26 September 2008

Ghost Spotted in the gym?

I don't believe in ghosts but when I saw this video, it did make me pause and think...what if?

Judge for yourself?

And more importantly, does this mean that even when we're dead we still have to go to the gym to workout? Literally, no rest for the wicked.

See it here.

Happy weekend.

19 September 2008

How to Stop your Thighs Rubbing Together

I recently saw a disturbing advert for a cream that you rub on your skin if you suffer from chaffing, for example, if your thighs rub together as you walk. As uncomfortable as this sounds, its sadly not that uncommon for some women to have chaffing at the tops of their thighs.  I did a little research on this and the only solution that seems to be offered is for them to wear support pants like Spanx each day.  Now that just sounds like swapping one uncomfortable problem for another  So, I thought I'd write up a couple of exercises that really target the thighs to keep them trim and toned and ensure you never go anywhere needing a product like the cream.

No one should ever need that cream.

Are you ready?

1. Single Leg Squats Jeff Archer doing single leg squats for toning thighs

Jeff Archer doing single leg squats for toning thighs
Stand sideways on a bench or step
Adopt an upright posture with your tummy tight and shoulders back and relaxed
Hang your left leg over the side of the step taking your weight onto your right side while keeping your hips level
Squeeze your bottom muscles, sit back at the hips and bend your right leg
Allow the left leg to travel towards the ground but keep your hips level at all times
Keep the right knee above or behind the right toe as you bend the knee
Pause at the bottom of the movement
Keeping your stomach muscles and bottom muscles tight, straighten your right leg to return to the start position
Repeat for 10 squats on the right leg and then swap sides

2. Power step up

power step ups using a bench
power step ups using a bench

This move is similar to the Step Downs with Toe Tap only the movement is faster and you bring your active leg up so that the thigh is parallel with the ground at the top of each repetition.
Keep your stomach muscles and butt tight at all times
Complete 15 repetitions with each leg

18 September 2008

Get a body like Gwyneth Paltrow's

We had a sneak peek yesterday into the 6 x 2 hour fitness sessions Gwyneth Paltrow does each week to get her body into A list (read skinny and toned) shape. Okay - she can afford the trainer and the top of the range equipment but the reason I"m mentioning it today is that I love the fact she didn't pretend it was all so easy. Looking at the photos of her in the gym

It's easy to see how she shed the 20lbs of baby weight she gained after the birth of her second child.

Weight loss isn't easy but it can always be achieved with enough determination and dedication. Gwyneth had her red carpet incentive - find your incentive and get dedicated.

Gwyneth hard at work shedding the weight.

12 September 2008

Take your clothes off, it's dinner time

try taking a photo of everything you eat - how does it make you feel?
Earlier this week, I wrote about low calorie snack ideas that you could turn to when the hunger cravings got too much but you didn't want to ruin your diet.  Being a slave to your appetite can be a dangerous thing and even the most disciplined of people find it hard sometimes not to go for that third biscuit, second donut or dessert after you've already had two courses. So here are some fun / useful / crazy ways to help you control the urges.

Ever thought about eating in front of the mirror naked? Or how about taking a photo of every single thing you are about to eat. This is meant to make you think twice before over indulging knowing you have a captured image of it. I agree that some of these tricks work but at the end of the say it's important to find your own way to control over eating. 

After all, it is your body.

Here's the full list of novel ways to control over eating.

Photograph by thevoicewithin (flickr)

8 September 2008

What to eat if you're on a diet but desperate for a snack!

chopped vegetables and fruit make perfect healthy snacks
There's something about going on a diet that makes you think about nothing but food all day long. You obsess about it, you long for pizza and you even dream about Chinese food / Mexican food / Indian food...... 

This is the reason I don't really think diets work because you end up resenting them because they deprive you. However, if you are on a diet and find yourself ready to chew your own arm off, what can you eat that won't ruin all your hard work so far?

Take a look at my list of 10 snack ideas and I'd love to hear about the snacks you turn to when hunger strikes.

The most important thing if you are on a diet and really hungry is not to ignore it. Starving yourself won't help you lose weight - just water.

1. Mug of hot water with a slice of lemon or a slice of orange. Refreshing and filling.

2. A banana or an apple. Both of these pieces of fruit will help quash the hunger pangs. Try frozen grapes for some variety.

3. A small pot of fat free yogurt. Sprinkle some nuts on top to add the protein (protein fills you for much longer than carbs)

4. Drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes. Often, when you think you are hungry, you are only thirsty. You should feel fine after 10 mins.

5. Hard boiled egg - if you're at home, this is a great snack and it'll fill you till your next meal.

6. 2 rice cakes. Not yummy admittedly but they do the job. Avoid the flavoured ones - stick to plain.

7. Handful of dried fruit - keep a bag of apricots or raisins on your desk at work.

8. Chopped carrots, celery, radishes. 2-3 of these will sort out your craving.

9. Green tea - good for weight loss as well as satisfying hunger cravings.

10.Slice of chicken breast or turkey breast - the protein is filling but these lean meats will make you feel like you have filled the hole in your tummy.

Keep this list as reference so you always have something low in calories and low in fat to turn to when you're in need. What do you snack on?

Photograph by programwitch Flickr

3 September 2008

Is your coffee habit making you fat?

coffee stays in your system for much longer than you realise
While I was making my morning coffee today I was remembered something my nutritionist friend told me recently.
Caffeine has a half life of around 4 hours which means that if you drink one cup at 8am, you still have half the caffeine from that cup in your system 4 hours later - at 12 noon. And then you have half that amount still in your system at 4pm and so on through the day.
You can easily see why nutritionists recommend a maximum of one cup a day - it's plenty to deliver enough caffeine to last you for 24-hours. You can also see how 'chain drinking' one coffee after another can cause the jitters and loss of focus - you are literally flooding your system with one of the most powerful stimulants known to man.

It's even worse if you take the contraceptive pill....

Women taking the contraceptive pill having 1 cup of coffee should expect the the half life of caffeine to be increased to 5-10 hours and if you are pregnant it's roughly 9-11 hours.

So, although a little caffeine can help with fat burning, too much will over stimulate your system and send your blood sugar levels on a rollercoaster throughout the day which can make losing weight difficult. Too much caffeine backing up in your system will also make it difficult to sleep and disrupted sleep patterns lead to weight gain.

So do yourself a favour and start cutting back on the caffeine from today. Aim to reach a point where you have a single cup each day and really enjoy it. Seek alternatives at other times safe in the knowledge that more caffeine at this point will do you more harm than good.

Photograph by غҰёll ♥ RAINBOW ! (Flickr)

2 September 2008

Do you exercise enough for your age?

I'm regularly asked about how much exercise and how often to do it if you want to achieve weight loss. Or more specifically, 'I want a flat stomach, how long will it take'. When it comes to the amount of exercise you should be doing to reach / maintain your ideal weight and fitness, a lot of this depends on your age

Most people don't do enough exercise - simple. They may think that they do but perhaps they don't appreciate how much exercise it takes to keep fit.

Start early and get into the routine of doing it. 

Children should be doing one hour of exercise (playing, sports) a day. 
And 40 year olds need to do at least 2-4 hours a week

There's an easy guide on each age group for you to follow which I've linked to below. No more excuses. Grab exercise where you can in your day and make it part of your life and you'll never look back.

So are you doing enough exercises for your age group?

photograph by Kat (flickr)