Fitness & Wellness

What Gets You Up In The Morning?

What Gets You Up In The Morning?

What gets you up and makes you look forward to a new day? If you’re dragging through the day, with one day like the next and nothing that gets you excited, it’s time to make a change. If you’re already a member and reading this blog, you probably know how much more enjoyable kickboxing is, over traditional types of workouts. It’s my love and I hope I bring the same excitement to others. I do see people looking forward to their time in the gym, which you don’t normally see at other types of workouts.

Do something that sparks excitement in your life.

Of course, I’m going to use kickboxing and exercising as an example, it’s my life’s work. When you workout, you burn off the hormones created by stress that can leave you feeling numb and depressed. As you work harder, your body tells your brain to create other hormones, ones that make you feel good. Eliminating stress hormones and boosting the “happy” hormones can lift your spirits. It can make all the difference in your outlook in life, giving you that spark of excitement that makes you look forward to each new day.

Get energized with exercise.

Sometimes, you’re simply too tired to care. That’s another way exercising and eating healthy helps. It won’t take long before you notice that tasks that took you an hour previously, now take far less time. You won’t feel as exhausted at the end of the day and have the energy to look forward to other activities. Even if exercising and kickboxing aren’t your thing, they can help provide you with the extra boost so you can find that special something.

Feel good about yourself as you tone up and shed pounds.

Feeling self-conscious can stop you from trying many new things, one of which may be that special something that makes you look forward to each day. Kickboxing is extremely good for building lean muscle mass and helping you to lose weight quickly. That can improve your self-image. It also gives you a sense of purpose as you learn each new move and a sense of accomplishment when you complete those perfectly, whether in the ring or not.

– There’s a great deal of comradery in kickboxing classes. Sometimes, that’s all you need to make the day a little brighter.

– You’ll build self-confidence and walk taller. Walking taller not only comes from the improved self-confidence, it also come from improved posture. Either way, you’ll build personal respect and learn how to defend yourself.

– I’ll help you learn how to eat healthier. It won’t be dieting. Healthier eating is a way of life, so the pounds you shed won’t return.

– If you fall in love with kickboxing, like I did, you’ll find there’s always something more to learn and always ways to improve. It can be the “get-you-up-and-out-of-bed” solution you’ve hoped to find.

Simple Diet Mistakes

Simple Diet Mistakes

If you’re having problems losing weight, you may be making some simple diet mistakes. There are so many fallacies and misinformation in the world of healthy eating, you can’t help but believe one or two. Losing weight isn’t easy, but some people make it far more difficult by skipping meals to save calories or starving themselves to lose weight. Of course, those skipped meals build the appetite to ravenous proportions and then too many calories are consumed. Starvation diets can actually slow the metabolism, making weight loss harder.

Rigid restrictions or a whole day of cheating can slow your progress.

It goes both ways, sticking to a restrictive diet, no matter how healthy or letting yourself have an unrestricted cheat day, can be equally devastating to your weight loss efforts. A cheat doesn’t mean you start cheating and eating everything in sight from the moment you wake up until the time you go to bed. Instead, it means having one serving of your favorite foods that you can’t normally eat. There are benefits to having a cheat meal. Check out the blog on the benefits of a cheat meal.

Even if food is a healthy choice, you can’t always eat unlimited amounts.

Some foods, like nut butters, are good for you. However, they’re higher in calories. There are limitations on the amount you should eat. Seriously, some of those are delicious, but if you spread a half jar of cashew butter on several apples throughout the day and eat it for snacks, you’re going to gain weight. Fruit is also good for you, but if you replace all veggies and only eat fruit, you’ve made another mistake. Fruit is high in sugar and gives you a big boost. It also causes a huge crash. Too much fruit makes your blood sugar fluctuate dramatically. Eat it with protein and fat….like cashew butter….just not in excess.

Limiting the kind of vegetables you eat and cooking them wrong.

