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  • 5 Tips to Start Losing Body Fat Today

    If you are like me, you were not born with those amazing genes that allow you to eat whatever you like and workout when you feel like it. Instead, you know you need to put in the work and dedication to see a change. Losing body fat is a marathon, not a sprint when wanting to change your body composition. It takes time, patience, and consistency. I have put together my top 5 tips to start burning body fat today. What is Body Fat? Body fat is key for proper body functioning, but not all types are created equal. Body fat can be broken into three categories that include essential, reserve, and storage. Essential fat is vital for proper body and reproduction functioning, reserve body fat includes fat that is available as an energy source, and excessive storage body fat is harmful to a person's health. The location and amount of where body fat is stored vary from person to person due to multiple factors such as age, gender, activity level, and genetics. My Top 5 Tips for Burning Body Fat Today Tip #1: Exercise in the Morning Have you ever told yourself, "I will work out later" and then found yourself not getting your workout in? With two little kiddos at home, this has happened more than I care to admit. Our lives are busy and like many other things in our life, exercise needs to be scheduled in. If you workout first thing in the morning there are fewer distractions than perhaps later in the day. I find that getting up before my family wakes up is how I can guarantee a workout. This time has become sacred to me even though it can be hard to get started so early at times. It helps to scorch extra calories throughout the day with energy afterburn and usually leads to better food choices throughout the day. Set your alarm and give it a try for a couple of weeks, not just a few days, your health is worth it. Tip #2: Drink More Water Drinking water to lose body fat is one of the easiest things we can incorporate into our lifestyle. In a study from The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, scientists found that drinking 500ml, almost seventeen ounces, increased metabolism in both men and women by 30% for over an hour after consumption. That would be an increase in expenditure of approximately 200 calories per day according to the study. Approximately 73,000 extra calories per year would be burned by doing nothing more than drinking water. Remember one pound is 3,500 calories. How much water per day should you be drinking? A good rule of thumb is 1/2 to 1 ounce of water per pound. Grab a glass and start to reap the benefits. Tip #3: Lift Weights Muscle is more metabolically active than fat cells are even at rest. This means that as your muscle mass increases, so will your metabolic rate. One pound of muscle burns three times more calories in a given time compared to one pound of body fat. In order to increase muscle mass, performing at least three thirty-minute full-body weight lifting sessions per week is encouraged with a rest day in between. Weight lifting sessions can be completed on back-to-back days as long as different muscle groups are being targeted in each session and not exercised on consecutive days. Tip #4: Sleep Who doesn't like the feeling of waking up from a full night's sleep? I vaguely remember what this was like from before I had kids, I have faith someday I will return. Amazing things happen within the body while it is at rest including muscle recovery and growth. You should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Have a hard time falling asleep? Here are a couple of my tricks: try changing your evening workout to earlier in the day as it can affect your ability to fall asleep quickly, enjoy a relaxing bath with dim lighting and Epsom salts, or enjoy a cup of warm decaffeinated tea before bed. Tip #5: HIIT Your Workouts Hard HIIT workouts burn nine times the amount of calories after the workout has ended compared to steady-state cardio. Another great aspect of HIIT workouts is that due to their intensity, the duration of the workout is also shorter than steady-state cardio. Great results have been seen in the form of changes in body composition with as little as just a couple of these workouts per week. Not sure where to start? Try my fifteen-minute Tabata workout. The Bottom Line When it comes to losing body fat it can be a long process and a lifestyle change for sustainable results. The tips above can help get you started, but it is imperative that they are combined with a healthy diet. If your nutrition is lacking then so will your results. Losing body fat is not a quick fix, but takes effort and dedication. You can do this! The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. (2003, December 1). Water-Induced Thermogenesis. Retrieved August 1, 2020, from

