Benefits of Yoga

I will admit…I’m not a fan of yoga. Sitting in poses letting my mind wander for who knows how long is not my idea of a fun workout, but more like preparing for a nap. In my book, any workout where checking Facebook is possible during the workout isn’t really a workout….My favorite workout is strength training or sweaty cardio where I feel that post workout high, deep muscle burn, sweat in my eyes and the need to sit down when done.

But….several of the trainers, workout blogs and workout friends I respect keep mentioning yoga, so I begrudgingly did some research and found that, strangely enough, yoga does have benefits (who would have thought). Before I share my personal experience, here are some benefits that will hopefully encourage readers to take a small step towards throwing in the occasional yoga workout:

“Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown, protects your spine, better bone health, blood flow, ups the old heart rate (can improve cardiovascular conditioning), drops blood pressure, regulates adrenal glands, improves happiness, lowers blood sugar, helps focus, relaxes your system, maintains nervous system, releases tension in your limbs, helps sleep deeper, boosts immune system functionality, gives lungs room to breathe, prevents IBS and other digestive problems, increases self esteem, eases pain (asana, mediation or a combo of the two helped with back pain, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel, arthritis to name a few), gives inner strength, benefits relationships, uses sounds to soothe your sinuses, keeps allergies and viruses at bay! and supports your connective tissue just to name a few.”

That is quite a list, and I am not totally sure how yoga can accomplish all those at once, but I certainly believe the stretching and strengthening aspects are true as I have experienced them myself. Currently I am throwing a PiYo workout into my weekly rotation when I am not in the mood for an intense workout, and find that I am relaxed when done, but still feel like I have kept up my conditioning and have increased mental focus (that is until my two-year-old starts emptying kitchen cabinets). Being around a toddler, I am always trying very hard to avoid getting sick, so if the immune system boosting claim is true, that can only help my cause.

All in all, my weekly yoga workout hasn’t transformed me into a yogi, and don’t imagine myself ever sitting on a mountain in the lotus pose, but would recommend throwing in a yoga based workout once in a while, if nothing else, it will add variation to any workout plan, and best case scenario the benefits could include all those on that really long list….

Advertisements

Lifting Weights For Women

When I tell people about my workout scheme, most women have a negative comment about the weight lifting part. Something about not wanting to look like the Incredible Hulk in a bikini….just trying to picture that gives me the creeps. Trust me, I totally understand that no girl ever wants to look like the incredible hulk, least of all me. Trust me again when I say the choice of whether or not to lift weights isn’t a choice between bat wings and incredible hulk arms. There is a solid middle ground that means toned, beautiful arms as well as a healthy cardiovascular system and happy body. If for some reason you want incredible hulk arms, I hear steroids are the way to go.

With this weight lifting dilemma in mind, I found this interesting tidbit by Chalene Johnson (posted on her FaceBook like page this month), in one of the fitness groups I am a part of:

“How often? As little as 1x per week (lifting heavy) was shown to make a noticeable difference in body composition! With 3x a week, results were SIGNIFICANT!

Trying to lose weight and and reduce body fat-then lifting weights or body weight training may be your missing piece!

In a recent study, 10 weeks of strength training was shown to increase resting metabolic rate by 7 percent, and an average of 4 more pounds of fat loss in those who strength train 3x per week vs those who solely did cardio.

So if your goal is to get lean-you need to lift  it may be time to ditch the treadmill , and say hello to weights,”

Some BeachBody workouts that are great for reducing bat wings and building a little bit of muscle are: Chalene Extreme, Body Beast (yes, even women are doing this workout), P90X, P90X2, P90X3, and the newest BeachBody workout that was released in December Hammer and Chisel.

I am currently using Insanity: Max 30 workout, and have also completed cycles of P90X/3, while also using Body Beast: Lucky 7 and my arms aren’t ripping out of even my tightest shirts (even when I get REALLY MAD).

image
These are my arm results back in January/Febraury 2013 while doing TurboFire and adding in Body Beast-Lucky 7 once a week.

The other, long term advantage of including weight lifting in a workout (especially as we get older) is fighting osteoporosis. The best way to fight osteoporosis is to be proactive (don’t wait until bones start breaking) and participate in regular weight bearing activity. Unless you are really good at hand stands, activities like lifting weights or yoga are the best way I know of to provide weight bearing activity for arms.

If anybody has any questions about lifting weights as part of an overall body workout, I would be happy to answer them!

