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S-U-M-M-E-R: That’s How I Spell Fun, Fresh and Fit!

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | July 23rd, 2012 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Personal Growth | tags: clothes, Clothing, diet, exercise, fashion, Fitness, food, fruits, health, healthy, hydrate, hydration, nutrition, relax, relaxation, SPF, stress, summer, summer produce, summer wardrobe, sun, swim, swimming, the firm, vacation, vegetables, veggies, warm weather, water, work out, workout

SummerBy The FIRM Master Instructor Robyn Smarr

I love summer! If you were listening to this post rather than reading it, you would surely hear me shouting this sentence as loudly as I possibly can.

Maybe it’s because I was born in the crazy heat of August. (I have a theory that people tend to favor the season in which they were born.) Or maybe it’s because I practically lived at the pool and the beach as a child. Or maybe it’s because I can wear flip-flops every day during the warm summer months (the best “shoe” ever invented)! Regardless of the reason, I find so much joy and rejuvenation during the summer.

Here are my favorite tricks for making the most out of your S-U-M-M-E-R:

Can Knitting Give You a Runner’s High?

Tamara Grand by Tamara Grand | July 9th, 2012 | 23 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness | tags: brain health, brain structure, cognitive function, craft, crafting, crafting and exercise, crafting and fitness, depression, dopamine, endorphins, exercise, Fitness, hormones, knit, knitting, learning, meditation, memory, mind, mood, neurotransmitters, prefrontal cortex, runner’s high, running, serotonin, sleep, workout

Knitting and Exercise

At first glance, crafting and exercise would seem to have little in common. One involves moving your body to improve health and fitness, the other moving your hands to create with paper, needles, paint or yarn.

Yet both activities have important, complementary effects on mood and cognitive function.

Week 10: Putting It All Together

Tanja Djelevic by Tanja Djelevic | May 21st, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness | tags: 10-week program, animal protein, bikini body, body cleanse, confidence, deep tissue massage, detox diet, detoxify, eggs, energy, exercise, fish, Fitness, fruits, fun, health, healthy, laugh, laughter, motivation, natural-cleanse, personal trainer, self confidence, spring training, stretching, vegetables, veggies, week 10, week ten, weeks, well-being, wellness, whole grains, work out, workout, Yoga

Thumbs Up Fitness Woman

Congrats! You made it to the tenth and final week of the Better Body and More Energy Challenge! I knew you could do it.

For your last assignment, I’d like to you tie together everything you’ve learned about nutrition and fitness over the past nine weeks. Don’t worry — it sounds more daunting than it really is!

The Young & the Healthless: How My Fitness Focus Matured As I Did

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | March 9th, 2012 | 2 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Weight Loss | tags: 20s, 30s, diet, Emily Welsh, energy, exercise, fitness goals, Healthy Aging, healthy-eating, mind-body fitness, motivation, nutrition 20s, plyometrics, strength training, stress-relief, the firm, workout, Yoga

Mother and Daughter Workout

Okay, so Emily Welsh, a Master Instructor for The FIRM, was actually far from “healthless” in her 20s. But one look at her answers to health and fitness questions will tell you Emily — now in her 30s — is now in an even healthier, happier place.

Create a Fitness “Play” List

Girlfriend@Gaiam by Girlfriend@Gaiam | February 28th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Weight Loss, Yoga | tags: Debbie Rocker, exercise, Fitness, gaiam tv, GaiamTV, GaiamTV.com, Gwen Lawrence, Jillian Michaels, lose-weight, play list, playlist, resolution, rodney yee, the firm, weight-loss, work out, workout, workout videos, Yoga

Workout PlaylistMaybe it’s cabin fever, or perhaps it’s just all those Girl Scout cookies, but I’m ready for something new in my fitness routine. Aren’t you?

Like many people, I made a resolution to lose weight, and I’ve been keeping up my end of the bargain I made with myself to work out for at least 30 minutes, five days a week. Now I’m ready for something new: a new challenge, a different routine, a never-tried-that-before workout.

10 Weeks to a Better Body and More Energy

Tanja Djelevic by Tanja Djelevic | February 21st, 2012 | 2 Comments
topic: Fitness, Personal Growth | tags: 10 weeks, 10-week program, better-body, bikini body, calm, confidence, daily walk, endorphins, energy, exercise, Fitness, health, healthy, hike, motivation, personal trainer, self confidence, spring training, stress, walk, week 1, week one, well-being, wellness, work out, workout

woman after workout

Believe it or not, spring is right around the corner! In Los Angeles where I live, it has already started: The days are getting longer, the birds are chirping louder outside my window and I’m starting to feel that subtle energy change, both in my personal training clients and in myself!

