Archive for May, 2012

Ever wondered how bad that soda truly is for your health and fitness goals?!

Truth? It’s bad, very very bad… A few crazy folks in NYC teamed up to show just how much is this hilarious depiction of what every trainer wishes their friends, family and clients knew 🙂

Soda is full of empty calories. Empty calories do not fill you up. Instead, the vast amounts of sugar commonly found in them are often the cause for an increase in hunger and cravings for other sugary, unhealthy foods….

I’m a girl who loves to eat her calories, not drink them! My recommendation is to find a just as yummy alternative to your fizzy vice.

Here’s some of my faves:
Propel fitness water
Vitamin Water zero
Coconut water
Fruit2O flavored water

Cheers!

Who doesn’t need or want to improve their core strength?!  The mid-section is by far my favorite body part to work… it’s our powerhouse, all major movements stem from the core.  What better way to make our core fitter and stronger than with some proven, no frills exercises… Here are some of my faves from the folks at Fitness Mag:

  • The 100 (love all Pilates moves but this is one of the simplest to do.. with fab results!)
  • Plank (and every variation- prone, side and all around)
  • Ballet twist (I call this the Lazy Susan lol- can be done while watching tv!)
  • Cobra (yoga based move and a great stretch as well… bonus!)

Here’s the key to a stronger core: It doesn’t need to hurt or be over-worked… consistency is key!  The abdominal muscles are rarely over worked.  Core should be done for about 15-30 before or after every workout!

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/abs/exercises/top-10-abs-exercises/

I am often asked to demo new wellness or nutrition based products. This weekend I had the privilege of trying Mio, a relatively new product to enhance the flavor and nutrient profile of water.

The problem with this product is not that it does not taste good or provide an alternative to the sometimes mundane task of drinking water… The product is entirely synthetic!

I can commiserate with those who find the taste of water bland and encourage the use of more authentic methods such as drinking tea or perhaps trying the electrolyte mixes that at least add a slew of vitamins to the water…

But I would like to take this time to reinforce the importance of drinking water and proper hydration.

I found this great WebMD article on 6 reasons to drink more water:

1. Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids.
2. Water Can Help Control Calories.
3. Water Helps Energize Muscles.
4. Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good.
5. Water Helps Your Kidneys.
6. Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function.

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-drink-water

A HART incorporated exclusive…

There are not many companies who can afford a personal trainer for their employees in today’s tough times. By utilizing workplace wellness programs, newly founded startup HART incorporated works with small and medium sized businesses, bringing them customized wellness programs at a fraction of the cost of what is paid for their current wellness initiatives. While small businesses generally refuse to allocate the funds, large companies are typically able to create a wellness program for their employees. Unfortunately, whoever is charged with the task is usually so disconnected from the initiative that they tend to choose the cheapest or easiest to implement option, often to check a proverbial box. Employers don’t care about the weight of employees.

The recent trend has been to hire a wellness software solution that will track employee progress and basic health metrics. Few people tend to stay compliant with a diet or exercise regimen that does not consider their individual needs. A true solution to the obesity epidemic takes a customized, interactive and persistent initiative.

The average American spends 2/3 of their life working. In our country, employer sponsored insurance is generally the primary source of healthcare. But this has been a burden that employers are struggling to keep up with. The cost is continually rising, and yet employers rarely concentrate on addressing the actual issue. “It is this passion for helping people improve their health for the long term that led me to create HART incorporated as a workplace solution,” says President and CEO Koreen Hart-Morales.

HART incorporated works with employers as a partner, more than just a vendor. The company’s wellness program establishes itself not simply as a wellness director, personal trainer or training manual. HART incorporated takes full ownership and accountability as a health and wellness resource for organizations. The programs aren’t cookie cutter or one size fits all. Instead, an initial health risk appraisal is issued free of cost to the employer, and is used as the basis for the initiatives that are not only designed, but also implemented through HART incorporated. Tactics to help people make healthier lifestyle choices are simple, and they must be to be effective.

