Daily Dose of Cardio WORKOUT

Happy hump day! Have you worked out yet?? If not, do this quick 30 minute workout. It focuses on the cardiovascular system and will definitely get your heart pumping and your lungs doin’ their thang!

Remember: cardio is like medicine for your heart! You wouldn’t skip a day of taking your really important, doctor prescribed medication would you? Well don’t skip a daily dose of your cardiovascular workout medicine either! 🙂 

 

Your Daily Dose of Cardio WORKOUT

Do each exercise for 45 seconds w/ 15sec rest. Rest 1 min btw rounds and do 5 rounds

  1. Lunge Switch-outs (Start in a lunge with your right foot in front, jump and switch to a lunge with the left leg in front) (No impact: Just do alternating forward lunges)

  2. Jumping Jack Plank – Get into a push-up position and then jump your feet wide, then narrow, wide, narrow…. staying in that plank position the whole time; wrists under shoulders!

  3. Karaoke (aka Grape-Vine) 10 meters right, 10 meters left, repeat (Karaoke = cross in front, cross behind, cross in front, cross behind…)

  4. Kettle Bell Swings (IF you know how to do them!!) Otherwise do squats 🙂

  5. High Knees in place – bringing each knee up to 90 degrees

  6. Core move of your choice! (Drawing a blank? Do a forearm plank and alternate lifting up one leg and then the other)

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Monday Workout – All you need is your BOD!

Hello world! Here is an excellent no equipment needed workout to start your week off right! Head to a park or do it at your house. Time to beat those Monday Blues!

Do 45 seconds of each exercise, with a 15sec rest btw each exercise. Rest 1 min after the whole round. Do 4-5 rounds 🙂

Monday workout!

1) Russian Twists – like this video; keep back straight! The more you lean back, the harder the exercise! You could also hold 5-10lbs in your hands to make it harder

2) Squats w/ something 20ish lbs at chest (remember to keep your heels down, and butt goes back like you are going to sit on a bench)

3) Down Dog Push Ups – see video HERE

4) Standing T’s – Stand on right leg, kick left leg behind you and reach your left arm forwards like superwoman. Do that same side for 22sec then switch sides (reaching leg and reaching arm are on the same side!)

5) Forearm Plank w/ Alternating arm lifts – while in your plank, lift your right arm up and hold for 1-2 seconds, then lift left for 1-2 secs. Keep alternating sides

6) Alternating Reverse Lunges (aka backwards lunges) – do one right backwards lunge, then one left backwards lunge, repeat. (Knee pain? Just do backwards big steps)

Be Happy. Be Fit.

The Medicine Ball Workout!

All you need for this killer workout is a medicine ball! This workouts gets your heart rate up, strengthens the legs, & tones your core and back!

Warm-Up and then do as many rounds as you can in 30 minutes!

**Use a 8-10lb hard MB (medicine ball) for moves below

  • 10ea – Stand next to MB, Squat to pick up MB, reach it up an over head (straighten your legs when the ball is overhead) and then squat to place MB on ground, then sideways jump over MB. Repeat 10 in a row going right, then ten left. (Keep back straight in squats!!!)
  • 60sec. Plank on HDs (like push up position) with both feet balanced on the MB
  • 5ea SFT Squats, hold MB at your chest. (These are the squats in 6 different foot positions… right in front, left in front, wide, narrow, toes in, toes out)
  • 3 Sets of Box Drill – Run forwards 5m, shuffle left 5m, backwards run 5m, shuffle right 5m
  • 10ea Single Leg Decelerating Squats – stand on 1 leg in front of a chair, box, couch etc. Slowly decelerate your butt down into a single leg squat until your butt just barely touches the chair, then stand up!

Enjoy!

Be Happy. Be Fit.

Black Bean, Sweet Potato, Quinoa Smoked Chili!

This is another one of my favorites from Ambitious Kitchen! Perfect for a chili cook off this summer! Or just any lunch or dinner 🙂 This recipe is loaded with FIBER and PROTEIN, enjoy!

chili
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced small
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Chipotle Tabasco sauce
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) low-sodium tomato sauce
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 can black beans (15.5 oz), drained
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock, plus more to thin if desired
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • For Chipotle Creme:
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons Smoked Chipotle Tabasco sauce, plus more if desired
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in  a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and salt; saute for 5 minutes or until onions become translucent.
  2. Add the entire can of tomato sauce to the pot. Next add the black beans, vegetarian broth, all spices, and quinoa. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium, add diced sweet potatoes. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  3. Make the smoked chipotle yogurt combine tabasco sauce, honey, and dijon mustard in a medium bowl.
  4. Spoon chili into bowls and add yogurt sauce on top. Enjoy!

chili2

Mango & Avocado Black Rice Salad with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

This is so delicious! A great recipe to make for dinner with friends or a significant other! Enjoy 🙂

Mango & Avocado Black Rice Salad with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

 

