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Say “Goodbye” To Your 1 Hour Workout

This past weekend we put our bodies through the intense, exhilarating challenge of becoming certified as Tabata Bootcamp™ instructors. The experience was remarkable.  Our instructor, Mindy Mylrea – the creator of the program, had enough energy to fuel a jet plane.  She has been involved with many of the most successful fitness trends in the industry.  She is the creator and lead talent for Gliding discs and a master trainer and part of the pro-development team for Schwinn Cycling, Body Bar, Flirty Girl Fitness and Bosu.  You can read all about her here: http://www.tabatabootcamp.com/about-mindy.php

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“Tabata”, a form of HITT – high intensity interval training, is based on a 1996 study by Professor Izumi Tabata, initially involving Olympic speed skaters. According to his research, study participants who exercised a mere four minutes at extreme intensity, four times a week, improved anaerobic capacity by 28%, and VO2 max and maximal aerobic power by 15%, in as little as six weeks.  This was compared to participants who performed an hour of steady cardiovascular exercise five times a week for six weeks, and only improved their V02 max by 10% with no improvement in anaerobic capacity.

Mindy took the concept of Tabata and created Tabata Bootcamp™, a full 8-week program that transforms bodies dramatically by involving fitness, nutrition and behavioral change. The Tabata workout is built around 4 minutes of high intensity exercises, and this means the hardest kick-your-ass four minutes possible. The structure includes working out at your max for 20 seconds, rest for 10 and repeat for 8 rounds. A typical workout, with warm-up and cool-down, is only 30 minutes….30 minutes!  And it’s a lot of fun. The EPOC, excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, effects are immense – which means you continue to burn a crazy amount of calories hours after your workout.

We are working on developing our own local 8-week Tabata Bootcamp starting in April, which will offer a personalized website page that tracks your progress, achievements, nutrition and results. The classes will be limited to no more than 10 participants.  More information to follow… If this is something you think you might be interested in, please let us know via email: info@heelstolaces.com.

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Weight Loss Tips You Will Enjoy!

Most of us are aware of the basics when it comes to keeping our weight in check:  drink water, exercise, eat less calories than you burn, enjoy whole foods and avoid junk food laden with added fats and sugar.  However, below are some fun and interesting tips that you can add to your arsenal to fight off unwanted weight gain.

imagesSnack Before Dinner.  Eat ½ ounce of healthy fat such as nuts or avocados eight minutes before dinner.  You will feel fuller longer and eat less.  One study showed a 4-pound weight loss per year with this simple trick.

Eat Mint.  Mint has been shown to be a natural appetite suppressant and can even improve digestion.  It can be eaten or inhaled.  It could be a cup of mint tea, mint flavored toothpaste (don’t eat it), mint infused room scent or a simple mint leaf in your water.  One study found that people who inhaled a peppermint scent every two hours ate 2,700 fewer calories per week—that’s nearly a one-pound loss!

Personally, I swear by a cup of mint tea at night.  I started drinking it a couple years ago whenever I got hungry at night and it did the trick.  Now it is my go to whenever I want to munch (Tazo Refresh is my favorite.)

Add Don’t Subtract.  If you are getting depressed thinking of all those foods you are not supposed to eat, then instead concentrate on what you should add to your diet.  For example, find a way to add 1 or 2 different healthy foods to your diet each day.  Plan your meals around it, and your focus will go from depriving to thriving.  Some examples: add kale to your scrambled eggs, add spinach to a juice or make a dessert with three different kinds of berries.

Eat Vitamin C.  It inhibits the production of cortisol, a hormone that essentially tells your body to store fat.  One simple way is to eat grapefruit or orange slices with breakfast. Or use it as your afternoon snack.

Shoot Your Food.  We have all heard about writing down everything you eat, well instead of pen and paper, record what you eat with a photo.  Sound complicated?  Not with today’s ever present cell phones.  Simply snap a picture before you pick up that fork.   When you look back and see that healthy salad covered in blue cheese dressing and croutons, it may give you a pause the next time you hit the salad bar.

Eat Breakfast.  A recent study in the journal Obesity found that women who ate a 700-calorie breakfast and 200-calorie dinner shed more than twice as much weight over 12 weeks as those whose meal sizes were reversed. 