HART incorporated believes the key to a successful program is the benefit of on-site group exercise training, in addition to workplace health fairs, wellness seminars, email coaching, and even the use of mobile technology to track and provide data to employers and employees. Instead of throwing a flavor of the day wellness program at employees, employers need to incentivize an ownership culture from the top down and bottom up.

The need for true health habit change is currently very high. America is in the wake of a national crisis. According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, more than one third of adults in America are obese or overweight. Obesity-related conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and even some types of cancer, are now some of the leading causes of death in our country. As recent as 2008, the medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion, and its prevalence is rising.

The new approach for corporate health and wellness programs needs to create a culture focused on change. No more antiquated pedometer programs, one-time group walks, and “healthy” software. It’s time for employers and employees alike to work collaboratively towards better health. The path is simple. Create a system of small changes, with high rewards and endless support from a knowledgeable wellness coach. This practice will keep all key stakeholders accountable for real health habit change, not hype.

About HART Incorporated

Koreen Hart-Morales is the founder and CEO of the socially responsible company HART incorporated. HART incorporated is dedicated to addressing the epidemic of poor health in America by providing comprehensive workplace wellness programs, engaging, educating, and empowering employees with health and wellness management initiatives that pay off in enhancing workplace productivity, performance, and controlling healthcare costs. The company is actively fundraising through the novel crowd-funding website Rock the Post, in order to expand services nationwide. To pledge to the cause, visit http://www.rockthepost.com/posts/view/335/Socially-responsible-Health

About Rock The Post

Rock The Post is a crowdfunding site oriented to fund small businesses, entrepreneurs, and other project creators. The site is a great tool for entrepreneurs to leverage their networks and reach new ones, to fill the missing pieces of their projects. The crowdfunding site is the ideal resource for startups and companies ramping up.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/5/prweb9529346.htm

I was recently asked by a dear friend about all that a proper cleanse entailed.  However, once I explained the logistics… she was not quite as keen to the idea 🙂

But there are some awesome benefits to an infrequent cleanse.  My favorite brand, locally located just outside of Central Florida in Clearwater, has written about this very thing:

The Seven Channels of Elimination

  • Bowel
    The bowel (or colon) disposes of toxins from the digestive system and the liver, so cleansing the colon helps clear the way for other organs to function properly and help purge the body of unwanted toxins. Triphala, perhaps the most popular Ayurvedic herbal combination in India, is used to help cleanse and tone the bowel. (Triphala is also used to cleanse the liver and blood.)
  • Blood
    Healthy blood circulation is crucial to removing toxins from the body. That is because the blood transports toxins to other organs for proper elimination. Red clover, a perennial herb native to Europe, Central Asia and northern Africa, has been used traditionally as a blood purifier with beneficial results.
  • Skin
    When you sweat, your perspiration transports wastes and toxins out of the body through the pores in the skin. Because of its large surface area, the skin actually disposes of more waste (by sweating) than the kidneys and colon combined. Red clover contains isoflavones that may help the skin regenerate and heal.
  • Kidneys
    The kidneys remove waste products from the blood, eliminate toxic substances in the urine, and receive water-soluble toxins from the liver for processing. They filter voluminous amounts of blood each day and in doing so maintain the body’s water balance and excrete toxins and excess fluid through the bladder. Dandelion’s diuretic effects stimulate the kidneys; in Chinese medicine this dandelion is often used to treat bladder infections.
  • Lymphatic System
    The lymphatic system transports wastes and toxins from cells and the circulatory system to each of organs involved in the elimination of toxins from the body. This system of vessels carries immune cells in a network that follows the body’s bloodstream. Hebralists use green tea to stimulate the flow of lymph, as it contains polyphenols—natural antioxidants that help protect the lymph system and the skin from damage. Spirulina has also been shown to help the function of immune cells found in lymph.
  • Lungs
    Your lungs purge toxins from the body each time you exhale. Deep breathing also increases the flow of lymph, which further helps to eliminate toxins. Mullein is used to help alleviate the irritation of mucous membranes in the respiratory tract. Turmeric may also lower the risk of lung inflammation.
  • Liver
    The liver chemically converts destructive toxins into less harmful substances that the colon and kidneys can eliminate. Turmeric helps protect the liver from inflammation and boosts liver cell regeneration. Research has also shown that artichoke leaf supports detoxification by stimulating bile while protecting liver cells from free radicals (highly reactive compounds that can cause damage to cells). The body also needs a variety of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutraceuticals to protect itself from the vast amount of toxins it encounters every day.
Check out the full benefits and information on the Renew Life website: http://www.renewlife.com/learning-center/digestive-care-articles/cleansing-and-detoxification/benefits-of-total-body-cleansing

