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Posts in the fitness success category

Lemon & Garlic Braised Chicken

by Kathy Smith

For the marinade:
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground pepper
Directions:
Mix all ingredients together in a large non-reactive bowl.
For the Chicken:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded slightly to flatten
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Kalamata olives
  • Chopped fresh basil
Directions:

1.     Marinate the chicken breasts for 2–4 hours in the refrigerator.
2.     Remove chicken and discard marinade.
3.     Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat and sauté chicken on one side for 5 minutes, turn and cook another 5 minutes until cooked through.
4.      Remove chicken to a warm plate.
5.     Add chopped tomatoes, capers, and olives to pan and cook for a few minutes until tomatoes start to break down.
6.     Serve chicken topped with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with basil.

 

TIP: Serve with kale sautéed with garlic and olive oil.

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

Yuletide Arms

by Kathy Smith

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

Flat Abs Are Calling!

by Kathy Smith

Take pride in your midsection, and make it the focal point of your routine this week. Not just because your abs will look a lot better, but because if your core is unhealthy, it will compromise the health of your entire system. It’s the place where all movement is initiated, and the source of your body’s deepest powers. It’s also the factor that determines whether you move freely and with ease, or whether you’re weighed down by aches and pains. A strong core makes everything easier…each bike ride, run, and walk.

Remember, having flat abs isn’t just about vanity. Extra weight around your tummy triggers greater amounts of inflammation, putting your body at an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.

By adding metabolic acceleration to your routine, you burn more belly fat than with a standard routine. Why the great results with metabolic acceleration? The word ‘metabolic’ translates to the breaking down of food into energy. During metabolic bursts, you burn more calories working at peak levels, alternating between active rest periods. The added benefit is the residual calorie burn after the workout—referred to as the EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption).

As your cells continue to need more oxygen, they are increasing your caloric expenditure and working harder after the workout. There’s a buzz around Metabolic acceleration, since it’s being used in programs such as CrossFit, P90X, and Tabata training. These metabolic workouts push you out of your comfort zone… and that’s when change starts to happen…in your workouts, your body, and your weight.
Let’s get started with this 1-min metabolic acceleration warm up!

 

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

Dr. Julie Reil & Kathy Smith: Don’t Ignore Your Pelvic Floor

by Kathy Smith

Kathy Smith: Julie, welcome to the show.  

Julie Reil: Thank you, Kathy. Thank you for just having a heart for education for women. Because every woman out there eventually does have to think and address some issues that happen with aging and the pelvic floor. I think every time we have an opportunity to discuss this is a natural part of aging and that there are some things you can be proactive with, I think it’s just another step forward for us. 

Kathy Smith: Let’s just dive in. What prompted your interest in this particular part of a woman’s body? Had you seen, have you been told, do people come in? When I was visiting you in Montana–and by the way we had a lovely visit. It’s been a while now. Maybe a couple of years ago. It was just so much fun to spend time with you in Montana and to see you in your clinic and to hear some of the stories about how women’s lives, even though sometimes we think about it as just the sexual part of our bodies, so many other things are going on down there. As it ages, it really can cause problems. What prompted your interest? 

Julie Reil: My board certifications are in family medicine and also in obstetrics. So, delivering babies for 10 years, of course, firsthand you’re seeing women through the process of childbirth which is probably the number one way that the pelvic floor loses tone of course. Then, also seeing women in their maturing years and helping them through menopause, which is the second basically insult or hit against the body in the pelvic floor area.  

So, childbirth is easy to understand because the area stretches. You don’t get complete rebound. Sometimes there’s extensive tearing in other extenuating circumstances. Menopause is kind of a little-known facts, so whether you’ve had babies or not, once your body is no longer making its own estrogen and you’re officially menopause, you now have 50% less thickness and tone of your entire pelvic floor. That entire hammock of muscles is thin as well as the connective tissue and skin thins out.  

So, your aging scenario going into your golden years is really quite tenuous. So, you’re at a lot of risk for not just urinary incontinence but loss of vaginal wall tone, loss of anal and rectal tone so that is responsible for holding gas and stool and, then the fourth function of the pelvic floor is low back pain and posture. So, all of those actually are important for just everyday life. 

Kathy Smith: Give us a little anatomy lesson when we’re talking about the pelvic floor.  

