Archive for the ‘exercise’ Category
When most think of going to a fitness class at their gym, they think of a fitness-crazed, super tiny, super athletic person leading the class, yelling “C’mon!” or “You can do it!”
Not at the L.A. Fitness club in Capitol Heights. Class attendees double-time it as healthy and “thick” fitness instructor Michelle Gibson counts them down from the front of the class.
“Four more, three more, two more, one!” Michelle yells, twirling her rope. She jumps faster and faster until the rope and her sneakers blur on the hardwood.
“Show-off!” yells a woman from the back of the classroom. Michelle laughs as she demonstrates hinge-kicks high above her own head. “Fight for your sexy!” she commands her class.
Michelle says she never lacks attention from men, and that they find her five-foot-four, size 14 frame sexy.
“Men have always said to me, ‘You’re not fat, you’re p-h-a-t,’” she says.
As a fitness instructor, she hopes to encourage African-American women to focus on exercise as a key to health, rather than using self-hatred to motivate weight loss. The women in her classes naturally agree with her inclination – and none of them are seeking to be supermodel thin.
“I’m a full-figured woman who would run circles around the average person, and I know it,” Michelle says. “I kind of think it’s my secret weapon.”
Earn cash for meeting your goal, paid for by non-exercisers!
Here with a digital dose of motivation is GymPact, an app for iPhone and Android that puts your money where your running shoes are.
Every week, GymPact users declare how many days they’ll be working out. Then they pledge a dollar amount they’ll give up if they miss their goals. And if they hit their marks, they get a piece of the cash forfeited by their lazier peers.
GymPact also tracks your workouts by syncing with RunKeeper. For iPhone users, check out GymPact Anywhere, which uses the iPhone’s accelerometer to track your progress.
New users can test drive GymPact without putting any dough on the line.
But if you ante up, the app might even help manage your debt.
Ask anyone who’s lost a large amount of weight what jumpstarted their journey to better health, and they’ll probably tell you about their “light bulb moment,” the instant that they decided they’d had enough and were willing to do whatever it took to change. For LA-based musician and clothing designer Papa Joe Aviance, that moment arrived in 2009 when his first house music release, “Last Night a DJ Saved my Life,” hit #6 on the Billboard Magazine Dance Charts. When he saw the music video for the song—which at that time was playing on MTV and VH1—he couldn’t get over how large he’d become. “I was 450 pounds—I was two cheeseburgers away from diabetes or high cholesterol,” recalls Aviance. “I had been big for pretty much all of my life, and I was sick of hating myself. It was now or never.”
To start, he trashed nearly all the contents of his kitchen. “I cleared everything out of my fridge that was going to get in the way of me losing weight—cookies, candy, sodas,” he says. “I was only going to drink water or unsweetened iced tea, and no more fast food. At that point, I’d been drinking a two-liter bottle of Mountain Dew every day, and if I went through any local drive-thru, they knew my name—that’s how often I used to eat that stuff.”
But he had a roadblock to contend with—at the time, he was broke. Aviance, who was then pursuing music and clothing design on the side, had recently been laid off work. “I was unemployed and couldn’t afford a gym membership or fancy diets,” says Aviance. “I realized that walking was the easiest exercise I could do and it cost nothing. So I grabbed my dance music and tennis shoes, and started walking.” (Walk off the weight with these 14 walking workouts to burn fat and boost energy!)
At first, his walks were short—to the end of his block and back to grab the daily Billboard. “The first time around the block—I couldn’t even do it, it was just mounds of sweat,” he says. But he kept at it. One trip around the block became two, and soon he was walking a few miles every day.
While he was determined to eat better, Aviance had to find a way to do it on a shoestring budget. “A friend told me I should check out the 99-Cent Store. Since I couldn’t afford Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, I decided to see what they had.” Aviance was pleasantly surprised to find that the 99-Cent Store in his neighborhood had plenty of healthy foods to choose from. “Oatmeal, raisins, nuts, bananas, apples, oranges, bell peppers, spinach, salad dressing, tuna fish, eggs… I was shocked. I was blown away,” recalls Aviance. “It was a huge savings. I literally spent no more than $50 a week on food.” (Feeding a family? You can still do it on the (healthy) cheap—here are 20 ways to feed your family for $100 a week.)
Within three to four weeks, Aviance started to see changes. “And within 3 months, I was like ‘Hey, this is working!” he laughs. “I started to take all of my clothes to a seamstress so she could take everything in. I was still too broke to go out and buy new clothes, but I didn’t care. I was on a mission.”
Aviance’s morning walks become so regular, that people in his neighborhood started to take notice. “Since I walk every morning, people have started giving me high fives. I felt like a mini rock star in my community. I’ve even had people stop me and tell them I motivated and inspired them to start walking.”
Low-Cost Healthy Meals
Papa Joe was able to prepare a variety of healthy meals using ingredients he purchased at the 99-Cent Store. Here are a several examples of what he ate on his diet.
