Improve the Mood! Winter Workout for Seasonal Affective Disorder

This never-ending winter bringing you down? The slush, snow, ice and frigid temps make it tough to keep up New Year Resolutions, and might even be an energy drain. If you are feeling tired, depressed, lazy and have the Winter Blues, I have the antidote!

My brand new “Slimnastics Winter Workout” video is meant for keeping resolutions though the winter or if you’re feeling  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD becomes Slim And De-stress!). It was shot on a Caribbean beach in Mexico but all the cardio plyometric moves are winter sports themed – THINK OLYMPICS! 

With my cardio workout and Soothing Yoga Stretch afterwards, participants increase feel-good brain chemicals like serotonin and norepinephine and decrease the stress hormone cortisol. ON top of it, the cardio plyometrics create endorphins that take the body from sluggish to energized and happy!

You can see a beach demo here http://www.nikkifitness.com/dvd-SAD.php

My 30 min DVD/Download workout can be found on Amazon, but KnowMore.TV asked me to shoot a free 3-move demo for them. Check it out here – it just might make you so happy that the present moment (winter) doesn’t seem so bad.

Prepare for an energy boost —http://knowmore.tv/fitness/3-workout-moves-that-will-instantly-improve-your-mood/

 

 

Trend Alert: Jumping Warrior? Three New Workouts Combine Yoga and Plyometrics


Ever stretched into down dog, then practiced your jump tucks? A new trend for fall and 2013 is yoga workouts with plyometric intervals.

Plyometrics, if you are new to the term, are explosive jumping and level-​​changing moves that use your body weight as resistance, and require your muscles to fire away in short, intense bursts of power.

As a former college cheerleader, and current personal trainer and yoga instructor, I didn’t want to have to chose between my “ohm” days or my jumping workouts from the squad, so I created a new book and DVD workout called Slimnastics®! It combines gymnastics-​​inspired plyometric cardio intervals — like jump tucks, split jumps, and squat thrusts — with advanced balancing yoga moves — like firefly (titibasana), wheel push ups, warrior III booty boost, rockstar, handstands, side crow and 8 angle pose (astavakrasana) — that build upper body strength, boost your booty and require a lot of breath control and mental focus. The 30 minute, no-​​equipment workout is advanced, but the book has modified moves, tips on how to “get in shape for Slimnastics®” and mantras to get you moving. These core and toning moves coupled with the major calorie burn from plyometrics helped me get my body back after having a baby.

Soon after Slimnastics, I am happy to report that two similar results-​​based classes are taking New York City and the country by storm: BUTI® and Deep EXtreme. BUTI is a high-​​intensity Crunch workout that fuses yoga and dance with circuits of plyometrics and conditioning. BUTI® dance moves taken from various styles that focus on an intense shaking of the hips including Miami Booty Dance, Brazilian Baile Funk, Hip Hop, Crunk and African Tribal. Between the heart-​​pounding cardio deep stretching and dance moves, you¹ll be in BUTI®-ful shape in no time and feel sexy doing it.

The Equinox workout Deep EXtreme mixes up cardio like tribal swinging arm moves, flexibility yoga poses and strength training like squats in intervals of rest and intensity. It is based on Robert Steinbacher’s European bodyArt technique that was all the rage last year in the United States. Like Slimnastics®, and BUTI®, Deep EXtreme is a strengthening, energizing and calming series of moves for the entire body. The rhythmic beat music playlist keeps you flowing seamlessly from one move to the next. You’ll have a cardio high and a yoga calm after this trance dance.

If you don’t live near a Crunch or Equinox, try flipping your workout on it’s head with these Slimnastics sample moves to see if the workout is for you:

L Stand:

Sit on a mat facing the wall, with your legs extended in front of you. Your feet should touch the wall with them flexed, and place your hands next to your hips. This is how you measure your distance for the L Stand. Keep one hand on that mark where your hips were, and flip yourself over to face the mat. Place both hands where you measured, shoulders width apart and get into a tight down dog with your heels against the wall. Walk one foot then the other up the wall until your legs are parallel to the floor. (It helps to have a partner spot you so that they can tell you if your feet are too high or low. Look at the wall and push your hands strongly into the floor. Your body should look like an “L” in a 90% angle. You can also play with lifting one leg away from the wall at a time.

