Water Ballet Exercise

Water Ballet ExerciserWater Ballet Exercise!

We are filming for several hours a day starting at the crack of dawn. The weather is cooler but not for long. My only relief has been to strip off my workout clothes, which are almost pasted to my body, jump into a swimsuit and plunge into the pool. After about 45 minutes of laps back and forth I get an idea. What if I try some exercises in the water, holding on to the side of the pool? Doing some Water Ballet Exercise in the water, while cooling off is not such a bad idea I’m thinking. So I try one of my on land favorites for my legs and butt. I like it! I can really feel it working. It may be even more effective with the water for added resistance. This Aqua Ballet Workout not only tones your lower body but it also helps to elongate your muscles while you are doing it. And because you are in the water, you are adding resistance to strengthen your legs and butt while at the same time using your core muscles to help keep your body upright and balanced.

Try this Water Ballet Exercise to Tone Up Your Legs and Butt

Stand facing front, heels together, feet turned out. Hold on to the edge of the pool with your right hand. Slowly bend left knee, bringing foot up to right knee forming a triangle. Slowly stretch leg in front of body. Then bring foot back to the knee of the standing leg and return to the starting position. Repeat 4 times to the Front, Side, and Back.

Water Ballet ExerciseWater Ballet ExerciseWater Ballet ExerciseWater Ballet ExerciseWater Ballet Exercise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn around and repeat exercise on the other leg holding on with your left hand. Enjoy this Water Ballet Exercise.

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Enjoy Holiday Treats Without Weight Gain

Enjoy holiday treats without weight gainCan you really enjoy holiday treats without weight gain?

Well, when we think of the holidays the first thing that comes to mind is fear of weight gain. That’s because we always have a few treats up our sleeves. And we do gain weight.

But, preventing this phenomenon is not as hard as you think. You don’t have to starve, deny yourself favorite holiday dishes or do heavy-duty compensation workouts.

Enjoy Holiday Treats Without Weight Gain: Some Pointers

If you are the one cooking, you are more in control of what is going to be placed on the table.

So you can choose equally delicious lighter recipes. But, if you are visiting friends and family all bets are off and your radar needs to be on. It’s all about portion control.

Don’t wait till the second piece of pie gets offered. Pre-planning is key. In some cases you’ll know from past experience what the menu will be. Even if you don’t, assume there will be a barrage of excess temptations. Excess is the operative word. Enjoy but not to excess.

Whether you count calories, points, or eyeball your portions, eat half of what you think you should eat. If you are not sure of a particular food or treat, pass on it, or just take a bite to see if it is worth the calories. If you find yourself hungry after all of this, you can eat a little more or maybe you’ve actually saved room for that dessert.

You can visit, enjoy the company, make merry and have a smug sense of self-assurance that this whole season will pass without you gaining even a pound. Who knows, you might lose weight.

That brings me to your insurance policy. If you don’t exercise regularly this is definitely the time to start and get a jump on your New Year, New You. If you do, make time for it. You don’t have to do extra but don’t make the excuse you’re too busy at this time of year.

Cardio exercise is great calorie burner, and we all know that a half hour of moderate aerobic exercise a day can reduce one’s chance of heart attack by a whopping 50%.

See how I snuck in my pitch for exercise? I am not suggesting anything that I don’t do myself. It works for me and I bet it will work for you.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. And let me know if you were able to enjoy holiday treats without gaining weight.

Happy Holidays!

Of course staying on your exercise routine can always help thru the holidays. If you need a little help please feel free to use this coupon code FABNOW and save on any of my exercise videos at www.mirabaiholland.com

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Chronic Stress: How To Get Rid Of It

CHRONIC STRESSChronic stress. It’s everywhere. If you live and work on this planet it’s almost impossible to avoid.

Feeling stressed? Me too!

Today I’m writing about how to get rid of chronic stress and suggest some easy ways to get that burden off your back.

