Fitness & Wellness

A Few Easy Tricks To Greatly Improve Your Cardio Workouts

A Few Easy Tricks To Greatly Improve Your Cardio Workouts

Weight lifting is the core of all exercise. Whether you’re doing body weight push ups, weighted bench presses, or just calve extensions, they play an essential part in both heart rate as well as muscle gain. However, when looking to burn fat effectively, coupling them with great cardio workout days really make the results pop sooner than expected. Today, I wanted to share some ways to improve your cardio workouts that I’ve found particularly effective.

A few easy tricks to greatly improve your cardio workouts

Go for an extra ten minutes

When you first step on the machine or hit the pavement, your body immediately tells you to get back in the house if you haven’t done cardio in a while. From my experience, this seems to mostly come from increasing the level of physical exertion from what your body is used to. This isn’t a bad sign however as when you are able to will your legs to keep going for the first 10 or so minutes, eventually you hit a point where it feels amazing. Some call this “hitting the runner’s high” and I can understand why.

You feel great for the next 30 or so minutes and your legs are hardly registering any stress until you you realize your workout is just about over. The last ten minutes of the workout feel excruciating as you struggle to keep up your pace and think about giving up early. But you don’t and keep going instead. Now, instead of doing a cool down period as soon as that clock hits 60 minutes, why not try another ten minutes today? Sure your body is pretty ragged at this point but our physique’s are uniquely designed to adapt to situations such as this. After you finish your first 70 minute run, try doing it the day after next for a couple of weeks. In no time, hitting that 60 minutes will be a breeze and now the 70 minute mark will be your new “horrible time”. Then add another 10 minutes, until you feel like you’re getting the most out of your workout.  Remember to increase hydration as well as the extra stress on your body will dry you up quickly.

This will lead to improved breath control, more cardio work (since you’re sweating for an additional 10 minute intervals), and better conditioning. Conditioning helps all parts of working out as your willpower and endurance will help with weight lifting and terrible crunches. And to think, it just takes an extra ten minutes a day!

Don’t let it be too easy

If you’ve ever strength trained for a period of time, you’ve probably heard a personal trainer say “Did you just do 15? Okay, that’s too light, let’s increase the weight again.” Your first response is frustration since you feel like you could barely get those in but in reality, your body craves to be pushed and, again, adapts to the changes given to it. The same applies for cardio, especially when on a machine with variable speeds and inclines.

Let’s look at the typical exercise bike. While this machine is very easy to use, each one typically offers different degrees of resistance on the pedals to help improve muscle tone and cardio exertion. If you’ve ever gotten off the machine after an hour, barely coated in sweat, not feeling sore, and wake up the next morning with no new definition to show, “It’s too easy, let’s increase the resistance again.” Ideally, during your cardio sessions, you should struggle to match a certain speed. If your legs are racing like crazy and you get off feeling refreshed with no sweat, you probably didn’t burn nearly as much fat as you think you did. This is because, your heart never raced or struggled so your body didn’t have to compensate. You want your body to get swept up in the activity and leave the gym soaked after cardio. That’s right, you should always bring a towel to the gym in preparation of working out until you need a towel. Sweating after a cardio workout proves that your heart hit a good pace and if after that point you maintained the same work on it, you more than likely got a good hour of high intensity cardio.

So next time you’re at the gym, increase that incline, adjust the resistance, and get sweaty.

Changing it up

This is my personal favorite, especially on the elliptical. Regardless of your workout of choice, changing up the pacing of a cardio exercise will always show good results. To improve your cardio workout easily, try doing sprint intervals. What this means is if you’re on the treadmill, run at a regular pace for a while then increase the speed to where you’re sprinting for 30 seconds to a minute, then adjust it back down if you can. This is done a bit better on a bicycle or elliptical as you can change your pace and “Go all out” which then makes you burn more calories because of the irregularity of it. These intervals make you heave and ho and eventually increase endurance, speed,and from some reports, reduce belly fat.

Cardio workouts are essential and I hope these tips can help you improve your cardio workouts as much as they’ve helped my own. Until next time, think healthy, be healthy!

Have You Heard Of The 'Animal Flow' Fitness Trend?

Have You Heard Of The ‘Animal Flow’ Fitness Trend?

Well if you haven’t, here’s your quick briefer. Animal Flow is a new exercise program developed by Mike Fitch in partnership with Equinox. The tagline of the program is that Animal Flow “taps into your primal instincts to get you moving your body in ways you’ve never imagined before.” While there all kinds of ways to get fit nowadays, the reason this particular one caught my interest is its break dance / yoga fusion.

