Photo Courtesy of Lululemon
Lazy? No way. There’s a new reason to spend less time at the gym, and it’s a good one: New research shows that you can get just as effective of a workout in 20 minutes as you can in over an hour.
According to my new favorite book, The First 20 Minutes by “Phys Ed” columnist for The New York Times Gretchen Reynolds, working out for four to six four-and-a-half and a half minutes at an intense pace is equivalent to a steady pace of 90 to 120 minutes of exercise. Crazy, right?!
A group of college students rode a stationary bike for 90 to 120 minutes at a steady pace while another group performed short intervals of 20 to 30 seconds and then rested for four minutes. They repeated this cycle four to six times for a total of two to three minutes of intense exercise.
After two weeks of repeating these exercises, both groups saw similar results; they increased their endurance and physical fitness. But surprisingly, working out for a longer period of time didn’t increase their results at a greater level.
Now It’s Your Turn
Sticking to just cardio may not be the best bang for your time. “When you have limited time, choosing between cardio and resistance training is a mistake,” Travis Steffen, a Strength and Condition Specialist and founder of Workoutbox.com, told us. “Instead, combine the two. With an intense manual resistance circuit with very little rest between exercises, you can get both resistance training and cardio done in one shot.” Check out a 20-minute workout he provided that will get you results…and fast. All you need is a pair of dumbbells!
Dumbbell Saigon Squat
Three to Five Reps
Prisoner Pause Squats
With bikini season fast approaching, it’s time to get back in shape! I always like to change up my fitness routine to keep it exciting and try new classes. Even with all the new exercise options out there, I have my faves that are challenging and effective. Whether you’re stuck in a fitness rut or just looking to try something different, check out my picks for some of the best exercise classes to get you swimsuit-season ready.
Core Fusion at Exhale Mind Body Spa
Core Fusion at Exhale Spa is my number one go-to workout. I’ve been doing it for so many years now…ever since the Lotte Berk days with Fred De Vito and Elisabeth Halfpapp who are now the Founders of Exhale. This amazing barre class gives you a full-body workout and focuses on the core. The workout really gets results by offering a variety of exercises that include many of the disciplines used in pilates, yoga and ballet. If you have never experienced it before, make sure to go to a beginner class. The workout never gets easier but I promise will change your body! Exhale Spa has locations all over the country.
It’s impossible to write a workout article without mentioning the ever-growing popularity of spin classes, especially SoulCycle. These high-energy classes have a cult following and are a celeb favorite. They incorporate cardio cycling with core work and light weights to build upper body strength, all in a zen environment. The inspirational instructors are motivational and have some of the best music playlists in town. Studios are popping up everywhere in New York and LA.
Bootcamp classes are another fitness trend and Barry does it best with his challenging mix of extreme cardio (running on a treadmill) alternating with heavy weight work. This fave of Kim Kardashian and Katie Couric claims to be “the best workout in the world” and after trying it, I would agree that it was one of the toughest workouts ever! I think a great class for die-hard exercise enthusiasts or people who are in serious training mode. Studios are located in New York, California, Tennessee, and even Europe.
Zumba at Alvin Ailey
It sure is a treat to work out right at the Alvin Ailey theater in one of their dance studios. This Zumba class has a huge NYC following that includes dancers and broadway actors as well as anyone who wants to have fun while following the dance routines of famed instructor Ben Byrd. This latin-inspired blend of dance and cardio is a blast, although I did feel like I had two left feet compared to some the regulars in the class.
405 W. 55th Street (at 9th Avenue)
New York, NY 10019
Punch Fitness Center is a one-on-one personal training center that offers the ultimate physical challenge through kickboxing, boxing, and weight training (yes…it is a killer, no joke)! The complete body workout combines aerobic and anaerobic exercise with calisthenics. Adelino da Costa, the founder and creator of Punch Fitness, was previously a professional boxer and trainer. He and his talented group of trainers will greatly improve your strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness as you listen to upbeat tunes from West and South Africa. The intimate setting consists of cardio and cable machines, free weights, and a boxing area with a variety of punching bags and a 16X16 ft. boxing ring. The center welcomes children ages 7 and up to come in and train for fitness or for fun!