L Stand

Cardio Interval – X jump to Split jumps:

Stepping off the mat sets the scene for cheerleading inspired moves like X and split jumps. Perform 3 squats in fast succession counting 1,2,3. On the “and,” jump into the air using your leg muscles and punching the hands to the sky. Land on “four. Repeat.” I– squat/​ stand, 2– squat/​ stand, 3– squat/​ stand, and– jump, 4– land.” Make it advanced: turn the X into a toe touch (pictured).

See a sample video of Slimnastics at www.Youtube.com/NikkiFitness

Tone Your Core, Expand Your Soul

SUP Yoga is like Nothing Else!

You might have heard or seen Stand Up Paddle-​​boarding, the workout that looks like a combination of surfing and kayaking on the water. You might have tried yoga in all different forms. Combining them makes for an amazing workout, and an unforgettable experience.

I got to try SUP Yoga with Paddle Diva on Long Island’s eastern shores. After paddling, turning, and exhausting the arms and the core for 30 minutes (and getting some sun by the way), we set up our anchors in about 15 feet deep water. The yoga part that came next was the most interesting, fun and exhilarating workout I have ever had.

The difference of doing yoga in the waves on a paddle-​​board vs. a mat is even more intense than the difference between doing ab workouts on the mat vs. on a stability ball. Imagine someone rocking the ball while you try to balance and crunch.… and if you fall off, you get wet and go under in all crazy positions!

I knew it was going to be interesting when our cue for down dog was to “find land behind you with your gaze, don’t look at the board.”

Challenging poses like wheel were actually not as hard as I thought it would be, rocking in the waves upside down and toning the upper back. The most challenging move was holding crescent lunge, usually a basic move! As soon as that was added to our sun salutation, you heard splash, splash, splash, as one class member after another toppled in. I toppled in when doing headstand — a pose I thought was impossible — but only after holding it for about 5 seconds — success!

Not only did I get a great 60 min cardio and toning workout, but your focus in holding the poses and breathing has to be so intense not to all in, that there leaves no room for your mind to drift away from the board.

My favorite part? Just before final relaxation we were doing reclined spinal twist, laying on our backs, with the left leg bent and crossed over to the right to stretch the outer thigh, while our upper bodies twisted in opposition to gaze over our right arms… and I saw swans floating nearby and heard the lapping of the waves on the board while being rocked by the waves, kissed by the sun and cooled by the breeze.

I didn’t think I could love yoga more than I already did. This is paradise for the mind and body.

Try your SUP DOG before summer is over. Google it with your zip code or take a trip east.

Namaste!

Fitness — fit it in this summer.

NikkiFitness, Nicole Glor, is 35-year-old fitness expert on Fox & Friends, and the star of 8 fitness DVDs including Hard Core Abs DVD, Fit Travel Workout DVD, Booty Camp, Red Carpet Runway Workout, Military Wife Workout, Baby Bootie Camp, and the Beach Bride Destination Wedding Workout (Amazon). Nikki’s workouts have been featured in over 100 national media outlets. She is also an AFAA certified NYC personal trainer, group fitness instructor at Crunch in Manhattan, a 200 RYT YogaFit/Yoga Alliance trained yoga instructor, author of the new book “SLIMNASTICS”, a fitness columnist for Military.com and a spokesperson for SilverSport antibacterial fitness products. Her “Slimnastics” workouts focus on multitasking toning and cardio intervals to cut workout time in half and boost metabolism. Get her newsletters, music playlists, video demos and DVDs at www.nikkifitness.com Search for “NikkiFitness” on Facebook and Twitter!

Handstands Flip Your Workout on its Head — Part 1

Summer Olympics are just around the corner, so why not add some gymnastics moves to your workout and challenge yourself?