Have You Heard Of The 'Animal Flow' Fitness Trend?

Most of the positions, as you’ll see in the video linked below, are related to improving core strength while at the same time looking a tad silly when compared to traditional workouts. However, some of the movements the gentleman performs are inspired by focusing on primate walking patterns and also contracting muscles in a certain pattern. This clip is on the more advanced side of the workout as a lot of the positions require half hand stands or other break dancing maneuvers that can take years to master.

So what are the benefits of the routine then? From what I can discern, there is a lot of muscle confusion and core strengthening as well as a high level of cardio. However, as with any fad, it seems destined to disappear within a few months. While Animal Flow is certainly interesting to watch, the high levels of requirement to reach “advanced motion” outweigh anything that could be gained from actually working to reach there. Exercise and workouts that have stood the test of time require a minimum amount of mental effort to reach the point of the advanced versions. Not anyone can do a handstand push up but everyone can attempt a regular push up and within weeks (if not days) try a diamond style one.

It’s hard to talk bad about any way to stay fit and, believe me, I’m not actually saying Animal Flow is poor in anyway. The target demographic for people that will try this is just so small that recommending it to anyone who has just started training or heading down the road of losing weight would be foolish on my part. It is great to see yet another new way to get in shape out there!

That’s my time for today and remember, think healthy, be healthy!

The Bathroom Fitness Plan

The Bathroom Fitness Plan

This may be a little of a weird topic but I want to clue you in on one of the interesting ways I find to make sure I stay fit. This one is called, the Bathroom Fitness Plan.

The Bathroom Fitness Plan

Before I dive too deep (no pun intended) I want to give you guys the scoop on exactly what it has to do with the bathroom. The Bathroom Fitness Plan doesn’t give you super overnight results but on a day when you’re too busy with work or can’t fit in the time, it adds activity when you didn’t expect it to. When I first came up with this idea, I was, like most people, rather unmotivated to stay fit. However, I did notice that as I sat at home, watching tv and drinking sodas, I would often get the call of nature. Since I’m an avid water drinker, this would occur four, maybe five times during a Netflix Binge watching session. So my bright idea was, “What if every time I go to use the bathroom, after washing my hands I got down on the floor outside and did 10 push ups?”

While that may not sound that extraordinary, let me tell you that it changed the way I look at fitness. During my first week, I knocked out 250 push ups within 5 days. While this might not seem impressive, figure in my weight and you’ll start to see why this fitness plan can actually help boost your fitness level and also your mentality.

I weigh 165 lbs of solid “something” and each time I do a push up, I’m moving that weight off the ground using my core and my arms. In one post bathroom break workout, I would have pushed 1650 lbs. By the end of a day with just five bathroom breaks, I’ll have pushed 8250 lbs. By the end of my first week attempting this, I pushed a total of 41,250lbs. Like with most exercises, it adds up quickly and with the bathroom fitness plan, my body began bulging in all the right places.

While this may seem a bit extreme for some people, try something simpler like 3 or 5 push ups to start. Then up them as you begin feeling the weight is comfortable. Not only that, but although it started as a bathroom focused activity, it eventually became just an intermittent activity you can do with anything. For instance, if you work in an office you feel comfortable getting down to do a push up in, why not set an alarm for every hour and a half to notify you it’s time to do at least 10 push ups. Before the end of your work day, you’ll have done at least 40 pushups and go home feeling like you just came from the gym on arm day.

The bathroom fitness plan may be something I made up on a whim but for homebodies or simply people who can’t commit to an hour of working out after work, give this one a try and see the results for yourself. Also, pushups are just what I did, I’m sure crunches, squats, and other exercises would add up and get you toned just as well. Have you come up with any unusual fitness plans that help you stay in shape when you’re not able to hit the gym? Why not share them in the comments below!

Until next time, think healthy, be healthy!

Reverse holiday pounds

Reverse holiday pounds

What do holiday parties and get together all have in common?

Food and drinks…as in high-calorie food and drinks! It’s no wonder most people gain weight during the holidays.

Everywhere you turn, you’re surrounded by sweet temptations—holiday cookies, gingerbread houses, pumpkin pies, and more. Even healthy foods like sweet potatoes and green beans are magically transformed into high-calorie dishes that will make you want to do nothing but fall asleep. And don’t forget the drinks. Eggnog and alcoholic beverages are loaded with calories.

Want to sidestep those holiday pounds?

Stay Focused

Yes, the holidays bring yummy foods and drinks, but friend gatherings and family traditions aren’t about food. Before a party, remind yourself what the holiday season is all about—friends, family, giving, and religious traditions. Then stay focused on the reason for the season rather than the plate full of hors d’oeuvres in front of you.

