not drink more than one drink a day, while men under 65 should not exceed two drinks. Twelve ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor constitute one drink.

Reduce Sodium
Although a reduction in sodium can reduce blood pressure in all people, the amount of recommended intake varies. Sodium should generally be limited to less than 2,300 mg per day; however, an intake of 1,500mg a day is more appropriate for higher-risk groups, including African Americans, people 51 or older, and anyone diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease.

Man cutting cigarettes in half

Quit Smoking
Each cigarette increases blood pressure for several minutes after you smoke it. Quit smoking to reduce blood pressure and increase life expectancy.

Monitor Blood Pressure and See Your Doctor Often
It is important to keep track of blood pressure levels and home monitoring can help you make sure that your lifestyle changes are effective and alert you to complications. Monitors are widely available and do not require a prescription.

See your doctor every six to twelve months to keep your blood pressure under control.

Do you have high blood pressure? How do you keep it under control? Let us know! Your advice could make a difference!

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Stretches That Get You Ready For the Slopes

Woman stretching

Lindsey Vonn lives a life of danger, romance, glamor and suspense. Whether she is winning the World Cup, modeling for the cover of “Sports Illustrated,” participating on “Dancing With the Stars”, or knocking back some Red Bull for a publicity spot, her life has very few dull moments. That’s because Lindsey Vonn stays in shape, wears her protective gear, drinks plenty of water, and always does her stretches before hitting the slopes. Skiing uses a range of movements that tend to be sudden which puts stress on muscles and ligaments. Stretching before skiing can greatly reduce the risk of soreness and injury. Here’s a few good ones for you.

Transverse Oblique Twist
This one is great for increasing motion range in the hips and back and transverse obliques. Lie on a mat and lift your right leg straight up from the hip. Lay your leg over to the left side without letting the right shoulder rise off the ground. Hold for 20 seconds.

Straight Leg Hang
Here’s a great stretch for the hamstrings and lower back. Stand with your feet together, tilting your hips forward. Round your back, reaching for the floor. Hold for 20 seconds.

3 Way Hamstring/ Back Reaches
This stretch targets the hamstrings, obliques, lower and neck. 1st position: Pull your right foot in as close to your body as possible and bring your left leg straight out to the left side. Reach your left hand across to your left foot. Lower your head to your chest. 2nd position: With your left leg stretched straight out from your hip and your right leg relaxed to the right, use both hands to reach down your leg. Tuck in your chin and your round back as much as you can. 3rd position: Stretch your left leg straight out, bring it across the front of your hip and bend your right leg over the top of your left. Reach your right hand to your left foot, bring your head to your chest and round your back. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on opposite side.

Chest stretch

Chest Stretch
This is a great stretch for the muscles in your forearm. biceps, palms, and chest Put your left hand on the wall with your finger pointing behind you. Walk backward slowly until your forearm is stretched out. Take small steps turning away from your left arm until you feel it in the bicep and chest. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on other side.

Straight Leg Hang
Try this exercise for the hamstrings and lower back. Stand with your feet together tilt your hips forward, round your back and reach for the floor. Hold for 20 seconds.

Deep Glute Pull
Target your glute muscles with this one. Just lie on your back and bend your knees, Pull one leg up and rest the side of the foot on the thigh of the other legs. Pull both in toward your chest until you feel the stretch in your glutes. Hold for 20 seconds.

All stretched out? Great now your ready to tackle those slopes feeling like a million bucks. Let us know about your ski stretches and how they work for you this season! We love to get your inputs!

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Core Strengthening Exercises That Work

Woman exercising
The most commonly accepted definition of core stability is: “Comprised of the lumbopelvic hip complex and is the capacity to maintain equilibrium of the vertebral column with its physiologic limits by reducing displacement from perturbations and maintaining structural integrity.” And you thought it had something to do with the middle of a fruit.

Physiotherapists Henry and Florence Kendall first acknowledged core stability when they introduced the idea of the “neutral pelvis” in the 1940’s and 50’s. The idea was that the muscles surrounding the pelvis were responsible for the alignment of the “neutral spine” and that the pelvic tilt was the movement which deviated from the neutral position. In short, core stability involves using abdominal pressure to stabilize the spine which, in turn, can improve muscle and gross motor action.

It looks like old Henry and Flo might have been on to something, because, here we are about 70 years later and it looks like core stability is working for some pretty impressive ( and impressively built) people.

1. Side Plank Variation
Celebrity Pilates trainer claims you can catch Miley Cyrus side planking during her exercise routines. Here’s how:

  1. Lie on the floor. Lean sideways, putting your weight on your right hip, and use your right arm to support your body. Bend your legs slightly and position your left foot a little in front of your right foot.
  2. Using your core, elevate your body upward into a side plank.
  3. Reach your left arm over your head.
  4. Pull your abs in high, lower your hips without letting them touch the floor, lower your left arm and press back into the side plank.
  5. Repeat 6-8 times and then switch sides.