Of course, you know that eating veggies is good for you, but not if it’s just potatoes…in the form of potato chips. You need a wide selection of colors and types of vegetables AND the way they’re prepared is extremely important. If you must cook them, steam, broil or grill them. You can also use them in soups, since the nutrients are left in the water for the soup.

– Skipping breakfast is a huge mistake. It can jump start your metabolism for the day. One study showed that when you eat is just as important as what you eat.

– Weighing yourself too often is not only a big mistake, it can also be quite discouraging. In order to see how much you really lost, you need to weigh just once a week or once every two weeks.

– Doing the same workout routine. If you don’t change your workout frequently, you’ll plateau. The body becomes too efficient at doing specific moves and burns fewer calories.

– Failure to plan ahead. At first, particularly when you’re first learning to eat healthy. It takes planning. Planning meals, grocery shopping and snacks can keep you on the right path.

Learn From Your Mistakes

Learn From Your Mistakes

When Thomas Edison was asked about the 10,000 failures he had before he created the incandescent bulb, he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” You can equate mistakes with that quote and learn from your mistakes. When you make a mistake, don’t despair. Pick yourself up and start over, making adjustments. It’s easy to learn when you make a mistake when you kickbox. Your opponent takes advantage of it and you end up paying for that error. Practice, learning to make countermoves all require you to do something and remember that move that didn’t work, so next time you know what not to do.

You’re not doing anything challenging if you don’t make at least one mistake.

While I have some extremely good students who learn very quickly and absorb all the comments and techniques, even they make mistakes occasionally, especially when they’re learning something new. If you remain static, you’ll never make a mistake, but you’ll never grow and evolve either.

Consider the mistakes of the past when it comes to weight control.

Losing weight is hard, but you can do it. When you learn the healthier way of eating, always compare it to the diet that put the weight on in the first place. Were you grabbing fast food and eating on the run? Did you skip meals and then gorge on high calorie foods? There are a number of habits that people develop and foods they become accustomed to eating that made weight gain inevitable.

Never say never.

You may not have been able to lose weight, stick with an exercise program or get back into shape before, but that doesn’t mean you can never do it. You just haven’t found the right motivation, program help or guidance. Too often people believe that their past dictates their future. Rather than learning from mistakes of the past, they give up completely. YOU CAN SO WHATEVER YOU SET YOUR MIND TO DO.

– One of the nicest things about our program is that everyone is supportive and believes that in order to learn, you have to make a few mistakes.

– Once you learn to grow from the mistakes you make, rather than use them to block growth, that transfers to other areas of your life to help you be more successful.

– While everyone has some limitations, those shouldn’t stop you from trying…AND SUCCEEDING! We’ll believe in you until you can believe in yourself.

– While dwelling in the past won’t help you, noting the mistakes you made and learning how to avoid them will. Don’t let a lot of time pass before you analyze those slip ups and learn how to overcome them. You’ll forget many details and spend too much time in regret.

What's Your Favorite Healthy Meal?

What’s Your Favorite Healthy Meal?

I’m hoping to get some input from all of you. I’d love it if you’d share your favorite healthy meal. Not everyone has the same taste, so even if I share my favorite meals, you might not like the taste. I have a client that will only eat avocado if it’s in guacamole. Her spouse, on the other hand, loves avocado and eats a half of one every morning with hot sauce. Avocados are extremely healthy, but if you don’t like them, you simply don’t like them. I’m going to share a few elements of what a healthy meal should include and some recipes. Please share some of yours in the comment section.

Nutritious vegetables of all colors are important.