IngredientsMango black rice avocado salad
  • 1 1/2 cups organic black rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large ripe mango, diced
  • 1 small ripe avocado, diced or sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • For the Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey (agave nectar if vegan)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lime wedges, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Rinse rice in mesh strainer. Add to medium saucepan. Add 2 3/4 cups water and a pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a low simmer, and cook until rice is tender and water is absorbed about 30-40 minutes. When rice is done cooking, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Cool for 10 minutes before adding dressing.
  2. While rice is cooking prepare the dressing: Combine lime juice, olive oil, garlic, honey (or agave), cilantro, and salt in a food processor. Process for 15-30 seconds or until dressing is combined. Once rice is done cooking and has cooled a bit, stir in dressing and . Cover bowl and place in fridge for an hour or until cool and you are ready to add in the rest of the salad ingredients.
  3. Before serving, toss salad again with dressing and fold in cilantro, mango, and red onion. Pour into cold salad bowls and top with roasted almonds and avocado. Garnish with a lime wedge or extra cilantro if desired. Enjoy!

*Original recipe by Ambitious Kitchen  – my favorite food blog!!

Be Happy. Be Fit.

 

Losing Belly Fat Isn’t Just About Diet & Exercise!


LOSING BELLY FAT ISN'T JUST ABOUT DIET AND EXERCISE!
Ready to hear something that just might blow your mind? Diet and exercise, although VERY important, are not the only factors to weight loss, especially fat loss in the stomach area! If you’ve ever felt like you have hit a weight loss plateau, or that the rest of your body is toning up but your waistline just won’t budge, there is something else to consider: hormones! There are many different hormones in our body that affect how each of us burns and stores fat in the stomach area. But basically it boils down to two major hormones: cortisol and insulin. 

Let’s pause about the hormones for a second and talk about fat. There are two types of belly fat: visceral and subcutaneous fat. The visceral fat is deep inside, surrounding our organs. This fat cannot be seen by the eye or pinched. On the other hand, subcutaneous belly fat is what you can pinch at your waistline and is often nicknamed a “muffin top”. The good news is that visceral (deep inside) belly fat recieves a lot of blood supply, is rich in beta-receptors, is more responsive to cortisol, and is less sensitive to insulin. Those are bunch of fancy scientific words basically saying that visceral fat is hard to store and easy to burn, thus can more easily be managed by exercise and diet. 

However, our subcutaneous belly fat is a different story. It has more alpha hormone receptors, meaning that it is less responsive to fat-burning hormones. It also is far more insulin sensitive and less reactive to cortisol. In a nutshell: subcutaneous fat is easier for our body to store and harder to burn and get rid of. This is where healthy hormone levels come in!

Hormones, specifically cortisol and insulin are responsible for the storage and release of fat cells, especially in that pinchable subcutaneous belly fat. Simply put, if these hormones are out of whack, they cannot do their jobs correctly. What effects these hormones? You can think of cortisol as the “sleep and stress” hormone and insulin as the “starch and sugar” hormone.

It is a known but often overlooked fact that we all NEED 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Even slight sleep deprivation can cause a stress response in the body, which alters cortisol levels. Other stresses such as work, relationships, and physical stress (ie. over-exercising, posture) can also alter cortisol levels. Thus, it is very important for each of us to manage our stress in order to shrink that waistline. This could be a nice long walk, a restorative yoga session, massages, spa treatments, meditation, laughing, reading, or any other activity you find relaxing. Eliminating stress and increasing sleep are the keys to keeping your cortisol levels in check, and therefore promoting belly fat loss.

The other main hormone, insulin, is more affected by how many starches and sugars you consume. Foods high in sugar and simple carbohydrates can cause your insulin levels to spike (bad news for the subcutaneous fat!). However, consuming more complex starches (brown rice, quinoa, and other foods with a low glycemic load) has the opposite effect and actually helps maintain a stable, healthy insulin level.

Phew that was a lot of information! Take some time to understand it. If you would like to read the entire article, and learn a bit more about the science behind burning subcutaneous and visceral stomach fat, check it out here!

Now get some sleep and de-stress! See below for one of many de-stressing ideas.

– Coach Amanda

Full Body Quick Workout

Hope you all had a great Valentine’s day and weekend! I spent the weekend in beautiful Monterey CA 🙂 Did a bunch of hiking, ran along the coast, went to the aquarium and indulged in some delicious food and wine.

Running out of time for a workout today? No way! Try this short one, anything is better than nothing, just get moving! Do the circuit below as many times as you can in 20 or 30 minutes (or even 15min if you are really pressed for time). Enjoy!

Full Body Quick Workout

  • 30 sec Plank, Alternate lifting up your right/left arm (extended out like superman) every 5 seconds. The tricky part? Don’t let your hips tilt! Keep them square to the ground
  • 20 Sumo Squats with Bicep Curl (wide legs with toes pointed out, every time you come up from the squat curl the dumbbells up, when you go down into the squat, straighten your arms out of the curl)
  • 100 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 Push Ups – from knees, toes, or elevated with hands on a couch
  • 7 sets of : 1 right side lunge + 1 left side lunge + burpee

Monterey CA

Monterey CA

Grapefruit and Greens Salad!

