Hey gang! Here’s your workout for the week. While I’m a big fan of equipment-free workouts, I decided to switch it up this week and incorporate a personal favorite fitness toy – the Bosu Ball! I chose the Bosu Ball because it made my GRIT by Brit Holiday Fitness Gift picks back in December. Bosu exercises are great for increasing stability and working the core. They’re also a nice change-up from typical dumbbell or barbell workouts.
After designing and testing this routine, I assure you’ll get a serious sweat and feel toned and tight throughout your core. The exercises quickly elevate your heart rate making this workout a good option for days when you’re short on time. The entire workout takes about 10 minutes and you can expect to burn ~100-150 calories. For best results, knock this out everyday for 5 days straight. See below for instructional images to guide you – enjoy!
Hey gang! Spring is around the corner and I know that my inbox will be full of Spring time shape up requests. To keep us ahead of the last minute slim down dash, here’s my 6 quick and easy tricks to burn excess calories.
First, remember that in order to truly lose 1 pound of body weight, we must burn 3,500 calories more than we consume. Assuming your diet and activity remain consistent, adding these 6 tricks to your daily routine can result in losing 1 additional pound every ~18 days. Not bad huh? Also be sure to note that these estimates are based on 150-160 pound person. A lighter person will burn fewer calories and a heavier person will burn more.
Brit’s 6 Tricks
Stand up at your desk instead of sitting. Standing burns about 50 percent more calories than sitting. Standing at your desk for 30 minutes will burn about 72 calories (2X the amount burned while sitting). Standing instead of sitting for 30 minutes = 36 calories
Learn to Laugh. 15 minutes of laughter = 20 calories
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Climbing two flights of stairs, three times per day = 30 calories
Dance in the mirror. Dancing is a fun, self-confidence boosting calorie blaster. So twerk a little something while getting dressed for work in the morning 🙂 Dancing for 10 minutes = 58 calories
Stretch in front of the TV. Doesn’t matter if you’re enjoying Scandal or the Bachelor, be sure to stretch instead of sit on the couch. 8-10 minutes of stretching = 31 calories
Choose the parking spot farthest from your building entrance. Walking for an extra 5 minutes = 25 calories
Hey Gang! While it’s FREEZING outside, I can see the little light at the end of the tunnel that is Spring Break. Despite being 29 years old and not having a true Spring Break, I like to still prepare my bikini body – hehe. That said, I’ve been digging through my workout repository and have pulled my 3 fiercest, most effective AB workouts…
Now, the plan is to do 1 workout every other day for the next 6 days. So do 1 workout, rest/do cardio, do the other workout, rest/do cardio…and so on. Got it? The idea is to give your abs and core one day of rest in between workouts so your muscles can repair and gain strength. Overworking your abs without adequate rest prevents you from gaining the full benefits of the workout. Alright… let’s do this!
As a group fitness instructor I see several hard workingmen and women regularly attend the gym and still have difficulty losing weight. They log hours of cardio, eat “low-fat” foods and have loyalty cards to Smoothie King but nothing seems to work. Personally, I also struggled with weight loss until my personal trainer at the time (Thank you Sam!) gave me some “real talk.” See, many of the tips and tricks I learned from my mom and friends were flat out wrong. The reality is that our bodies are really smart and really efficient. Therefore we have to shock them in order to get the results we want. We also have to respect the principles of Biology – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “The only way to lose weight is to burn more calories that you consume.” So with these nuggets of wisdom in mind, I also wanted to share the 5 biggest weight loss lies that led me astray for several years…
Must Do More Cardio – Okay, it’s true that minute for minute, cardio burns more calories than weight training.However, if your usual 30-45 minutes on the elliptical or recumbent bike isn’t doing the trick, it’s because you’re heart rate is getting elevated enough. In order to burn a lot of calories, you have work really hard. Yea, like sucking air at times. You heart rate need to reach the anaerobic zone (60-85% of your max heart rate). This is why interval training is so effective. In interval training, you sprint for 20-30 seconds then take a quick rest and repeat. In fact, you can burn twice as man calories in 10 minutes of interval training as compared to 10 minutes of regular, steady pace cardio activity. The truth is that harder, smarter cardio is the key to weight loss, not more cardio.
Skip Meals to Drop Pounds – Skipping meals keeps you from losing weight in 2 key ways: First, doing so makes you binge eat later in the day because you’re starving. Binge eating stretches out your stomach and allows you to consume far too many calories. Also, eating large meals late in the day leaves minimal opportunity for you to burn off the calories (because you are going to sleep soon and the food just sits in your tummy). Second, starving yourself slows down your metabolism which makes it harder for you to burn calories and harder for you to lose weight. Long story short, don’t skip meals. Eat 5 small meals throughout the day that are high in lean protein and fiber. It actually takes true grit to plan 5 healthy meals than to skip breakfast and lunch and indulge in one giant dinner.
