Fun Ways To Improve Your Fitness

Fun Ways To Improve Your Fitness

While I love our P90X training, some of our members swear by the small group training or Beach Body Live events as the most fun. It’s important to enjoy what you do and also to try new things to get fit. In fact, finding more fun ways to improve your fitness is a great addition to any fitness program. It creates variety that even makes your normal workout more enjoyable because you aren’t doing the same thing every day.

Have you considered rock climbing or hiking as an alternative to working out.

You might not want to go rock climbing every day or hike through the hills, but both activities will certainly add to your overall fitness. If you go to the gym every other day, use your days off to do active things when you can. It’s one of the reasons you’re working out, so you have the energy for more fun in your life. The best type of workout from hiking comes when you tackle uneven terrain and keep a brisk pace.

A night of dancing can be fun and a great workout.

Going out to boogie down can burn tons of calories, boost your flexibility and improve your stamina. You do have to make sure you do a ton of dancing. Just sitting at the table and ordering a drink or two is counterproductive. Stick with water or just one drink to help keep calories down. Go with someone who loves to dance so you aren’t warming the chair all night. If going out to dance isn’t your thing, turn on the music loud and dance at home. Get the whole family involved. It doesn’t have to look fantastic, just be energetic.

Swimming is perfect when you want to burn calories and enjoy the day.

Whether you hit the beach or go to a pool, doing laps can be enjoyable and provide great exercise. Some pools offer water aerobics, but if your favorite spot doesn’t, you can use your gym workout in the water. It will definitely be tougher when you try it in water. You can also play water games, such as water polo or race the kids across the pool.

  • Get out in nature and enjoy a walk, run or bike ride. Vary the speed and you’ll create a HIIT—high intensity interval training—workout by walking, running or bike riding at top speed for a few minutes and then going at recovery speed for a few minutes.
  • Shoot hoops with the kids or play a rousing game of tag or hide and seek. Playing with the kids can be super active and exercise can give you the energy to do it. However, doing it can also be great exercise.
  • Try Parkour. You’ve seen kids do it. They use the environment as their training tool. From jumping over tables to trying to run up a wall, Parkour can be a lot of fun, but you have to use common sense and safety, too.
  • Take adult gymnastics or adult ballet classes. Both of these will get you into shape, while providing an outlet that’s fun and gives you a special talent you can show off to friends.

For more information, contact us today at The Worx

5 Yoga Poses You Should Do Everyday

5 Yoga Poses You Should Do Everyday

If you want to get your fittest, there are some exercises or yoga poses you should do everyday. Keeping yourself limber and strong no matter how old you are is important. Many of the poses in yoga are similar or exactly like a Western alternative, but often done more slowly. In Alexandria, VA, I create many of the workouts that include these yoga like exercises to stretch the body, increase flexibility and strength.

Start with a pose that is a combination of two poses.

Start your day encouraging great circulation by doing the combination of the cat/cow pose. They’re a perfect combination since the poses massage and stretch the muscles in all directions. For the cat pose, you’re on your knees with your palms flat on the floor and elbows straight. Arch your back like a cat as you lower your head and exhale. Now it’s time to move back to starting position and then into the cow pose. In the cow pose, you move your head to look straight ahead as you drop your back toward the floor, leaving it with a dip mid back.

Do you want to work all major muscle groups? Do a warrior two pose.

Start by inhaling with your hands over your head. Take a large step to your right side as you exhale. Turn your right foot to the front of the mat as you lunge down with your thigh parallel to the floor and your knees over your ankle. Press down the back foot and lower the front knee toward the outer side of the right foot. Extend your arms so your right is pointing front, left toward the back. This pose stretches the body.

The forearm plank is also called the phalakasana forearm movement.

This pose starts kneeling on all fours. Bringing your elbows to the floor directly under the shoulders, clasp your hands together. Move one foot back and straighten the leg, followed by bringing the other foot back. Push your heels backward and lift up your kneecaps. Hold the position with your body straight for 30 to 60 seconds then slowly lower your body back as you reverse each step.