This is the time when there is so much “newness” happening that I like to use it as a catalyst to create a resurgent flow of energy for the rest of the year. The best thing about creating this flow of energy is that the byproducts can include a fitter body, more energy and an influx of self-confidence.

But I can’t stress enough that change takes time. Starting too many things all at once usually ends in exhaustion and a feeling of “I MUST DO” instead of “I WANT TO.” One of the best ways to overcome the inertia and the absolute best way of creating a habit and sticking to it is to change slowly and repeat the new positive pattern over and over again. And over the next ten weeks, that exactly what we’re going to do!

30-Minute Stress Relief Workout + 3 Reasons Not to Skip It!

Tanja Djelevic by Tanja Djelevic | February 15th, 2012 | 4 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness | tags: adrenaline, benefits of exercise, blow off steam, cardio, endorphins, exercise, finding time to exercise, Fitness, immune system, immunity, interval training, intervals, intevals, meditation, squats, stress, stress-relief, stress-relieving, stretching, work out, working out, workout, Yoga

Young Woman Jumping RopeI have found that in times of stress, physical exertion is one of the most effective and important steps to take — and it can actually help us through hard times!

Numerous studies have confirmed the fact that the right amount of exercise relieves stress and boosts the immune system. It releases feel-good hormones — such as endorphins and adrenaline — and reduces levels of stress hormones.

Yet our natural reaction to stress is usually to take things out of our day that seem superfluous and time-consuming. Often that includes the time we spend on our own health. We sacrifice that time — and ourselves — to other more “important” causes at hand, even when the cause of our stress is something we don’t have control over anyway.

I’d like to point out three other important benefits of exercise that are less often highlighted — but equally great reasons to find time every day to just move.

Music to Sweat to: Your Workout Playlist

Teri Ann Krefting by Teri Ann Krefting | February 1st, 2012 | 4 Comments
topic: Fitness | tags: 50 Cent, BoB, Cake, cool-down, Down On Me, ET, exercise, Fitness, Fool in the Rain, Give Me Everything (Tonight), gym, headphones, I Will Survive, intensity, iPod, Jeremih, Jessie J, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Led Zeppelin, Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard, Muse, music, Ne-yo, OK Go, pace, pacing, Paul Simon, Pitbull, play list, playlist, Price Tag, rhythm, Santeria, songs, Starlight, Sublime, tempo, This Too Shall Pass, tunes, warm-up, work out, workout

Woman working out listening to musicThe main thing that really fires me up for fitness is a superior song playlist. If I’m planning a long run or a hard workout at the gym, great songs make the time fly by and make workouts much more enjoyable. And music tempo is perfect for pacing yourself — slower songs to warm up and cool down, and pumping rhythms to keep the intensity up in between.

Here are my top 10 workout tunes right now — share yours in the comments section below!

Busy Mom’s Make-It-Happen Fitness Tips

Gwen Lawrence by Gwen Lawrence | December 15th, 2011 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Weight Loss, Yoga | tags: busy life, busy schedule, exercise, finding time to exercise, Fitness, fitness tips for moms, priorities, real-life workouts, workout, Yoga

Gwen Lawrence Fitness TipsYou know when you’re on an airplane and the flight attendants are doing their routine safety demonstration? They tell you that, if there’s an emergency, you should place the oxygen mask over your face first and then help those around you. I think this philosophy needs to be carried over into every aspect of your life.

Taking time to take care of yourself isn’t selfish — in fact, caring for yourself is what gives you the strength and energy to take better care of those around you. You are in charge of your life and health — make time to exercise! Stop the guilt and petty excuses. No amount of guilt or worry can change someone else’s misfortune or problems, so make time for you.

Weight Loss vs Fat Loss: Why You Don’t Want to Be the Skinniest Fat Person Around

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | November 7th, 2011 | 7 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Weight Loss | tags: body fat percentage, Body Mass Index, cardio, exercise, Fitness, lean muscle, lose-weight, resistance-training, strength training, the firm, weigh, weight-loss, work out, workout

Woman struggling with her weightby The FIRM Master Instructor Kelsie Daniels

I said in a past blog that I prefer to be a lean 145 pounds versus a plain ol’ 145 pounds. A lean 145 just looks better … tighter, smaller, stronger, FIRMer, and, well … leaner! I would take that one step further and say that most of us would also feel better if we were leaner instead of just smaller!

When your goal is “weight loss,” you want to lower the actual amount that you weigh; in other words, you want to see the number on the scale go down. A goal of “fat loss” involves the desire to lower your body fat — the actual amount of visible and invisible fat you carry on and inside your body. People who want to lose weight probably need to lose body fat as well, so I say why not just go for a “two for one” and make fat loss your goal and get some weight loss as an added benefit?