Reading Food Labels

I wasReading Food Labels hiking in the mountains and the Fall color was astonishing.
I went along for about two hours at a brisk pace enjoying the fresh air.
Much of my exercise is teaching fitness classes and creating new routines for online exercise videos and for my Health coaching clients. So, it was refreshing to just free my mind, move my body and drink in all those trees dressed in gold and green. Sometimes its good to mix up your exercise routine. I felt renewed.
When I finished my hike we went into a little country food market.

Reading Food Labels

So cute with all those red and white checkered tabletops filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, homemade jams, honey, maple syrup and cider. I spotted a bottle that said “Fresh Apple Cider” thinking how fresh it would taste, this being apple season and all. I continued my walk and I’d gotten a considerable distance from the store when I decided it was time for swig of cider. As I was about to sip, I remembered about reading food labels. I glanced at the ingredients  expecting to see APPLES. But instead it read
APPLES, and Potassium sorbate, a preservative.
I wanted to throw that cider against a wall! That’s wht reading food labels is key.
I was thirsty so I drank a little and whether it was in my mind or not, it seemed to taste not as fresh as I imagined it would. So the lesson here, is just because you are in an adorable country market, don’t take for granted that all the foods will be fresh and adorable too.

So caveat emptor: let the buyer beware

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Exercise Outdoors: Cross Training & Hydrate

 

Exercise OutdoorsExercise outdoors when its hot can be a challenge. Cross training exercises are a good way to mix up your workouts and give yourself time to cool off, drink water and stay hydrated in summer heat.

Although I’m away from home, in the mountains, and not as affected by this huge triple digit heat wave, I did get a wake-up call of my own that I thought would be important to share.  I was shooting an exercise video this week in 90-degree heat. It was hot, but I got on a roll and forgot about the time. Less than an hour in, I started to swoon. Not a good shot on an exercise video. I realized immediately what had happened; I’d gotten so involved, I forgot to drink water between takes. I can say from experience that it creeps up on you. So you need to take steps to keep yourself cool and well-hydrated when you exercise outdoors. Cross-train with strength exercises mixed in with your cardio gives you a lower intensity interval so you can drink water, stay hydrated and cool off.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine losing more than 2 percent of your body weight through dehydration puts your body at risk for heat illness. This is serious business. We’ve all read the stories of team athletes who have actually died.

When you exercise in the heat you can lose up to five cups of water per hour. So it’s important to drink water before, during, and after vigorous exercise. The rule of thumb is to drink 2 cups of water a couple of hours before you start exercising so you are fully hydrated. Remember to bring that water bottle with you and drink a cup of water every 15 minutes or so while you are exercising. Don’t wait till you’re thirsty. If you’re thirsty, you’re already getting dehydrated.

But you’re not done yet. You need to drink another 2 cups over a two-hour period after exercise.

Sounds like a lot of water. It’s not. It’s just making up for the water you lose when you exercise in the heat.

Pouring water over your head during exercise won’t help you rehydrate, but it does make you feel better. A study at Cal State Fullerton with trained athletes showed that athletes exercising in 92-degree heat in a controlled setting felt cooler and that the workout was easier to perform.

But you know what Noel Coward said about “mad dogs and Englishmen.” Give yourself a break. If you can, exercise outdoors when it’s cooler, early mornings or late afternoons when the sun is less direct. Try finding shady areas.

Instead of keeping up your brisk pace for the whole workout, break it up. Go at normal pace for a bit, do a short light interval and then pick up your speed again.

Another idea is when you exercise outdoors do cross training exercises. Add intervals of strength training between shorter bouts of cardio. You’ll get a chance to drink and pour some water over your head too! Stop at a wall, a tree or a fence, and do these five exercises: two for your upper body and three for your lower.

Exercise Outdoors Video

Here is an Exercise Outdoors video with some easy cross training exercises to tone you up, no equipment necessary.  (Please subscribe to my YOUTUBE channel; I have several more health & fitness videos!)

Exercise Outdoors: Strength Exercises Using Your Own Body Weight

With all these Strength training exercises, remember to exhale on the exertion.