  • You can create a variation of the forearm plank by straightening your arms, rather than resting on the forearms.
  • Stretch your body to the side with the Vrksasana or tree pose. Lift one leg and place it on your inner thigh and you press your palms together in front of you. This pose, once learned is a relaxing way to stand.
  • The locus pose or salabhasana builds muscle strength. Lay on your abdomen with hands straight in front, then lift your arms and head as you lift your feet and legs. Hold.
  • There’s a lot of yoga exercises that are similar to Western workouts. At The Worx we ensure you get a great workout that includes all types of exercises. Come in for a free small group training session and see for yourself.

For more information, contact us today at The Worx by Maia

Good Exercises To Reduce Breast Size Naturally

Good Exercises To Reduce Breast Size Naturally

Everyone has heard of someone that wants a breast implant to get a Hollywood looking bosom, but most people aren’t aware that there are women whose bust size is so big, it causes pain and discomfort. If you’re one of those people, you don’t have to go under the knife to get a bust reduction. There are methods and exercises to reduce breast size naturally.

Excess breast tissue is adipose fat.

Breasts are made of nothing more than supportive tissue, glandular tissue and adipose fat. The glandular tissue is what produces milk after a woman has a baby. The adipose fat is what makes up the size of the breast. The more fat you have, the bigger your breasts. Hormonal changes affect the size of the breast, but so does weight loss. If you’re overweight and lose a significant amount of weight, your breast size will also change. A healthy diet can help you do this.

Exercise can help reduce those large breasts.

The right type of exercises help tone the breasts and makes them perkier, while others can reduce the size, while still improving their appearance. A wall press, incline press and decline press can do the latter and improve your appearance as it reduces pain. A wall press is an upper body push up while standing, using the wall as you would use the ground. If you have weights and a table, lay on your back with a weight in each hand and lift your hands toward the ceiling. It’s an incline press if the back of the table is up at an angle lifting your upper body and a decline press if it’s flat.

A push up builds upper body strength and can reduce the amount of upper body fat.

Add a pullover to that pushup and you’ll tone your chest muscles, while reducing the size of your breasts to improve their overall appearance. A pullover requires a lightweight weight. Hold the weight in both hands as you stand with your legs apart, weight in front of you and back straight. Raise your hands slowly until they and the weight are above your head. Hold then slowly lower the weight behind your head as far as possible. Hold and return to starting position by raising the weight above your head and back down in front of you. Repeat.

  • The chest press is one of the best breast reduction exercises around. Lay flat on your back on the bench with leg on the ground. Hold weights in each hand with arms extended out, then bend the elbows 90 degrees until they’re perpendicular with the body. Hold, return, repeat.
  • Do some cardio exercises for shedding weight. Cardio burns calories and the more you can burn, the more fat you use for energy. Run, jump or do a session of HIIT. It’s all good.
  • Try a yoga pose for some benefits. The tadasana or palm tree pose is effective. Start with your hands in front of you with fingers interlocked and feet apart. Raise your hands above your head and push the palms toward the ceiling. Push upward hard, lifting your rib cage as you raise your heels.
  • Come to the Worx, where we can help you achieve any fitness goal. I’ll be happy to create a workout to help you get the transformation you hoped to achieve and create the body you’ve always wanted.

For more information, contact us today at The Worx by Maia

How To Start Working Out For Beginners

How To Start Working Out For Beginners

Working out for beginners can be tough. You need to first find a program you like and then identify how much to do and how hard to workout. Too big of an effort early on can cause injury and stop the entire program before it starts and too little effort won’t bring the results you want. While I promote a formal exercise program that ensures you get all types of fitness training, strength, endurance, balance and flexibility, you can start simply by choosing an activity you enjoy that’s active and doing more of it.

The amount of time you spend exercising is important.

Whether you hope to improve your health, want to shed pounds or just build more energy, the amount of time you spend working out is important. According to the American Heart Association, getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day can help improve your heart health and even bring other benefits, such as some weight loss.