New Products

Last month BeachBody announced three new products that I am excited to share with you-PiYo, 3-Day Refresh and P90.
The highly anticipated PiYo is now available and brought to you by my favorite workout video celebrity Chalene Johnson, creator of TurboFire, Turbo Jam and Turbo Kick. At this point you’re probably wondering what kind of crazy name is PiYo? No, its not math slang for saying hi to a bro, But is actually a mix between Pilates and yoga. It is unique in that Instead of holding poses forever, like in yoga, it moves quickly enough to incorporate cardio as well as strength and flexibility. What do I think of the workout? As a coach I am super excited because it gives me a great low impact workout to recommend to all types of fitness enthusiasts, but I haven’t tried it personally because i prefer faster workouts. Several clients with bad knees have been raving about it!

Here is the blurb I stole from the beach body website (couldn’t have said it better myself):
“Who should buy the program? PiYo is for: Men and women who want to get the results of an extreme program without the jumps, weights, or joint strain. This program is perfect for people of all fitness levels; people who want to build lean muscle without the bulk; those who love the benefits of pilates and yoga, but feel these programs lack the cardio they need to burn fat and calories; and people who want a workout that doesn’t require a lot of equipment.”

image

Next, I’m excited to announce the 3-Day Refresh. The 3DR is a healthy cleanse that includes supplements and healthy meals. not surprisingly, it lasts 3 days and will clean out your system and help lose A few pounds in the process. it isn’t one of those scary “only drink lemon juice for two weeks” cleanses that are doomed to end in extreme hangryness (hangryness is the act of being hangry, and is the serious medical condition of Being angry cuz your Hungry) and binge eating. There’s a healthy meal plan to follow along with supplemental shakes, so no risk of completely irrational hunger related outbursts!

image

Last but but not least is P90! P90 is by the creator of P90X, X2 and X3, Tony Horton. He has created an “easier” version of P90X for the person who is just starting their fitness journey with a mix of cardio and weight training, done in 30 min (or a little less) and will include more modified moves. If you’re familiar with Power 90, which was released before P90X, P90 is a more up to date version and not as “extreme”. I really like the sound of this workout, and wish it would have been available when I first hauled my butt off the couch and started working out for real. because i have done p90x and p90x3, I feel very comfortable recommending this workout to anybody wanting to start out with an easy workout before moving up to a more extreme version. The release date for this workout is around September; I’ll put the exact release date in the comments when I find out for sure.
image
If you’re interested in any of these new products or have any questions please visit my website: beachbodycoach.com/ryannford (you’ll have to copy/paste) or send me an email: ryannkford@gmail.com and I would love to help you get started or choose a workout that best fits your goals!

P90X3 Review

It has been 9 months since I’ve done any intense workouts and now it’s time to get back to it and start P90X3! I’ve been wanting to do this workout ever since it was released in December. Through some subtle and not so subtle hints, my wonderful husband got it for my Christmas present.
I have said it before, but the most exciting aspect for a new mother (besides the fact that it is fun) is that it only takes 30 minutes. I don’t know of a better way to get a full body beat down and be back to changing diapers in the time I used to take to warm up. The workouts may be quick, but afterwards I attack the poop blowouts and projectile puking with renewed vigor.
Enough with the background, here comes my review from the first full month of regular use: the first workout is called Total Synergistics (works all body parts), and afterwards I felt fantastic all over (the next day was a different story, can you say sore without laughing?)! Some of the moves were a little difficult, like push-ups, not because they are complex, but because my upper body strength has dropped to the point where I feel like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory trying to do pushups. Not to worry, soon I will be back to the toned, rock crushing, one-armed push-up doing workout monster I was before this baby nonsense.
The nice part is that for those Sheldon moments, I was able to modify and keep up with the others in the workout and pause when I needed.
I have noticed about other workouts in X3, is that there are hardly any breaks, except usually one 30 second rest or a minute and then it’s go time again. This is nice because there isn’t any time to be bored (or realize how winded I am). Most of the exercises are either a minute long, or doing a set number of reps so it is easy to keep up with the video.
Personally, I have a hard time following schedules, but after completing several sessions with P90X, I have found following the scheudle that is included really helps get the best results. After day one I was starting to feel sore and can fully sympathize with anybody who is starting a new workout regime in the new year. The nice part is, after a few days the soreness has mostly gone away and I can attack each workout with full intensity, which is key to getting maximum benefit for the time spent.
So if you haven’t figured it out already, I highly suggest this workout for anybody, not just people with a time constraint. Remember, Christmas and the New Year snuck up like nobody’s business, and beach season is slyly peeking around the corner waiting for us to turn our backs for one second.

5 things I am LOVING about P90X3
1) Workouts are short and to the point. No need for long hour long sessions of cardio/weights
2) Tons of new moves
3) Yoga is shorter (this way i actually do the whole workout)
4) There is a Pilates workout now!
5) There’s a separate warm up DVD that’s included on the main menu of each workout

image

Drop me a line and let me in on your favorite workout and why….

Until next time…Ryann