Standing Push Ups: Stand facing a surface with legs hip width apart and place hands shoulder width apart. Keeping your body straight, lower yourself down to the surface and then push back upright again. Muscles Worked: Chest, Triceps, and Shoulders

Calf Raises: Face surface and hold on for balance. With feet together pointing straight ahead, slowly lift your body up on to your toes, while tightening calf, abs and buttocks muscles. Then slowly lower yourself back down again.
Muscles worked: calves, abs, and buttocks.

Squats: Face surface, legs hip with apart. Hold on for balance. Shift weight back into heels. Keeping back straight, abs pulled in, gently bend at the knees and squat to about a 90-degree angle. Hold for a moment, then, using just your leg muscles, return to an upright position.
Muscles worked: Front of thigh (Quads), Back of thigh, (Hamstrings) Buttocks, Abs

Wall Sit: Stand against surface for back support. Holding on as needed for balance, slide down to a sitting position against wall, knees at about a 90-degree angle. Pull your abs in and hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
Muscles worked: Thighs and Abs

Upper Back Squeeze: Stand with your back to the surface, feet shoulder width apart. Place hands behind you on surface. Straighten your arms behind you and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
Muscles worked: Back, Shoulders, Back of arms (Triceps)

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orthopedic injuries

Orthopedic Injuries: Prehab To Avoid Rehab

By Mirabai Holland, MFA, EP-C, CHC Industry Expert

Orthopedic Injuries. Here’s one of mine. This picture is real. It was taken by my husband a few years ago.  That’s me unable to lower my arm without passing out. I’m on the phone with my orthopedist. Orthopedic Injuries are a real drag. This one took me 3 months to rehab.

Nobody wants to grow old, least of all boomers. But we’re turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 a day, and will be for the next 17 years.

We’re running a little scared. We want longevity, but we’re scared of losing our mobility and independence. So we’re trying to stay active, or get active, in order to avoid decrepitude. With that many older bodies on the move, orthopedic injuries are on the rise. Once you’re injured, there’s excellent treatment and rehab available

But there is a lot you can do to prevent orthopedic injuries. If you want to stay active and mobile in the second half of your life, consider prehab today to avoid rehab tomorrow. Here’s a quick video to tell you more:

Who gets up in the morning thinking: I feel like getting a nice orthopedic injury today. What can I do to help that along? But we have them anyway, even if we’re disease free. We over use our bodies or use them wrong. We break hips and legs. We get strains and sprains. We get hurt at work, at home or playing sports.

Vintage Bodies Prone For Orthopedic Injuries 

No matter how active we’ve been, our bodies are not the same as they were when we were younger. They’ve got miles on them. And like vintage cars, it’s not wise to drive them flat out. Those of us, who’ve used our bodies for a living, know we’ve had to make adjustments for our aging muscles and joints. Many of us are favoring old injuries that have left those body parts weakened and vulnerable.

We may be nursing over use injuries from repetitive actions. These can be anything from back problems from years of standing all day, to shoulder issues from years of manual labor, to carpal tunnel syndrome from constant mouse pushing. But it doesn’t have to take years. Raking leaves, shoveling snow or playing tennis all weekend when you’re out of shape can be an express ticket to Overuse Ville. And being overweight puts extra stress on your musculoskeletal system. But, there’s a simple fix that can reduce your risk for orthopedic injuries, give you more energy, stamina and even help you live longer

Prehab to Avoid Orthopedic Injuries

Two Types of Prehab

There are two main types: general and sport-specific.

General Prehab for Daily Life

Every day, we run for the bus or the phone, load groceries in the car, pick up children or pets and a million other things we take for granted. These all carry a risk for injury and I’ll bet we can all remember being injured doing them. Luckily for most of us the, injuries were limited to a little pull or sprain. But people do fall and break bones, dislocate limbs, have heart attacks and worse because they’re not fit enough for that activity at that moment. Being inactive and overweight adds to the mix. A simple fitness and weight management program may be all you need to help prevent orthopedic injuries during everyday activities.