Not only should you make sure you work on all types of fitness, you need to ensure you use the right form.

Form is so important, especially if you’re doing a tough workout. Sometimes, just moving your arm the wrong way when you’re doing strength training or how you breathe makes a big difference on whether the exercise gets the maximum benefit. It can even cause injury if you’re doing an exercise wrong, so focusing on form is important.

Varying your workout can help prevent plateauing.

If you do the same workout repeatedly, you’ll see a lot of improvement initially. However, if weight loss is your goal, that improvement could dwindle after a few months. When you’re doing the same workout, your body becomes efficient at the movements, so it doesn’t burn as many calories, making weight loss a little harder. Varying your workout can also ensure you work all muscle groups on all planes, giving even better results.

  • Doing more or excessive exercise isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially if you’re doing more strenuous workouts like strength training. It takes time for muscle tissue to heal and working out too hard or too much can be counter-productive and actually cause you to get sick.
  • Not all types of workouts are equal, especially if weight loss is your goal. Trainers know the right types of workouts to get the best results. If you’re working out on your own, exercises that work the whole body at once and interval training work well.
  • Consistency is the key when it comes to getting results. Schedule your exercise for the same time every day until it becomes second nature.
  • If you want help starting a program of fitness, try our six weeks transformation challenge at The Worx. It even includes a plan of healthy eating, while also keeping you accountable for working out.

For more information, contact us today at The Worx by Maia

How Fitness Helps With Mental Health

How Fitness Helps With Mental Health

If you come to The Worx in Alexandria, VA, you know that working out can make you feel great, both physically and mentally. There’s a reason for that. Whether it’s boosting your cognitive functioning or raising your spirits, fitness helps with mental health in a number of ways. One of the biggest ways is to burn off the hormones created by stress, which can clear your mind and help you to think better. Those stress hormones are for running or fighting if there’s danger and the changes they make in your body cause health issues and mental fog if they’re not burned off with exercise that simulates running or fighting.

Studies show that exercise can actually help depression and anxiety.

There’s been a lot of interest recently in using exercise as an adjunct therapy for people who are depressed or anxious. It works for a number of reasons. Eliminating the stress hormones is just one. However, the body also produces hormones that make you feel good. Studies show that for depression or anxiety, even moderate exercise several times a week can get great results and eliminate the need for medication.

If you want more brain power, try working out.

A number of studies show that exercise is good for your mental functioning. It gives you more brain power and increases cognitive abilities. Several studies have been done using exercise as a method of fighting dementia and mental decline. Some show that cardio can actually boost the creation of new brain cells—neurogenesis. That improves how well the brain performs. It strengthens the hippocampus, which also boosts memory.

Lack of sleep can leave you loopy and fuzzy brained.

If you’ve ever tried to sit through a class and tried to learn after staying up late several nights in a row, you know that too little sleep can cause a decline in cognitive functioning. Insomnia or trouble sleeping can interfere with your thought processes, but insomnia can be prevented in many cases. Working out helps you sleep sounder and get the right type and amount of sleep that can improve your mental functioning.

  • If you don’t believe that working out can help you eliminate anxiety, consider people who pace. There’s a reason they do that. It’s calming. The next time you’re anxious, run up and down a set of stairs until you feel exhausted. You’ll be amazed at how much it helps.
  • Sometimes, lack of confidence can muddle your brain and put it on the back burner. Working out not only improves your posture, it boosts your confidence. Not only will you be looking more confident, you’ll feel more confident, too.
  • When you workout, you’ll increase your heart rate and that can stimulate the body to create neurohormones that help improve your mood, while improving cognitive functioning.
  • Come into the Worx for a free small group session and you’ll see how great you feel after you’ve exercised. Our six week transformation program not only helps transform your body, but also your mind.

For more information, contact us today at The Worx by Maia

What Is Muscle Confusion?

What Is Muscle Confusion?