Second, stay focused on your fat loss goals. Remind yourself of how far you’ve come and where you’re headed. Keep your goals in the forefront of your mind. A few bites of food aren’t worth hours on the treadmill.

The holidays can be a time of emotional eating. For many people, the holidays bring stress, family conflict, or depression. Learn to address the root of your problems with solutions other than food or drink.


Is your holiday social calendar filled with night after night of parties and events? It’s time to come up with a plan. If you want to keep your diet on track, you’ll need to pace yourself. Don’t come to a party hungry but eat a small low-calorie snack ahead of time. Otherwise, you’ll overeat. When it’s time for extreme measures, wear tight-fitting clothes around your waist so there’s not much room for expansion.

Before and after a meal, chew gum so you won’t be tempted to overindulge in appetizers and desserts. During a party, don’t stand right next to the food table, but keep a safe distance. And before you get a plate of food, choose your plate wisely. Go with a small plate instead of a large dinner plate and don’t go back for seconds!

Another important strategy is figuring out how to get in a workout between parties. Leaving room in your busy holiday schedule for exercise will help you fight off the extra weight trying to attach itself to your midsection and rear.

Wise Choices

Be smart about what you choose to eat. Don’t deprive yourself of all the foods you love or you’ll likely spurge and ruin all your good intentions. Enjoy the goodness of the season, but in moderation. Trim calories where you can by limiting your trimmings-cheeses, gravy, sauces, creams, and nuts.

The holidays offer many food choices not available the rest of the year. Because of this, you may want to overindulge before they’re gone. Instead of doing this, survey what foods are available and make your choices. Indulge in your favorites and leave the everyday dishes for another time. Only eat what you love, and don’t just eat something because it’s on the buffet.

Also, be sure to limit the amount of alcoholic beverages you drink. As you likely know, they’re filled with calories, too. Try alternating an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink.

Follow these simple tips, and you will avoid holiday weight gain this season and start the New Year off right!

Exercise is a huge part of the equation when it comes to achieving weight loss.

I am passionate about seeing my clients achieve results—without wasting time, energy and effort on mistakes.

Call or email me today and we will get you started on the exercise program that is right for you.

A Gift For YOU
This is the time of year that you focus in on getting something special for all the important people in your life. You put time and thought into finding that perfect gift that will make them feel loved.

But what about you?

With all that you do for others, it’s time to do something just for you.

How about the gift of a totally reshaped body in 2017? You and I both know that you deserve it. It’s your time…embrace it.

Let me be the one to make it happen. Call or email now and we’ll get started.

Cranberry Tuna Salad
tunaThis tuna salad has a holiday twist with the addition of red cranberries and green celery. It is filled with muscle building protein and nutritious fiber. Fill up on this healthy dish before you attend your holiday party.

Servings: 5

Here’s what you need
2 cans wild caught Albacore Tuna, packed in water
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 Tablespoons low fat mayonnaise
¼ cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon dried dill weed


1. Drain and flake tuna in a medium bowl.

2. Add all of the ingredients and mix until well combined.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 195 calories, 9.6g fat, 273mg sodium, 9 carbohydrate, 1g fiber, and 17g protein.

Are You Taking Part In Dry January?

Are You Taking Part In Dry January?

It’s not often I’m surprised by some of the news the media focuses on but “Dry January” may be one of the most surprising yet. Dry January, if you don’t know, is an annual tradition some citizens of the world partake in to “detox” from the heavy drinking often accompanying the holidays. While for them it may serve a holistic purpose, for us fitness junkies, it serves a whole different meaning.

Are You Taking Part In Dry January?

If you’ve followed the newsletter or this blog, you’ll know that Alcohol does the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish as it takes far longer to metabolize than anything else you intake on a regular basis. Because of this, it’s usually a good idea to avoid it completely or deal with a longer workout each and every session. For those that do partake though, Dry January may not be the worst idea.

While completely abstaining for a month may do wonders, abstaining AND doing high intensity workouts is a better idea and will probably keep your mind from getting back into the drinks too quickly. The media encourages you to drink Mocktails that are typically filled with high levels of sugar and carbs to curb that appetite but really, you’re stronger than that and those will end up hurting you in the end. Instead, why not increase your water intake and try some old fashioned green tea?

