Thu, April 09

Be Fit Fit! Want to put all Fit-Fit chances on your side?

Here you go. Several mini ideas which, when added up and pursued daily over an extended period of time, will result in additional weight loss, muscle toning, general well-being, increased energy levels, endurance and way more happiness than you can imagine. If you follow these, you will have energy to fly to the moon and back, twice! ;-)

1) Do not diet. Eat well and organic. Nurture yourself and never starve. You should never-ever feel hungry. Eat clean, i.e. no heavy sauces, mayo, half-and-half and other empty calories, processed crap. Steer towards lean proteins, healthy, wild fish, seafood, organic chicken, eggs and any ~loin piece of meat (ex., sirloin). If you are vegetarian or vegan, think beans and tempeh. Add lots of lean veggies and some fruits (especially high water content fruits, like watermelon or apples). Also, check the www for the fruits marked as low glycemic index (GI) versus high GI fruits. You want the low GI fruits, if available.

2) Increase your protein consumption daily, even before your workouts. "Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport" published a study indicating an additional 185 calorie loss over 24 hours if you eat lots of proteins before you exercise.

3) Work on increasing your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids (ex., salmon).

4) Use spices, turmeric, ginger and hot peppers, not salt.

5) Balanced approach works the best: increase your activity levels and watch what you eat. The pounds will melt and you will also add healthy muscle which, in turn, burns more calories per day even as you sit around and flip the TV channels.

6) Donate your TV set to a charity of choice. I did it 14 years ago and have been happy and lean ever after.

7) Do not slave away for an hour of steady work on the "dreadmill". Do shorter, but intense bursts of activity with multiple breaks. This method is called "HIIT" (High Intensity Interval Training). An especially tough and cruel form of HIIT is called "Tabata" and it takes only four minutes of your life - you might want to Google it and even try it. Survival rate is high enough to give it a shot. Please note that "high intensity" might mean a 200 yard sprint at 120% of your heart rate or a 50 yard long walk. To each their own.

8) Drink. Possibly plain water, sparkly water or water with a lemon or lime wedge, not alcohol. ;-) Green tea contains the fat-reducing catechins, so have some of that, as well.

9) You've got my blessing to have your java in the morning, especially before the workout. It helps with your energy levels, endurance and focus while you exercise. Invariably, it also helps to shake us back to reality when we start daydreaming at our respective desks at 3PM.

10) Drink milk - it is proven to help in fat metabolizing. Did I mention drink milk and not half and half? ;-)

11) Do not fall victim of the Sitting Disease. Seriously, it is now medically recognized. Even if you exercise at one point during the day, but spend the rest of it at your desk, you, basically, negate any benefit gained from that one-time-a-day activity. We have to move regularly through the day, every single day. If you have hard time remembering about it and you still do not feel like moving around every now and then naturally, I would advise you set an alarm on your phone. Let it ring at least every 45 minutes and commit to some stretches, wall push-ups, squats or even jumping jacks the moment the device shakes you back to the Fit-Fit reality.

12) Run (or walk) stairs: at home, at your office, and, if you have no stairs, sign up for training with me. To get to my Studio, which is located upstairs, you have to climb stairs. Some trainees call them affectionately "Stairway to Heaven", while others refer to them as the "Stairway to Hell". Your call.

13) Alternatively, hit the hills and mountains. Cathedral Rock climb, anyone?

14) If you have no medical/skeletal/bone issues, do some plyometric training. It can be as simple as jumping out of joy or rope skipping, or as complicated as chaining yourself down to a special heavy platform I hide at my Studio and jumping up against the resistance of the cords which are there to hold you in place and grounded. Plyometric exercises also improve our chances of never-ever having to deal with the bone density issues, such as osteoporosis or osteopenia.

15) See your friends and loved ones often. That will assure that you will (plyometrically) jump out of joy frequently enough.

16) Lift weights. It is that simple. (No, you will not turn into a monster-looking, steroid-enhanced animal freak overnite. I have been intensely weight lifting since I was 18 and I still look decent enough).

17) In case you do not have an eternity to spend at your favorite gym, choose wisely. Go for compound movements versus any exercise which would isolate one muscle or two. Leg press, chest press and pull-up are way better than a biceps curl.

18) Have sex. It burns tons of calories and it is fun!

19) P.S. Sugar is poison. In any form. Steer clear.

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