By The FIRM Master Instructor Amanda Gantt
This is a popular question, especially for those of us who have hit the inevitable plateau with our personal fitness goals. Is it possible to achieve your goals with intense workouts three days a week, instead of less-intense workouts five days a week? I believe the answer is YES! However, you’re going to have to exercise smarter (and harder) in order to see results.
Our schedules are hectic and our personal time is limited. If you are currently struggling to maintain a five-day-a-week fitness regimen, you may want to consider dropping back to working out only three days a week, as this can provide you with the time and results you need, provided that you commit to intense, total-body workouts — and that you give 100-percent effort.
By The FIRM Master Instructor Kelly Branning
I am a Libra. Although I don’t read my horoscope, I do identify with those scales that represent my sign. Balance, balance and more balance. It is a daily challenge to keep those scales from tipping over. One side seems overloaded with the things we do for others and the outside world, like family, career, social life and housework. The other side of the scale, including exercise and nutrition, usually threatens to let go at any time.
I think the absolute foundation of a balanced life is good self-care, coupled with good self-awareness. That said … how are you doing? How is your eating? Do you get everything you need from the foods you eat? Hopefully you are eating healthy, life-affirming foods every 3-4 hours. How about exercise? Are you finding a little time to work out and get stronger? If you don’t know how you are doing, let’s take some time to figure it out.
Just back from a day at the Yoga Journal NYC convention where Colleen and I were invigorated with the curious and competent students that we encountered. We also had time to go to the presenter’s dinner and had a wonderful time catching up with our dear colleagues of many, many years.
Visiting the Gaiam booth and helping get the word out about Gaiam TV where all of our many years of yoga programing is now housed was a whirlwind. Being a human sandwich-board is both humbling and slightly intimidating, even after all these years in the media.
We’re well into the new year, and the expectations of a better year — and a better you — are still high! We all keep in our mind’s eye what kind of shape we would like to be in, but it needn’t stop there. You can make it happen!
Whenever you’re growing or entering new territory, you’ll feel fear. But the problem isn’t the fear — it’s letting fear hold you back. The beautiful thing is that fear can be greatly diminished in your life when you feel the fear and take action anyway.
What are some of the fears that hold you back from living a life you really want to live? Do you have a fear of rejection, being alone, failure, quitting a negative habit, getting in or out of a relationship, illness, aging, making a career change, losing weight? This week, empower yourself to take an action you’ve been afraid to take. Build a habit of believing yourself so you can trust yourself to keep a promise you make. Your self esteem, courage and belief in yourself will grow, and your fear will diminish.
A “routine” is a sequence of actions that are regularly followed — in other words, a fixed program. I love a good routine. In my head, I call them rituals, because it makes it seem more special. For example, every morning I have my coffee-making ritual. I’ve got my special glass where I heat the milk (via microwave), and I use this really cool milk frother immediately after. It adds an extra “wow!” to my morning drink. Right off the bat, it puts me in a great mood and is an awesome start to my day.
I’ve been asked many times about the perfect exercise routine to achieve “washboard abs.” A good mix of exercises targeting all the muscles of the core — the abdominals and spinal erectors — will create a beautiful, toned shape to the midsection.
Cardio is an all-around health booster. It burns calories, lowers body fat, strengthens your heart and lungs, and increases bone mass and muscle tone.
Cardio also releases mood-enhancing endorphins and hormones! I am oh-so-happy when I get my cardio in for the day — and so is the rest of my family!
The FIRM Master Instructors were in town last week for a video shoot at Gaiam’s headquarters in Louisville, Colo.
Instructor Alison Davis-McLain led a free cardio and full body-sculpting class for Gaiam employees. Check out the photos below from her class.
For instruction from The FIRM, browse Gaiam.com’s The FIRM videos.
We have our first outdoor baseball park in Minneapolis this year (Go Twins!) so the city is abuzz about this year’s season. This year’s weeks of spring training was the highlight of most our newscasts. All the buzz got me thinking that baseball players aren’t the only ones who could use a little “spring training.” The winter season causes many of us to fall into a rut with our fitness routines. Now that the weather is clearing up around the country, people are getting outside more. And as you shed your winter wardrobe of bulky clothes, you may be in need of shedding some of those bulky pounds.