Green tea is a metabolism booster and combined with high intensity fat burning exercise will burn those calories you’ve accumulated from the booze, cut the extra water, and may even get you feeling so great, you’ll try a Dry February or even March! Dry January is certainly a novel idea but moderation is the true key to a fit body in 2017. Fitness comes from not only mental acuity and physical strength, but also strong willpower.

Who here is planning to join in on this month of ditching alcohol? Leave a comment below to let us know but until then, think healthy, be healthy.



Talk to 10 people and you’ll get 10 different opinions on the best way to get fit.One will tell you to attend an aerobics class. Another will swear by jogging. Yet another will tell you that dance and biking worked for them.The truth is that there’s really only one effective way to get fit. Before I get into the details, it’s important that we agree on the definition of ‘fit’. Too often thin is mistaken for fit, and that’s not what you should strive for.

When someone is thin, but has very little muscle tissue, they aren’t truly fit.

Here’s why thin doesn’t equal fit:
Their body fat percentage will be higher than ideal—even though you won’t see a lot of fat on them, if their muscle percentage is low then fat percentage will be higher.
A thin person’s resting metabolism will be low, since little muscle is present to burn calories at rest.
Their body won’t be functionally strong, which will lead to injuries and frustrations.

So how does one get truly fit? It’s this simple: Strength Training.

Strength training is when resistance is used to challenge your muscles in order to gain strength and endurance. You could do this with traditional weights, exercise bands, medicine balls, cable machines, sandbags, kettle bells or even just using your own body weight.
Regular strength training has the following side effects…
Strength and muscle tone
Cardiovascular capacity
Speed, Agility and Flexibility
Resistance to injury and disease
If that’s not enough to convince you that strength training is the only way to truly become fit, then read on…

Top 9 Reasons To Strength Train

1. To Build Muscle and Gain Strength: Don’t worry, ladies. This does NOT mean that you’re going to ‘bulk up’ or look too masculine. What will happen is that your arms, tummy and legs will become tighter, leaner and more defined.

2. To Lose Fat: When it comes to losing size, all that you want to see go is fat, not muscle. Strength training ensures that you maintain and grow those muscles and only lose fat.

3. To Build Strong Bones: The older we get, the more important our bone density is. A good strength training program is one of your best defenses when it comes to osteoporosis.

4. To Alleviate Anxiety, Stress and Depression: Sure there are plenty of pills out there that claim to give these benefits, but you and I both know that strength training is more wholesome and effective way. And besides, who really wants pharmaceutical side effects?

5. To Sleep Better: Here’s another pill you can stop taking once you start strength training. Study after study have proven that strength training improves sleep.

6. To Improve Chronic Back Pain: If you are one of the millions across the globe who suffer from back pain then you’ll love the benefit of lowered pain.

7. To Improve Insulin Sensitivity: Today diabetes is a huge threat. Minimize your risk by improving insulin sensitivity through regular, challenging strength training.

8. To Improve Good to Bad Cholesterol Ratio: Here is yet another pill that you could potentially stop taking while on a strength training routine. Blood pressure and heart health are of utmost concern, so why not give yourself the advantage of a strength training routine?

9. To Raise your Metabolism: This helps to reduce body fat and to keep that body fat off, even on the days that you aren’t able to exercise. Pretty awesome, right?

A solid strength training routine will tone your legs, lift your buns, strengthen your core, and will result in inches and pounds lost.

If you’re ready to begin your body transformation then feel free to reach out to me.

Call or email me today and we will get you started on the exercise program that will reshape your body once and for all!

3 Ways to GET MORE From Your Workout
Use the following three tips to bring your routine up to the next level:

1. Be Unstable: Use your entire body, and target your core, by performing exercises that engage stabilizing muscles. To do this use an exercise ball, a balance board, a balance disk, or you could simply stand on one leg.

2. Add Resistance: The more resistance that you incorporate with your routine translates into higher intensity and more calories burned. Some ideas for adding resistance include: carrying dumbbells while doing lunges, wearing a weighted vest while walking or jogging, or putting a weight between your feet while doing leg raises.

3. Use Intervals: Interval training is an amazing tool for creating short yet effective workouts. Don’t worry, it’s not complicated. Interval training is simply alternating between different short bursts of activity.

Greek Yogurt Parfait
greek-yogurtThis recipe makes a tasty breakfast or a high energy snack. Plain Greek yogurt is a fantastic filler that’s packed with protein and makes the perfect backdrop for ripe fruit and a sprinkle of crunchy, natural granola. To lighten this recipe up even more feel free to leave out the granola. Enjoy!