1015 Madison Avenue, Lower Level (Between 78th & 79th ST.)
New York, NY 10075
I think exercise is so important not only for your body but for your mind (it’s like therapy for me)! Even if it’s just 30 minutes on the elliptical or a power walk in the park, I try to fit in a workout every day. But doing the same thing over and over again can get boring, so I love to try new workouts and change up my routine a bit! I’ve recently checked out these new and amazing workouts that will surely get you in shape for the summer. Each one has its own personality so it’s worth trying all of them to see which ones are a good fit for you.
37 West 57th Street, NYC
$40 Per Class (Packages Available)
SLT stands for Strengthen, Lengthen, Tone, and that’s certainly what this workout can do for you if you attend classes regularly. This LA favorite was just brought to New York by Amanda Freeman, co-founder of Vital Juice, after she heard about how amazing the workout was from friends there. Once she tried it herself, she was hooked and opened up a studio on East 57th Street. SLT combines cardio, strength training and pilates in a high-energy, intimate class setting. If you like pilates but are looking for something more fast-paced and challenging, SLT is for you. They use a new-and-improved version of the pilates reformer machine called the Megaformer which provides constant resistance to build and tone muscle.
The Scoop: Great overall body workout that really focuses on your core, arms and legs up through the back of your butt. I was sore for days. It takes a few classes to get comfortable with the equipment but an excellent and effective workout (and all in 50 minutes). I have friends who swear by this workout and I must admit, they look super fit! I liked the intimate setting and location…there are only up to 10 people per class.
Research has shown that a headache, backache, indigestion, fluid retention, cravings, depression, or fatigue can be alleviated through diet and exercise. In addition to that, while we have no control over getting older, we can slow down the aging process, with diet and exercise as well.
What should we eat?
- Women who eat a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids cut their risk for heart disease as well as reduce their risk for macular degeneration. During pregnancy, 3 servings/week may cut the risk for preterm birth.
- Safflower oil is high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleic acid). It has a high smoke point and low saturated fat content. It has been found to improve blood sugar and lipids, decrease inflammation, lowers blood pressure as well as the risk for heart disease.
- Supplements…they can’t replace a healthy diet!
- Studies have suggested that eating a small handful of nuts a day, improves blood lipid levels, as well as glucose and insulin levels.
- A diet high in dietary antioxidants such as those found in blueberries, broccoli, and small amounts of dark chocolate and even coffee, lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Eat your anthocyanins! Better known as the blue and red pigments in colorful fruits and vegetables.
What should we do for exercise?
- First and foremost, get your body moving! Find something that you love to do!
- Weight bearing/resistance exercises such as yoga and dumbbell exercises preserve bone density, improve your balance, and strength.
On your path to reach your wellness goals, remember that we are always our own worst enemies. Celebrate the fact that you are taking the necessary steps to improve your health and your life! Find the time to do things you enjoy and that bring you a sense of calm and serenity. Stress and lack of sleep will wreak havoc on your body as well as your soul.
|Lana Levy is a nutritionist specializing in taking a holistic approach towards healthy eating, not only to help her clients achieve their goals, but also help them maintain a healthy lifestyle. Lana has also incorporated her passion for yoga into her services for her clients, as a way to stay fit, and create a balance between the body and the mind. Lana received her degree from Columbia University, where she completed her Masters in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. In 2010, Ms. Levy became a Registered Yoga Teacher through an intensive training with YogaWorks here in New York City. In 2011 she completed a Prenatal Yoga Certification.With a background in nutrition and yoga, Lana works with her clients to create customized nutrition plans and yoga sequences that are specifically tailored to their needs. Whether the goal is weight loss, healthy weight gain, energy improvement, pre and post natal health, relief from various gastrointestinal ailments, Just For Today LLC (www.justfortodaynyc.com) can provide you with tools to make a change for life!|
Images Courtesy of www.dietsinreview.com
In the health and wellness world, March is the month dedicated to nutrition awareness and at exhale we decided to celebrate with a day of awareness entitled NUTRITION INTUITION.
