35-Minute Total Body Dumbbell Tabata

35-Minute Total Body Dumbbell Tabata

35-Minute Total-Body Dumbbell Tabata

A total body Tabata workout that uses dumbbells to increase muscle tone, as well as improve your cardio.

This workout, I am sad to report, I am solo. No loving husband.

I know! It’s just not the same without him. However, I gave him a really bad cold and the day I had to film (cause I missed last week from filming from being sick myself) he was coughing, sniffling and feeling pretty crappy.

So… since I was the a-hole who got him sick, the only conceivable thing to do was to leave him at home with Netflix, a bag of chips and a Big Gulp.

Tabata Workout

  • A Tabata workout is a series of sets (8 in total) of one exercise, with a work time of 20-seconds a set. While the work time is short, it makes up in intensity though.
  • For a true Tabata workout the exercises must be intense (a 9 and 10 out of 10 in the RPE scale).

The Science of Tabata

Research has shown that a Tabata workout can produce the same, and if not better, results for increased fitness, improved heart function and weight loss just the same as longer, less-intense workouts.

This is great news since the number one cited reason for not working out is lack of time.

 

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Top 10 Tips to Burn Menopausal Belly Fat

Top 10 Tips to Burn Menopausal Belly Fat

Top 10 Tips to Burn Menopausal Belly Fat

Weight gain as we hit menopause seems to be an inevitable part of life. This is due to a number of reasons:

  • Hormones. It’s our bodies way of adapting to our new hormone changes.
  • As we age we become more insulin resistant due to poor food choices through the years. Insulin controls our blood sugar levels and is driven by the foods that we eat. A diet high in breads, pastas, high-sugar coffee drinks, packaged foods and sugar exposes us to higher blood glucose levels, thereby creating an insulin sensitivity and resistance that will cause our bodies to convert the majority of the calories that we eat as fat.
  • We start lose lean muscle tissue, which in turn slows down our metabolism. This lose starts in our early 30’s and starts to pick up steam in our late 40’s, early 50’s. Instead of using more calories to keep our lean muscle tissue warm, our bodies use less because it takes less energy to keep fat warm.
  • Lack of sleep. When we don’t get a good night’s rest our two hormones leptin and gherlin become out-of-balance. Leptin, the hormone involved in regulating our appetite and telling our brain when we are full, becomes elevated with lack of sleep and gherlin, the hormone responsible for telling our brain when to eat, becomes elevated. When we don’t get enough sleep, we end up with too little leptin in our body, which makes our brain think that we don’t have enough energy for our needs. So our brain tells us that we’re hungry, even though we don’t actually need food at that time. It also takes steps to store the calories we eat as fat, so we’ll have enough energy the next time we need it.
  • Stress. With the increased demands in our lives, accompanied by years of yo-yo dieting, binge eating and even undiagnosed food sensitivities, our bodies are under constant stress. If we allow our stress to manifest on a daily basis, over time our adrenal glands (located on the top of each kidney and responsible for releasing a variety of hormones) will reach fatigue and our once efficient adrenals (helping us to us deal with positively to stress responses) will become out-of-balance and will begin storing calories, instead of burning them.

How does stress pack the pounds around the waistline

If your adrenal’s are out-of-balance a common symptom is extra fat around the waistline.

You see, in normal circumstances when we are under stress the brain will signal to the adrenal glands to produce and release cortisol.

It is cortisol’s job to mobilize our glucose, amino acids and fat to prevent our blood sugar levels from going too low. It is making sure that the control centre, our brain, will always have energy/food to keep it going.

After years (or sometimes only months for some women) of long term stress, the cortisol and insulin levels will remain high in the blood and the extra glucose gets stored as fat – and mostly in the abdomen and thighs.

In addition, the fat being stored in the abdomen is the body’s way of protecting the internal organs. Since the body is under constant stress it will work to protect the internal organs, as well as the brain.

How to lose the menopause belly fat

1/ Control your stress.

  • Try meditation, yoga or any mindfulness based activity. Be present and in the moment.
  • Try my favourite meditation app, Headspace
  • Deep belly breathing. Deep breathing can stimulate the vagus nerve, which can calm an overactive central nervous system.

Lie on your back with a book resting on your belly. Inhale deeply and feel the book rise under your belly. Exhale fully and feel the book lower toward the spine.

Repeat for 5-10 minutes daily to improve your vagus nerve function.

2/ Strength train.

