Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Get your legs long & lean


Do you covet the long, lean legs sported by celebrities? Have you been committed to your daily cardio in hopes that it will tone your lower body? Are you ready to change your workouts to make sure you have those sexy gams by summer?

If so, celebrity trainer Gina Lombardi has the five must-do lower body exercises for you! In addition to toned thighs, these exercises will also give you great glutes as well as tighten up your torso. These exercises are the rage with celebrities and by incorporating these moves into your workouts, you, too, can have A-list legs.

These five exercises, recommended by Gina Lombardi, featured trainer on Exercise TV, work the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and core muscles. For best results, do these lower body exercises three to four times per week. In addition to consistent cardio and a healthy diet, you will see results in just a few weeks.

Squats on a vibration platform

According to Lombardi, this intense exercise is a favorite of stars Hillary Swank and Madonna. LungesVibration platforms have become an increasingly popular fitness tool – doing exercises on the vibrating platforms results in increased muscular power, strength, flexibility and balance. The increased stimulus to the muscle fibers also delivers results sooner than doing the same exercises on the floor. In addition, vibration platforms can boost your bone-density and are often used in rehabilitation for a wide range of injuries. Check with your local health clubs and personal training studios for vibration platform availability. (For more information, check out Lifespan Fitness’ vibration plate article.)
The move: Standing on a Lifespan or Power Plate vibration platform, perform the same traditional squat you would do on stable ground. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, bend knees and lower your buttocks until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep knees over your ankles and not jutting forward past your toes. Pause and return to start position. Repeat for 60 seconds. Rest. Repeat three more times.

Buddha Lunges

Lombardi says these high-power lunges keep Sally Pressman (from "Army Wives") in tip top shape.

The move: Start with your feet together. Step forward with your right leg, keeping your back straight, and bend your knees until your right knee forms a 90-degree angle. Hold this position for a count of five then push back with your right leg and return to start position. Do 12 to 24 lunges on each side.

Mountain Climbers

Step UpsActress Catherine Bell, best known for her role as Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie on the TV show "JAG," keeps her legs fit with mountain climbers. You can do this exercise at varying speeds – the faster you “climb,” the more cardio it will become. Make sure you keep your belly button pulled in toward your spine to best engage your core muscles.

The move: From a traditional push-up starting position (on your hands and toes), lift your right foot and bring your knee to your chest. Touch your right foot down then return to start position. Repeat with your left. Do 24 repetitions for each leg.


You can do this exercise using only your body weight or you can hold a 5 to 10 pound dumbbell in each hand for added resistance. This is another exercise that targets your muscles while also boosting your heart rate.
The move: Using the stairs or another step (you can use a sturdy chair, if you are tall), step up with your right foot. Bring your left foot up to touch the right foot and then step back down to start position with both feet on the floor. Repeat with your left leg. Do 24 repetitions on each side.

Kettle Bell - Sarah LurieSquats with Kettlebell swing

This is another hard-core exercise favorite of Army Wife Sally Pressman. Kettlebells are one of the newest and most effective tools in functional fitness (and considered a celebrity fitness secret!). Kettlebells are solid cast-iron weighted cannon balls with U-shaped handles. They come in a variety of weights from ten pounds up to over 100 pounds. Kettlebell training is a full-body modality that improves overall strength and also gives you an awesome cardio workout. Best of all, according to fitness experts, when you use kettlebells, you can get superb results in half the time of traditional exercises. (For more information about kettlebells, check out this article!)

Sleep well to lose weight!


sleeping woman

Getting more sleep could help you shed those extra pounds, a study has suggested.

According to the study, body mass index (BMI) is linked to length and quality of sleep in a surprisingly consistent fashion.
During the study, researchers analyzed the sleep, activity and energy expenditures of 14 nurses who had volunteered for a heart-health program at the Walter Reed, where the nurses were employed.

The program included nutritional counselling, exercise training, stress management and sleep improvement. Each participant wore an actigraphy armband that measured total activity, body temperature, body position and other indices of activity and rest.