At an early age, I heard that to eat healthy, you had to have a rainbow of colors on your plate. Of course, when I was young, the first thing that popped into my mind was a bag of Skittles. That’s not what it means. Choosing from a platter of vegetables of different colors provides a wider range of vitamins and phytonutrients, such as flavonoids. At one time, the importance of flavonoids were unknown, but now, they’re found to provide healthy benefits for the body. There are studies on anthocyanins and their role in curing colon cancer. Anthocyanins make plants red to purple. Anthoxanthins make plants white to yellow and do many things, including reducing the potential for stroke. I can even make this simple recipe called Rainbow pizza using pita bread, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese an topped with a rainbow of color; cherry tomatoes, sweetcorn or yellow peppers, orange peppers, broccoli, red onion and beet root. You can vary the type of flatbread and veggies to to your taste.

You need healthy protein in your diet.

Getting all the protein you need is important. The body uses it to build and repair tissues, make hormones and enzymes, skin, cartilage, bones and blood. It also burns extra calories in digestion, so it’s good for weight loss. Proteins contain amino acids. There are eight essential ones the body can’t create on its own. methionine, isoleucine, leucine, threonine, lysine, phenylalanine, tryptophan and valine. Lean meat, chia seeds, Ezekial bread, soy products and eggs are a few good sources. My favorite is a portion size of grilled chicken breast.

Go for some healthy fat, too.

Fats are important in any diet, whether you’re trying to lose weight or not. It helps fuel the body and gives you a full feeling, absorb nutrients–think fat soluble vitamins, build cells and aid in brain, heart and nerve function. The key is getting healthy fat and having a good balance of omega3 fatty acid to omega6. You’re supposed to have twice as much omega6 daily as you do Omega3, but unfortunately, today’s average American diet contains over 15 times as much. Instead of being healthy, it becomes a health risk. Some fats, such as transfats are completely unhealthy. Homemade guacamole, either chunky or mashed, is one of my favorites. It’s great as a celery and veggie dip.

– Make sure you have a daily supply of fiber in your diet. A bowl of oatmeal with blueberries or other fruit and some nuts is my favorite way to get it.

– Don’t forget the water. It doesn’t look flashy, but can curb your appetite and help your body. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Try to get eight 8-oz glasses.

– Get some veggies at breakfast with an omelet or cook an egg in a pepper ring. YUM!

– Nuts, berries and melon cubes can be yummy snacks that will fill you up not out. I cube melons and have them ready when I want a snack. Pistachios and almonds, not peanuts,

are the way to go.

Does Workout Gear Need To Be Expensive

Does Workout Gear Need To Be Expensive

If you’re considering buying workout gear, you’ve probably noticed it came with a high price tag. Is it necessary to pay that high price or could you use a less expensive

alternative. A good bra, for example, is super important for women, but does it have to be specifically a sports bra? This is a personal issue and definitely one I let women decide for themselves. There are two ways a sports bra is superior to a regular bra. First, it should be made from sweat wicking material like Coolmax. That will keep you drier. Secondly, a good sports bra is washable and will endure more washes than a regular bra, according to what I’m told. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune. It just needs to fit, wick sweat and be durable.

Check for fabric that keeps you cooler and dryer.

You’ll work up a sweat in the gym, so you want materials created to soak up that sweat and keep it away from the skin. Just like a sports bra, you want your workout clothes to be made of wicking material. Spend more money on the clothing that gets the toughest workout while you workout, like leggins or stretchy shorts, shoes…and the sports bra.

Use almost any kind of T-shirt or tank top if you workout in a gym.

While it would be nice to have the latest in fashion and technology, if your budget doesn’t warrant it, don’t dismay. A cotton Tee or one made of other breathable fabric will do nicely. In fact, many people use T-shirts and tanktops they already have in their closet. If you’re exercising outdoors and want fabric that’s waterproof and wind resistance, expect to pay more.

Shoes are ultimately important.

Good fitting, comfortable shoes are important even if you’re not working out, so imagine how important they are when you’re increasing the beating your feet take. You don’t have to pay a fortune or go with the latest fad in footwear, but should have a good pair of shoes for the gym. Training footwear with a good fit will keep your feet happier.

– If you’re kickboxing, you’ll want clothing that leaves you feeling covered and comfortable no matter what your moves.