1. 3 egg omelette with spinach, green pepper, tomatoes, and 2 slices of wheat toast
2. Cottage cheese with fresh fruit (oranges, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or apples)
Snacks (1 or 2 items)
1. Trail Mix
2. Peanut Butter and Jelly on Whole Wheat
4. Snack Size Peanut M&M’s (For cheat day only) – Keeping it real!
1. Yogurt with fresh fruit (Cantaloupe, Mango, Banana, or Honeydew)
2. Salad with tuna or salmon and balsamic dressing
1. Chicken Pot Pie with a side of potatoes, squash, or mixed vegetables (broccoli, string beans, cauliflower, carrots)
2. Quiche (eggs, spinach, mixed vegetables) with beans and rice
Health Risks Disappeared
Within 18 months, Aviance lost 250 pounds, and a visit to his doctor confirmed that he was no longer at risk for diabetes, elevated cholesterol, or high blood pressure. “I’ve always been a very happy guy who would kid around with anyone, but when I was heavy, I felt like I had to be that way because I thought people were judging me based on my size. But now it’s a happiness that is really shining from the inside out.” To speed along his transformation, he started to incorporate breaks for pushups and other strength moves during his walks. “I do pushups right in the street—the city is my gym,” he says. (Try these simple strength-training moves you can do anywhere, anytime.)
Today, Aviance is a health and wellness expert touring the country to inspire obese children and adults to start moving. “I want people to be as happy as I am, and part of that is being healthy. The sidewalk is my treadmill. Every morning I walk right outside my door and go. They can do it, too.”
Wendy Williams is a popular daytime talk show host. Lately her fans have seen her waist getting noticeably smaller and smaller. She says that it is all due to minimal diet and exercise modifications in her daily routine. Williams told OK Magazine that she has lost 20 pounds over the last few months by cutting out foods such as cheese and by turning the energy up at the gym.
In her interview, Williams hands out tips to busy mothers. She says she goes to the gym twice a week for an hour long workout that includes Pilates. She states that she does not work out more now than she had before, so it always fit into her schedule.
Some of the modifications in her diet are subtle, but they are subtle enough that the body knows what is missing and tries to compensate for the lack of food that it thinks it’s getting. For example she will put a packet of Crystal Light into her water. This will give it some flavor and energy and is not loaded up with calories. She does not eat cheese at all anymore either even though she loves it.
Williams used to mix mayo with mustard to cut down on the calories that would be in the mayo. She instead just uses spreads that include the mayo such as tuna fish. When she is eating something in a bun, she will remove the top bun so that she cuts down on the calories and carbs. Exchanging vinegar for salad dressing is a great choice as well because it doesn’t add many calories or sugar.
Wendy Williams is 48 years old and has never felt better. She is happy about her lifestyle and is looking forward to looking fabulous at 50.
We just rang in 2013, but swimsuit season is right around the corner. After all the delectable holiday goodies you’ve been consuming since Thanksgiving (ok…Halloween), getting your body back to normal is not going to happen overnight. And if you made a holiday resolution to trim down, you’ve got even more work to do.
Lucky for you, Anja Garcia let Style Blazer in on a few of the tricks that get Angels ready for flight down the Victoria Secret runway. For people that don’t have a lot of time to work out, like new moms, she suggests sticking to the basics with an emphasis on intensity.
“Simple moves like pushups, bodyweight squats, and lunges done in fast succession without a break will tone the arms, thighs, and glutes to get their heart rates up to burn fat,” Anja told StyleBlazer.com. “My DailyBurn Inferno workout program is a high intensity workout that tones and burns fat at the same time to help lose inches fast.”
And if you want to really want to trim your tummy and legs, Anja said, “Exercises like mountain climbers, planks, and sit-ups on a stability ball target abs, while lunges and bodyweight squats help tone the thighs.”
Some of those same moves can be found in Anja’s DailyBurn workout, which is engineered to make you sweat. And we don’t mean a light sheen, either. If you’re already working out and have hit a plateau in your weight loss, Anja said her daily burn might be just thing you need to break through that wall. “If you are plateauing, don’t give up! That just means it’s time to shake up your workout routine. Try a high intensity workout routine,” the VS trainer said.
But getting in shape isn’t just about the gym, you’ve also got to get fit in the kitchen. Plenty of people look for quick-trim diets and pills, but Anja advises that you steer clear of solutions that seem too easy. “Don’t follow fad diets,” she stated. “Remember that the models are getting ready for a show, and that they spend most of the year eating a healthy diet rich in lean proteins, vegetables, water and healthy fats.”
She reiterated, “Don’t crash diet, because you will rebound and gain all of the weight back. Instead, stick to a diet that is free of inflammatory foods and high in antioxidants year round, and you’ll really be eating like a Victoria’s Secret angel.”
One other major challenge of losing weight is what to do with your clothes. No one wants to throw away the pieces that fit them perfectly, and who can afford to buy a whole new wardrobe every time you shrink a size? To remedy this problem, Anja said your best bet is the get a wardrobe that is adjustable.
“Stock up on leggings, which are cute enough to wear under a dress, or a long sweater. Because they are stretchy, they will still fit no matter how much weight you lose,” said Anja. “Also, stock up on cute belts and cinch in your tops and dresses with belts as you lose weight to accentuate your brand-new waistline!”
Incredible video from the original inside man Kraze from industrymuscle.com.
By: Maureen Morrison – Bowing to increasing pressure from groups fighting against childhood (and adult) obesity, McDonald’s today announced menu modifications meant to help the chain’s nutritional profile, especially for the Happy Meal.
The new Happy Meal, which McDonald’s will begin rolling out in September, will automatically include both produce (a quarter cup of apple slices) and a new smaller size french fries (1.1 ounces) along with the choice of a hamburger, cheeseburger or Chicken McNuggets, and choice of beverage, including fat-free chocolate milk and 1% low-fat milk. The chain aims to have the new Happy Meals available in all 14,000 U.S. restaurants during first quarter 2012.
In lieu of fries, customers can get two bags of apple slices. McDonald’s began offering apple slices, then known as Apple Dippers because of a caramel sauce that accompanied the fruit, but in the new version of the Happy Meal, the caramel sauce will not be offered.