In the next four blogs I will write about four moves from my “The Slimnastics Workout” book and DVD to get you holding your own weight, strengthening your upper back and arms, and improving your posture. Today is forearm stand, next week will be the L stand, then handstand and flip dog/​rockstar to wheel. You get one new move to add to your workout every week this month!

Forearm Stand:

Move to a wall, turn to face it and get onto your hands and knees. Place your palms on the floor near the wall and line up your elbows on the floor as well, directly behind the hands.

Trainer’s Tip: The perfect distance for the hands is shoulder width. You can measure this by keeping your elbows on the floor and wrapping your hands around your triceps. If your fingers cannot curl around your arms, you should bring your elbows and hands in closer until they can.

After measuring, place the palms back on the floor with the fingertips pointing to the wall just a few inches away from the wall. Reaching the hips off the floor, your body can form an upside-​​down V—similar to down dog and dolphin poses. Walk your feet in as close as you can to your elbows.

It is critical to look at your fingertips, not your knees.

Kick one leg up and then the other in quick succession so they come directly over your elbows or into the wall behind you. Remember to tighten your core and keep looking at your fingertips for alignment and balance.

FOREARM STAND AGAINST THE WALL
If your legs are against the wall, slowly bring them away from it and over you, focusing your mind and pushing your forearms and shoulders forcefully into the floor.

FOREARM STAND
Hover in forearm stand for up to a minute, then lower the legs to your mat and recover in child’s pose.

Also, you can watch a sample of Slimnastics DVD and Book by clicking on the Slimnastics tab on the upper left part of this web page.

Attract Love, Protect Your Heart with Yoga Heart-​​Opening Posses

In honor of February as heart health month and Valentine’s Day, I’ve created a yoga flow with poses to protect your heart and attract love into your life.

Often our posture and inner emotional state give off vibes that propel love and opportunity away – we seem emotionally or physically closed off. This practice will help to reverse that and bring love of self and the love of others, while improving cardiovascular health because of increased heart rate during practice, while increasing relaxation and reduced stress come with the full repetitive yoga breathing and greater lung function.

Yoga practice and it’s breathing, holding poses, flowing vinyasas, mediation, imagery and focus have been proven to:

–make you feel more in control

–increase feelings of positive mood

–better posture

–make you breathe easier, not shallow

–increases the body’s ability to respond to stress more flexibly

–provide better body image

–increase more thoughtful eating habits, caring what you put into your body

–allow you to appreciate the now and live in the moment

–facilitates deep relaxation and helps practitioners sleep better

–detachment from negative situations

–provide strength, flexibility and better blood flow, helping your love life in the bedroom

Poses: cobra, upward facing dog, camel, triangle, fish, chest expansion, wheel, bridge, yoga mudras like lotus, savasana with block under shoulders.

The series:

Begin your practice with your hands cupped in yoga lotus mudra. Breathe deeply and focus the mind. Begin having an affair with your closest soul mate, yourself. Think of the ways that love and happiness exist in your life. Be grateful for them. Make the shift from looking only externally for love, and begin treating yourself like the love of your life, you’ll find your heart more open, feel more forgiving with yourself, and become more available to love others. You become stronger and more independent, more able to attract healthy real love. You look at love from others as a gift, but not something that your life depends on. Other’s choices won’t affect you as powerfully because you already have everything you need.

Open your eyes and begin sun salutations with chest expansion in mountain. After forward fold, chest expansion lunge, down dog and plank, lower to the mat for a heart opening cobra pose, later in the series it will be come upward facing dog, and other heart opener. These poses can go deep into the chest cavity to expose your heart and emotional, authentic self that you might not show to others. Move back to down dog, lunge, and open the heart with arms wide, on the opposing leg. Forward fold and then end in mountain with hands in prayer at heart center.

Next find camel’s pose with hands behind you below belt level and open through the chest into an upper back bend for several breaths. Forward fold to counter-​​stretch. Flow into a few warriors and then go into triangle and open the chest with the top hand spiraling open to the sky. As you open the space in your heart, you infuse your body and mind with loving thoughts, carrying that throughout your day.