Julie Reil: It’s very much like a hammock. The front of the hammock is your pubic bone. The back of the hammock is your tailbone. So, in between there is some side attachments to the pelvic wall to your sitz bones and the very center of your hammock is basically that perineal body or the muscle that either is torn or gets cut. But it’s compromised no matter what when you give birth naturally. So, the very center of your hammock of that nice group of muscles that are anchored is already sitting lower and has less support after just one baby – one natural birth. 

So, ultimately, toning those muscles, toning the side wall supports and all the anchoring structures of that entire hammock becomes our goal. So, how do we basically keep those muscles in shape? How do we get them back in shape, for instance, after you have a childbirth? 

Kathy Smith: Of course, we’re taught at every Lamaze class, every Bradly Cat class that you go to and every workout that you go to now about Kegels. Talk to me about – because I know you have a point of view on Kegels and how to do them and their efficacy. 

Julie Reil: Again, Kegels can be helpful, but they’re not always helpful. First of all, if you have urge incontinence, which means you’re getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom or all day long you’re going back and forth to the bathroom, so you have urgent or frequent urges, Kegels can make that worse.  

So, you have to know that Kegels are specifically for people that are having more trouble with leaking urine when they sneeze or cough or do exercise. That’s called stress incontinence, which means basically the seal isn’t as tight as it used to be and you can leak and pressure can overcome that.  

Kegels can be helpful, so really you need to be directed towards the right exercise for you. Then, there’s been some advancements of Kegels which are basically some very basic exercises put together by Dr. Arnold Kegel in 1961.  

Now, there’s a program called Beyond Kegels. There are some other things out there that are basically optimizing the things that you know about, Kathy which is what types of muscles are we working on? Are these big muscles? Are these tiny, intrinsic muscles? Yes, they’re tiny muscles. Are they slow twitch? Are they fast twitch? Yes, they’re a little bit of both.  

So, the more advanced toning programs are really helping people to optimize their position, optimize the way they do their exercises to get the most out of them. Then, also, educating women that this is not like working out in the gym. These muscles are very unique and basically when people say, ‘I’ve tried Kegels. It didn’t work.’ Most likely, they haven’t tried something that’s tailored for them, because most everybody thinks a simple Kegel is just squeeze those muscles and you’re out of there. But there’s a lot more that needs to go on in order to effectively tone your pelvic floor. 

Kathy Smith: Let’s talk about it and maybe we can give the listeners one thing to try, because typically you’re told if you want to understand a Kegel, try when you’re urinating, stopping the flow of urine and those muscles that you’re using to do that are the ones you’re trying to tighten. 

Julie Reil: Yes, it’s similar to that, but we don’t recommend you do them during urination. But, yes, you’re right, those are the same muscles that will stop the flow of urine. 

Kathy Smith: I know that when I was doing my Moving Through Menopause book and video, I taught different exercises like the flutter or the elevator exercise where you would imagine that you’re in an elevator and if you imagine your vagina and going up the wall, it would be first floor, second floor, third floor. You get to the penthouse, you hold and then release one at a time.  

Another one is that you just, instead of long squeezes, it would be almost like flutter kicks like squeeze, release, squeeze, release. So, things like that. But what’s interesting when we were together and you were showing me some of the postures, maybe just explain the one of where you lift your hips up and perhaps place them on a pillow or place them in a position so you change the position of your lower body. Explain why that’s effective. 

Julie Reil: Ultimately, who needs Kegels the most, really, are women who had a baby. Those muscles are no longer nice and tight. They don’t communicate and they’re not as effective as they used to be, so you’re trying to accomplish some toning of muscles, but you’re challenged because you’re not starting off with the ideal that you used to have before having babies is those muscles are a little bit stretched apart, almost like fabric that is no longer completely in tone.  

So, what’s interesting is people who need the Kegels also have typically given birth vaginally, so sitting up and doing a Kegel or sitting at a stop sign and saying, ‘Oh, every time I stop in my car, I just do my Kegels.’ First and foremost, this is not the position to do them in because everything sits lower in the abdomen and the pelvis once you’ve given birth even once. So, you want to be in a neutral, laying down position. Ideally, if there’s something you can prop under your lower back, that elevates the hips a little bit, now, you even have less gravity working against you. 

So, sitting up, no. Laying down, better. That’s kind of a neutral. But, then, a little bit of a prop underneath the lower back where the hips kind of almost curve forward. I don’t know what you call that but if you were just doing a little bit of a flexing of the hips forward that is a very nice position because, now, you’ll eliminate gravity and even save tissues that are sitting lower, and you can really work through those full range of motion of what you’re trying to accomplish with your pelvic floor. That’s one position. 