This beautiful looking salad was incredibly quick and easy to make! It was actually a spur of the moment recipe because I really need to go grocery shopping and I kind of just threw a bunch of things together, but it ended up being delicious! Try it out 🙂 or use it as a base for your own hodge-podge salads!

Grapefruit and Greens Salad

Salad Ingredients:

  • Green Leaf Lettuce (Spinach would be delicious too)
  • 1 Grape Fruit
  • Sliced Almonds
  • Crushed Walnuts
  • Dried Cranberries
  • 1/2 Cucumber

Dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp Grapefruit Juice (squeezed out of the rinds)
  • Splash of Vanilla (little less than 1/4 teas)
  • 1 Tbsp Water

 

 

 

 

Running in a Winter Wonderland

Another great workout for you to do on your own over the holidays! Pick your favorite way to do cardio and try the following… It isn’t a white wonderland here in sunny California, but we can pretend! 🙂

RUNNING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND

Run 3 miles (or Bike 8 miles, Elliptical 2 miles, Walk 2 miles, or Row 6000m)

After every ½ mile do the following…  (If biking do every 2 miles)

  • 100 Jumping Jacks
  • 25ea Oblique Crunch (lie on your back, let your knees fall to one side, and crunch straight up so your shoulders come off the ground)
  • 20 Jumpsas high as you can
  • 10 Push Up Roll Overs (5ea direction – see video)

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!

Be Happy. Be Fit.

The 12 Days of Xmas Workout (no equipment!)

Hooray for holiday time off!! For those of you in need of an at-home workout to do while traveling, visiting family, or just taking time to relax at home, try this one! No equipment is required, so grab a friend, family member, or go solo and get your workout on. 🙂

THE 12 DAYS of XMAS WORKOUTHoliday workout, no equipment!

Warm up: 5 sets of: 3 push ups + 15 Squats (Body wt only) + 10 Forward Walking Lunges

Workout:

  • 12 Squat Sets: 3 Squats + 3 Squat Jumps = 1 set
  • 11 Box Step Ups (11 each leg – use a chair or couch if at home)
  • 10 Sets of: 10 Mountain Climbers + 10 High Knees
  • 9 Star Crunches (lay on back – lift arms, legs, head and shoulders off the ground, hold for 5 seconds = 1 rep)
  • 8 Knee to Opposite Elbow Plank on Hands (1 right +1 left = 1 rep)
  • 7 Side Lunges each leg (hold something heavy at chest if possible)
  • 6 Lunge Clocks (see this video)
  • 5ea SFT Push Ups*
  • 4 Broad Jump Matrix (2 foot jump forwards, 2ft jump to the right, 2ft jump to the left = 1 Broad Jump Matrix)
  • 3 mins Plank Hold (1 min regular, 1 min Rt side Plank, 1 min Lt Side Plank)
  • 2 mins of Jump Rope (invisible jump rope if  you don’t have one, just make sure you are actually moving your arms ;))
  • 1 min of Burpeesdo as many as you can! Finish strong!
  • DONE! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

SFT PUSH UPS: Do 5 push ups in each of these six positions: 1) Right hand slightly in front of left, 2) Left hand slightly in front of Right, 3) Wide, 4) Narrow, 5) Hands shoulder width, pointed out at a 45 degree angle, 6) Hands shoulder width but pointed in at 45 degree angle.

Be Happy. Be Fit.

The No Impact Workout (no equipment needed either!)

This workout is perfect for anyone with sensitive joints, past knee injuries, or if you’re just looking to add a no impact workout into your regimen.

Impact occurs during running, jumping and other activities where you land hard on your feet.  By eliminating these movements you can still get a great workout in, but shouldn’t feel any knee or hip pain 🙂 Heads Up: There is still knee FLEXION (bending) in this workout, just no impact. Enjoy!

The No Impact Workout

THE NO IMPACT WORKOUT

  • 15ea Plank Core Matrix* (beginners: 10ea)
  • 10ea Forwards/Backwards Lunge Pivots (one forwards lunge, then same leg backwards lunge = 1 Pivot; do 10 PIVOTS on one side, then do the other side)
  • 8ea Single Leg Push Ups (beginners: do from a single knee, or a single leg but elevate your hands onto the back of a couch/step)
  • 5ea Superman Rolls**
  • Do 3-5 Rounds depending on how you are feeling and your fitness level 🙂

 

* CORE MATRIX – in a plank position, move hips up and down 15 times, side to side 15 times, and then dive the right hip down, then left hip down 15 times (up +down = 1; rt +lf =1 etc)

** SUPERMAN ROLLS – lay on your stomach with your arms and legs extended and lifted off the ground (like superman!) and then roll over onto your back and then back to your stomach. When rolling don’t let  your elbows, hands, knees, or feet touch the ground! Do 5  going to the right and back, then 5 to the left and back – message me with questions!

Be Happy. Be Fit.