To get us in the mood, let’s start with a short, guided meditation and stretch video to help reduce chronic stress. Try it with me and see for yourself. You can do this at home or at your desk at work. (I use my ear buds at work.)

Now that you’re a believer, lets have a look at chronic stress and how to get rid of it. (By the way, as you get better at becoming relaxed, you can keep your eyes open while watching the waves on the video.)

Stress has been around since the beginning of time. It started as the fight-or-flight response when early humans confronted a life-threatening situation. In that situation, stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, are produced. Your blood vessels constrict, blood pressure goes up, pupils dilate, heart rate quickens, and breathing becomes more rapid. The body is preparing itself to do battle or run. This response is essential in times of acute danger. But problems at work, crying kids, traffic, you name it can trigger the same response.

Given the pressures of daily life, chronic stress itself has become a life-threatening situation. It can cause a host of health problems including headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, trouble concentrating, anxiety, depression, increased body weight, high blood pressure and heart disease.

We can’t eliminate the stress. But we can relieve the fight-or-flight response that sends our bodies into danger mode. And we can cultivate a relaxation response over time that will reduce our physiological stress reaction.

So what do we do about chronic stress? How do we get rid of it?

How? Relax. That’s what my first yoga teacher used to say when I was all bent up in the pretzel pose with a grimace on my face. And, like that meditation you just did, it actually worked. Once I was able to relax, I was stress-free even in the pretzel pose.

Seriously, daily conscious relaxation exercises can make real difference in the way your body responds to stress. Dr Herbert Benson coined the phrase “relaxation response” in his book by the same name in 1975.

Since then he and others have conducted numerous studies, including a recent one at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine, that have detailed the body’s intricate positive response to conscious relaxation exercises. In a nutshell, the relaxation response has the opposite effect of fight-or-flight. It engages the parasympathetic nervous system to counteract the effects of stress. You experience a feeling of deep relaxation and well being. And if you practice relaxation regularly you’ll feel better and help yourself avoid those stress related health issues. That’s how we get rid of chronic stress.

Meditation is just one of an almost infinite number of ways to consciously relax. Virtually anything that takes your attention away from your daily grind and makes you concentrate on just one thing can work. Doing the dishes, aerobic exercise, yoga, stretching, golf, playing a musical instrument, casting a fishing rod, playing with a cat, almost anything can work if you pay attention to only that and clear your mind. I’m partial to exercise because I get the benefits of a workout as well as the relaxation. It’s my mantra. It’s what I do to get rid of chronic stress.

Dr. Benson suggests you practice some form of conscious relaxation for 10 to 20 minutes every day to get rid of chronic stress in the long-term.

But what if you’re pressed for time? (Pressed rhymes with stressed.)

Reduce Chronic Stress with this little exercise.

Sometimes you only need a few seconds and you feel a lot better.

Sit down and close your eyes. (If you’re on the street, duck into a doorway, stand and keep your eyes open and one hand on your purse.)

Let your muscles relax. Concentrate on your breathing.

Breathe in and hold your breath for one second, count one one hundred thousand, and breathe out.

Breathe in again a little deeper and hold for two seconds — one one hundred thousand, two one hundred thousand — breathe out.

Breathe in deeper and hold for three, then four, then five seconds.
When you get to around three seconds of breath holding, your stress level should start to drop and your mind should start to clear itself of thoughts.

After five, you should feel pretty good. This works well for me particularly in moments of acute stress.

That one worked too didn’t it. I hope concentrating on reading this helped you reduce your stress and I hope you’ll make conscious relaxation a part of your life.

It’s a lifestyle change that’s easy to make because it feels so good when you do it.

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Dance Exercise: The Magic of Movement

Maribai_Holland3RED HI KICKDance exercise!

America is experiencing a dance renaissance. Thanks to the success of TV shows like “Dancing With The Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance”, people are starting to dance again

In this era of personal trainers and hi-tech exercise equipment, dance exercise classes and videos are resurging to new heights of popularity.