Focus on Fat Reduction – This may come as a shock, but the truth is“Fat (in moderation) is GOOD, Sugar is BAD.” We need fat for bodily functions. “Fats help you absorb vitamins A, D, and E, and they are vital for your nervous system.” – Barbara Roberts, MD, director of the Women’s Cardiac Center at the Miriam Hospital in Providence. The key is to eat unsaturated fats like olive oil and olives, canola oil, almonds, cashews, peanuts, peanut butter, sesame seeds and avocados. “Several studies have shown that eating small amounts of nuts helps dieters lose weight because the fiber and protein help dieters feel full longer. Dieters are less like to overeat and more successful at losing weight.” – WebMD 2013Sugar on the other hand is the devil when it comes to weight loss. Sugar absorbs quickly, provides minimal nutritional value, makes you hungry and then turns into bad fat if you don’t immediately burn it off. When making a food decisions, always take unsaturated fats over sugar if weight loss is your goal.
Smoothies Make You Skinny – The truth is that most smoothies are loaded with sugar and too much sugar makes you fat. Now, smoothies are good for meal replacements every once in a while as long as they are made with raw fruits and veggies (not fruit juice) and if they include protein. Be sure to ask for a scoop of whey protein in your smoothie so that you will feel fuller and help offset the sugar spike. Be careful about having smoothies for snacks as you can easily pack on an extra 300-400 calories without even realizing it.
My Genetics Make me Overweight – “While genes strongly decide the shape of your body, peoples’ lifestyle (primarily eating too much and moving too little) is by far the main reason they’re [overweight]. Research has shown that our eating and exercise habits are heavily influenced by the people we spend time with the most, which is likely the main reason we see obesity running in families. Genes have an influence, but it’s relatively minor for the vast majority of humans.” – Melinda Johnson, registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The moral of the story is, “Get rid of the genetics excuse and get you some fit friends.” – Brit For realz.
May the weight-loss TRUTH set you free. xoxo, Brit
This weekend my Turbo Kick class was PACKED! More people came than ever before. Clearly getting “fit” is high on our list of New Year’s resolutions. I’m so motivated by the energy, foggy mirrors and soaked pony tails that come out of a packed group fitness class. Unfortunately, I have to face the reality that this awesome feeling will only last for a short while. The February “drop off” is just around the corner. You know what I’m talking about, that point when we all push our resolutions to the back burner. As a group fitness instructor, this is the month I most dread. It’s depressing indeed.
The “February drop off” really makes me sad, because I understand why people quit coming to the gym. I understand because I was one of those people. I was the person who set out the New Year with high hopes and expectations of perfection. However, the minute I slipped up, I beat myself up and quit. I showed myself no grace. It was all or nothing. The crazy thing is that many of us think this “do or die” mindset is critical to achieving our goals, but the reality is that aiming for perfection only assures failure.
I had to learn that each day I’m blessed with a clean slate. What happened yesterday is gone. It doesn’t matter. Yeah, even that chocolate cake I smashed and that workout I skipped. My entire outlook on my health and my weight management changed once I learned to love myself enough to forgive myself for my slip-ups. I had believe that I am worthy of a healthy body despite my occasional lack of discipline. Indulging and being lazy WILL cause a delay in achieving my goals, BUT I can still achieve my goals as long as I DON’T QUIT – the same goes for you!
So, I simply encourage you to be kind to yourself as you set out to achieve your New Year’s resolutions. Calling yourself a “fat cow” after enjoying a burger will NOT help you achieve your goals. However, committing to an extra 30 minutes of cardio will help you 🙂 Hold fast to your goals despite your slip-ups. We are human. We are perfectly imperfect. Embrace it (and keep coming to my Turbo Kick classes.)
Let’s jump-start a healthier 2014 with some fun & friendly competition! I started a diet bet game that will start on Monday, January 6. Click hereto join our game and invite your friends and family too. Our pot of money grows as players join. Whoever hits their goal splits the pot. Get healthier, have fun and win some cash – don’t wait our game starts next Monday!
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas full of blessings in abundance, laughter and good times with people who you love. Enjoy this holiday discount as my personal Christmas gift to you and prepare to kick-start 2014 on a happy and healthy note! CLICK HERE to visit my eStore.
Alright Gang – it’s that time of year. I can’t believe we are only 2 weeks away from Christmas! In my lifelong efforts to be like Oprah, I’ve compiled Brit’s Fit Holiday Gift Picks (my version of Oprah’s Favorite Things). Unfortunately, I’m NOT a baller and you will NOT receive a free gift set of the items above. However, because I’m in the Christmas spirit, I will send a free GRIT by Brit workout tank top to the first 20 people who email me their preferred color (black or blue), size and mailing address (email [email protected]). You’re welcome 🙂
So let’s get to right to it. My holiday fitness wish list goes a little something like this…
OMG That’s Paleo? Recipe Book ($19.85) – So I started following Juli Bauer on Instagram and quickly became a fan of her blog/social media community PaleOMG. Her recipes are super savory and made with the fitness enthusiast in mind. She gets creative with the Paleo diet which is awesome if you’re sick and tired of eating the standard “burger no bun.”
Quest Bars Variety Box ($26.99) – If you guys remember my post on the Best and Worst Nutrition Bars, Quest Bars topped my list due to their low sugar, high protein, high fiber and great taste. There are SO many yummy Quest bar flavors, so I would love a variety box. They are also convenient “meals on the go” especially when I ‘m traveling for work.
