My Tips

Five PiYo® Moves to Tighten and Tone Your Buns

Tight buns are important for more reason than looking good in a pair of jeans! They are an important muscle that should not be forgotten! Take a few minutes to read through and try out these moves for toning your backside!

Like your abs, they support and protect the rest of your body, particularly your back.

Having a strong butt can go a long way toward elevating back pain. They're also lumped in with a group of muscles on your backside, including the spinal erectors, hamstrings, and glutes. People tend to focus on front muscles like pecs, abs, and quads, which create an imbalance that can lead to injury and discomfort. Keeping your glutes strong can help with all kinds of issues—including back pain and your knees.

Do these 5 moves in order and repeat sequence 3 times!

Narrow Squat

Narrow Squat
Stand with your feet parallel and 4"–5" apart. Keep your chest lifted, abs engaged, and your weight in your heels. Bend both knees, lowering your glutes as low as you can and then extend your knees, standing ¾ of the way up. Bend knees again deeply and repeat. If you feel like you're going to fall backwards, you're doing it correctly.
Workout: Do 10 Narrow Squats. Go down and pulse for three and stand ¾ of the way up.
Note: If you have knee issues, don't go as deep.

Sumo Squat

Sumo Squat
For this wider squat, stand with your feet wider than your shoulders, and externally rotate your feet. Bend both knees, keeping your tailbone and abs tucked in, making sure to not let your knees go out over your toes. Drive both heels into the ground, engaging your inner thighs, and squeeze your glutes and hamstrings to come ¾ of the way back to standing.
Workout: Do 10 Sumo Squats. Go down and pulse for three and stand ¾ of the way up.

Pulsing Lunges

Pulsing Lunges
Begin with feet in a hip-width, parallel position. Step back with your left leg, keeping both feet and hips facing front. Bend both knees deeply with your hands in front of you, letting back leg hover just off of the ground. Keep the chest up and abs pulled in. Pulse three times and return to standing. Repeat.
Workout: Do 10 Pulsing Lunges. Repeat with the right leg.
Note: If this bothers your knee, still take a wide step, but don't lunge so deeply.


This move is similar to one you'd make on the lanes. Begin with feet in a hip-width, parallel position. Keeping your weight on your right foot, step your left foot behind your right, crossing it behind your right leg. Bend both knees, keeping chest lifted and abs pulled in, until front thigh is parallel to the floor. Pulse three times, then return to the starting position and tap your foot on the ground.
Workout: Do 10 Bowlers. Repeat with the right leg.

Leg Lifts

Leg Lifts
Place a folded up towel or yoga mat on the ground to protect your knees. Come on to all fours, hands directly under the shoulders, and knees under the hips. Engage your abs, keep your hips level, and extend your left leg behind you, straight and parallel to the floor. Next, bring the leg to the side, perpendicular to your body, again straight and parallel to the floor. Return the leg behind you and repeat. Make sure to keep your core tight the whole time—only your leg should move.
Workout: Do 10 Leg Lifts. Repeat with the right leg.

If you're heading to the store to stock up for the week, try this started grocery list for eating clean!

Finding Time for Fitness
Time can be the biggest obstacle to overcome when trying to fit a workout in your daily routine. With work, kids, life- everyone needs more hours in the day. BUT trying these tricks can help MAKE the time to fit a workout in your everyday routine. Your body is your best investment; make time to take care of it!

1.  Choose activities and workouts that you enjoy doing. Choosing things you enjoy will make it easier to stick with your new routine.

2.  Get a work out buddy (and hold each other accountable). Having a friend, spouse, group, etc…helps you push yourself beyond what you would do if you were alone.

3.  Schedule It! Just as you would any other business meeting or appointment. Set aside time in your schedule and put it on your calendar. This is your most important appointment of the day where you can focus on yourself and your health. You can get a GREAT workout logged in as little as 25 minutes.

4.  Sneak in a workout during your lunch break. Make use of your break by going for a jog, walk, or even some planks and squats!

5. Skip the elevator, take the stairs whenever possible (at work, wherever)!

6.  Any time you are sedentary, (watching TV, at kids ball practice, etc…) take advantage of the free time and do some squats, pushups, crunches, planks. Get creative!

7.  Make it a family affair- get a jogging stroller and jog the neighborhood. Take a run with your kids while they ride their bikes.

8.  Early riser? Knock your workout out when you wake up, then it’s off your “to do” list for the rest of the day and you don’t have to worry about how you will fit it in.

9.  No time for the gym? Work out at home with cost-effective DVD’s that give great results from the comfort of your living room.

10.   Reward yourself! Set specific short-term goals that are attainable. Reward yourself when you reach them. Reward yourself with a new workout outfit!

