What Did You Do on Summer Vacation?

Q: What did you do on your Summer Vacation? A: Slimmed, Sculpted!

What did you do on your summer vacation? Did you sip pina coladas on the beach? Go fishing on a lake? Eat ice cream on a cruise?

Or did you take your workout with you?

It’s not too late to learn how to work out anywhere you go, without equipment, for the rest of the warm months. With Labor Day around the corner this is the perfect time to practice packing your fitness routine so you don’t put off your workouts until Thanksgiving and winter holidays!

Here are 3 cardio moves you can do anywhere, from my Fit Travel Workout DVD. They all have one thing in common: Plyometrics (for more on plyometrics, email nikki@nikkifitness.com for last week’s newsletter). This is a way to get toning in with your cardio, but they can be intense and are best performed if you have been working out for a while and are in shape already.

Jumping Lunges

This simple move takes a right lunge, then you jump up in the air to scissor the legs and land with the left leg in front in a lunge. Do 20 repetitions.

Squat Thrusts

This move uses an 8 count and is great to do with music. Perform 2 jumping jacks (counts 1,2), then squat toward the floor and place hands by feet.

Jump the legs back into a plank (counts 3,4) do a pushup (counts 5,6), then jump the legs back towards the hands and stand up (7,8). Perform 10 repetitions.

Rock-Climber Jacks

Similar to squat thrusts, this move takes you to the floor, but included more jacks and ab work instead of pushups. Do 10 jacks. Come to the floor into a plank just like in our last move, then, holding the plank, bring the right leg in towards the chest and quickly switch and bring the left leg in and straighten the right. Repeat right, left, right, left for 20. Then push both legs into plank, jump them in towards the hands and stand for 10 more jacks. Trainer tip: while switching legs keep hips low to the ground and hands under the shoulders. Avoid letting hips raise to the sky and shoulders creep back and behind the hands.

Repeat each move in the series for a set of 3. Then replace the pina colada with an iced green tea and find some air conditioning.

Fitness – fit it in!


Exercise Your Soul!

The reason I love yoga class is that it improves your body as well as your mind and soul. You leave wanting to be more calm, treat people better, and be a nicer person… almost like church!

Part of this comes from something called “PATANJALI’S EIGHT LIMBS OF YOGA.”

The American Fitness Association of America, or AFAA (www.affa.com), certifies personal trainers and provides continuing education about many areas of fitness, including yoga. AFFA teaches that Patanjali wrote the Yoga Sutras, and he became one of the best known yogis while popularizing these guideline for yoga practices.

I would like to share with you the first one, so you can start exercising your soul along with your body!

LIMB ONE: THE YAMAS (Things to Restrict) The following five restrictions are meant to clear away negative thoughts and actions to make way for pure and clean living.

Do no harm. This yama means non-violence or non-injury to oneself and others. This idea is central to yoga, as the focus of yoga is non-competitive. The idea of no pain, no gain, which is sometimes part of the practice of conventional Western fitness modalities, does not belong in yoga. Ahimsa also means using non-violent words, thinking non-violent thoughts and avoiding negative self-talk, such as I’m stupid or I’m fat. Negative self-talk is essentially doing harm to oneself. Ahimsa is the embodiment of honoring oneself and others.

Do not lie. This yama also relates to self and to interaction with others and reminds yogis to act in complete truth at all times. According to ancient yogic scriptures, the truth cannot bring harm. Being truthful in all parts of one’s life creates higher standards and builds loftier character.

Do not steal. This yama reminds yogis not to take something that does not belong to them. Aside from tangible items, it is possible to steal intangible things as well, such as another person’s confidence, pride or attention.

Do not ignore Virtue or Abstinence. This yama is believed by some to be more about virtue than abstinence. It reminds yogis to think of others with love and respect rather than with selfishness and lust. This yama does not demand that every yogi should live a life without a spouse or children and be celibate. This yama, like the others, simply encourages purity of thought and action, in this case, in relation to love and sexual behaviors.

Do not be greedy. This yama is a reminder not to accumulate unnecessary things. Excessive possessions add clutter to life and bring clutter to the mind and spirit as well. This yama encourages simplification and letting go of materialistic desires and envy. Again, purity of thought and action are emphasized.