  • Build your lean muscle mass with a properly designed strength training workout.
  • Aim for 3 times a week workouts, total body workouts.

3/ Eat regular meals and snacks everyday.

  • No more starving yourself, or yo-yo dieting. These will only damage your metabolism further.
  • You need to keep your blood sugar levels stable to prevent the cortisol from being released.
  • Eat foods lower in the glycemic index. All foods are listed, or indexed, according to their effect on your blood sugars.
    • Unlimited foods at a 55 or less rating (most veggies)
    • Limited foods at 56-69 rating (beets, yams, most fruits)
    • Eliminate foods indexed 70 or higher (donuts, energy bars, bread, potatoes)

4/ Eat more protein.

  • A higher protein diet (meats, beans, legumes) will help support your lean muscle tissue.
  • Protein also helps us feel fuller, quicker and for longer
  • Aim for a 20-30 grams of protein with each meal and 10-15 for your snacks

5/ Move more throughout the day.

  • Make a point of moving as much as you. This has a huge effect on your metabolism. Walk, do exercises while watching TV, be active as often as you can.
  • All this extra movement through the day is called NEAT, non-exercise activity theremogenesis. It is the energy the body uses that is not planned exercise, sleeping or eating. In active people it can account for as much as 50% of your daily calorie burn.

6/ Avoid sugar.

  • Nothing has a greater impact on your insulin levels than sugar.
  • Be wary of artificial sweeteners too. These have been shown to increase our tolerance for the taste of sweet. Meaning in the future it will take a higher dose to satisfy our sweet tooth.

7/ Avoid low calorie, low fat foods.

  • Quite often the food labels are manipulated in a such a way that it makes the food look like it’s low calorie. Read the serving sizes carefully.
  • Studies have also shown that we tend to eat 50-100% more of a food product when labelled low calorie
  • Low fat foods can have a detrimental affect on our brain. The brain is mainly made of fat and cholesterol, and a diet that skimps on healthy saturated fats robs the brain of the raw materials it needs to function optimally. Eat foods such as grass-fed beef, organic dairy products (butter, cream, milk), and coconut oil.

8/ Eat at the right time of day.

  • Cortisol has a natural rhythm, which is highest in the morning, and decreases gradually as the day progresses, and is lowest at night so restful sleep can occur.
  • Eating tends to increase cortisol, so eating the largest meal earlier in the day is the best option for weight loss and maintenance.
  • In addition, our body’s ability to process carbohydrates decreases as the day goes on. We metabolize carbohydrates in the morning better and more efficiently compared to later at night in bed and the more efficiently our body can use the food we eat, the easier it is to lose weight.

9/ Get in 300 minutes.

Aim for 300 minutes of exercise, strength and cardio, a week.

10/ Drink water.

  • The body has no idea whether it is hungry, or thirsty. However, it only has one signal, and that’s the hunger signal. We could actually be dehydrated and masking itself as hunger. Aim for your half your body weight in fluid ounces in water or herbal tea everyday.
  • Keep a 1L re-fillable bottle by you at all times.
  • Start your day with a big glass of water.
  • Increased water is also important if you are increasing your protein for the first time. The water will help flush the kidneys.
  • Water also increases your energy and decreases fatigue.

 

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40-Min Total Body Cardio Weight Loss Workout

40-Min Total Body Cardio Weight Loss Workout

40-Minute Total Body Cardio Weight Loss Workout

Non-stop cardio that you can do at home. A great weight loss workout.

Cardio is always something I have hated to do.

This hasn’t been from lack of trying to love it, though.

Through the years I have competed in 10km runs, half marathons, triathlons and bike races, yet 22 years later I’m still not a fan.

There’s a couple of reasons cardio doesn’t have my heart.

First, I don’t like spending a long time on any one thing. It bores the hell out of me! (With the exception of hiking. I can hike for hours, and maybe that’s because it’s so much fun dragging loving husband up and down mountains.)

I am also adverse to being in large groups of people. I love exercise for it’s solo-ness (Don’t get me going about having participated in the Vancouver Sun Run. The most crowded run on the planet, if not the galaxy, and where you need to train in the art of defense first, then running.).

However,  I do love getting my heart rate up and I love to sweat.

So… through the years I perfected a variety of home cardio workouts that keep my attention, while also improving my fitness – and workouts that don’t leave me with any damn saddle sores (damn you bike seat!).

