So…hows your “Personal Vitality” these days?

This week I had to take my annual IBM health assessment to get a  rebate on my health insurance premiums.  I figured it was worth my time to save $150 bucks.  Usually, I breeze through these things because they seems like such a formality, but this time I was intrigued by the survey questions in my “Personal Vitality Assessment.”

I got to thinking…rather than always focusing on my fitness or nutrition, I should frequently take a step back and think about my overall vitality.  Personal vitality measures overall health in 4 key areas:

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Purpose – INTERESTING!  (I very much believe that having a sense of individual life purpose is absolutely fundamental to personal happiness and contentment – read more)

Here’s a snap shot of (what I thought) were the most interesting parts of the Personal Vitality assessment.  As you can see, some of my responses are included.  I was going to hide them, but figured you guys would appreciate the honesty/transparency…

PART 1

 

PART 2

I think we could all benefit by asking ourselves these questions on a regular basis.    Doing so may help us understand the areas in our life and in our health habits that need more attention.

Give yourself a Personal Vitality assessment and let me know how it goes – don’t forget an action plan!

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Where Da Ballers At?

  • Workout Name: Basketball Court Workout  by Brit
  • Duration: 45 min – 1 hour
  • Calories burned: 400 – 700
  • Commentary: The fact of the matter is pro basketball players have HOT bodies.  Whether you’re a “pro hooper”, “ex-hooper” or “wanna be hooper,” the basketball court is ALWAYS a great place to get a super effective workout.  The workout I’ve put together incorporates many of the drills I did back in my day plus some basics to burn calories and build endurance.  No matter your skill level, you should be able to get through this workout and increase your fitness level in the process.  Change up your routine and try it out.  Let me know how it goes!

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4-week challenge ‘Euro Style’ COMPLETE: Sexy, Sexy, Sexy

Jenny has officially completed my 4-week challenge and she looks SMOKIN’ HOT!  Below you can read her final update and see pics from her challenge completion photo shoot.

Lookin’ FIT 50’s style – way to go Jenny! 

Jenny’s biggest lessons of the 4 Week Challenge:
  1. At 28, diet is much more important than it used to be, and all the changes that I used to see so fast take more time.
  2. Also, it is so important for me to keep my workouts fresh, so I don’t burn out or lose motivation.
  3. And finally, slow down a bit – getting sick really sets one back with regard to working out, so it is important to make sure that i’m not pushing myself too hard and wearing myself down.

Regardless, this past four weeks have been great – I look better, feel better  and have done some great new workouts that have really re-motivated me!  I’m more toned, but I still have my curves as you can see above 🙂

If you missed any of Jenny’s earlier updates, you can catch up here: 

Kick Start – Full PlanWeek 1Week 2Week 3

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Fitness for the SOUL: Power of Positive Energy – Reflections on a wonderful weekend in San Fransisco

I very much believe in the Law of Attraction. The energy we cultivate is the energy we attract, be it positive or negative. That said, I’m eager to jump into environments that exude positive energy. These are opportunities to fill myself with optimism, hope and encouragement. As a result, I’m able to attract positive people and life circumstances.

Last weekend I headed to the West Coast to visit one of my best friends from business school. We spent most of our time in Palo Alto and one evening San Fransisco. I had a great time just catching up, eating good food, enjoying a long run and walking around the Stanford University campus (my 1st time there). Few places inspire me more than university campuses – oh the possibilities! Especially, Stanford considering its academic excellence and athletic superiority. I’ve watched several Olympic athletes the past 2 weeks who are Stanford Alumni. Anyway, I felt very inspired while I was there so I wanted to share some pics from my “positive place.” Today I’m pumped up and eagerly anticipating a wonderful week 🙂

Where’s your positive place?

How are you going to surround yourself with positive energy this week?

How can you be a source of positive energy to others?

Below: Some fun shots of me representing’ for the GRIT GIRLZ and being a Stanford Soccer Groupie 😉

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7 Day Detox Formula


Last weekend I went to Miami on my annual family vacation. I was feeling good at the start of the trip (pictured above w/ my lil bro & sis). But by the end of the trip, I wasn’t feeling so hot. Fortunately, I kept up with my workouts because my family likes to workout together.