General rehab for daily living as part of a personal wellness program: looks at the body as a whole, and develops it as a whole to maximize quality of life. This often includes strength training, cardio conditioning and core training, as well as some proprioceptive exercises.

Avoid Orthopedic Injuries with Fall Prevention

Falls are the number one cause of injury death in people over 65. One in three people 65 plus will experience a fall each year. And poor proprioception, not knowing where your body is in space is a leading cause of falls. Proprioception degrades with age but proprioceptive exercise can slow that down and help prevent falls. Add exercises like Tai Chi, and balancing exercises to your fitness routine. They feel great to do and can help keep you vertical into old age.

Sport-Specific Prehab is designed to get you ready for the rigors of a particular sport or physical endeavor. Good activity specific exercises pay special attention to the body parts most involved in that activity or sport with regard to use and form.0

without ignoring the concept of training the body as a whole. Sport specific training is available at many gyms and community centers.

So I hope you’ve become a believer in the little proverb I’ve coined to remind my clients “An ounce of prehab is worth a pound of rehab.”

For more info on women health and fitness and at home exercise programs come and visit me at www.mirabaiholland.com and be Fabulous Forever!

 

 

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Best Exercises For Cancer Patients

Best exercises for Cancer Patients Best exercises for Cancer Patients

In my health coaching practice, I consult with women who want to exercise but have health issues that make them uncertain as to how much they should do. Recently I had a client who said, “I am recovering from breast cancer. I finished my chemotherapy a few weeks ago and though I still feel weak, I was wondering if I should start exercising again?” And this is what I told her.

If your doctor says you’re up to it, you can get started. Best Exercises For Cancer Patients: according to ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine)

Best exercises for Cancer Patients

The best exercises for cancer patients is a combination of the three major components of fitness: Cardio, Strength and Flexibility. These types of exercise can have a positive impact on cancer patients and survivors. Easy aerobic exercise for cancer patients, has been shown to increase hemoglobin levels, reduce inflammation, lessen fatigue, keep muscles in shape for better every day activities, increase self confidence, reduce depression and aid in recovery of surgery.

Other research has shown strength and flexibility exercises to be good exercises for cancer patients helping them return to a normal activity level sooner.

Exercise and social support seem to increase the life expectancy of breast cancer survivors, preventing recurrence.

At the beginning, gently move a few minutes at a time, and build up at your own pace. Try walking, light aerobics or swimming. As you get stronger, add a couple of days a week of light resistance training. On days you feel more tired, try doing a few stretches.

Personal Note: It has been my privilege and joy to use my skill as a Certified Health Coach & Exercise Physiologist Specialist to help women manage their cancer with the healing properties of movement and exercise. It is from my own experience, that exercising on a regular basis, eating healthy food and reducing your stress can help prevent and/or manage cancer and many other life threatening diseases.

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Wellness Mandala

Wellness: Life is a balancing act.
So I started thinking about wellness. What is wellness anyway?
It’s the absence of disease. If you are not sick you are well.
But it’s more than that isn’t it? It’s quality of life and for some it’s a balancing act; the balance of all things. I like this balance concept so I dug out one of my favorite balancing act tools:

Wellness Balancing Act Tool

The Mandala: the wheel of life. I wrote down all the types of wellness I could think of and ended up with 6 categories that I stuck on my Mandala to enable us to live well.

Here they are:
Physical Wellness
· Taking care of your body, eat right, exercise
· Visit your doctor regularly

Mental Wellness
· Keeping an open mind and trying to see other’s point of view
· Allowing your curiosity to take you to new places and learn new things.

Emotional Wellness
· Trying to keep a positive state of mind
· Cultivating self esteem
· Reaching out to others for support

Spiritual Wellness
· Recognizing your beliefs.
· Allowing your core values to direct your actions.

Social Wellness
· Developing positive inter-personal relationships at home and work
· Allowing yourself to give and receive love: to and from everyone that means that much to you including animals
· Participate in social situations; try not to stay on the sidelines.

Environmental Wellness
· Making your home environment peaceful, pleasant, safe and comfortable.
· Choosing an occupation and a workplace that doesn’t drive you nuts.
· Try to have a positive impact on our natural environment.
Recycle more, pollute less.