First Steps to a Cleaner


1.     Say no to sodas! Whatever you need to do, stop buying/drinking them.

2.     Don’t use corn oils when cooking.

3.     Use lean meats (preferably from grass fed cattle with no preservatives, antibiotics, etc.…)

4.     Use chicken (with no preservatives, antibiotics, etc.…)

5.     Shop the perimeter of the grocery store! Breads, Fruits, Veggies, Dairy, Meats

6.     Avoid the inner isles at the grocery where the more processed foods lurk.

7.     For packaged food- choose those with fewer and simpler ingredients (avoid hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors and colors, stabilizers, preservatives, excessive amounts of fat and sodium, and added refined sugar).

.8.     Eat at home as much as possible. Start with finding a few good meals and get in a routine. Once you get used to the new foods, where they are in the store, and using new ingredients it becomes easier to expand.

9.     Focus to have 80% of your diet clean and healthy, and the other 20% when you are out socializing or having a “cheat meal”.

10 Foods to AVOID

Some of these could be lurking in your pantry right now….
Take a quick look at these ten foods to avoid and why you should shy away from them. How many of them do you eat regularly? It may be time to switch them out with a better alternative.

1. Margarine

Stick margarine of most brands is loaded with trans-fat that increases bad cholesterol, lowers good cholesterol, and damages your blood vessels. Not to mention at 100 calories per tablespoon, this will not be helping you shed any pounds. Alternatively, search for a variety free of trans-fat or with reduced calories.

2. Soda

Drinking soda is like drinking candy. All of the calories in a regular soda come from sugar or high fructose corn syrup. These empty liquid calories can be blamed for much of the obesity problem seen today. Drinking sodas also promotes cavities and tooth decay. Diet soda drinkers should also worry about the impact of artificial sweeteners on their health (see #3). The moral here, skip the soft drinks for quenching your thirst and go for                                   a glass of ice water!

3. Artificial Sweeteners

The FDA considers the following artificial sweeteners “safe”: acesulfame K, aspartame, neotame, saccharin and sucralose. Just because they are considered “safe”, we really don't know exactly how bad they are for us. There have been numerous claims over the last few decades, but at the end of the day, these sugar-free options may be aiding your weight gain as well as leading to health problems such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

4. Deep Dish Pizza

Of course, a deep dish pizza tastes great. But the dense crust and excess dough jacks up the carbs and calories. Then add in your toppings (sausage, pepperoni, and cheese) and you are taking in more saturated fat at one sitting that you should have in 2 days. Since pizza is my ultimate weakness, the good news is you don’t have to skip it completely. Order thin crust, skip the meat toppings and load up with veggies (peppers, onions, and broccoli)! If you’re making it homemade, go for a whole grain crust or mini pizzas on whole grain tortillas.

5. Canned Tomatoes

 Canned foods (especially acidic foods like tomatoes) can contain BPA, a toxic chemical that has been linked to increased risk of cancer (breast & prostate), diabetes, heart disease, and more. To avoid this chemical, stick to fresh fruits and veggies and avoid the canned options. Alternatively, you can use brands that use glass or BPA free packaging.

6. Bagels 

Most bagels are made with refined wheat flour, which is deprived of the fiber and nutrients that put the health benefits in whole grains. Calorie wise, a plain bagel is equivalent to four slices of white bread!  Skip the morning bagel and go for a better alternative such as whole-grain sandwich thins, bread, or English muffins.
7. Deli Meats

Growth hormones and antibiotics, doesn’t sound too good does it? Deli meats are typically made with meats from animals given these. Not to mention the other chemicals, flavorings, and dyes. Processed meats should be avoided entirely as they could increase the risk of cancer. Turn to organically-raised grass-fed or pastured meats as a healthier option.

8. Breakfast Pastries

If you want to start your day off with one of the worst breakfast choices ever, have a toaster pastry. Made with white flour and tons of added sugars, it’s no surprise the fruit filling has almost no real fruit either! If you're looking for a healthy alternative that’s quick and easy, try a whole-wheat pita or English muffin with topped with bananas or strawberries. Use a light spread or try with peanut or almond butter.

9. Microwave Popcorn

The bags for microwave popcorn are lined with PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) which contaminates the popcorn when heated. These chemicals are known to affect your endocrine system and sex hormones. The EPA has stated that PFOA “poses developmental and reproductive risks to humans.”

10. Soy

The majority of soybeans grown in the United States are genetically engineered (GE). In addition, unfermented soy has been linked to malnutrition, digestive problems, immune-system problems, thyroid dysfunction, reproductive disorders, cancer and heart disease. Organic soy that has been properly fermented is the only option that may have health benefits.

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