However, during this limited uninterrupted family time, I like to take advantage of the opportunity to indulge in delicious FREE meals (courtesy of my dad). That said, my body was definitely in need of detox from the weekend. So, this week I’ve stuck with my tried and true 7 day detox formula. It’s simple and consists of 3 basic diet eliminations:

  • Meat. Meat is a great source of protein but takes FOREVER to digest and is high in calories. This week I’m getting my protein some from vegetarian options recommended by my registered dietitian. This really helps cleanse my digestive tract. Also upped the veggie intake – can’t forget that 🙂
  • Sweets. Long story short, sugar packs on the pounds and make us hungry, so I’ve pretty much cut out the sweets all week. Interestingly enough, the less I eat sweets, the less I crave them – it’s true I promise!
  • Alcohol. As mentioned in my 28th B-Day post, “Cutting Back on the Booze,” alcohol slows down our metabolism and adds lots of empty calories. Going cold turkey for 7 days really does the body good!

Try my 7 day detox and let me know how it goes.

What do you have to lose?

It’s EFFECTIVE, FREE AND HEALTHY!

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TRAIN Like an Olympian to LOOK Like an Olympian

  • Workout: Olympic Athlete Personal Challenge by Brit
  • Duration: 30-45 minutes
  • Calories Burned: 400-600
  • Brit’s Commentary: I was feeling so inspired by the Olympics this week that I designed a workout to challenge my own “Olympic worthiness.”  I’m no where near an “Olympic athlete” but sometimes it’s good to feel my own SPEED, ENDURANCE, STRENGTH and GRIT!  This workout was a nice change up to my usual routine and kept me in the Olympic spirit.  It also allowed me to capitalize on all of the positive energy that the Olympics brings every 4 years!  That said, try the challenge for yourself and go for the GOLD 🙂

*Be sure to warm up for 5-10 minutes before you start the sprints and stretch for 5-15 minutes after you complete the workout.  

Example: Inch Worm Exercise

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4-week Challenge: Jenny’s Week 3 Update – Maintaining in Malaga, Spain

Despite vacations, minor set-backs and work commitments, Jenny has done an excellent job staying on track with her 4-week challenge!  If you are trying the challenge for yourself, stay motivated by keeping up with her progress.  Here’s her week 3 update:

“My girl’s weekend in Malaga was really great! I found a nice balance between relaxing, getting in some workouts, eating healthy, and eating whatever I wanted! 🙂 I took the first day off from any kind of activity except for walking around, eating tapas, and drinking wine. But the next two days my friend and I got two solid workouts in at a local gym, and ate mostly salads. We also did a ton of walking around! It wasn’t so hard for me to eat healthy, since I’m actually not a huge fan of Spanish cuisine. But that said, my friend and I didn’t hold back on the Sangria or wine  (Hey, you gotta live a little!). I found that it is much easier to keep up with diet and exercise when on vacation when you are with someone who is also health conscious and likes a good workout!

And now that I am back at home, I feel great – I don’t think I lost any weight, but I don’t think I gained any either. I’ve just gotten back, and I’ve already hit the weights and a spinning session! I love that way I feel after a rest day – super strong and energetic! Now I’m pushing hard for the next three days (spinning every day to get all three classes in + Pilates + Brit’s workouts!) – And then going to a Wedding over the weekend (and plan on looking fabulous in a new dress I bought in Spain!).

So here it goes with the last week of the four-week challenge – wish me luck!”

– Jenny

Brit’s advice for Jenny:

  • Keep your eye on the Prize –   I want Jenny to be extra disciplined this week.  She should revisit the goals she set at the start of the challenge and have FULL CONFIDENCE that she can achieve them!
  • Focus on Food – After a vacation, it’s common to want to hit the gym hard, which is a good thing.  However, Jenny should be extra mindful of what goes into her mouth.  She must be careful not to wipe out all of her hard work in the gym by consuming too many calories.
  • Stretch, Stretch, Stretch – Since Jenny has been away for a few days, it may take a her body a little time to adjust to the hardcore workout regimen.  T0 prevent soreness and injury (and ultimately missed workouts), I want her to stretch for at least 15 minutes per day.

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Get to STEPPIN’ – Life with my pedometer

SO… along with cutting back on the booze, for my 28th b-day I also committed to wearing a pedometer everyday.  In case you don’t know, a pedometer is a little device you can attach to your body and it counts the number of steps you take.  I got the idea from my friend Megan who consistently wore her pedometer every single day of our vacation in Italy.

