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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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

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

 

 

 

 

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.

Lunge Challenge and HIIT Workout

Lunge Challenge Workout

Happy almost Thanksgiving everybody! Need a workout to do before your big feast? Try this HIIT interval workout, followed by a LUNGE CHALLENGE!  Get all your friends and family to join in!

Thanksgiving HIIT (set timer for 45sec work/15sec rest – beginners do 40sec/20sec)

  1. 10 High Knees + 1 Burpee + 1 Tuck Jump (Tuck = Jump up bringing knees to 90 degrees)
  2. Around-the-World Squat (use a book, ball, weight, anything :))
  3. Plank Hold with feet on Ball (basketball, medicine ball, even a chair or couch works) (Harder=Alternate a single leg on ball while in a plank hold)
  4. Speed Skaters (over ball if you have one)
  • REPEAT 3-5 times depending on fitness level

LUNGE CHALLENGE – then finish your workout with this…

  • 30 Forward Lunges, 30 Push Ups, 30 Reverse Lunges, 30 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 Forward Lunges, 20 Push Ups, 20 Reverse Lunges, 20 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 Forward Lunges, 10 Push Ups, 10 Reverse Lunges, 10 Jumping Jacks

Awesome work!

Be Happy. Be Fit

The Box/Chair/Bench Workout

Find ANY stable box, chair, or bench and do this workout! Easy to do at a park, at your home, in the gym, or even in your office (see if you can get your coworkers to get up and do a round ;))

The Chair/Bench Workout

  • 15 Push Ups w/ you feet elevated on the box (EASIER: Elevate your hands on the box)
  • 10 Box Jumps (if not comfortable jumping the height of your chair, do 10 box step-ups on each leg)
  • 10ea Plank Knee to Elbow w/ feet elevated (see how-to video below!)
  • 10ea Side Lunge + Cross-Step Up (see how-to video below!)
  • 100 Toe Taps (facing your box, alternate lifting your right then left foot up to touch the top of the box as fast as possible – like doing high knees, except you touch the top of your box every time)
  • REPEAT 4-5 ROUNDS

The Do Anywhere Workout #3 LEGS!!!

We all sometimes get busy and think we don’t have time to workout because there is no time to get to the gym. Well save yourself some time and workout at home! Or at a park, a hotel, in the break room at work… the options are endless! Try this Do Anywhere Leg Workout and let me know how it goes for you!

Reverse LungeReverse Lunge 

The Do Anywhere Workout #3 LEGS!!!

  • 10 Burpees (no Push Up)
  • 8ea Single Leg Deceleration Squat to Chair (stand on one leg w/ heel at a chair/bench/bed etc. then slowly lower your butt towards the chair until it just barely touches, then stand up. The taller your chair the easier the exercise will be)
  • 10ea Slow Side Shuffle
  • 30 Speed Skaters (video of speed skater how-to)
  • 8ea Reverse Lunges (see picture above – stand w/ or w/o a weight in your hand, and drop one leg back into a lunge and then bring it back to your starting standing position, that’s 1 rep)
  •  REPEAT 3-4 times 🙂

NOTES: for the squats and reverse lunges hold something heavy at your chest for a little extra challenge (ie a big book, purse, stack of jeans haha be resourceful!)

 

Be Happy. Be Fit. 

Partner Workout!

Grab a friend, significant other, or family member and do this workout together! (Don’t worry there are no uphill sprints in this workout – however those are really good for you! :))

Partner Workout

This picture is from a few months ago when my boyfriend and I went on a hike on Mt. Tam and came across this rock amphitheater in the hills! It was so random haha. Of course he challenged me to 6 sprints – from the fence (you can see it in the background) up all the steps to the top. Unexpected intervals added into our hike!

Anyways here is a workout for you and your partner to do! Enjoy!

PARTNER WORKOUT –  One person does exercise A for 1 minute while your partner does exercise B for 1 minute; then switch. Do each set 3x before moving on to the next partner set. 

  • SET 1: A) Wide/Narrow Push Ups (Alternate 2 w/ wide hand stance, then 2 w/ narrow hand stance); B) Jump Rope (or “invisible jump rope” if you don’t have one – move arms as if you did)
  • SET 2: A) Speed Skaters (click here for how-to video); B) Forward Walking Lunges (make sure front knee does not go past your front toe – safety first!)
  • SET 3: A) Single Leg Squats (stand on one leg, decelerate SLOWLY until your butt touches a bench, couch, chair etc the stand back upright, switch leg every 3 reps); B) Four Square Jumps (keeping your feet together, jump forwards, right, backwards, left – like you are making a little box)
  • If you have time, finish with a two-mile walk or run with your partner!

Nobody to join you today? You can also do it by yourself! 🙂

Be Happy. Be Fit.