Adam Levine, voted this year as People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive, credits his good looks and energy to yoga. Levine, the lead singer of Maroon 5 and coach on NBC’s hit show The Voice, says yoga sculpts his body, helps him relax before concerts and relieves tightness in his lower back, hips and hamstrings.
You probably know a food pusher—someone who tries to get you to join them for junk food, fast food or desserts. It’s the person who tries to derail you from your healthy eating or the person who pushes you to have seconds or try their dish at a summer cookout. It could be your friend, your sister, your spouse. It could even be YOU. So what do you do about food pushers, those people who seem to sabotage? And what do you do if you can’t get away from that person because it’s YOU?
I love to teach high-intensity interval training (HIIT) classes. You could say I’m addicted to the adrenaline rush I get when I complete a class all sweaty and feeling totally worked over. I also teach yoga. It’s quite a contrast to my other workouts, and that contrast is a good thing. The essence of yoga is to relax, rejuvenate, recharge, release and refresh. I love all that, but I must admit it doesn’t come as naturally to me as the adrenaline rush of my other workouts. I’ve had to teach myself to just let go and appreciate the mission of yoga.
Still, sometimes that mission seems to get jumbled in the fitness/yoga world. I’ve heard people say, “That yoga class is so hard. It kicks my butt.” I have to wonder: Is yoga supposed to kick your butt?
I’m not sure if there’s a right answer to that. I do believe that trying new poses and stretching yourself (no pun intended) to new challenges in yoga is good, but in a “yoga” way, not in a “this workout is going to kill me” way.
I hear this statement all the time - “heavy weights with low repetitions will bulk you up while light weights with high repetitions will tone you up.” Is there a difference in these two types of training? Yes, but it’s not about the way you look, it’s about muscle strength vs. muscle endurance.
Doing less repetitions with more weight will help you increase your strength. Doing more repetitions with lighter weights will help you build up endurance. And the truth is, in the real world, you need both and use both in your everyday life.
Food is fuel and if you don’t have the right fuel or the right amount, you can throw off your workouts. Here’s my guide to know when to eat and what to eat before and after your workouts.
Before a Workout
You don’t want your stomach growling during exercise, but you don’t want to feel like you just ate Thanksgiving dinner either. Ideally, you want to fuel your body with healthy, nutritious foods that are no longer hanging out in your stomach when it’s time to work out.
We have become a nation of oversized meals and middles. Recent studies indicate Americans eat more calories today than they did 30 years ago. And just an extra 100 to 200 calories per day can add up to an extra 10-pound weight gain each year. If you are accustomed to mega-sized platefuls of pasta and Flintstone style steaks, you may have portion distortion—no longer recognizing what a healthy portion looks like.
Changing our eating habits can be a challenge for many of us, which is why I look for “swapportunities” at meal time. By getting creative and re-thinking classic recipes, you can make small steps to a healthier lifestyle. These are four of my favorite, but I hope you’ll share your own in the comments as well.
A few weeks ago, TV broadcaster Jennifer Livingston in LaCrosse, Wis. defended herself against Mike Thompson, a viewer who criticized her for not being a responsible role model as an overweight, public personality. He asked her to reconsider her responsibility to promote a healthy lifestyle. Livingston made a public response where she said she’s more than a number on a scale, and that Mr. Thompson was out of line with his email. While the dust has settled on that exchange, the story brings to the surface a great weight loss question for discussion: What’s more motivating, positive or negative feedback?