– You don’t have to have the latest in fashion, particularly if you’re here to lose weight, making them ill fitting. Get comfortable clothing for now and save making the expensive purchase as a reward for losing pounds and inches.

– Don’t forget your headband. Keeping hair off your face during a workout is easy with an inexpensive headband. They’re good to mop the sweat off your brow too.

– Never let clothing costs stop you from working out. Whatever you wear, as long as you’re comfortable, is fine….Just workout. We’re here to get you fit and nobody should let fashion dictate that.

Document Your Success

Document Your Success

Even though you’ll notice changes quickly when you follow my program, that doesn’t mean you’ll get the whole breadth of the changes. While you may feel excited at each major accomplishment, such as losing a clothing size or shedding extra pounds, unless you document your success, you won’t get the full impact of just how far you’ve traveled and how much

you’ve achieved. Keeping a documented account of the accomplishment can also show you how hard you’ve worked and how difficult it could be to start all over again if you get of the path of a healthy lifestyle.

Take before pictures and pictures along the way.

Some people, particularly those with a big weight problem, have spent the last few years, or whenever their weight problem started, dodging the camera. It’s a constant reminder and they don’t want any permanent evidence. However, taking a picture or pictures is precisely what should be done. In fact, plan to take a picture in a revealing outfit, such as tights or swimwear at least once every two months. Use the same pose each time and keep the camera at the same distance. It’s a good idea to have a object like a dresser close by to show perspective.

Track your weight and food intake.

One method of keeping score is to keep a log of your weight. Don’t weigh yourself every day. Once a week or once every two weeks is enough. Weigh yourself the same time of day and space the weigh ins equal days apart. If you want to weigh in every two weeks, use a specific day and time, such as every other Monday at 8 am. Tracking what you eat will also help. Not only does it prevent you from fooling yourself into believing you hardly ate anything and didn’t lose a pound, it also gives you a good idea where you can make substitutions to lower caloric intake.

Track your measurements.

Rather than tracking weight, which can fool you, tracking your measurements is better. Do it at the same time you weigh yourself. As you build more muscle mass, you’ll look even thinner, even if you never shed a pound. That’s because one cubic inch of muscle mass weighs more than one cubic inch of fat, so the container to hold a pound of muscle mass would be smaller than one containing a pound of fat. You’re the container, so you’ll be narrower when you have more muscle tissue even if you never lost a pound.

– Record your progress when you exercise. Keep a journal and add a commentary, which might say, “OMG, I did 20 jumping jacks and was pooped. Barely made it through the last one.” When you can see your progress it can keep you coming back for more.

– Use your clothing to help track your progress. Buy a piece of clothing that fits you tight or one you can’t zip. When you present clothes become baggy and this item fits, you’ve made progress.

– Track your feelings. At first, you’ll miss some of your favorite foods, but as your journey to good health continues, you’ll notice a change in the entries. In fact, if you eat a favorite food on a cheat day, you might not even like it anymore.

– Enjoy your success. Don’t be shy about sharing before and after pictures. It can be inspirational to others. If you get discouraged, go back through your journals, pictures or even try on old clothing, to keep you motivated.

Why Cheat Days Are Important

Why Cheat Days Are Important

There are reasons cheat days are important, but also reasons that cheating puts you on a slippery slope back into poor eating habits. Some unhealthy high calorie food is addictive. Just like the cigarette smoker who has just one cigarette after months of abstinence, it can put you right back into old eating habits if you allow that to happen. However, planned cheat days or a cheat meal you can’t resist, but still use portion control, has some benefits that even help you lose weight.

Use common sense when you cheat.

While cheating can provide a boost of resolve to continue on a healthy way of eating, using common sense is also important. If you clear out the mashed potatoes and gravy or dessert station at a buffet, you’re setting yourself back days or weeks of diligent healthy eating. Instead of declaring a spontaneous cheat day when you’re starving, plan a day to cheat and cheat in moderation, eating only portion sized servings of your favorite foods.