When you hear the term muscle confusion you might envision arms and legs flailing everywhere, but that’s not how it works. Muscle confusion is a way to keep you burning more calories and avoiding a plateau. When you do physical activities, your body is always seeking efficiency and ways of saving calories. It happens when you do a workout for a long time. Not only does that lead to burning fewer calories, it also leads to fewer gains in strength training.

Muscle confusion is a technique where you vary your workout frequently.

Muscle confusion is associated most frequently with the P90X program. The program emphasizes a variety of different demands on the body, forcing the muscles to continuously adapt. The program is varied enough, the body never gets a chance to develop efficiency or accommodate the movements. It uses short circuit training cycles that work muscles with varying intensity and movements, so the body never plateaus. That means you’ll be burning far more calories than you would continuously doing the same exercise.

You’ll maximize fat burning, while providing benefits to your muscles.

There’s no doubt about it, muscle confusion continues to burn more calories than you might if you did the same workout religiously. It also works muscles in a variety of ways, so it maximizes the sculpting effect and ensures the muscles work on all planes to build strength and ensure your muscle keep growing throughout all phases. That strengthens your muscles in all directions and can help prevent injury that can occur with by making an awkward movement.

Try our P90X program and you’ll never be bored.

At one time, you could only get the program by purchasing it and doing it at home. However, now you have an option that is far more enjoyable. We provide group P90X with instructors to help you get through the tough movements and keep you accountable as you do. It’s combined with high intensity interval training to maximize the benefits.

  • Our P90X program is certified, but best of all, it’s a lot more fun than doing it alone. You’ll work with a team and find that the energy of the group boosts your desire to do better.
  • Our WorX team helps you through each movement and keeps you accountable. Accountability is a powerful motivator to stick with the program.
  • At Worx, I’m delighted to let everyone get a feel for what P90X is. That’s why I offer one free week for new students to experience it to help you decide.
  • We have several other programs from which to select. If you want personal training, it’s available. Our Accountability Program#ItWorx, can get you started on a healthier lifestyle and we even have Beachbody Live programs for certification or personal growth.

For more information, contact us today at The Worx by Maia

Get Ready To Be Fitter And Stronger

Get Ready To Be Fitter And Stronger

I love to see the changes in my clients at The Worx in Alexandria, VA. While all of them came expecting to see changes in their body, they never realized how good it would feel to be fitter and stronger. In fact, many start with one small goal, which they actually change as they see the changes in their body. Maybe their goal was just to get a little curvier or lose ten pounds, but once they start seeing their muscles tone and the changes in how they feel, they can’t help but to continue long after they’ve completed their goals.

No matter how fit or strong you are, you can always improve.

That’s what keeps people coming, the constant challenge of doing better and getting stronger. That flight of stairs that winded you now doesn’t. In fact, you can take three flights without stopping to catch your breath. That’s a pretty amazing feeling. So is the fact that you can lift more weight safely and easily. You’ll not only amaze yourself, people around you will be amazed at how different you are and how much more youthful you’ve become.

Getting fitter takes planning.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight with diet and exercises or focused more on getting healthier, you have to do some planning. Your workout program should be put on your schedule as an important appointment. It is after all an appointment for your good health, like a doctor’s appointment, only better! You’ll feel better almost immediately after working out, since it’s a true stress buster, too.

Planning healthy meals is also important.

If you’re like most people, you’re constantly on the run, often working long hours. It’s far too easy to stop for some fast food, rather than fixing a meal or packing a lunch. To help you eat healthier, plan ahead. Take an hour one night a week and plan a healthy menu for the week and make a grocery list. The next night, after you’ve eaten, do your grocery shopping and cook the meals ahead on the weekend. Make extra to freeze, so you have meals for the future. Before you know it, all you’ll have to do is make one or two meals ahead on the weekend and you’ll be set with quick meals for the week.

