Monthly Archives: December 2012

An Effective Way to Shed Some of Those Holiday Pounds

Circuit and interval training, an excellent way to burn calories fast!!  Here’s how and why:

What is Interval Training?

Interval training involves alternating short, fast bursts of intensive exercise with slow, easy activity.

How Interval Training Works

Interval training works both the aerobic and the anaerobic system. During the high intensity effort, the anaerobic system uses the energy stored in the muscles (glycogen) for short bursts of activity. Anaerobic metabolism works without oxygen. The by-product is lactic acid, which is related to the burning sensation felt in the muscles during high intensity efforts. During the high intensity interval, lactic acid builds and the athlete enters oxygen debt. During the recovery phase the heart and lungs work together to “pay back” this oxygen debt and break down the lactic acid. It is in this phase that the aerobic system is in control, using oxygen to convert stored carbohydrates into energy.

The Benefits of Interval Training

Interval training leads to the adaptation response. This means the body begins to build new capillaries, and is better able to take in and deliver oxygen to the working muscles. Muscles develop a higher tolerance to the build-up of lactate, and the heart muscle is strengthened. These changes result in improved performance particularly within the cardiovascular system.
Interval training also helps prevent the injuries often associated with repetitive endurance exercise, and they allow you to increase your training intensity without  over training or burn-out. In this way, adding intervals to your workout routine is a good way to cross train.

Interval training

  1. Time efficient way to improve body composition, maintain lean muscle mass and improve cardio vascular fitness
  2. When starting a fitness training program traditional cardio training is effective. However after a while the body begins to adapt and fat loss plateaus. This is a good time to begin interval training to continue to achieve results.
  3. You may burn more calories doing longer periods of cardio training, but you will burn more fat doing interval training
  4. High intensity interval training is more effective at improving both aerobic and anaerobic fitness than traditional cardio training
  5. Interval training will result in a greater loss of subcutaneous adipose fat- the dangerous fat around the mid-section
  6. Your body will continue to burn calories for up to 48 hours after interval training

Circuit Training

Circuit training can be versatile and it moves quickly because you’re going from one exercise to another instead of doing continuous cardio or straight set training with weights. You can do all strength circuits, all cardio circuits or a mixture of the two for a challenging, calorie-burning workout.

How It Works
Circuit training combines 8-10 exercises that are completed one right after the other, with little or no rest in between. Perform each exercise for a specified time (like 1 minute), rest for no more than 30 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. Once you complete all exercises, that is considered one circuit. The total number of circuits you complete is up to you. For beginners, start with 30 seconds per exercise and increase the time as you get stronger. Another way to progress is to shorten your rest in between exercises and circuits.
To start, use the following criteria for choosing your exercises:
1. Pick exercises to work each muscle group.
2. Include exercises for agility and endurance (like jumping side-to-side over a phone book)
3. Don’t forget to work on your speed too. Incorporate sprints (if you can) or fast jogging in place.
Specific Training
Circuit training is great for beginners just getting started. Why? Because it allows you to build some total body strength while also working on your endurance. This can be great for a number of sports as long as you perform exercises specifically for what you want to accomplish.
Regardless of your goals, circuit training can be a great workout simply because of the variety. Running on a treadmill for 30 minutes or doing the same old machines can get boring over time. If you find you’re losing interest in your routine or that you’ve hit a plateau, think circuit training.

Enjoy! 🙂


Eat Right and Enjoy the Holiday

healthy holidayThis is one of the most enjoyable, but also stressful, times of the year.  There’s a continuous flow of food everywhere from home to office parties and family gatherings and if you’re anything like me you love to eat!!  Enjoy this time with your family and friends.  Here are a few  tips to help you stay on track and still have fun over the holidays.

Just say NO!

Have an idea of what you will eat and what you will absolutely stay away from, and stick to it! For example, my vice is chocolate.  I know that during certain times of the year where there is alot of chocolate going around (Valentine’s Day, Easter and Christmas)  I have to make up my mind to say “NO”.  Otherwise, I get one piece into me and it’s all over!!  Look for healthier options that will satisfy your cravings.

Be Picky

Reserve your fat, calories and carbs for your favourite foods.  Try not to eat foods just because they’re there.  If you do end up eating some foods that aren’t so good for you remember portions sizes.  Do not over indulge and don’t beat yourself up over it either.  This will just create alot of stress which will cause you to eat even more.  Just refocus, get yourself back on track and remember to reserve those calories.

Fill up on Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and Veggies are great options.  In addition to the vitamins and minerals they provide, they’re low in fat and contain fibre which can help you feel a little more full.  This may prevent you from reaching for that second or third helping, saving you from those extra calories, pounds and that nauseating stomach ache.

Graze Throughout the Day

Don’t go to a party at the end of the day on an empty stomach.  Make sure you get in your four or five small meals throughout the day so that by the time you face the buffet table you’re not doing it on an empty stomach.  When you’re hungry your portion sizes go out the window.  Your body can only digest a certain amount of calories at once, anything extra is stored as fat.

Doggie Bag-it

If you’re the host/hostess send your guests home with doggie bags.  I always have disposable Ziploc containers on hand.   This is a great way to get rid of extra food.  If it’s not in the house, I can’t eat it.  I may save enough for lunch and dinner the next day, but that’s it.  Another option is to drop your left overs at a shelter.  I’ve done this many times and they are always so grateful.

Keep a Food Journal

This is a great way to track your progress.  Most people think that they eat well.  Be honest with yourself and record everything you put into your mouth.  When it’s laid out on paper it’s easier to understand why you may not be getting the results you expect and you can identify the areas of your diet that need improvements.  I encourage people to write in red ink the foods that they know they shouldn’t eat.  This way, when they look back and see all the red ink they immediately understand why those last few pounds aren’t coming off so easy.

Move It to Lose It

Always incorporate some form of movement into your day.  Get to the gym or go for a walk. If you’re shopping park as far away from the entrance doors as possible or do a couple of laps of the mall. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.  Do something you enjoy doing- just move!!

Avoid the Empty Calories

In addition to all the food is alcohol.  Empty calories from alcohol have absolutely no nutritional value and can add up fast.  Alcohol prevents your body from absorbing required nutrients and vitamins from the foods you eat.  Since your body cannot store alcohol it has to metabolize it immediately which causes your other metabolic processes to slow down.  This can lead to weight gain and elevated blood sugar levels. There are some alcoholic beverages that are considered healthier options, but it’s still alcohol. If you absolutely must drink, be wise, limit yourself and stick with it.

Merry Christmas everyone. 

All the best in the new year 😉

From one of my favourite authors:

No matter how you feel
Get up: face the day vertical instead of surrendering to it horizontally
Dress up: put on your clothes from head to toes. It triggers hope
Show up: most of life is showing up. It’s a come as you are day. To be a success, you do the best you can, which varies from day to day

Regina Brett

Welcome to my blog

I aspire to educate and motivate others towards achieving a healthy body and lifestyle. 

The reason for this blog is to share my passion-  health, fitness and wellness. I want to teach others as well as  learn from others because health, fitness and wellness involves such a wide variety of ideas, perceptions and beliefs. I have lots to share and I’m looking forward to interaction with those who share my passion.

Stay tuned….!

Yours in health and fitness,


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