Posts Tagged ‘Health and Fitness’

Product Review: EAS Complete Protein (your choice of flavors) and why strength training is great for women

October 5, 2015 Leave a comment

EAS Complete Vanilla Protein Powder

As women get older, our nutritional needs change. The doctor starts to say things like “you need more Vitamin this this and this. Oh and don’t eat too much salt, drink more water, and exercise.” That’s when you know that you’ve reached the dreaded “adult” stage. How am I an adult when feel like I was 12 like 2 weeks ago???

Recently I decided to incorporate more strength training into my regular routine of Zumba, Yoga, and whatever else catches my interest on a particular day. Strength training has so many benefits for women, including:

  • Lose more body fat (everyone’s favorite, right?)
  • More strength without bulk – women have 10 to 30 times less of the hormones that cause muscle hypertrophy compared to men. That means that except in extreme circumstances, women won’t bulk.
  • Risk of osteoporosis decreases – This is on my mind because in my family history, some females do develop that condition. I also broke a toe not too long ago and realized that breaking things is not a remote possibility anymore
  • Athletic performance improves – I love this bit. I feel stronger in the other types of exercise I do like Yoga and more able to do the poses that require a lot of upper body strength
  • Physical strength! – Carry more of those grocery bags in with more confidence because you got strength, girl!
  • Reduce risk of injury, back pain & arthritis – I have back issues stemming from my years of running, and lifting is definitely getting my lower back stronger.
  • It’s never too late to start – Whether you’re 40, 50 or 60, it’s never too late to start

Anyway, getting into strength meant I had to change up how I ate, and in particular how much protein I consumed. To that end, it was time to select a protein powder to help get me to the levels I needed. And boy, talk about differing price points and reviews. In the end I picked the EAS Complete Protein Powder in Vanilla for a few reasons:

  1. Fairly inexpensive. 1 2-lb tub of powder comes in under 20 dollars and oftentimes there are online coupons specifically for it. And I don’t have to go all the way across town to my hoity toity vitamin store for it; it’s literally down the block from my house at my local supermarket.
  2. The vanilla flavor tastes like melted vanilla ice cream when combined with nonfat milk in a shake. I’m not kidding, that’s exactly what it tastes like.
  3. You can use the powder in tons of different recipes. I like using a scoop in the morning with my oatmeal instead of sugar. Tastes great and it’s sweetened nicely with a hint of vanilla.
  4. At 150 calories for a 2-scoop serving, it packs a 25 gram protein punch, along with other vitamins and minerals including those for bone and digestive health.

So there you go, high protein, great flavor, and a low price. Works for me 🙂

A gentle Hatha Yoga flow practice that can literally put you to sleep (video included)

March 26, 2015 Leave a comment

I think the yogini’s name is Sarah Holmes. I almost fell asleep while trying this practice out yesterday, her voice is so soothing and mellow. It is still considered Hatha, with a few Warriors, Needles, and Pigeon poses thrown in for a nice stretch. I highly recommend it. Enjoy:

That channel has tons of different types of Yoga practices so if you find it to not be challenging or long enough (clocks in around 42 minutes), there are definitely options to be found. And the best part is it’s all free.

Also, if you ever have problems getting to sleep, I recommend this Yoga Nidra video. You don’t have to do anything other than listen to the video, and lie down in a comfortable spot with some blankets as the body temp will go down. I listen to it sometimes when I go to bed, and I have yet to make it past the five minute mark. Next thing I know it’s morning, my earbuds are still in, and the cats are complaining that breakfast is late. Good stuff for relaxation and sleep:

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DVD Recommendation: Crunch Burn & Firm Pilates/ Crunch Super Slimdown

August 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Crunch Burn & Firm Pilates with Instructor Ellen Barrett

I’ve worked out with many Pilates DVDs over the years, and I’d have to say that I like Ellen Barrett’s style the best. She comes from a Ballet/dance background and incorporates that into her routines.

As most of you already know, Pilates was designed by Joseph Pilates as a way for dancers and other athletes to strengthen up after serious injury. Because of that, the focus of the practice is core strength, flexibility, and breathing. It used to be known as Contrology, a method of using the mind to control muscles. In other words, with every movement you do, the mind has to be part of the action or it won’t be effective, and injury could occur. I know there was a few times where I spaced doing a Jackknife pose on the stability ball and came crashing down. Oops.

This video is great. Its focus isn’t on mat work, but instead movements and poses in a standing position. Hand weights are recommended (2 or 3 lbs each) and you will need sneakers for the standing portion. Then it’s time to kick off your shoes and get on the mat.

Crunch Super Slimdown with Ellen Barrett

Another recommendation I have is Crunch Super Slimdown. This is a more traditional Pilates mat workout in combination with traditional Yoga poses, and very effective. She’s really good at explaining the movements and has a young lady demonstrating partial range of motion movements, with the rest of the class performing the full range of motion movements.

Have fun with it, and as always, be mindful of your pose and posture.

DVD Recommendation: Crunch Total Yoga

August 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Instructor: Sara Ivanhoe

I originally bought this video in VHS format around 2002, and even though it’s been 8 years, I still like it (now own the DVD version). It’s great because it makes you feel stronger, more flexible, yet calm after the practice. As always, pay attention to your posture and form when performing the practice. I like it especially after running as it helps to stretch out my leg muscles and cool down in a safe way.

That being said though, there are a lot of poses that force you to support your body weight included in the practice, like Plank, Down Dog, Chair, and High Lunge.  Cooldown comes in the end with stretches and Final Relaxation pose.

All in all, it flows pretty well. Two thumbs up 🙂

DVD Recommendation – Turbo Sculpt

August 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Turbo Sculpt

If you’re like me and need to get lean and mean but hate being on the weight machines at the gym (booooring), this is a DVD I definitely recommend.

Turbo Sculpt only requires a set of hand weights (3 or 5 lbs to start for females, higher for males) and a mat. If you’ve ever done any of Chalene Johnson’s workouts, you know that she’s a great instructor without getting too cutesy. The workout is broken down into warm up (gotta heat up the muscles), arms, shoulders (this part is killer for me), squats, lunges, and core.

The music transitions nicely for each section, and she demonstrates the moves with weights with her sidekick Mindy as usual demonstrating the moves without weights and at less intensity. I like videos that show alternate moves for those starting out or those that may be injured and can’t go full bore.

It’s 40 minutes in length, but flies by pretty quick. As always, make sure to pay close attention to your form and posture to prevent injury.

Two thumbs up 🙂

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