  • You need to set goals and establish a time frame to achieve them. Only by having a goal that you can measure, can you notice the difference in your body and check to see if your program is working.
  • Getting stronger doesn’t mean getting bulky if you’re a woman. You’ll have a sculpted look, but never get that Incredible Hulk appearance. It takes a special diet, program and supplementation to build large bulky muscles.
  • You’ll be amazed at how much younger you look and how your posture improves. Just improving your posture can boost your self-esteem, but so does looking great.
  • If you’re ready to get stronger and fitter, come to the Worx. There’s a program that is perfect for you, because I believe no two people are alike and create a program for each individual.

For more information, contact us today at The Worx by Maia

Summer Time Means Family Fun

Summer Time Means Family Fun

There’s still time for fun this summer and time to help steer your family toward a healthier lifestyle. After all, summer means family fun and what a great time to add healthy food and an active lifestyle to the agenda. How are your weekends spent? Sure, some of them are devoted to getting things done that you can’t do during the week, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking time for fun with the family. Get the kids involved with chores with their reward being a fun outing, since the chores are done faster.

Take the meals with you rather than eating on the run.

Eating healthy shouldn’t cost a fortune. It won’t when it comes in a picnic basket or cooler you take with you. Get the kids involved with shopping for your next family trip and take them shopping with you. The produce section is perfect for sweet treats and snacks that are healthy. You can monitor what they eat because you provide the selection. Better yet, take an outing to a U-Pick farm where the kids can help you gather fresh fruit and vegetables for supper, have fun and actually learn a bit about how plants are grown.

Make it a no phone day.

Prying kids away from the computer and out into the fresh air may not be an easy task, but it’s worth it. All cell phones should be shut off, except for one for any emergencies and that one’s yours. Let extended family members or neighbors know that you only accept texts if there’s an emergency as you’re in a no phone call mode for the day. That way diversions are at a minimum.

Plan an active day.

Whether you’re going for a trip to the zoo or nature preserve or an amusement park, it all involves walking and that can be wearing when you’re doing it all day long. Hiking, biking, rock climbing and swimming are also great ways to get the kids exercising, without calling it exercise. If the temperature is high, consider some indoor walking, like going to a museum or aquarium.

  • Enjoy the day and have fun together. Make an active lifestyle and healthy eating part of the fond memories you build with the family.
  • If you’re planning a big trip, like to Disney World or other major park, start the kid walking to help them get ready for the trip. It’s pretty tiring walking all day and getting too tired can spoil the fun.
  • Prepare to have fun with the family, while also staying safe. We provide functional fitness training that will boost your endurance and energy, while helping to prevent injury doing everyday tasks.
  • When you need help developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, TeamWorX can provide it. It not only educates you and clarifies the steps to take, it also keeps you accountable, while you’re learning it.

Want to Learn More About Being Active?

If you’re ready to take the next step, contact me today here or call me at 540-421-8527.

Exercising Outside In The Heat

Exercising Outside In The Heat

We’ve recently experienced extreme temperatures in Alexandria, VA. Those high temperatures combined with the humidity made it feel like 110 to 115 degrees outside. That’s just too hot for anything. Exercising outside in the heat requires more caution and some extra care, just as exercising in extreme cold does. While many clients prefer to stay in an air conditioned gym during excessive heat, if you’re going to workout when the temperature’s turned up, you need to follow some precautions.

Plan your exercise for the coolest part of the day.

Get up early, before the sun has time to warm it up too much or start working out later in the day as the sun sets. Whatever you do, don’t try to workout midday. There’s an old satirical song by Noel Coward that starts with, “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noon day sun.” While it was a comment on the British not taking a break in tropical areas, it brings a point home. Timing your workout is important.

Adjust your workout to the weather.

Your body already has to work hard to stay cool and working harder than normal. When it’s hot and humid, you simply can’t do what you normally do in cooler, more comfortable weather. Heat and high humidity can wear you out, so rather than running miles, try jogging, walking briskly or alternating to pace yourself. Hot weather is definitely not a place to try a new workout or push yourself to new limits.

Stay hydrated.

Water is your best friend in hot weather. In fact, this should be at the top of everyone’s list, even if they aren’t taking their workout program to the outside. Sip on 8-10 ounces of water throughout every 20 minute session. Stick with water and finish your workout with some juicy fresh fruit to provide the electrolytes necessary. Skip the higher calorie sports drinks if you’re trying to lose weight.