I was joined by two of exhale’s healers: Laura Benge, our National Spa Director and Rachel Lustgarten, R.D. nutritionist, Keri Glassman, nationally recognized nutrition expert, Katie Lee, Cookbook author and lifestyle expert, and Jeremy Bearman, Executive Michelin- starred Chef of Rouge Tomate NYC for a panel discussion on how to incorporate good nutrition, simple cooking and tasty food into your life on a daily basis.
We spoke on the difficulties of maintaining a healthy lifestyle day to day and some takeaways on solving those challenges; tips like how to cook a nutritious meal in less time than ordering delivery! Prepare raw foods as soon as you bring them home from the market: clean the greens, wash the lettuce, chop the vegetables and store them in containers to be used during the week as dedicated meals or reliable sides for chicken or fish.
Keri made the point that a holistic lifestyle is key to a lean, sexy, happy body. And that it’s not just the food that you eat but your sleep, stress reduction techniques and peacefulness of your home space will all factor in to maximizing health and wellness. According to Keri, a spritz of lavender in the bedroom is a great start to a sleep worthy space! Katie suggested to start your week with a good nutrition plan and if you cheat a little on the weekend, you can start again on Monday. She also shared that preparing foods in advance, like boiling a pot of rice, quinoa or lentils, or steaming a bunch of broccoli and refrigerating are easy ways to stay on track.
It’s one thing to want to get fit, but it’s a whole other thing to actually do it. Going from couch potato to enthusiastic exerciser takes some serious motivation and a fitness plan that’s easy to follow.
We went to celebrity fitness guru David Kirsch–the man behind the bodies of Heidi Klum and Anne Hathaway–to get his tips for getting your butt off the couch and working out. His simple plan will help you get toned, without having to morph into a total gym rat.
Set Reasonable Goals
The easiest way to discourage yourself is to set an unreasonable goal–there will be no way for you to hit it and you’ll wind up getting frustrated and giving up. Kirsch recommends setting an obtainable goal, such as “I want to lose five pounds,” or “I want to fit into my skinny jeans.” It’s also important to be realistic about your time frame and the amount of exercise you do each day. “Don’t start off at two hours a day–you’ll burn out,” says Kirsch. “If you are not sure what you’re doing, find a good trainer or training material to guide you.”
Movement = Exercise
“You don’t need to go to the gym to exercise,” says Kirsch. The easiest way to start your new fitness routine is to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. “When you get out of bed in the morning, before heading to the shower, do 15 knee bends, 15 lunges and 15 crunches. When you’re making breakfast, do some isometric contractions: squeeze and release your abs, your butt, your thighs,” he says. Get your body moving with a 10 minute express workout–be it yoga or stretching or cardio–every day before work. “If you start that way and build from that, you’re more likely to stick with a program,” says Kirsch.
Find Time For Fitness
Feel like there’s no time in the day to squeeze in exercise? Kirsch says that any exercise is beneficial, no matter how little. “The reality is that our lifestyles are conflicting and everyone has different physical needs for exercise. Ideally, you should be doing an hour of exercise a day, but if you can only find time for 10 minutes, than 10 minutes of focused training beats doing nothing,” he says.
According to Kirsch, the number one biggest mistake women make while exercising is not focusing on what they are doing. That means no more cell phone, no more magazines and no more TV while you are working out. “You need to make the most of your time at the gym while you are there. Sitting on the treadmill and talking on the phone doesn’t give you the exercise you really need. Whatever you are doing, focus. Connect your brain and your body so you can really focus on what you are trying to accomplish,” he says.
|DailyMakeover.com from Makeover Solutions, Inc., is the web’s leading beauty information site, providing virtual makeover technology and content for women to create personalized makeovers. DailyMakeover.com’s virtual Makeover Studio enables users to see themselves wearing numerous hairstyles, makeup shades and fashion accessories to create their best makeovers, which can be saved, printed, or emailed. DailyMakeover.com is headquartered in New York City.|
Robert Glatter is an attending physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, New York. He also has a medical house call and wellness practice in the city called Dr. 911, which operate 24/7. Dr. Glatter does medical exams for Manhattan filmed movies, is a doctor on Gossip Girl and other television shows on the CW network. Dr. Glatter is on the editorial board of Medscape Emergency Medicine (WebMD), a contributor of NBC and CBS networks, and an active member of children’s foundations like Stop Caid Now and the Worldwide Children Foundation. Here are some of his key tips for maintaining your health during the chilly winter months.