Kathy Smith: Ok. Did you have another one you wanted to share?  

Julie Reil: I was going to say if you were to do one thing besides that position, it would be to do a combination like you mentioned, Kathy, of kind of a long-held isometric, like I’m going to pretend there’s a marble in the vagina. I’m going to squeeze around that marble and I’m going to pull it up towards my belly button and I hold, hold, hold. Count slowly to five and hold it. I call that more of an isometric, like a long-held contraction. Then, rest and do the same thing but do what you mentioned – the flutters – where you lift the marble up, you let it go, you lift the marble up, you let it go.  

So, for most people that have tried to do Kegels in the past, they usually do them in one way. And I think most people do it in kind of a long-held fashion. I’m not sure. But when they do the combination which, then, is allowing you to work both the slow twitch and the fast twitch muscles down there, which are basically there’s 40% of one and 60% of the other – almost half and half – you’re going to be toning the muscles more effectively and getting more out of your exercises if you do that combo.  

Kathy Smith:  I love those combos…and you’re right, it’s so important to switch up your kegel exercisses to work both the fast twitch and slow twitch muscles! Just like any other muscle in the body, the PC (pubococcygius) muscle, which is the muscle you work while kegeling,  needs regular exercise to remain firm. And having a strong pelvic floor is extremely important because when done correctly, “Kegeling” can alleviate up to 90 percent of stress incontinence. And of course, it’s going to heighten pleasure and sensitivity during intercourse! What are some other ways women can be proactive about keeping their pelvic floor strong?  

Julie Reil: It certainly wouldn’t hurt. Exactly. First and foremost, you’ve got your four functions of your pelvic floor. So, urination and having bowel movements or stooling, that’s a necessary part of life every day. And it also has issues of dignity. So, that’s so important that we, as we’re aging and living longer, that we maintain and be able to have the pelvic health that we can. Because it does affect your cardiovascular fitness and activities you do, for instance. So, if you can keep those muscles strong and not be someone who’s leaking urine or unable to control gas or stool, which happens as people get into their 60s and beyond, that’s really important.  

But vaginal wall tone becomes quite important, not only structurally so that you’re not having things sagging and falling out and that discomfort, but to be able to basically enjoy sex more and, then, be able to, I guess, be a little bit more proactive too, because this is an area where if you use it and continue to be able to use it, even through the drying, aging scenario for a pelvic floor is that you have less thickness of the skin. You also have less moisture.  

So, that’s a little bit of the flower that withers away and dries up. So, you have to be proactive to make sure your flower doesn’t wither away and dry up. There’s some things you can do medically, but the tone is probably the cornerstone of it all. Then, using some other strategies to keep things – the mucus glands active and working. So, you had said once, I think, in a question, ‘Is this an area where if you don’t use it, you will lose it?’ There is some truth to that. This is ideally an area where you need to continue to use it, which becomes a challenge when you don’t have a partner. But there are ways that you can keep the area working and keep it from thinning so dramatically. 

Kathy Smith: Exactly…if you don’t use it, you lose it! But if you don’t have a partner, you don’t have to feel left out! There’s all kinds of techniques that will help you everything stay active and toned…including vibrators. It’s nothing to be ashamed of…One out of every three people that go into nursing facilities go in because of incontinence. At one point, if you cannot maintain and hold your urine and your bowels, then life becomes very difficult and it’s not just something that happens in very old age. Women in their 30s start to leak when they jumprope or jog. And a lot of women suffer in silence. It affects their relationships, their self esteem, their sex lives. It’s an important thing to address. So, that’s why it’s never too early to start being proactive. 

Julie Reil: Absolutely. And, again, so in the last 10 years, it’s a thrill to know that I think because of our wonderful, younger generation – these millenniums – they will talk about things. They’re taking the taboo out of a lot of subjects, and women in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s–I treat women in their 90s–they’re realizing they’re not alone. This is actually a fairly normal part of giving birth as well as aging and they can be proactive.  

It’s a very personal subject. It involves matters of dignity, truly. But to empower women to realize, well, there really are some things you can do. It may not be in your mainstream medical doctor’s office yet, but there’s some treatments and there’s combining exercises with, say, bioidentical estrogen cream, used very conservatively. There’s a lot of things where if you do the stuff over the long run, if you started in your 40s, 50s, continue on, your preservation of your pelvic floor and its function will be so much better, of course, than if you just let things go.  

