Om 5: One Move, One Mantra, One Must Have!

 

Health doesn’t Have to Be Hard

 

Little changes every day, like crowding out soda and sugary drinks with water and green tea, replacing cheese and chips with veggies and hummus, and walking after meals instead of sitting in front of the TV, can make a big difference in your health. This month’s blog is an especially happy read because health doesn’t have to be hard!

 

One Move

New study shows walking better than running for diabetes prevention

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Health doesn’t have to be hard, according to a new study from Duke University http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00125-016-4051-z?view=classic that finds walking might protect against diabetes more than running does. It studied the effects, on pre-diabetics, of walking 13.8 miles a week for 6 months verses running the same distance. (According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 out of every 3 Americans is pre-diabetic, with elevated blood sugar but not as high an amount as diabetics).

 

Researchers found that the walkers had 6 times more improvement in their glucose tolerance than the runners did. One theory on the improvement is that walking burns more fatty acid than running does, and too much fatty acids make it harder for your body to process insulin. If you can’t use insulin, your cells can’t absorb blood sugar from the bloodstream, which leads to pre-diabetes and full-blown diabetes.

 

Whether going for a walk down the street, in a park of on a hiking trail, or just marching in place in your living room with a walking workout video like the NikkiFitness Anti-aging Walking Workout (Amazon or iTunes) there are many options to work walking into your week. You can add some fun music, a guided meditation, audio-book, a pet, significant other or best friend and getting healthy will also get you happy!

Plan:

Week 1 – Walk ½ mile or 10 minutes M-F. Rest Saturday, do yoga/pilates/lift weights Sunday.

Week 2 – Walk 1 mile or 20 minutesM-F. Rest Saturday, do yoga/pilates/lift weights Sunday.

Week 3- Walk 2 miles or 30 minutes M-F. Rest Saturday, do yoga/pilates/lift weights Sunday.

Week 4 – Walk 3 miles or 40-45 minutes M-F, Rest Saturday, do yoga/pilates/lift weights Sunday.

 

One Mantra: Work out because you can!

(And for all those who cannot because of injuries/disabilities/life limitations.)

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Health Coach NikkiFitness giving a nutrition talk to 1-3rd graders in NYC!

 

One Must Have: A Health Coach

Health coaches are a growing trend, but what are they? A health coach is part life coach, part nutritionist, part personal trainer, part cheerleader, part accountability partner… and all effective. They may talk about incorporating better foods, finding ways to naturally make you well if you’re experiencing a lot of ailments that could be stemming from your lifestyle, adding more exercise, and exploring weather roadblocks to your wellness may be related to unhappiness in career, relationships, lack of spiritual experiences, etc.

 

Health coaches are different based on their background, so you’ll want a full list of credentials and certifications, and to make sure that they are not simply a “health coach for company/shake/supplement/meal plan X.” They should not be representing or selling a certain product, just selling a happy, healthier life. They won’t prescribe or take you off prescriptions, but they will work in conjunction with your doctors to see if food and lifestyle changes might improve your health to the point where things like diabetes, arthritis, rashes, allergies, inflammation and weigh gain could be the result of a food allergy or intolerance. Holistic and integrated lifestyle improvements could get you off these prescriptions in the long run when you, your health coach and your doctor are a support system working together.

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Generally, a health coach will conduct a health history with you in your first complementary session and then they usually work in 6-month agreements. Sessions could be in person, over Skype or Facetime, or over the phone. They may involve meal diaries, emails or texts with your coach, and group sessions depending on the package and geographical situation.

 

Disclosure: I am a health coach with a certification in personal training and group fitness instruction from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, 200 hour Registered Yoga Training (RYT) from YogaFit, and health coach certification from the Institute of Integrated Nutrition, as well as an author, writer and national media fitness expert. You may find coaches who are registered dietitians with less fitness background, or someone who was once a therapist and expanded into nutrition and fitness in other ways. Each health coach comes to this growing career in different ways, and could even be a new career for you. Look into it and find someone with the right background and demeanor for you!

 

Om 4: One Move, One Mantra, One Must-have!

Crunch on the Run

By NikkiFitness

 

What if you could call yourself a runner? Ever dreamed of jogging a mile without stopping? If these goals seem out of reach, read on, and reach for your sneakers…

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Running is as inexpensive as buying a good pair of running shoes and it’s as easy as setting aside 30 minutes. It’s a priceless way to see new cities when you travel, you can bond with a significant other or jogging friend while working out where you live, many people find it therapeutic to run alone and/or out in nature (I solve my problems and get great ideas while running solo and thinking). Running is a mood-booster as well. If you have a treadmill or a gym membership, you can do it even on a rainy day or icy day. Running makes you lose fat and builds great leg and abdominal muscles. Some days you can do longer distance, some days shorter speed intervals. Some days you’ll take off on flat pavement, on others find winding trails and hills. I even train clients to jog and then add in push-ups, planks, triceps dips and lunges on park benches. You can make it even more special by signing up for fundraising races for a good cause and participating in mud runs or color runs with paint splashed on you for each leg of the race. (Your body will look toned and lean, while all covered in mud and paint for those race selfies!)