Drink Wine. A 2010 study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, which followed more than 19,000 women for an average of 13 years, found that those who had one to two alcoholic drinks daily put on fewer pounds than non-drinkers and heavy drinkers. Weight gain was lowest among wine drinkers. While the researchers can’t definitively explain this, they say that the subjects who sipped a glass or two ate fewer calories—and that women burn more calories after drinking than men do.

Stand up!  Standing burns 1.5 times more calories than sitting. Stand when you’re at the doctor’s office or when you watch TV.  My favorite tip is to set my computer on the bar height counter in my kitchen – this way it is perfect height to stand and work.

Sleep in a Cold Room. A somewhat chilly bedroom could improve both your sleep and your metabolism. An article in Obesity Reviews noted that the average indoor temperature has ticked upward during the past few decades. What’s more, most of us keep the thermostat steady throughout the house, preventing the body from experiencing dips in temperature to stoke its own calorie-burning furnace. Sleeping in a chillier room is a great way to force your body to heat itself up for hours and you will burn calories all night long while keeping yourself warm.

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Heels to Barbells

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The New Year has begun, and if you are already growing impatient waiting to see results from all that cardio, you may be leaving out an important piece of the puzzle – weight training!  Yes, weights!  And not those pretty, pink hand weights or those fancy machines, real barbells.  More and more women everywhere are seeing and feeling the positive results of weight training, yet many women still worry about bulking up and are afraid to give it a chance

It is a great feeling to be STRONG!  You will be able to lift those boxes all by yourself and not have to wait for some guy to do it.  As a single mom, my boys are getting bigger, but they still rely on me to lift or open anything difficult.  I want them to see how powerful women can be.  There is never a time in life when being weak comes in handy!

Some important facts to keep in mind:

  • You will not bulk up.  Our bodies are not made to get bulky – we do not have the testosterone to look like body builders. When you lift weights that are challenging, you actually create micro-tears in the muscle fibers. (This is the soreness you feel.)  As these tears are repaired by your body, the muscle becomes stronger.  Because muscle tissue is more dense than fat, adding more muscle to your body actually makes you look leaner—not bigger. To truly bulk up, you would have to train with that goal in mind. Bodybuilders spend hours and hours in the gym lifting extremely heavy weights, and eat a very strict diet to promote muscle gain. The average person’s workout and diet—especially a calorie-controlled diet—will not lead to the same effects.
  • Increased metabolism.  Another amazing benefit of weight training is what it does for your metabolism.  It allows you to take advantage of your body’s natural ability to maintain an “after-burn,” known as Excess Post-Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). The after-burn is the extra calories your body burns after you complete a weight lifting workout. Your metabolism will stay elevated for anywhere from 15 minutes to 48 hours, depending on the intensity and duration of your workout.  This means is that your metabolism operates at a faster level even while you’re sitting on the couch after a workout.  It takes extra calories just to keep muscle.
  • Heavy weights are key. Many women rely on lighter weights with higher reps in an attempt to get a more toned body.  However, to get truly toned, you need larger muscles and less fat. One recent study found that lifting 85% of your maximum ability for 8 reps burns about twice as many calories in the two hours post workout as compared with 15 reps at 45% of your maximum ability.  Don’t give up lighter weights entirely, as they do a great job of building endurance, but they do not build tight, dense, strong muscles.
  • Weight loss.  Some women worry that once they begin weight training, their weight will go up or they won’t lose the weight that had hoped.  Try not to focus on the scale and don’t get frustrated before you see results.  At first, your muscles may retain water as they react to the shock of the workouts and the recovery afterward.  But as you continue weight training, you will be building muscle and shedding fat.  This may still not translate to high weight loss, but a pound of muscle is much denser than a pound of fat, so your body may shrink even if your weight doesn’t change significantly.  Keep in mind that muscle is a metabolism booster – the more you have, the more calories and fat you will burn all day long!
  • Getting older.  As we age, maintaining muscle mass becomes more and more important.  Muscle may make the 40 something woman slightly heavier than in her college years, but the improved body composition and faster metabolism is the big payoff.  Many women find they’re able to attain a lower body fat percentage, fit into smaller sizes, and generally feel more vigorous by adding weight training.

The bottom line is weight training can lead to fat loss, stronger leaner muscles, better fitting clothes and a general better feeling of wellness and strength.  What are your waiting for – let’s get lifting!!

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