Kathy Smith: Yeah, optimizing that. 

Julie Reil: These young women are saying, ‘Tell me what to do.’ It’s important to them. They don’t want to lose their, let’s say, sexual abilities, their attractiveness but, also, their functional issues and their dignity. They’re looking around, going, ‘Whoa, that could happen to me.’  

I love the fact that people are becoming proactive, and I love that fact that 90-year olds come in. Ninety-year olds are interested in not getting up and down and peeing all night, not having leaking but more than that, they want to feel as young and beautiful down there as they do anywhere else in their body. 

Kathy Smith: Yeah, it makes so much sense. 

Julie Reil: Yes, it’s beautiful.  

Kathy Smith:  And it turns out that engaging in intercourse and other sexual activities that stretch the vagina can actually preserve elasticity by preventing contracting and over-tightening of the tissue in the area. But yet, around 50-60% of women report problems with vaginal dryness. What’s happening in a woman’s body and hormone levels that cause this dryness, and how can we prevent that atrophy…especially during or after menopause?  

Julie Reil: Naturally, in terms of vaginal dryness, what’s happening structurally, physiologically is your pelvic floor is very dependent upon estrogen. When you no longer make your own estrogen and, say, you are officially in menopause, which means you haven’t had a period for 12 months, you are basically already – because of the lack of estrogen influence on those tissues – at least 50 percent thinner than when you were having your menstrual cycle. So, that means the skin, the connective tissue in the muscle are all thinning out. They’re becoming weaker. So, estrogen naturally supports the thickness, the turgor and the elasticity. So, it’s a big deal when you go into menopause.  

If you take systemic hormone replacement, there’s some improvement, but typically people will still have atrophy and they will still have vaginal dryness as well as some difficulty with the stretch of intercourse. That might be felt during intercourse or what we call afterburn. It seems like it’s going fine but, then, when you’re all done, it’s really uncomfortable because those tissues did not stretch well.  

Your strategies really do come down, ideally, ultimately that if you can replace a little bit of that estrogen topically. One of the best things that happened for women, in my opinion, in 2010, the American College of Oncologists, the cancer doctors, issued a position statement reassuring women that use of an estrogen cream on your pelvic floor, on your vaginal walls is not putting you at risk of systemic cancers and long-term risk of heart disease and stroke and things that we know that come from taking systemic hormones over the long term.  

There’s a couple of reasons for that. First of all, you don’t need much in terms of the dose. Second of all, you only dose it three times a week and it’s typically just a little wheel of cream. I have my patients just rub it in like you would a lotion. Interestingly is, that little bit makes a huge difference to preserve some thickness, some elasticity and how to guard against the ultimate withering away and drying up of the flower. You want to preserve the thickness and the blood supply and the stretchability of that area. So, estrogen is your number one thing.  

So, is there natural forms of estrogen? Personally, I like to prescribe Estriol, which is compounded. It has to be prescribed, but it is 100% bioidentical to what’s in the human body. It’s only one subtype of estrogen, but it’s about 85% specific for the pelvic floor. So, you don’t have people talking about breast tenderness, a kind of systemic effect of the hormone, because it’s really just being used three times a week, about 1 ML, which is a small dosing. It takes care topically, or locally, what you need, but it’s not going throughout your whole system. Does that make sense? 

Kathy Smith: It does. Totally. With the product, then, it’s going to help with dryness, with thickness and a little bit of the elasticity and the shape? 

Julie Reil: The tissues that are essentially estrogen dependent, we’re talking the entire hammock of your pelvic floor is skin-connected tissue, and those fine intrinsic muscles all respond a little bit to that estrogen. So, it’s not just like the very surface of the skin becomes less wrinkly. No, it’s actually giving a small, functional improvement.  

It doesn’t suddenly make you re-toned, but we’re talking about the marathon, not the sprint here. So, if you go into menopause – on average 50, 55 – and you’re going to live another 45, 50 years, you’ve got a lot of years where you really want to prevent, which would be the ultimate–which is kind of the withering away of those tissues. When I examine women in their elder years who haven’t had any estrogen, it’s as thin as wet tissue paper. So, you’re talking about an area that really becomes somewhat non-functional. 

Kathy Smith: Because it can tear so easily. 

Julie Reil: Yeah, with hardly any pressure. Imagine sitting in a wet pad, then, having that pliable, fragile tissue. It really behooves us to just become aware of how we can use every possible strategy to make this area preserved and maintained as well as possible. 