 

Get started: People often ask me what running shoes I use. That’s like asking me what toothbrush is the best. Sneakers that work for one person won’t be ideal for another, because it depends on your body’s needs. Visit a runner or athletic shoe shop and have them watch you run and measure your needed amount of arch support to find the best pair for your body.

 

 

Move- Try these running workouts for 30 minutes a day.

 

Week 1: Start speed walking for 30 seconds hard, 30 easy. Do this 5 days a week.

Week 2: After the first week start speed walking for 2 minutes, then take 30 seconds easy.

Week 3: Time to jog.  Go back to 30 seconds on, 30 off. Then jog 2 minutes the next week and walk for 30 seconds between intervals.

Week 4: Jog for 5 minutes at a time and take 30 seconds to recover.

 

After a month try your first mile, or run for 10 minutes without counting the distance. Keep adding on to your time jogging and eventually you’ll be able to jog for 30 minutes straight!

 

 

Mantra-

Working out: First you feel like dying, then you feel reborn! (So push through the days when you feel like it’s too hard, and you’ll be rewarded during and after later workouts.)

 

 

Must-try-

You hear about adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, but that banana got smashed in your bag yesterday and today those strawberries are a mushy mess by the time you unpacked them. Forget the mess and get crunching while you’re on the run with a new food brand of freeze- dried fruit called Crunchies! I discovered these while adding in more plant-based food to my diet as I began nutrition school. They are so good that my 6 year-old’s soccer team was fighting over the bag last week. The fruit is sourced from all natural fruit and veggies – and the company owns heir own supply chain “from field to fork!” They taste fresh and sweet no matter which kind you try, from mixed fruit to strawberry, to pineapple or even beets! At about $5 per bag and 40 calories with 6 grams of sugar per serving Crunchies “beat” the mushy banana any day.

 

https://www.crunchiesfood.com

Also at Walmart, Amazon and more.

 

Om 3: One Move, One Mantra, One Must-have!

It’s wedding season, and that means lots of events with friends and family. If you’ve recently started a fitness routine, it’s a great way to boost your confidence and feel good about your progress because you’ll see people you probably haven’t seen in awhile, and they’ll likely comment on your healthy changes. You can get red-carpet-ready with the following move, mantra and must-try!

 

One MOVE

The running lunge move from my Red Carpet Runway Workout video (www.nikkifitness.com) works legs, glutes, abs, and cardio.

From a standing position, step your right foot back and place your left hand above your left knee for support. Your left knee should track over your ankle, not your toe. Bend your right knee so that it almost touches the ground (deep lunge) and then bring your right knee up towards your chest, keeping the left knee bent. Step your weight back into your right foot behind you. Repeat 20-30 times and you’ll feel it working your left quadriceps and glutes! Switch sides and repeat.

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Make it harder: Add a hand-held weight to increase the intensity and chisel the arms. By lowering your right hand and weight by your left knee and then lifting the right elbow up to the sky (as if you were pulling the starter chain on a push-lawnmower), you work your upper back (trapezius and rhomboids) and improve your posture when those muscles are strong. Lift the right arm each time you bring the right knee in towards your chest.

 

One MANTRA

The only person you should try to be better than is the one you were yesterday!

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One MUST Try

RockMyRun www.rockmyrun.com is a fitness app that not only provides seamless mixes of fresh fitness songs, but also matches your running (or walking) pace. I use this app to teach fitness class with fresh songs and adjust the beats-per-minute (BPM) to the speed I need for different class formats. But when I go outside to work out on my own, it’s nice to be able to match the beat to your steps so that you keep up with yourself and don’t vary your pace, even at the end when your muscles are telling you to slow down, but your head is saying keep up. Just don’t blame me if you get weird looks from passersby when you are singing to yourself while you work out- the music is that good!

 

Continue doing the running lunge, add your new music playlist for all your workouts and repeat the mantra above, and you’ll be rocking any red carpet this summer. Once you work on your fitness, why not look even slimmer and toned with my posing tips? Here’s a free video that will make sure your photos of your outisides will show how fit you feel inside. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBBnq5yAuFQ

 

Om 2: One Move, One Mantra, One Must- Have!