Basically I’m on one of these 10,000 step plans.  Recent studies show that it takes 10,000 steps (equal to 5 miles) per day to manage your current weight.  As many of you know, I’ve lost over 20 pounds in the last 2 years and I REFUSE to gain it back.  So the 10,000 step plan is my new method of ensuring I don’t slowly pack back on the pounds.

First off, using the pedometer is cheap and simple.  I bought mine at Academy Sports & Outdoors for about $20 and I simply clip it to my belt or bra strap every day.  Altogether, I didn’t realize how sedentary I am every day.  It’s cray cray!  My daily step count was all over the place – literally.  On an average day when I do not workout, I only walk about 3,000-4,00 steps.  YIKES!

Getting my 10,000 steps in each day is still work in progress, but I’m constantly improving.  Overall, I think this is legit so def try it for yourself!  Here’s a little photo diary of my pedometer experience:

1st day with the pedometer, sitting at my desk all day and only at 4,693 steps at 8pm – not a good look 🙁

Feeling very eager and determined on day 2 – walked/jogged on the treadmill for 30 min and walked around my office multiple times for over 12,000 steps!

Lazy day working from home.  Had to head to the gym to make up for a LOT of steps!

After teaching 1-hour Turbo Kick class +6,000 steps putting me well above 10,000 by 6:15pm – a good look 🙂

Morning run and Psycho Gym workout got me over 8,000 steps by lunch time.  YAY!

Sunday church + brunch left me with a major step gap 🙁

Went for a Sunday afternoon stroll around my neighborhood to get my extra steps in.  Mission accomplished!

Here are a few ways that I incorporated more steps into my day to make may daily 10,000 step quota:

  • Park in the parking spot furthest away form the door to my work building
  • Get up and walk around my office every couple of hours
  • Walk on the treadmill or around my neighborhood to make up for missed steps
  • Stand at my desk, and sway side to side instead of sitting (awkward I know, but it works)

How do you get your steps in? Please do share!

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Bye Bye Jiggly Thighs!

Let me get something straight, BIG thighs do NOT = FAT thighs.  You CAN have very sexy BIG thighs as long as they are firm and toned. I hate hearing girls complain to me about their big thighs, which I think look great!  Our thigh muscles give us strength, power, explosive movement and stability so let’s appreciate them and treat them well.  I challenge you to be happy with what you’ve got and do my Extreme Thigh Burn workout (below)  to make your thighs the strongest, firmest and sexiest they can be!

Showin’ off my big, toned, thighs on a night out 🙂

  • Workout: Extreme Thigh Burn
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Calories Burned: ~300
  • Focus: Hamstrings, Quads, Glutes, Abductors, Adductors, Overall endurance
  • Instructions: For best results, do this workout at least 2x per week for 4 weeks.  Make sure to do each exercise continuously without rest.  Challenge yourself to get the full workout done in 30 minutes or less! (click on the workout image below to maximize or print and save)

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4-week Challenge Euro Style: Jenny’s Week 1 Update

If you missed last week’s 4-week challenge kick off, make sure you check it out to see the full plan. Below is Jenny’s week 1 progress report. She’s doing a great job – KEEP IT UP JENNY!

Jenny on her way to the Pilates – already feeling more trim after only 1 week!

“Week One: DONE! It’s been great! I did all the workouts this week + added a few Pilates classes #motivationbaby! I have been pretty intense about my workouts, so I really needed my off day. My pants are definitely looser on me. I never usually weigh myself (I think inches are a better indication, rather than kilos), I did this week. According to my scale, I’m down 1.2 kilos (American translation: 2.6 pounds), which is pretty good! SO, I will try to really focus on the diet this week. I have been good about not eating after 9pm, but since I’m going to bed around 10/10:30pm every night (gotta get up early for those workouts!), I think I should try to not eat anything after 7:30/8pm. Brittani has also recommended that I trade my breakfasts of fruit to one of protein, and I have a feeling this will be my ‘game changer’ this week. Let’s see! I have 10 more days until I’m in sunny Malaga, Spain – so I’ve gotta really focus!”

– Jenny

Jenny during Pilates class
Jenny feeling good post-workout
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