When the wheel is in balance it spins evenly. When even one of these categories is out of whack, the whole wheel starts to wobble.
So as a certified health coach I respectfully suggest you get rolling, get your balancing act together so you can live well.

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EASY CARDIO WORKOUT COMBATS DEPRESSION

Easy Cardio WorkoutEasy Cardio Workout Combats Depression. I find myself as you may too, for no apparent reason, feeling a little blue. So I dust off my sneakers and get ready to move because I know cardio exercise improves mood.

Research shows that cardio exercise improves mood because it increases levels of serotonin and endorphins in the brain. These are important neurochemical transmitters, which help to elevate and stabilize your mood.

In fact one of the known causes of depression is a lowered level of serotonin. Aerobic exercise can be as effective as medication for relieving mild to moderate depression in many cases.

Easy Cardio Workout: More Reasons Why Cardio Exercise Improves Mood

There is more to cardio  exercise than serotonin and endorphins. It helps lower adrenaline, a chemical associated with stress to help promote relaxation. And as you become more fit you feel better about how you look and feel. This can give you a positive outlook in general. Try some easy aerobics. You may just cardio dance your troubles away. I make sure I’m exercising aerobically most days of the week, at least for 30-60 minutes. I not only feel my spirits lift while I’m exercising but for many hours afterwards. However if you are just starting to exercise or haven’t been exercising for awhile here is a easy cardio Workout video to help you get going:


Are You Depressed?
The standard symptoms for depression are:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness or “emptiness”
  • Sense of hopelessness, worthlessness, and guilt
  • Inability to enjoy ordinary pleasurable activities, including sex
  • Noticeable change of appetite, possibly accompanied by significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Shifts in sleeping patterns, such as insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Difficulty concentrating, persistent irritability, excessive crying
  • Preoccupation with thoughts of death or suicide
  • Decreased energy, fatigue
  • Persistent aches and pains

Many things can cause depression. They range from some medications to low levels of light during the winter months. Alcohol and a poor diet, as well as inherited predisposition, can lead to the condition as well. Before you decide on asking your doctor for an anti-depressant prescription, adopt the healthy lifestyle habits of a nutritious diet, regular exercise and enough sleep. If things don’t improve, of course, seek medical help.

So try my take on the old Arlen & Koehler song lyric that Judy Garland sang, “forget your troubles, come on get happy” you can exercise your blues away with this easy cardio workout!

For more info on women health and fitness and at home exercise programs for women over 50 visit www.mirabaiholland.com

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Triglycerides: Skinny On Your Hidden Fat

TriglyceridesTriglycerides Your Hidden Fat:

Triglycerides:  A too-thick waistline, plus high levels of a fat called triglycerides in the blood can greatly increase risk of coronary artery disease. Triglycerides are both produced by the body and ingested through the food you eat.

High triglyceride levels can increase your risk for heart disease and are more common among inactive people with larger waistlines. Normal triglyceride levels are below 150 mg/dL. The risk of developing coronary artery disease doubles when triglyceride levels are above 200 mg/dL.

Triglycerides are called the hidden fat because they are too often overshadowed by the highly publicized LDL bad cholesterol.

However triglycerides are above 200 mg/dL and “good” (HDL) cholesterol is below 40 mg/dL, a person is at four times the risk.

Triglycerides: How Aerobic Exercise Helps

Moderate aerobic exercise like walking a half hour at least five days a week can signicantly reduce the triglyceride levels in the blood as well as boost your HDL (good cholesterol). Burning 200 calories or so on that half hour walk doesn’t hurt either.

The study also showed that more intense exercise did help with belly fat but produced only half the triglyceride lowering results.

So my recommendation is: consult your doctor, find your triglycerides level and get clearance to exercise.

If it is elevated and belly fat is not an issue do moderate aerobic exercise like brisk walking or cardio dance. If you also have extra belly fat, consider adding strength training exercise every other day to raise your metabolism and help your body burn more fat.