What you wear is also extremely important. Wear light weight clothing that’s light-colored. It should breathe and be loose, which allows the air to circulate, sweat to evaporate and cool you.

If you have a medical condition or taking medication, ALWAYS check with your health care professional first before starting any type of new workout program, especially if the temperatures are extreme.

Hot and humid weather is even worse than hot and dry. Because the sweat doesn’t evaporate, you get even hotter than you would otherwise. Pay close attention to both the humidity and the temperature.

Know the danger signs. Weakness, dizziness, headache, muscle cramps, paling of skin, light-headedness, nausea/vomiting and rapid heart beat tell you that you have a problem. Keep your workout shorter and safer to avoid them.

Want to Learn More?

If you’re ready to take the next step, contact me today here or call me at 540-421-8527.

Make Lunch The Night Before

Make Lunch The Night Before

While there are many healthy restaurant options in Alexandria, VA, there may not be ones near your work. That means you either have to carry your lunch or opt for an unhealthy option. You might consider the second choice, especially if your morning is hectic. However, my suggestion is to make lunch the night before to avoid the hassle in the morning and stick with your program of healthy eating. Most of these can be made on the weekend for the whole week and even stored in the freezer for those super busy weeks.

Mason jar lunches don’t take a lot of effort and can be perfect when you’re on the go.

If you have an air fryer, you’re in for a treat. You can make rotisserie tasting chicken that’s super low in calories. You do need a little oil, seasoning salt and of course, a chicken. It tastes like rotisserie chicken but with fewer calories and the best part is that you can shred in pieces and use it for Mason jar lunches. Use wide mouth jars. Put your favorite dressing on the bottom layer, then to with the layer like tomatoes, peppers, onions, beans, cheese or chicken, making sure that the “wettest” ingredients are the closest to the bottom. Top it off with a layer of greens. When you’re ready to eat, shake the jar and pour it in a bowl. Lunch is served!

Wraps can have the ingredients made the night before to assemble when you eat it.

Get everything ready to put in the wrap and take those ingredients in a bowl, with the wrap or pita bread separate. I love chicken salad and I thought only the real mayo type would do, that is until I found out you could make it with Greek yogurt and avocado and it tasted delicious. My recipe varies, since I add a bit of this and that to season it. It uses one small avocado, a half cup Greek yogurt, two cups of shredded or finely chopped chicken and the juice from a small lime for starters. From there I add a bit of garlic powder, chopped red onions, a little salt, pepper and even some onion powder occasionally. It stores well for two to three days in the refrigerator. Fill the wrap when you’re ready to eat.

There’s nothing better than a hearty soup on a cold day.

Sure, it may be hot as ever right now, but that heat doesn’t last forever. It won’t be long before you’ll be looking forward to a warm meal. Soup is always a great go-to that saves money and time. You can use left over veggies before they go bad and make a batch that will provide weeks of lunches. Some of my favorites are stuffed pepper soup, Zuppa Toscana and hearty chicken vegetable soup—which uses some of that air fried rotisserie chicken.

  • You can use leftovers from the night before to create an entirely new lunch. Use chopped pieces of steak or chicken on a bed of spinach, tossing a sliced boiled eggs, some pecans, tomatoes and feta cheese on for a salad that’s delicious, filling and nutritious. Top with a balsamic vinaigrette.
  • If you want to make your wraps even lower in calories, wrap the ingredients in a large lettuce leaf. The Greek yogurt chicken salad is delicious that way.
  • If you’re vegetarian and want something more filling, put some chickpeas in your salad or kidney beans. I also have tried salads with a small amount of sweet potato gnocchi added and it’s delicious.
  • Make all your friends at the office envious by bringing your favorite pasta—vegetable spaghetti! Make it any way you wish the night before for dinner and then top the leftovers with a different sauce for lunch the next day. Just heat and serve.