Planned cheat days can help you lose weight by tricking your body.

When you plan ahead, you can throw a calorie-rich meal into the mix and trick your body into thinking food is plentiful, helping it burn more calories. The body sends a message to the brain to increase leptin levels, which is the anti-starvation hormone that boosts the metabolism. That hormone tells the body that burning fat is okay. As long as you only cheat a little, one moderate meal a week, the extra calories won’t affect your progress and cheating becomes beneficial.

Adjust your meal times the day you cheat.

You don’t want to skip the meal right before your cheat meal. For instance, if you’re eating a cheat meal for dinner, don’t skip lunch, but do move the other meals a little later in the day. Grab a small snack for breakfast. Eat your mid morning snack for lunch and have your lunch a high-protein lunch, such as a small salad with boiled eggs or grilled chicken and a light vinaigrette or lemon juice dressing later in the day when you’d normally eat your mid afternoon snack. You won’t be starved at supper when you eat your cheat meal.

– Workout vigorously before your cheat meal. The extra calories won’t go to fat, but to replace the glycogen stores.

– If the cheating is at a restaurant, check the menu online ahead of time so you know what you want to order. It will help you get precisely what you crave without taking

forever to choose when you’re in the restaurant.

– Eat healthy, not junk at your cheat meal and drink plenty of water before you eat to help. In fact, drinking water before you order can help fill you up and you’ll be more likely to order less. Ice tea with a bit of lemon is also a filling drink.

– Eat slowly and savor every bite. Indulge in your cheat meal with friends and enjoy the conversation.

Change The Way You Think About Exercising

Change The Way You Think About Exercising

You shouldn’t hate working out. In fact, you should look forward to it. If you dread going to workout sessions, it’s time you change the way you think about exercising. One of the easiest ways is simply to change your mind. Rather than think of it as something you have to do, turn it into a game. Chart your progress and look for ways to challenge yourself.

Instead of making it a game, get exercise from a sport.

YES! I do mean kickboxing, but there are a lot of others from which to choose. Surfing, rowing, swimming and even dancing (okay, make that competitive dancing to give it sport status) give your body a complete workout, especially ballet. When you’re thinking more about the next movement or trying to break your own personal best record, you actually enjoy working out rather than dread it. With competitive workouts, like kickboxing, winning a match can be a real rush that will change your attitude forever.

Try new things.

If you’ve done the same routine for years, it’s no wonder it’s a snooze. Varying your exercise routine with new things is not just important to your attitude, it makes a difference in the effectiveness of the workout in a number of ways. First, you’re using different muscle groups and varying the way you’re using them when you try new things. Secondly, if you don’t change your workout your body becomes too efficient at the movement and burns fewer calories. That can cause plateauing.

Workout with others, rather than alone.

Working out alone can be the ultimate bore. It leaves you time to think about just how long it takes and sometimes how tedious or difficult the workout is. When you workout with others, while you’ll still focus on the movements, the comradery can make it far more enjoyable. The group energy and enthusiasm is contagious.

– Kickboxing, like other types of sports keeps you focused on the next movement. Kickboxing in particular, doesn’t let your mind take a break to wander, while your body goes through the movements. You have to keep focused.

– Reward yourself for accomplishment. Whether it’s reaching a specific goal for lifting weights, running faster or further, it doesn’t matter. Find a non-food way to reward yourself when you reach a preset benchmark.

– Make exercising a habit that you do automatically. Exercise at the same time every day. The longer you do it, the more of a habit it will become.

– Smile while you workout. Not only does smiling add more years to your life, it also can help make the difference to change your mind. It’s a “fake it until you make it” move.

Keep Your Curves In Check

Keep Your Curves In Check

keep curves in checkGet an exercise program that’s challenging.