Woman completing a plank push up
2. Plank Push Ups
Celebrity trainer Teddy Bass used this one to help Christina Applegate get her post baby body back in shape.

  1. Get into plank position. Put your weight on your toes and forearms. Your body should form a straight line.
  2. Push off your forearms, lift your right hand and position it under the right shoulder on the mat.
  3. Pick up your left hand and place it beneath your left shoulder. You should find yourself in push-up position.
  4. Drop to your right forearm, then drop to your left forearm. You should now find yourself back in plank position. Continue in a push-up pattern going up on the right, up on the left, down on the right, down on the left for five repetitions total.
  5. Rest and begin again, starting with the left arm.

3.V-Sit Twist
Pro Derek Degrazio had Britney (Spears) working out with this one. BTW, you’ll need a 6-10 pound medicine ball for this one, if you don’t have one, a dumbbell or gallon of water will do.

  1. Sit bending your knees. Your feet should be flat and your arms should be by your sides.
  2. Keeping knees bent, lift your feet until your shins are almost parallel to the floor. Lean back at a 45 degree angle so your thighs and torso form a V shape.
  3. Bring the 6-10 lb medicine ball, or object of choice, to your chest, keeping your elbows out.
  4. Move your upper body to the right. Your left elbow will be above your right hip. Then move to the left in the same manner.
  5. Do three sets of thirty.

4.Three Legged Dog
Fitness and yoga instructor Mandy Ingber has client Jennifer Anniston swearing by this one.

  1. Begin as if you were going to do push ups. Raise your right heel to the height of your shoulder and no higher.
  2. Bring your right knee to your head, Round your spine, inhale, and bring your leg back to starting position.
  3. Exhale, bringing your right knee alongside your right tricep. Extend leg and inhale.
  4. Exhale, cross in your right knee to for left elbow. Inhale as you stretch out your leg. Do this three times and then repeat switching legs.

If you are still upright, we would love to hear about your core experiences. How did you measure up to the celebs? Please comment and let us know all about it!

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How Exercise Affects Your Skin

Women exercising
It all started with two groups of mice, as often is the case with science, in a laboratory far, far away in Ontario at a school called McMaster University. One rodent group was put through a daily high paced exercise routine of running through treadmills and hamster wheels and the other was allowed to sit on the couch all day watching Seinfeld re-runs. Only kidding, but you get the idea; they remained sedentary. It may come as little surprise that the more active group retained healthy brains, muscles and hearts while the others, grew demented, frail, graying, bald, and ill and it had nothing to do with the Seinfeld re-runs.

Enter humans. The scientists decided to back this study by gathering 29 female and males human specimen ranging in age from 20- 84. Like the rodents, about half of the participants were kept physically active while the other half exercised for less than an hour per week. Each was asked to reveal a buttock for examination. Said Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, professor of pediatrics and exercise science at McMaster said, “We wanted to examine skin that had not been frequently exposed to the sun.”

After the skin was biopsied, the results showed that the men and women over 40 who exercised had healthier and thinner stratum corneums and a thicker layer of dermis in their skin. In translation, their skin was closer in resemblance to 20 and 30-year-olds than their lazier counterparts, even those over age 65. Although the effect of exercise on your skin is not completely clear, levels of substances called myokines, which are set off by working the muscles, are released in much greater quantities in participants after exercise. It is suspected that this is what lead to the observed differences in skin quality.

Other experts have weighed in on exercise’s impact on the dermis, and not necessarily only the parts under your bloomers, and here’s what they had to say.

Exercise and Complexion
Celebrity trainer Dalton Wong believes that exercise can tone your skin in the same way it tones your muscles. Wong says, “As we age, our skin naturally loses its plumping, youthful layer of fat. But if you exercise the right way, you can build up muscle which gives that same volumizing effect…. it’s the lean muscle mass that sits just under the surface which can create lifted, taut looking skin.”

Wong recommends you focus on resistance training, including pushups, lunges, and planking for elimination of cellulite and toning of muscles and skin. He advises a circuit routine including three to four sets of activities involving weight bearing with two to four-minute intervals of cardio repeated four times. Wong also warns that doing cardio excessively can actually cause skin to lose elasticity, especially if you are under or overweight. Running long distances places stress on the body, releasing excess amounts of the stress hormone cortisol, which causes inflammation and breaks down collagen, resulting in sagging and wrinkling.

Woman staying hydrated
Hydration
Sweating regulates body temperature and eliminates toxins. Increased blood flow helps to bring oxygen and nutrients to your skin. Increasing water intake will help in flushing out the toxins and oils that can clog pores and contribute to breakouts of acne.

As Wong tells celeb client J.Law, “No one can work out if they’re not properly hydrated – it makes your skin look better, too. Conversely, if you’re training without drinking enough water, you’ll damage your skin pretty quickly.” How can you tell if you’re dehydrated? If the skin on the back of your hand does not spring back after you pinch it, drink some water. If its good enough for J.Law……

Are you a natural beauty? Let us know what your think. What has exercise done to or for your skin?

We’d love to hear it.

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