Don’t over do it. Ease-in. Start with a few minutes a day of something fun. Pleasure is the key to sustainability.

Couple this with a low fat diet and moderate alcohol consumption and you’ve got a recipe for better quality of life and maybe even a longer one.

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No need to be a dancer to enjoy Mirabai Holland Moving Free®Ballet Barre Workout with a Chair instead of a barre for support. Get a serious ballet style workout like the pros do daily. Her easy to follow instruction and gentle coaching takes a Yin-Yang approach. Dance is Work-Dance is Play. She ends with a short routine  based on the moves you just learned so you can free your inner dancer.

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Lose Weight Now: Talking Off The Pounds!

Lose Weight Now

Lose Weight Now: Talking Off The Pounds!

Was it Einstein who said “I talk to myself in order to have an intelligent conversation”?
Maybe it was Buddha.

Anyhow, I’m in a conversation with myself right now. I’m trying to lose weight and knock off a few pounds before the holiday season. (If you think being a fitness pro makes you immune think again) and I find talking to myself is not so crazy. We all need a support system. Mine happens to be me.

Lose Weight Now: Talking Off The Pounds!

Here a Talking Yourself Thin Video


Lose Weight Now: Talking Off The Pounds!

Every night before I go to bed, I have a little chat with myself. I plan my meals for the next day and approximate calories, and the type of exercise I am going to do. I like to switch it up so I’m not doing the same thing every day, which sometimes requires a little more planning.
I get my workout clothes and other stuff ready the night before so I have no excuse and I tell myself what a good idea that was.
Although I teach exercise classes and coach clients, my body has gotten use to that, so when I want to lose weight, I need to do more.
For motivation, I talk to myself about a piece of clothing I’m determined to get into.
I put myself on a realistic, achievable timeline. So, if I’m trying to lose five pounds I give myself about 5-6 weeks.
Now this sounds like I’m really in charge doesn’t it? But I’ve learned to expect the unexpected which might deter me and get me off my weight loss plan.

For instance, this morning my husband brought home a bag of bagels for breakfast.
As soon as I saw them, calorie numbers started to flash in my brain. So instead of denying myself all together, I told myself I could have a serving that would equal the calories, if not the nutrition, of the oatmeal I was about to prepare. And I must say I savored every bite.

As I ate my half a bagel watching my husband eat a bagel and half, I told myself that I made the right choice. I had my taste, and I was thankful for it, and I wanted to lose weight and get those pounds off more than I wanted the rest of that bagel.

So put your own Weight Loss Plan in place and lose weight now.

If you are looking for some support, why not try talking to your best friend, you!

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Healthy Life Tips

Healthy Life TipsHealthy Life Tips!

What do we want for the second half of our lives? Health and mobility are at the top of my list. It boils down to a healthy life!
Keeping all my marbles into my old age is right up there too. Financial security is nice but without those other three, it’s a distant fourth. So how do we do it, maximize our chances of health into our old age?

We all know how. Eat healthy, exercise, get regular checkups, reduce stress. It’s a simple formula. So why is it so hard to do?

You know, I don’t think it’s hard to do, but I do think not doing it is a lot easier. The path of least resistance is paved with delicious processed foods, wines and spirits that hit the spot at the end of a day, lounge chairs that give you a massage and play your favorite tunes, remotes and DVRs that offer sedentary adventure with the push of a button, games that appeal to your inner super hero. It’s a long list and it’s become our way of life. Who wants to eat healthy, exercise, yada yada yada when you’ve got all that?

Well, if you want a healthy life, or maybe a second half at all, I suspect you do.

So, I’d like to offer a method that may take some of the sting out of making the necessary lifestyle changes.

Healthy Life Tips

· Start by adding one good thing. Don’t take away anything just yet. Just add one good healthy thing and try to make it something important enough to keep it going for a lifetime.
Make your own list of good things. But may I suggest starting with exercise as the first good thing. It worked for me and I’ve found getting moving, and eventually fit, helps my clients feel motivated to make all the other changes on their list.