"When we analyzed our data by splitting our subjects into 'short sleepers' and 'long sleepers,' we found that short sleepers tended to have a higher BMI, 28.3 kg/m2, compared to long sleepers, who had an average BMI of 24.5. Short sleepers also had lower sleep efficiency, experienced as greater difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep," said lead author Arn Eliasson, of the Integrative Cardiac Health Project at Walter Reed Army Medical Centre.

The researchers also found that overweight individuals tended to be more active than their normal weight counterparts, taking significantly more steps than normal weight individuals: 14,000 compared to 11,300, a nearly 25 percent difference, and expending nearly 1,000 more calories a day-3,064 versus 2,080.

However, those additional energy expenditures did not manifest in reduced weight. "We found so many interesting links in our data. It opens up a number of possibilities for future investigation. Primarily, we want to know what is driving the weight differences, and why sleep and weight appear to be connected," said Dr. Eliasson.

Dr. Eliasson postulates that getting less sleep might disrupt natural hormonal balances and could thereby cause those individuals to eat more.

Stress may also play a role in both reducing the length and quality of sleep and increasing eating and other behaviours that may result in weight gain. The study has been presented at the American Thoracic Society's 105th International Conference in San Diego. - TOI

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Yoga Diet To Keep Your Body And Soul Healthy


Author: Roberto Sedycias

Yoga Basically a Yoga Diet is a totally vegetarian diet. The spiritual reason behind it is the fact that people who practice yoga gain some consciousness of mind which does not allow them to eat meat of living beings. They practice kindness to all animals and lay emphasis on the benefits of vegetarian diet.

Yoga Diet has been able to stand the test of time and has been around for a number of years. It primarily consists of whole grains, cereals, fresh vegetables and fruits. Practicing it not only takes care of your health but also helps in rejuvenating your soul and spirit. Also it helps you to lose weight and remain healthy, thus making you feel better.
The main contents of a Yoga diet and the ways and means in which you can stay healthy with a yoga centered diet are discussed here.

As the yoga diet is typically a vegetarian diet without any meat or fish, the protein requirement of your body is taken care by the incorporation of beans and legumes in your diet. A good quantum of salads, sprouted beans, lentils, bean soups and dishes made from lentils and beans are instrumental in providing you the much needed protein intake. Dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt etc. are allowed and are helpful in providing energy to the body. Seasonal and organic vegetables are the main source of nutrition. Dishes such as curries, appetizers and entrees can be made out of such fresh vegetables.

Plenty of water intakes are recommended for a healthy mind and body. According to the prescription of a Yoga Diet, your body should get at least 2 liters of water everyday which may be consumed in the form of plain water or fruits and vegetable juices, nut milk, soy milk and other liquids. Mainly recommended food are those which can be digested easily such as juices, fruits, vegetables, milk, honey etc.

Foods which are difficult to digest must be avoided. The main concept of yoga is to keep your immune system in good shape and if you intake lots of heavily processed food which cannot be digested easily then the whole purpose of Yoga diet will be defeated. You should avoid consuming food made with white flour or white sugar and packaged food which are added with preservatives to keep them fresh for a longer period. This type of food can be detrimental to your health.
Yoga diets also prescribe that you must eat your food slowly and chew it properly before swallowing so that it can be digested easily. Fibrous foods and green leafy vegetables are most recommended for easy digestion.
If you follow a proper yoga diet and supplement it with yoga workouts, you are sure to stay fit and lose weight at earliest. This is also sure to reduce the chances of heart attack, kidney diseases, stroke and cancer. Meat lovers are more prone to cancer and heart attacks than those who follow a balanced vegetarian diet.
A well chalked out yoga diet provides all the necessary protein and minerals to your body and the yogic exercises practiced along with pure vegetarian diet provides you with spiritual rejuvenation thus making your body, soul and spirit work in the right union and yield positive results.




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