After warriors and triangle on the other side, practice a standing posture like dancer, to bring joy into your life.

Next come to the floor for shoulderstand and heart-​​opening fish, as well as bridge and wheel.

End in savasana over a block (place it under your shoulder blades and rest the head back on a blanket). Either bend the knees or open the legs into bound angle. Focus on receiving the benefits from your practice. Through heart opening yoga poses, you practice giving your mind, body and soul the love it needs. This invites love to come to you from the outside. Happy Valentines Day. Namaste.

Fitness — fit it in this February.- Nikki

New Trend: Hypnosis Workouts!?

There are a lot of fusion workouts out there that I don’t think make sense, and others that are brilliant…

I have yet to make my mind up (no pun intended) about this new fusion workout, but it seems to make a lot of sense and I wanted to share it with you.

It’s called Hyp-​​Yoga and it combines yoga and hypnosis to help you make changes in your life when resolutions and internal motivation just are not enough to get you to go to grocery shop healthier, get to bed earlier, and run that extra mile (or a mile at all.) It even claims to reduce stress. This workout seems to make sense to me because, as a yoga buff, I know how the stretches, breathing and meditation in a class change your outlook and current state of mind. So why not get gently hypnotized at the end of a session on topics like Freedom from Emotional Eating, Sleeping Better, and Living in the Present Moment.

There are classes around the country and DVDs. For more information on Hyp-​​Yoga, visit www​.hyp​-yoga​.com

It just might be worth changing your mind to change your health and your body.

Fitness, Fit it in.

Remedy for Un-​​Happy Holidays

The holidays are challenging when you have more guests, to-​​do lists, and obligations than normal. Add to it that it is supposed to be the best time of year, and the fact that your loved ones might NOT be with you, and you have a recipe for it to feel like the worst time of year.

If you are feeling lonely, depressed, overweight, stressed and overwhelmed, perhaps Yoga could help. I turned to my Yoga Guru, Beth Shaw from YogaFit for some advice . YogaFit is the largest teacher training school in the world, and where I received my 200 hour RYT.

Beth says that Yoga practice and it’s breathing, holding poses, flowing vinyasas, mediation, imagery and focus have been proven to:

* make you feel more in control
* increase feelings of positive mood
* reduce perceived stress and anxiety
* change your response to situations that could cause stress
* reduce the heart rate
* lower blood pressure
* make you breathe easier, not shallow (avoiding hyperventilation and panic attacks)
* increases the body’s ability to respond to stress more flexibly
* provide better body image
* increase more thoughtful eating habits, caring what you put into your body
* allows you to let go of tension in the mind and body
* instead of “dealing with” stress, yoga allows you to release it from your life
* witness stress and negative feelings instead of experiencing them, practicing non-​​attachment
* allow you to appreciate the now and live in the moment
* facilitates deep relaxation and helps practitioners sleep better
* detachment from negative situations

She suggests doing poses like back bends, forward folds, knot and pigeon pose, and spinal twists. Not sure where to start? I tried her “Yoga on the Road CD” and put it on my iPhone during Thanksgiving travel. I hit play and was talked through a complete yoga session, and all I needed was my travel Yoga Paws (hand and foot gloves that are sticky like a mat). Perhaps you’d like to add this to your holiday shopping cart…

Yoga on the Road CD:

Get the workout from the school that trains yoga teachers! YogaFit On The Road allows you to get a great workout anywhere you have a CD player, or download it onto your iPhone. Perfect for Road warriors and anyone else on the go, and it will de-​​stress you from the hectic holidays! There are two different workouts, a 70– minute yoga workout and a 15-​​minute seated workout. Also included is a stick figure chart of all the yoga postures – a perfect reference for the beginner. $14.95 from www​.yogafit​.com

You can find out more about fighting stress on Beth Shaw YogaFit blog.

If you are interested in learning more about yoga poses and alignment, or starting the journey into teacher training, I will give a free YogaFit Level One gift certificate, which are offered around the country, to the 10th person who emails me and signs up for my newsletter at nikki@​nikkifitness.​com This is a 400 dollar value!