Kathy Smith: Right. And also, it’s interesting to note that when estrogen leaves the body, so does important bacteria that lives in the vagina. This changes the pH, and makes the area more acidic and vulnerable to infection. Because of this, combined with the loss of elasticity, little tiny tears form making the vagina more susceptible to infections. And not the infections of the yeast infections we used to get when we were younger but more so, even more bacterial infections. 

Julie Reil: Absolutely. And bladder infections, for sure. 

Kathy Smith: And bladder infections. So, yeah, it really is something to pay attention to. Well, then, for one of the things that–I know in your introduction, I talked about it–but it’s a procedure called Genityte. I know it’s a procedure that helps with the pelvic floor. It helps with all the things we’re talking about.  

Can you talk a little bit – because I know these things are popping up across the country and there’s different claims that are being made for different procedures – can you talk about Genityte? But, also, just in a broader view of a lot of claims that are being made for products out there of how they can tighten, shift, change and which ones work and which ones don’t. 

Julie Reil: Ok, well, good. Essentially, what is out there are different, let’s say, machines or mechanical ways to potentially add a little more tone to the vaginal walls. CO2 laser can be used, radio frequency, electricity. I don’t think ultrasound’s been used successfully.  

What I use in a Genityte procedure is infrared light. It’s light, not heat and it’s a very gentle approach. Because it can go directly in and around the clitoris, the anus, very, very sensitive, highly innervated areas, we’re able to accomplish toning of the entire pelvic floor – pubic bone all the way back to the tailbone and everything in between including the vaginal walls. What I love about Genityte is the four functions of the pelvic floor – urination, having babies, the vaginal wall tone which is our sexual function too, having bowel movements or passing gas and stooling as well as lower back pain and posture are all improved. Therefore, the ability to Kegel, to use those muscles and to return better structural tone by exercising them, all that, then, becomes possible.  

Other than that, the things that are out there are using pretty intense heat or electricity or radio frequency, that can only be used in the vaginal walls where you don’t have a lot of nerve supply; otherwise, you would literally damage nerves to the clitoris or to the anus in which people would never tolerate and, certainly, we can’t risk.  

I think the best of the best things out there because Genityte was something developed right here where I practice myself. The other things have kind of just come as a little bit of a spinoff, if you will. I think the best things that can be accomplished, you just have to work one on one with your physician in terms of what’s safe for you. What you don’t want to risk, of course, with any of those thing is that something might get worse.  

There is a difference between urgent incontinence and there’s a difference between stress incontinence and, then, there’s a difference between vaginal wall prolapse. The person doing the procedure needs to be a physician, and they need to know how to actively diagnose and, then, steer you in the right direction.  

There are some home product, which you might be referring to as well. There’s something now that can help you, let’s say, optimize your Kegeling ability and it connects to your iPhone. I think it costs only about $150. It’s essentially a biofeedback device. It’s used by the physical therapists, and it can give you feedback as to how well you’re squeezing those muscles. I think that’s kind of exciting. It’s something you can actively do along with your Kegeling program at home and give you a sense of are you making strides, are the muscles getting stronger, are you registering, on your biofeedback scale, a higher score? 

Kathy Smith: Is that called a dilator? Just for the audience, what would they look for? I’ve read about them. I’m actually going to order one. That’s a great idea. I read about them.  

Julie Reil: They came out in Europe first, but I know the physician in Vancouver has been using it, meaning recommending it to patients and feeling like it’s a little bit of a step up. Certainly, it’s affordable, which is nice. The other units I’ve seen that are available to order off the internet in the U.S. look more like a vibrator. You insert it. But they’re a little bit bulky and, then, they don’t have the blue tooth. So, what I like about the one he was talking about–I think it’s called eFIT or something. I’m going to look it up and see if I can find it on my phone. 

Kathy Smith: We’ll track it down and we’ll put it in the liner notes here.  

Julie Reil: Yes, because of the affordability, first of all, I think that’s amazing. And, then, the fact that most everybody has an iPhone now or some kind of a blue tooth device, so it just seems like it would be easy to use and, then, have some immediate feedback as to how you’re doing. 

Kathy Smith: So, I guess the message is start with a program to strengthen the pelvic floor, to strengthen the muscles of the vaginal wall. Think about the dryness element of where you are on the spectrum and whether you need a little bit of estrogen cream.  You might also try vaginal moisturizers, which are called “face cream” for the vagina. They work by binding vaginal cells and holding water.  