1. Avoid holiday weight gain. Before you start filling your plate at a party, scan the selections to make healthy choices. Even though it is a holiday, the rules should still apply when selecting your meal. Try to choose low fat turkey (white meat), lightly dressed green salads, and plenty of whole grains. Your attention to portion control will help minimize weight gain during the holidays. Always remember to drink plenty of water prior to eating, which limits the amount of calories you consume. It’s unreasonable to completely avoid all sweets, alcoholic beverages, and fatty foods, but it certainly helps to have a sensible plan for eating in a smart, portion controlled, and responsible fashion.
2. Take a vitamin D supplement. Up to 80% of people do not get enough vitamin D, especially due to reduced sunlight during winter days. Studies have demonstrated that if patients increase their intake of vitamin D, they can reduce their risk of cancer and heart disease by up to 25%. Vitamin D specifically helps to reduce risk of breast and colon cancer. When you can’t enough sun, you can also eat foods which are known to be rich in vitamin D. This includes oily fish such as salmon and sardines, or vitamin D fortified foods such as milk, oranges and cereal. The main issue is that it’s difficult to obtain enough vitamin D from these foods to fulfill daily requirements so a supplement of 1,000 units per day would be highly recommended. If you are already taking a multivitamin, you may want to reduce your dose accordingly.
3. Make sure you exercise- even indoors during winter. Walking, using an elliptical trainer or treadmill for at least 30 minutes a day will help to promote blood flow and boost your metabolism during the winter days. Other alternatives can be to practice yoga, utilize resistance bands or routine stretching, to elevate your heart rate and break a sweat.
Fall is a great time of year with regard to health and fitness. Hopefully, you have come off of a great summer where the beautiful weather is all the motivation you needed to get into better shape. Now fall will afford you two new reasons to continue on your pursuit for health and fitness.
1) The weather and unique natural beauty of fall make it especially conducive to maintaining all the conditioning gathered from the summer.
2) You’ll want to maintain a head of steam as you head indoors for the coming winter where the short and cold days have sunk many a fitness plan.
To start, keep utilizing the pleasant temperatures and fall foliage changes to keep you outside. Go to the local park and by combining the paths and a little creativity you can design a high intensity circuit that will be fun and challenging.
Try this –
Look for a loop that is from 1-2 miles in length.
Set your timer at two minute intervals, there are many apps you can acquire for free that make this really easy. I use HIIT Intervals on my Android.
Start jogging or walking quickly until the timer goes off. Now for the next two minutes do one of the exercises listed below like walking lunges, once the timer goes off again continue on your path until the next timer sounds at which time you choose another exercise for two minutes, and so on and so on. With just a mile loop you will have created a workout that is challenging, works many different energy systems and lasts from 30-40 minutes in length.
Ten suggested exercises:
2. walking lunges
5. bear crawls
6. mountain climbers
8. hill sprints
9. pullups on a tree
10. squat jumps
Try to do the above exercises for the total duration – two minutes will challenge even the most fit. Do one loop or three for an amazing training experience.
Also, to challenge you further pick a weight vest (I like V-Force Vests) to wear while doing the above and take your conditioning to a whole new level.
This is the time to delve into new programs that keep the intensity high and infuse energy into your day and life like AS ONE!
Check out the AS ONE Fitness Program and more tips here.
| George Vafiades has been a Head Coach at TriLife in NYC since 2005, and holds a BS in Anatomy/Physiology from University of Buffalo. George’s professional certifications include USA Triathlon (USAT) Level One, and USA Cycling, Level Three. He also has competed in multiple Ironman and Triathlon competitions.