Has it been a while since you laced up your sneakers and hit the gym?  One of the best things a healthier lifestyle can bring you is piece of mind, toner muscles, and a smaller waistline…. but sometimes all that sweat and heart pounding can get monotonous.  Have no fear!  Check out some of my favorite fitness items and see if you can find something to motivate you to get sexy-back 🙂

Koreen’s person faves:

  • mini trampoline… even better when you can take an “Urban Rebounding” class!
  • Bosu, which stands for both sides utilized… don’t let the look fool you, the Bosu can be used for both cardio and strength exercises- it’s a killer workout no matter what you do!
  • TRX… now utilized in many gym settings, the TRX is hands down one of the fitness tools I wish I had at home!
  • Pilates ring… as a Pilates instructor, I can assure you that any pilates apparatus is sure to be a serious workout for your core and provides great full-body toning
  • Fitness video games rock!  My personal fave is Your Shape 2012, closely followed by Dance Central… but I honestly love anything that makes me move… just ask my husband when he comes home and sees me flailing in front of out Xbox kinnect 🙂
  • Stability ball… the only way I have found to enjoy working my core without a class or Pilates is by incorporating the stability ball into every workout!

Check them all out! http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/556938-20-fitness-gadgets-that-actually-work/?utm_source=articlebottom&utm_medium=1#slide-1

As we continue our fundraising campaign, pledge only $50 and receive a complimentary 30 minute exercise video (delivered electronically) on the workout of YOUR choice (ie. strength, cardio, kickbox, step, yoga, pilates, core, bootcamp, dance etc.).  Help the cause today! See more at Rock the Post: http://www.rockthepost.com/posts/view/335/Socially-responsible-Health

Today, I had the pleasure of making lunch for my husband and father-in-law.  In a last minute pinch it can be overwhelming  to come up with a new recipe or a yummy snack quickly.  Here’s one of my fave healthy tricks to make something delicious and nutritious:

Lunch/Brunch Egg white omelet… staring last night’s leftovers!

  • Use leftovers from a prior meal
  • Add 3-5 egg whites (per person served)
  • Add extra vegetables (some great options: spinach, broccoli, peas, mushrooms etc )
Note: the assumption is that your leftover meal is a balanced meal of lean protein, light starch and lots of veggies
Directions:
Spray a medium heated wok with olive oil non-stick cooking spring
Chop leftovers into nickel sized chunks
Add leftovers to wok
Add veggies to wok
Stir the mixture
Crack 3-5 eggs over the wok (to add some necessary vitamin D to your meal- keep one egg yolk!)
Stir the mixture to prevent sticking
Add seasonings to taste (pinch of salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, and basil all work well)
Reduce the heat and let the ingredients congeal
Enjoy your yummy “fresh” meal 🙂

Don’t forget!  Only a $10 donation to our fundraising site will get you your own personalized meal plan to help you reach your goals! Check it out- http://www.rockthepost.com/posts/view/335/Socially-responsible-Health