  • Fit Fitness Into Any Busy Schedule With Tabata

    Do you have a busy schedule that doesn't leave much extra time? Are you a busy parent that barely has a minute to yourself? Tabata might be your solution. What is Tabata? Tabata is high-intensity interval training that is scientifically proven to burn calories faster and can be done in as little as twenty minutes. It focuses on eight rounds including twenty seconds of work and a ten-second rest. Each Tabata round is four minutes long and includes a one minute break following each round. Participants strive for complete exertion during each round. Tabata Creator & Initial Experiment The Tabata Protocol was credited to Izumi Tabata, who is the Dean of Ritsumeikan University Graduate School of Sport and Health Science in Japan. In Tabata's original research, his team focused on two experiments centered on measuring VO2 max while using a mechanically braked cycle ergometer. Tabata compared moderate-intensity training and high-intensity interval training, which we call Tabata today. The results showed a dramatic increase in both aerobic and anaerobic energy supply systems using the Tabata protocol. Benefits of Tabata Quick and Versatile Since participants work at a high intensity, the duration of this workout is much shorter than steady-state cardio. With each round only consisting of four minutes, three to five rounds are effective in delivering serious results. No gym or equipment required for this calorie-scorching exercise session. This workout can be executed from anywhere. There are plenty of Tabata timer apps available for download and music with built-in timers in case you would prefer not to watch a clock or count in your head. 9X Caloric Afterburn When compared to an hour of steady-state cardio, only twenty minutes of Tabata delivers 9X the caloric afterburn. In clinical studies, calories were burned at a higher rate up to twelve hours after exercise ceased. Unlimited Options Each Tabata session can be unique due to the unlimited options available. If following the true Tabata Protocol, the moves are exclusively cardio. They can be designed with specific goals in mind. A sprinter's workout might look completely different than someone focused on increasing their vertical jump. Exercise Variations As a Tabata Bootcamp Certified Instructor, I love the fact that I can differentiate each class to keep it fresh and challenging. Here are a few of my cardio favorites: jumping rope quick feet skier jumps mountain climbers jumping jacks sprints Ready to try Tabata for yourself? Check out my 15-minute Tabata workout. Reminder Tabata performed the way that Izumi Tabata envisioned is not for the faint of heart and therefore modifications might need to be made to be successful at first. When beginning a Tabata program, it is alright to add strength options into your intervals as long as tempo and form are kept in check. Start with only one Tabata round and as your fitness level increases, you can add additional rounds or increase your intensity. Always listen to your body and consult your doctor before starting any new exercise routine. Tabata I, Nishimura K, Kouzaki M, et al. Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996;28(10):1327-1330. doi:10.1097/00005768-199610000-00018

  • Feeling Stressed? You Are Not Alone.

    Decrease Stress Fast With These 3 Easy Tips Everyone encounters stress, which manifests as tension that your body experiences either physically, mentally, or emotionally. Stress often has a negative connotation, but not all stress is bad. It can be beneficial as it triggers the body's fight or flight response. This response keeps us more attentive and motivated. However, if the body remains in this response for too long, chronic stress can begin to be detrimental to your health. A few signs that may indicate you are experiencing chronic stress include headaches, problems staying or falling asleep, aches and pains, exhaustion, stomach/digestive issues, and increased heart rate. Start to decrease stress fast with the tips located below. Tip #1 Exercise Exercise is beneficial for multiple reasons. In addition to improving our cardiovascular health, it is also a great stress reliever. Regular exercise causes a release in endorphins that help to decrease stress hormones and improve overall mood. Since stress can also be felt in the body as aches and pains, loosening those tight muscles through exercise will also help ease tension. Below are a few exercise suggestions. ten-minute walk go for a bike ride play tag with your kids dance party in your living room go for a hike endurance run with your favorite music quick Tabata workout Tip #2 Practice Relaxation Techniques There are a plethora of techniques available to help to relieve stress and help you sleep better. Since stress does not always attack the body physically, but mentally and emotionally also, it is important to address the different types of stress. If one technique does not work for you, continue to try new approaches until you find what your body needs. A few ideas include: meditation yoga Tai Chi breathing exercises tensing muscles one at a time and then relaxing massage Tip #3 Eat a Healthy Diet A healthy diet that includes adequate water, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is important in fighting stress and delivers important vitamins and nutrients to the body. A healthy diet has been shown to assist in decreasing stomach and digestive issues as well. Dehydration can affect your focus, appetite, and energy levels. If you are unsure if you are receiving a balanced diet and water intake, I recommend food journaling using an app such as My Fitness Pal. Bottom Line Stress is inevitable and therefore it is important to learn great stress management skills that work for you. If you continue to struggle with stress management, always consult your doctor for more assistance. References National Institute of Mental Health. Fact sheet on stress Accessed 7/5/2020

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