Servings: 3

Here’s what you need

¾ cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
A few drops of stevia
2 cups sliced mixed plums, peaches, nectarines, and sprinkle of cinnamon
¾ cup granola


1. In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt with the stevia.

2′ In another medium bowl, mix the sliced fruit with the cinnamon.

3. In serving dishes, layer the yogurt, fruit, and granola.

Nutritional Analysis

: One serving equals: 146 calories, 16g fat, 34mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, and 15g protein

Fat Burning Meal Hacks

Fat Burning Meal Hacks

Fat Burning The term ‘hack’ is being used a lot lately. While it used to have a negative connotation, these days to ‘hack’ is to find a quicker, easier and more effective method for achieving a goal.

There are life hacks (like packing Christmas ornaments in empty egg cartons), food hacks (like placing a handful of cherry tomatoes between two plates and using a knife to halve them all in one fell swoop), and as I’ll share with you today, fat loss hacks.

Fat loss hacks are ways of doing everyday things, like eating, in a way that promotes fat loss and blocks fat storage. Sounds pretty great, right?!Here are my 7 most effective Fat Burning Meal Hacks…

Fat Loss Hack #1: Cauliflower Rice

Serve shredded, sautéed cauliflower as rice, rather than traditional brown or white rice. This simple hack will save you hundreds of calories per meal and will leave you no less satisfied. You can even add your favorite spices and flavor additions as you do with traditional rice.

Fat Loss Hack #2: Vegetable Noodles

There are many ways to create and enjoy noodles made from vegetables, rather than noodles made from grains. The veggie noodles are a hundred times less fattening than grain-based noodles, so what are you waiting for?! Use a spiral slicer to turn zucchini or butternut squash into noodles; bake a spaghetti squash and scrape out those nature-made noodles; or simply use a traditional veggie peeler to create long noodle strips from zucchini.

Fat Loss Hack #3: Lettuce Wrapped

By simply replacing your sliced bread and buns for large pieces of lettuce, you’ll quickly eliminate a couple hundred calories from each meal. Once you get used to the crunch of the lettuce you’ll enjoy your new style of sandwich and burger even more than the traditional way.

Fat Loss Hack #4: Protein Powder

Did you know that protein powder can be used in many recipes to increase the protein and reduce the carbs? Replace a portion of the flour in your pancakes with high quality protein powder and you’ll see how delicious it tastes while being so much healthier for you.

Fat Loss Hack #5: Coconut Oil

Replace the vegetable oil in your kitchen with coconut oil, and enjoy benefits such as increased fat burning and reduced appetite. In addition, you’ll be avoiding the pitfalls of other, less healthy oils and fats. Coconut oil can be used in virtually any recipe – both stove top and baking.

Fat Loss Hack #6: Wholesome Sweeteners

Throw the refined sugar out of your kitchen and replace it with any one of these wholesome sweeteners: coconut sugar, raw honey, pure maple syrup, or pitted dates. By getting your sweet fix from these wholesome, real food sweeteners you’ll be taking in fewer calories and there will be less of an impact on your blood sugar, which will result in less fat stored.

Fat Loss Hack #7: Water

Replace high calorie beverages with crystal clear water. This simple hack could quite possibly change your life. If high calories, sugar-laden beverages make up a significant part of your daily calories then switching to water will swiftly induce fat loss. Start using these Fat Burning Meal Hacks today and enjoy a leaner physique. Let me know when your jeans start to feel loose around the waist!A consistent, challenging exercise program, like the ones that I provide for my clients, is the only way to achieve and maintain your ultimate fat loss goal. If you’re on the fence about starting one of my programs today then call or email for the details.Let me be your #1 secret weapon in fat loss.

Your Ticket to Get Fit!

Come give my fitness program a try. I have the whole fat loss equation down to a science, and I’d love nothing more than to help you achieve your fitness goal.

My workouts have been known to burn up to 500 calories at a time, so what are you waiting for?

Let’s do this!

Kale & Tomato Frittata

If you haven’t yet added frittatas to your dinner rotation then here’s the perfect recipe to start with. While this recipe calls for kale and tomatoes, frittatas can be made with whatever vegetables and meat you have on hand, simply chopped and thrown in to the egg mixture. It’s a great way to eat low carb and high protein. Enjoy!

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need…
6 eggs
4 egg whites
¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups kale, destemmed and chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, egg whites, sea salt, black pepper, nutritional yeast and oregano.
3. Coat an 8-inch oven-safe skillet with the olive oil. Place over medium heat and add the kale and tomatoes. Cook for 4 minutes, until soft. Swirl in the egg mixture then remove from heat.
4. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until set, about 20 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 116 calories, 5g fat, 323mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 12g protein