OM: One Move, One Mantra, and One Must- Have

 

 

To me, summer is the time for energy and fun. You’re no longer huddled under a blanket at 4pm when it’s dark outside already. The days are longer, people are happier, salads are more appealing than comfort food, and you even feel lighter and years younger! It’s the time to use that energy to try different workout routines to find your fitness fun! You can take a walk and do body-weight moves on a park bench, jump rope, or turn on your favorite fast song and kickbox your stress away. Summer vacations provide reasons to motivate and move before you go, and while you’re there. Do something active every day so that you are able to use your body today and for years to come. (By the time winter arrives, the good habits you make in the warm weather might stick around so you don’t need a January resolution.)

 

One MOVE

Squat to cross kick and punch is from my Anti-aging Walking Workout (www.nikkifitness.com) and works legs, abs, shoulders and cardio.

From a standing position, squat like you are about to sit into a chair, and use the strength of your quadriceps and glutes to stand back up. Next, raise your right knee and then extend your flexed right foot out into a kick, while punching your left hand toward your foot. Return to standing and squat. Next, kick your left leg and punch with your right hand to complete one rep. Repeat for 10-20 times.

Make it harder: add light hand weights to increase the intensity and chisel the arms more

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One MANTRA

Today is the youngest you will ever be again, so make the most of it! (I’m turning 39 this summer, so you can be sure I’ll be working out to stay young and run after my 6 year-old and 11-month old!)

 

One MUST HAVE

You hear a lot about wearable fitness devices that track how many steps you get per day, but I say, start with shoes that make you want to move first! Vionic shoes are designed by podiatrists with OrthaHeel ® technology and are a must-have for anyone with low arches. Since I tried them, I can’t even stand to be barefoot at home, let alone walking the NYC streets without wearing a pair of their inventive shoes. They feel better than anything I have ever put on my feet.

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Vionic’s innovation lab created walking shoes for men and women to help you increase your fitness level, flip flops to get you out of those un-supportive thong sandals, slippers for cozy comfort indoors, and even wedges and boots for feel-good fashion. Dr. Jacqueline Sutera is a surgically trained doctor of podiatric medicine, who explains why great supportive shoes make all the difference in being active. She says it’s especially important for diabetics to wear shoes inside the house. “If you loose feeling in your feet you could step on something without knowing it. Good, supportive shoes or slippers help circulation and foot health to keep you active indoors as well as outside.”

 

When your feet and legs feel energized and healthy, fitness is fun! And when it’s fun, you feel like a kid again.

OM: One Move, One Mantra, and One Must- Have

 

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A popular saying around the gym is “summer bodies are made in the winter.” If that’s true, then springtime is the time for the procrastinators! If you’re like a lot of people, pulling out your warm-weather clothes in the spring can be fun, but trying them on can be scary after a winter of hearty eating, skipping workouts and too much hot coco on the couch. Don’t worry, it’s not too late if you try my “one move, mantra and must-have” each week. My new blog will help transition you from hibernation to healthy habits just in time for summer!

 

One MOVE

The Bear Crawl is from my Anti-aging Walking Workout (www.nikkifitness.com) and tones your arms, chest, abs, glutes and legs):

Start in a standing position. Bend your knees to squat, then walk your hands out on the floor for a count of four, so that you end up in a plank, keeping your feet in the same place where you started. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders, and your head, hips and heels in one straight line while balancing on your toes. Then, keeping the abs tight, walk your hands back toward your feet and use your leg strength to help you stand up.

Make it harder (additional chest and cardio): walk hands out to plank, then add a push-up, and when you walk hands back into feet and jump into the air with your hands reaching to the sky!

 

One MANTRA

Sweat is just fat crying! (Many people avoid working out because they don’t want to sweat. I say, don’t be afraid to sweat, embrace and chase it, and this mantra makes me laugh through grunting during the workout!)

 

One MUST HAVE

Healthy eating is made easy when the temperature rises. Forget your heavy crock-pot meals or comfort-food takeout and instead chose salads, light protein and smoothies! If green juices and smoothies (think milk shakes that taste naughty but are actually good for you) seem like too much work and planning, I found a great company to get you started on a smoothie-a-day-habit! Greenblender delivers flavorful superfoods high in nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins and fiber, nationwide, to bring you everything from more energy to weight loss.

 

Each week, for about five dollars a meal, they send you five new smoothie recipes and all the pre-portioned organic ingredients you’ll need to make 10 smoothies (I say share one with a loved one each weekday for breakfast!) They even have diabetic-friendly tips and recipes like “How to Naturally Sweeten Your Smoothie,” that you can reference online at https://greenblender.com/smoothies/?s=diabetic

 

Try this recipe to kickstart your new good habits and come out of hibernation, because It’s not too late to get your “summer body” after all.

 

Raspberry Basil Smoothie Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 ozgrape tomatoes
  • 1 ozraspberries
  • 4 ozpineapple
  • 4 leavesbasil
  • 2 tbspgoji berries
  • 1/4 cupwalnuts
  • 1 cupwater
  • 1 cupice