“One of the rewarding aspects for me as a coach is seeing individuals achieve as a group.” ~ George
Mark Merchant is currently the Director of Training at ALTA Physical Therapy in Manhattan. Mark’s multiple professional designations include: 1) Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (as designated by the National Strength and Conditioning Association) and 2) Performance Enhancement Specialist (as designated by the National Academy of Sports Medicine).
“Effective coaching requires the coach to retain a certain degree of supportive tension. AS ONE coaching instills and builds a sense of accountability for those coached.” ~ Mark
Two things we are all about at PageDaily are fashion and fitness. That’s why we just couldn’t help but share that one of our favorite designers Yigal Azrouel has teamed up with FITiST, a unique new fitness membership plan incorporating multiple studios and classes, to create a “Fit for Fall” plan that’s a great deal. Instead of just having a membership to one gym or many memberships to studios that offer different kind of classes, the invite-only site allows you to manage your memberships to some of New York’s hottest workout destinations on one platform.
With “Fit for Fall” you get 6 Indoor Cycling Classes, 4 Performance Classes and 4 Yoga Classes for a total of 14 classes a month for $350. These are some of Yigal’s fave workouts when he isn’t surfing. Plus, he’s hooking FITiST members up with $100 to spend at his Meatpacking boutique and one of his signature scarves, for free! Stylish perks for staying fit? Yes please!
When you think about why people exercise, a major reason is to reduce stress and to improve their overall health. It is the mindful breathing and single minded focus that takes you into a “flow mentality”. You create an opportunity to escape from your thoughts which will shift your energy and changes your perspective on your life and problems. It’s not that problems go away, you just change the way you look at them. As a dear friend once said to me, “When you move a muscle, you change a thought”.
In yoga, the physical poses are called asanas and these poses can be done in a progression so that even the most inflexible “tin man” can find his way by using various props and modifications. For me, the experience was quite challenging and in some cases helped me to learn how to over come my fears. I remember my first hand stand (at the wall) like it was yesterday!
Practicing yoga will help you to evolve yourself so that other areas of your life will benefit. When you work on your physical challenges be it flexibility, strength or balance, other areas of your life will improve. But, this means checking your ego at the door because you will probably be working on things that you are not very good at initially. Like a chain, you are only as good as your weakest link so your challenges may be more about patience, perseverance and consistency when you start your journey then it will be about how many push ups you can perform in 60 seconds.
Yoga is for life. It is a lifestyle movement program. When you practice yoga, you start to feel movements from the inside out; you don’t “think” about movements, you “feel “them. You stop competing with others in class, you no longer need to see yourself in a mirror and the superficial aspect of exercise becomes less important when compared to the sacredness of your practice and your experience. You will begin to nourish yourself with food more mindfully and you will be more aware of how to incorporate your learning off the mat as well as when you are on your mat. If you can’t make it to a class, try using DVD’s for a home practice. Our Core Fusion Yoga DVD (Buy Now, $9.99) is popular because it is broken down into 10 minute sections, if you have time constraints.
Regardless of your degree of commitment to yoga, be it once a week at home with DVD’s or at our studios practicing with a trained teacher, your benefits will include:
- Stress Reduction
- Mindful Awareness
- Increased Flexibility
- Improved Strength
- Improved Suppleness in your spine
- Better Sex Life
- Better Energy
- Improved overall health and well being
It’s National Yoga Month…Exhale Spa and PageDaily are teaming up to offer you a complimentary yoga class at any Exhale Spa for the rest of September (first-timers only). Mention PageDaily when you make your reservation! Enjoy!
|Fred DeVito, Health & Fitness Contributing Editor
For over 30 years, Fred DeVito has taught New Yorkers to live healthier, leading fitness classes at the acclaimed Lotte Berk Method Studios, and more recently, at Exhale Spa, where he serves as Executive Vice President of Mind Body Training. With his wife and partner, Elisabeth Halfpapp . . . Read more about Fred DeVito