If you’ve worked out at DNJ Fitness, you know the programs we develop are challenging. That’s important. You want to work toward your maximum potential to get the most out of an exercise session. I vary the workout frequently so the client’s body doesn’t become too efficient. That means it burns fewer calories, which contributes to plateauing. Plateauing is one reason I recommend kickboxing. You’re constantly changing movements and no two days are alike.

Reveal those curves by burning calories and building muscle tissue.

Not only does exercise burn calories, it also builds muscle tissue. Both help to reveal the curves you want. More muscle tissue also has other benefits. It uses more calories than fat tissue does, so effectively, you’ll be boosting your metabolism in the process. As you start to see change, you’ll be even more driven to continue. That’s good because the more fit you become, the more challenging the workout should become.

There are more benefits than just a fabulous body.

As you shed pounds and reveal your new beautiful body, you’ll get many other benefits, too. These are life changing. Your health will improve. One study shows that for every minute you exercise you have seven minutes longer of a healthier life. You’ll run less risk of serious diseases, such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure and diabetes. In fact, it even boosts your immune system so you’ll fight off common colds and the flu better.

You’ll have a huge boost in your energy level. That gives you more time and energy to have fun with your family and friends. You may even tackle some other goals and activities you’ve always wanted to do.

You’ll walk taller and with more confidence. It comes from the improved self-image and posture that you get from working out regularly.

If you use kickboxing as part of your program, expect to have fun while you’re doing it. Most of my clients love the action packed experience and often want to workout even longer. It’s a great way to relieve stress.

Not only will your body look better, you’ll notice a huge improvement in your complexion. The improved circulation sends oxygen and nutrient rich blood to all parts of the body. It also makes you sweat, which can clear up blemishes.

Lose Weight With Kickboxing

Lose Weight With Kickboxing

lose weight kickboxingIt’s easy to lose weight with kickboxing and a lot of fun. The intensity of kickboxing and specialized techniques combine to make your body an inferno that burns between 800 to 1200 calories per hour. That’s huge and far more than most other aerobic exercises. Don’t worry, you won’t bulk up while you do it either. Instead, it builds lean muscle mass to give the body a sinewy lean appearance. That muscle tone comes from the resistance aspect of the training.

Kickboxing is a form of interval training, but far more fun.

Interval training is high intensity training that alternates quickly between stations where you change the exercise. You’re constantly changing your movements in kickboxing and working out your brain at the same time. HIIT—high intensity interval training is one of the most effective ways to burn fat. You can see why kickboxing fits that description and does it so well. You make a high-intensity move and then go to a low-intensity one, always keeping your body ready for the next move. It shreds fat fast.

You build core muscles.

Core muscles are stabilizer muscles that help keep you balanced and upright. They include the abdomen, so you’ll get a flat tummy in the process. These larger muscles burn loads of calories and the more you tone them, the more they’ll burn. You see muscle tissue requires more calories than fat tissue does, so effectively, you’ll burn more calories 24/7 and be raising your metabolism. That makes weight loss even easier.

When combined with a healthy diet, kickboxing can shed pounds even faster.

A healthy diet isn’t dieting. Dieting makes you feel deprived and has you eating special foods. A healthy diet gives you a wide selection of food choices. I’ll help you learn how to eat healthier and even show you how to make substitutions, such as brown rice for white rice, which saves few calories, but provides more nutrition. These small changes all add up to huge calorie savings. You’ll never feel hungry. In fact, most people find they eat more than they did before they started.

You get other benefits from kickboxing. It’s a good form of self defense that could come in handy and changes your stance. You’ll never look like a victim again.

You’ll improve your balance when you kickbox. It works out the coordination receptors in the brain to make them work more efficiently. That adds to your coordination and grace.

You’ll build confidence with kickboxing. You’ll walk taller and have more presence. The improved posture helps you look thinner too.

You’ll improve both your endurance and your reaction time when you learn kickboxing. After just a short time you’ll have more energy than you ever thought possible.