From ancient times people enjoyed coming together to move and communicate non-verbally. Looking back at the history of dance virtually every community gained togetherness by dancing to insure a good harvest, asking for rain, or celebrating a season. There are folk dances representing movement styles from every part of the world.

Expressive movement comes from a natural place within us. We’re all born knowing how to move. It’s innate, part of our humanity. As kids, we stamp our feet when angry, flail our bodies when frustrated and jump for joy. Humans have been expressing themselves through movement since the beginning of time. That movement has a purpose. It was never suppose to go away. But somehow, our so-called modern culture saw that release of tension, that form of human expression as primitive. So we have been repressing it for hundreds of years.

Dance Exercise

Our technology has brought us some great things. But it negates that part of who we are. We hardly have to move anymore and so we don’t-until we see ourselves falling apart at middle age. Turns out, movement was never primitive at all!

It’s primal! Primal is natural. Primal is good. It’s part of who we are, what we’re meant to be.

Studies show that expressive movement can help heal physical ailments and relieve psychological trauma. It can also get you fit, and Fitness=Longevity.

Get back in touch with that part of yourself that knows how to move, and feel better because of it. Tap into that mind-body connection that’s been there waiting for you. Release yourself from the conventional hard-body exercise experience.

Get back to your roots at this important time in your life. It’s as simple as turning on some music and dancing to the beat. Go ahead. Try a dance exercise class and dance yourself fit!

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Stretching Routines: Gogi Tendon Organs ?

Stretching Routines: What Do Your Gogi Tendon Organs Have to do with it?

Stretching RoutinesStretching: What Do Your Gogi Tendon Organs Have To Do With It?  
Here’s a little video with the answer.
Have you tried to pick a coin up off the ground lately? How about tying your shoes? Have you switched to slip-ons? What about reaching over the coffee table to scoop some dip on the other side? Remember when you didn’t think twice about those maneuvers?
Sounds like decrepitude is setting in. Or maybe you’ve just lost some Flexibility.Flexibility is range of motion around your joints.
There are two types. Static flexibility – how far you can stretch and hold a body part, and dynamic flexibility – how much range of motion you have when you move.
Both are important. In fact I consider Flexibility one of the 3 main components of fitness, along with Aerobic Capacity and Muscle Strength.
I recommend a flexibility program that incorporates slow dynamic movements like Tai Chi, as well as static stretches like Yoga.But in my experience, Flexibility is the most ignored component of fitness. We do our Cardio and our Strength training but, unless we’re regular Yoga or Tai Chi, practitioners, Flexibility is not on the menu.
Why not? I think there are a couple of reasons. First, I think we don’t get it.It doesn’t make our muscles stronger or our figures shapelier. We don’t realize how valuable flexibility is until we try to do something we used to take for granted, like reach around to the back seat to get our sunglasses. Even then we toss it off with, “Well, I guess I’m getting older”. We somehow don’t connect with the thought, ” If I’d been doing a little stretching all these years, it wouldn’t have felt like I was going to rip something just then”.Secondly, there’s been lots of press about conflicting studies on the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of stretching.
Some studies say stretching improves athletic performance. Others say they’ve proved the exact opposite. Some studies say stretching helps prevent injury. Others say it has no effect on injury prevention. There’s enough conflicting buzz to make you not want to bother.That’s too bad because all that buzz masks the fact we do know stretching does help you gain and maintaining flexibility.
Does stretching help prevent injury or aid athletic performance? I DON’T CARE.
I want to stay flexible as I age. I want to be able to pick up coins, tie my shoes and grab my sunglasses. Give me my dose of flexibility training!Even if we were flexible as kids, as we get older, connective tissues, our tendons and ligaments, tend to lose water, shorten, and become stiffer. So we get less flexible. But it’s not too late.

Even if you’re not interested in the fine practice of Yoga or Tai Chi, barring some medical issue, there’s a simple way to help hang on to the flexibility you have, and work on getting some of that youthful flexibility back. A few easy stretching exercises may be the difference between living tight and living flexible.