Nike FlyKnit Multi Colored Sneakers ($129.90) – I’m a Nike FREE junkie partially due to functionality, but mostly due to style. However, the new Nike FlyKnit sneakers are supposed to be really light, flexible and comfortable. Also, they have this cool multicolored print that I love. I will definitely be getting some of these. Probably 2 pairs.
Lululemon Reversible Wunder Under Yoga Pants ($92)- These leggings are bold fuchsia on one side and black on the other. Plus they fit like a glove and give your booty a nice little lift. I would wear these to yoga and then continue to wear them to prance around in the grocery store – word.
Nike Twisted Headband ($15) – Because I’m a headband junkie, 2 different types of headbands made my list. This one is a new design by Nike that’s also very wide and twists like the Turban one. However, this is made of dri-fit moisture-wicking fabric and looks more sporty. I will wear this one to the gym and actually workout in it. I REALLY want one. Bad.
Puma Women’s All Sport No Show Socks ($14) – These socks are the perfect texture – not too thick and not too thin. They keep my feet relatively dry during sweaty workouts and don’t show at all. Simple and effective. Just my style.
Up 24 by Jawbone ($149.95) – So, you guys already know I’m obsessed with my Jawbone UP wristband. I wrote a product review a few months ago and my only beef was that there is no blue tooth capability. Well, that’s not the case anymore! The new and improved Jawbone UP 24 now has blue tooth capability so you don’t have to manually plug it into your iPhone to sync. I like to think I influenced that product enhancement.
Focus T25 by Shaun T & Beach Body ($119.85) – As much as I want to be a Shaun T hater, he has a way of sucking me in. I’ve never tried Insanity, but I’m intrigued by this new T25 program. Essentially, the program is like Insanity but more “focused.” Each workout is only 25 minutes long and is promised to deliver the same results as a longer workout. Also, since I’ve come to the realization that I can only do a home workout for 30 minutes before I start to zone out, I’m even more eager to try T25. I plan start the Focus T25 program the day after Christmas. I’ll give it a formal GRIT by Brit review and share with you guys.
C9 Champion Cold Weather Pull Over Fleece ($21.24) – This is super cute, super warm and super inexpensive. You can get it at Target. Enough said.
Bosu Ball ($79.95) – Like 3 years ago I had a personal trainer and he always made me do Bosu Burpees and Bosu Plank stability drills. Since then I kind of stopped because I usually just go to group fitness classes. But, this holiday season I want to buy a Bosu Ball to keep in my house so I can start incorporating the exercises back into my routine. They are super effective for cardio and strength training. Actually, I’ll do a blog post on my favorite Bosu Ball exercises…
Tribal Print Turban Headband ($10) – Aren’t these headbands presh? So, I don’t necessarily want to wear these to the gym, I just want to wear them with gym clothes. They come in all different patterns, but the tribal prints are my favorites. They give me the perfect balance of looking chic yet effortless. You can get them on Etsy.
Olive Oil Deep Conditioning Replenishing Pack ($10 for 3 packs)– These deep conditioning treatments are my saving grace. I sweat a lot. Like my hair is wringing wet after a tough workout. I have to be diligent about hydrating my hair, so I do use one of these replenishing pack treatments each week. It’s a good, weekly, deep conditioning routine especially for women with hair texture similar to mine which tends to dry out.
Lululemon Yeah Yoga Tank ($58) – How cute is the back on this? I like this tank because it’s supportive for those of us who are bustier, but also cute and sexy with the backless crisscross design. I can wear this to yoga AND to kickboxing because it provides enough support. Also, the fabric is thick and fits very snug, which I appreciate.
Foam Roller ($15-20)– Foam rolling is my massage substitute. It’s also a good warm up for high intensity workouts (along with some light cardio). The foam roller allows you to massage deep into your muscle fibers, generate heat and break up lactic acid. It’s a really good tool to have around your house if you do lots of high impact and high intensity workouts (i.e Kickboxing, Boot Camps, CrossFIT, etc.).
Sporty Afros G+ Hair Spray ($5-10) – I started using this product from Sporty Afros after I got a sample in a swag bag. It’s amazing! The spray is made specifically for athletes. So after a workout when my hair is sweaty, I spray it heavily on my roots and lightly on my ends, then comb my hair with a wide tooth comb. It helps prevent breakage and keeps my hair moist. Most importantly, it doesn’t feel greasy. I’m a fan!
Hey gang! In honor of #GivingTuesday, here’s a legit total body workout that you can do as a gift to your mind, body and soul. I designed the workout and tested it this morning – I loved it!
Note, that you will need a Bosu Ball to complete this workout. The 2nd set of exercises includes Bosu Planks and Bosu Burpees. Here are links to some instructional YouTube videos in case you’ve never done these exercises.
The entire circuit, including the cardio warm up, should take you about 45-50 minutes. You will be sweaty! Overall, expect to burn about 500 calories. Enjoy and let me know how it goes. Lots of luv, Brit