Total Body Cardio Weight Loss Workout

 

Tools needed:

A mat

Workout best for:

Home

Workout rated for:

Beginner – advanced

  

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Partner Stretches

Partner Stretches

Partner Stretches

Have you ever had a Thai massage? OMG, if you haven’t you must! It’s like yoga, but someone else does all the heavy lifting.

You just lie there while someone else stretches you. It’s pure bliss.

I have had a few and even took a Thai Yoga Massage course a number of years ago.

But, another way to bliss (which is also much easier on the the ol’ wallet) is to stretch with a partner.

A partner stretch workout (where one person guides your limbs into deep stretches) can help you:

  • Relax
  • Refresh
  • Lengthen
  • Improve your mobility

Partner Stretches

Today’s workout guides you through a 17-minute partner stretch session. I emphasize opening the hips, stretching the hamstrings and making the low back all happy and smiley (low backs can smile – honest.).

In this workout I take you step-by-step through each stretch, so you can confidently stretch your partner.

Afterwards all you have to do is rewind the workout for your partner to listen to my cues while you get to lie there and be stretched!

Awesome, eh?

In this video loving husband got all the love.

Me. I got nothing. No stretches. No bliss. Nothing.

He owes me.

 

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
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Are You Going Into Early Menopause?

Are You Going Into Early Menopause?

Are You Going Into Early Menopause?

We all know menopause is going to hit us.

But, when exactly will it hit us?

To fully understand when menopause may hit us we first need to understand the three stages of menopause.

The Three Stages of Menopause

Perimenopause or “menopause transition.” Perimenopause can begin 8 to 10 years before menopause, when the ovaries gradually produce less estrogen. It usually starts in a woman’s 40s, but can start in the 30s as well. Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last 1-2 years of perimenopause, the drop in estrogen accelerates. At this stage, many women can experience menopause symptoms. Women are still having menstrual cycles during this time, and can still get pregnant.

Menopause. Menopause is the point when a woman no longer has menstrual periods. At this stage, the ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and producing most of their estrogen. Menopause is diagnosed when a woman has gone without a period for 12 consecutive months.

Postmenopause. These are the years after menopause. During this stage, menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, can ease for most women. But, as a result of a lower level of estrogen, postmenopausal women are at increased risk for a number of health conditions, such as osteoporosis and heart disease.

Are You Going Into Early Menopause

Early menopause can be triggered by a number of factors:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Poverty (experts hypothesize that women in poverty have poorer eating habits)
  • Smoking (this can increase your risk of early menopause by 30%!)
  • Alcohol, although it is noted that yes alcohol may contribute to entering the phases of menopause at an earlier age, it is not necessarily deemed as “early menopause” – not sure what the difference is myself.
  • Medical treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation
  • Chromosomal abnormalities
  • Women who have had their ovaries surgically removed
  • Premature ovarian failure (POF)
  • An overload of heavy metals like lead, mercury and cadmium can also be a cause

When premature menopause is suspected, you can ask your doctor to order blood tests that look at the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estradiol.  This work-up should also include the thyroid and the adrenal glands because they can be affected too.

Relief for the Symptoms of Early Menopause

According to WomentoWomen.com:

“Our estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels are constantly shifting throughout our life, and that’s normal. But as we age, the fluctuations and ratios between these hormones can become more extreme. When the body cannot regulate these shifts in hormone levels, women can experience common symptoms of menopause, including night sweats, hot flashes, food cravings, and fatigue.”

We can balance these symptoms naturally with:

  • A healthy, whole food diet
  • Herbal remedies such as black cohosh, passionflower, chasteberry, wild yam and ashwagandha have been shown to help support our hormone production
  • Lifestyle changes such as removing environmental toxins, getting enough sleep
  • Reducing chronic stress
  • Getting more exercise

Health Concerns for Early Menopause

Our hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone), are needed for the years leading up to menopause.

They offer protection against cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

If you have been found to be in early menopause chat with your doctor, or a naturopath who specializes in women’s health and get yourself on a health plan to protect your heart and your bone health.

Some things to look at are:

  • Vitamin D, to support your bones
  • Strength training, to help build new bone and strengthen the heart
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. Studies have shown that women who go through menopause before the age of 46 are twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease or have a stroke
  • Don’t smoke – or quit
  • Take a high-quality omega 3, daily
  • HRT (hormone replacement therapy)

Local Naturopaths Who Specialize in Women’s Health

Dr. Karen McGee

Dr. Heli McPhie

Dr. Nishi Dhawan

 

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
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