I stretch every day. Easy for me to say, I teach a stretch class. But just a few minutes, three times a week, can make a real difference. I’ve seen students of mine go from really stiff to pretty darn flexible in a few months, without trying hard.

Stretching, when done right, feels delicious while you’re doing it, and even better when you’re done. The kind of stretching I do is relaxing and meditative. I find it melts my stress and energizes me while keeping me flexible. I’ve developed a stretch exercise technique I call Moving Free. It’s evolved some over the 30 years I’ve been teaching it. I use a fusion of modified static stretches from Dance, Yoga and classic fitness as well as dynamic movements adapted from Dance and Tai Chi and Kinesiology.

Here’s a video with some lower body stretches you can try at home.

As if that weren’t enough, There’s more to stretching than just flexibility. I think stretching is a form of meditation that creates a sense of well-being and promotes peace of mind. When I finish my stretching routine I have a more positive outlook as well as the feeling that my body is more alive, more accessible to me. Try it and see.

Chances are that pretty soon you’ll be able to find your shoes simply by looking down.

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It’s Fashion Flash Monday!

Women Online Mag 40 +Fashion Flash is hosted today by Caryl & Maryl of Second Lives Club, here to help you plan and execute your next life the one that’s the Real You. Click in for Insight and Inspiration. All of us Fashion Flash Bloggers are here for you with everything Fashion, Beauty, Health & Fitness, and Retail Therapy. Happy Monday.

 

 

ASK MIRABAI Q & A

 

rehab-rotator-cuffQ: l’ve recently hurt my left shoulder. My doctor said it was a rotator cuff injury. I went through physical therapy but my shoulder still hurts me. My doctor wants me to do some post-rehab exercise to continue to rebuild the muscles.

What exercises can I do at home? And are there any exercises I should avoid?

A: Rotator cuff injuries can take a long time to heal. While your shoulder still hurts don’t do any movements with your arms higher than shoulder level. Once you get clearance from your doctor, you can try this classic exercise to help strengthen that area. lt’s called external rotation.

Get a resistance band and sit in a chair with arms. Tie one end of the band to the right arm of the chair. Sit up straight facing forward. Hold your left arm in front of you, bent at 90 a degreeangle, palm up. Grab the band in about the middle. Keep your elbow close to your side but not touching. Pull the band laterally away from your body while exhaling. Hold for 5 seconds and gently release. start with 1 or 2  and build up to 8-12 repetitions over a couple of weeks. If you don’t have a resistance band, use a towel or scarf.

Please send your Health & Fitness Questions to askmirabai@movingfree.com

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY TREATS FROM VERMONT!

Healthy holiday treats. Really? We all seem to suspend our healthy eating habits during the holidays. Maybe rightly so. There are so many delicious temptations. Go ahead I say. The holidays come but once a year. However, not all treats are created equal. Here are three healthy holiday treats to add to add to your list with a little less guilt.

HEALTHY HOLIDAY TREATS

Healthy HolidayTreatsGreat Tasting Honey  Champlain Valley Apiaries, Middlebury, Vermont has been producing high quality honey since 1931. Their honey is extracted from blossoms of clover and alfalfa and comes in crystallized and liquid form. Their crystallized honey retains all its vitamins, and nutrients because it is neither heated nor filtered. And the flavor is wonderfully light and delicate making it a perfect ingredient to use in cooking or to simple spread on a piece of whole grain toast. And I like the liquid in my cocoa.

For an extra health boost try Charles’ Royal Blend, a combination of crystallized honey, 10 grams Bee Pollen, and 10 grams of Royal Jelly.

Available online at www.champlainvalleyhoney.com

 

Healthy Holiday TreatsDeliciously Pure Handmade Jams & Preserves

Side Hill Farm, Brattleboro, Vermont produces all their jams & preserves with small batches of fruit, sugar and nothing else. There are no preservatives, pectin or other thickeners.  There’s just enough sweetness so as not to camouflage the fresh taste of the fruit. It comes through strong and pure whether you put some into your yogurt or just eat it plain for a quick healthy treat.  There are many wonderful flavors to tickle your palate. Wild Blueberry, Blackberry, Apricot Orange Marmalade, and Strawberry are available online at http://www.sidehillfarmjam.com

For more exotic flavors like Mango Habanero, Hot Red Pepper or Cinnamon Pear call 1-802-254-2018.