Healthy Life Steps

· Ease in to adding that new good thing.
Too much of a good thing tends to be short lived. Pamper yourself a bit. Stay in your comfort zone while moving gently but steadily forward

· Add a second.
Once the first healthy thing is solidly a part of your life, add another. It can be anything good like eating more fruit or stopping for a slow count to 10 and a few deep breaths when you feel stressed.

· Cut one bad.
Once you’ve got two going try cutting out an unhealthy or less healthy thing. See where I’m going here. Gradually add two good, cut out one bad. Substitute old favorite foods for new healthier favorite foods. Add taking a walk; get rid of sitting around watching as much TV.

· Easy does it.
There’s no need to go to extremes. Keeping it up is the key. Little by little you’ll be substituting a healthy lifestyle for a less healthy lifestyle. It’s a constant journey. You’ll never arrive because your destination keeps changing. The more you do the more you’ll want to do. You set a goal and achieving it puts you in sight of a new goal.

· Expect speed bumps
Lifestyle changes are not an exact science and one size does not fit all. You’ll need to experiment and find the methods that work best for you. Attitude is key. If you can stay relaxed enjoy ever little victory and shrug off every little setback, the road should feel smoother.
It may be hard to see your progress except in retrospect. Looking back at where you started after a year, you may marvel at the changes you’ve made. Feel free to congratulate yourself.

If you need some help, I have your back! Here’s a short video about my Health Coaching Technique how I have helped my clients achieve a balanced and Healthy Life. Get 50% OFF Your First Session: Put COACH AT CHECKOUT: https://www.mirabaiholland.com/health-coaching-one-session/

For more health and fitness information and at home exercise programs please visit www.mirabaiholland.com

EASE IN, BECOME MOBILE, GET STRONG, LIVE LONG!  Healthy Life.

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Belly Fat: How to Lose It!

Belly FatBelly Fat: How to Lose It!
Once upon a time, not so long ago, belly fat was a sign of prosperity.  Much to our chagrin, that little, or not so little belly, it’s actually a sign that you may be at risk for some serious health issues like Heart Disease, Diabetes, and High Blood Pressure, among others.

Also many women after menopause see a thickening of their waistline due to hormonal changes.

Whatever the cause, the evidence is clear. Apple shaped people are more at risk!
So, how much is too much belly fat?

It’s all about your waist size.  For women it’s a waist measurement of 33 or more.

So, okay you say, I’ve got too much belly fat. What can I do about it? I’ve heard there’s no such thing as spot reducing.

While that’s scientifically true, there’s a lot you can do to target any specific area of you body for work.

Aerobic exercise can burn calories and help you lose weight in general. Targeted ab exercises can help you develop lean muscle mass in that area and help flatten your tummy.

Full body strength training can raise your metabolism and help you return your body to its youthful shape.

Belly Fat: How To Lose It Exercises

Here are a couple of exercises you can do to strengthen and firm up that area to help you whittle away belly fat and replace it with muscle.

  • Try using the old army exercise of sucking in your tummy during every day activities, pulling your navel back to your spine.

And you can try this exercise to help you firm up faster. It tones the center as well as the sides of your abdominals.

  • Lie down on your back and bend one knee up towards your chest.
  • At the same time, turn you torso and point your opposite elbow toward the knee.
  • Start with a few: work up to 20 repetitions over several weeks.
  • Then do 20 reps, take a short break and do another 20.

Putting weight on around your middle is easy. Taking belly fat off is hard. Unfortunately there’s no secret formula. Take a no nonsense look at your diet. Reduce your potion size and cut out empty calories. Start exercising slowly, and progress in your comfort zone. Chances are that pretty soon you’ll be able to find your shoes simply by looking down.

If you need some help, I have your back! Here’s a short video about my Health Coaching Technique how I have helped my clients achieve a balanced and Healthy Life. Get 50% OFF Your First Session: Put COACH AT CHECKOUT: https://www.mirabaiholland.com/health-coaching-one-session/

For more health and fitness information and at home exercise programs please visit www.mirabaiholland.com

EASE IN, BECOME MOBILE, GET STRONG, LIVE LONG!  Healthy Life.

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