Healthy Holiday TreatsMorse Farm Maple Sugarworks                   200 Year Old Maple Syrup? Not exactly. But Morse Farms, Montpelier, Vermont has been making its Maple Syrup for 200 years. They are part of the reason why Vermont Maple Syrup is the standard by which all syrups are judged. “We think you can taste eight generations of experience in our products.” Their 100% pure Maple syrup is rich in calcium, potassium, B vitamins and niacin. It comes in 4 different grades of syrup from light to full body taste: Vermont Fancy Grade, Grade A Medium Amber, Grade A Dark Amber, and Grade B. I dribble it on my cereal in the morning and use it in my baking.

Available online at www.morsefarm.com 

BTW I don’t having any stock or financial interest in any of these companies. I just like this stuff.

And, after indulging, burn some of  those calories off with one of my workouts. Check them out at www.mirabaiholland.com 

Happy Holidays!

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It’s Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion FlashFashion Flash is hosted by Prime Beauty, the blog for women 40 and over. Editor Cindy offers you the most up to date information on skincare, makeup, product reviews, bargains, product launches, and makeup tips and tricks. She’s done the homework, so all you need to do is click.

The rest of us Fashion Flash bloggers are bringing it home to you too. We’ve got everything: Fashion, Beauty, Health & Fitness, and Shopping for us 40 + females.

Come on in.

CAN YOU OVER EXERCISE? TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING?

strength-training.jpgA study at the University of Alabama with older women concluded that the exercise sweet spot is about 40 minutes of cardio twice week and a full body strength workout on 2 alternate days.

The group that exercised more, up to 6 times a week did not achieve better results, and reported less energy for daily activities.

So more is not always better!

But doing enough on a regular basis is what counts!

For more info on at home exercise programs for women over 40 visit www.mirabaiholland.com

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It’s Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion FlashThis week’s Fashion Flash host is the No Nonsense Beauty Blog by Deb Chase. We all want to look and feel beautiful. But there’s more beauty nonsense flying around than there is polin in  the air. Deb cuts through the beauty blah blah and offers you real solutions to real beauty issues.

The rest of us Fashion Flash bloggers are no slouches either. We’ve got the real deal in 40 + Fashion, Beauty, Health & Fitness, and Real Deals for the Personal Shopper in all of us.

Menopause and Weight Gain: What You Can Do About It 

A study from the Mayo Clinic has revealed that menopause and weight gain are linked because proteins that store fat do it better when estrogen is lost after menopause.  They also cause fat to be burned by the body more slowly so weight gain after menopause is hard to fight. Something else happens too.  A study in the Journal of Obesity points out that post menopausal women gain about 12 pounds following menopause. And even women that don’t see weight gain after menopause experience a shift in body shape that expands their waistline.

That’s because lower estrogen levels cause fat to shift from hips and thighs to the belly. Belly fat has been linked to higher incidence of heart disease. So menopause and weight gain is a serious health issue, not just a cosmetic one.

The only way to get rid of that belly fat is to lose weight everywhere and sculpt your body with exercise. Let’s talk calories. 1lb of weight equals 3500 calories. So to lose 1lb a week exercise 200 calories off with about a half hour of moderate cardio a day and eat 300 calories less every day. That 500 hundred multiple by 7 days will get you on the track to lose one pound per week. What can make this process easier is combine cardio with strength exercises. Try this anti menopause and weight gain routine. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday do 30-60 minutes of moderate cardio exercises like brisk walking, swimming, biking jogging, or dance exercise videos.

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FAB FALL 15% COUPON

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Yours In Health,
Mirabai

Offer Good Until December 1, 2014

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