Then, if things are to the point where you’re finding you’re embarrassed because you can’t hold your urine or your bowels, then the idea is instead of just going out and getting the Depends or getting a pad or something to stop the leakage  – or to not even stop it but to catch the leakage – the idea is to now start to go to a doctor, to perhaps go to even your website, which is ShilohMedicalClinic.com or subscribe to Women’s Voices Magazine, and start to get more information about what are some of these techniques that you can do now to really help with the strengthening of this area. Because it’s a fascinating brave new world, and I encourage everybody to listen up, not be embarrassed about it and perhaps start the dialogue with your girlfriends or even with yourself or with your doctor.  

Julie Reil: Right. 

Kathy Smith: Any last parting words before I have to let you go? 

Julie Reil: No. Once again, Kathy, I just applaud you because you are so proactive for women. You’re broaching topics here, I think, everybody needs to hear about. But the common denominator is these are really embarrassing topics, and I think people are often not reaching out for the help they need because of the embarrassment. So, everything that we can do to encourage each other as women and let them know there are other things.  

Doctors like myself, I’m nothing wonderful but I certainly have a heart for women. Because of my women’s health category, I’m just one of many out there who are trying to make life better. I just want to thank you again for what you do for women. I think just continuing to be a resource for women as to what’s coming out, what’s coming down the pike. I think there’s a lot of interesting things out there and everything has to be taken with a grain of salt. I think looking at things critically, talking with your doctor, making sure things are safe, number one. Then, beyond that, just being proactive for yourself and your own health is what it’s all about these days. 

Kathy Smith: So well put. On another note or just to add to that, I would love to track down the Kegel exercises you’ve mentioned. We’ll also put all those in the liner notes just so people know where they have access to find these newer techniques. 

Julie Reil: Absolutely. The website that you can research is called PhoenixCoreSolutions.com. This is a physical therapist from Missoula, Montana who did this research a good 30 years ago. A very successful program called Beyond Kegels and little things like the wedge to prop under your lower back is all available on here site and the books and what not. She is an interesting woman who basically has done very well as a physical therapist and she said, “In my younger years, I said I’m going to make a million dollars.” Well, then, after she made a million dollars, her next goal was to help a million women.  

That’s what Beyond Kegels has been about. It has been just kind of her giving back to women. I think it’s the best program out there and the easiest to do. She has research to back it up and I would say have hundreds of patients to also credential that it’s something that is realistic, you can do it at home, it works and it can fit into anybody’s everyday life. And you only do it three times a week, which is another helpful thing, so it’s not laborious to do this. 

Kathy Smith: It sounds like a remarkable woman. Once again, it’s great. I’m going to have to fly out to Montana. I need a Dr. Reil fix, so I’ll have to come see you. Thank you so much. 

 

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

Total-Body U-Turn Workout

by Kathy Smith

IT’S TIME TO U-TURN YOUR WORKOUT with this 15-min density circuit to tone every inch of your body.

What’s a “density circuit?” It means that you include just a few moves in your circuit, so you can pack a lot of movement into your 15 minutes!

Doing this lets your body train longer with less fatigue and more movement quality. And you know what that means…the more moves you can fit in during a 15-minute pre-shower workout, the better your metabolism-boosting results.

What makes the workout a U-Turn?

You start the workout off by doing 5 moves in sequential order. For the next round, you reverse the order, or in other words, you U-Turn.

Here’s how it works..

  1. Complete 15 reps of each move
  2. Do two rounds. Here’s where the U-Turn comes in…For the 1st round, complete moves #1-5. For the second round, do the sequence backwards and complete moves #5-1
  3. Repeat for 15 minutes!
  1. Start in plank position, but this time, rest on your elbows instead of your hands. Be sure to keep the shoulders depressed back and down and the neck nice and long throughout the movement.
  2. Keeping your abs engaged, slowly swivel the hips underneath you to the right. Feel your obliques driving this motion as you swivel to the other side with a slow, controlled motion.
  1. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, step your left foot directly behind you, taking a wide stance, and bend your legs, lowering your torso down into a lunge. Be sure and maintain that core stability to prevent injury.
  2. While in lunge position, keep your shoulders over your hips, back knee slightly bent, front knee in alignment with your front toes, shoulders back and down.
  3. Feel your weight in your right (front) heel as you push yourself to standing.
  4. As you return to standing, do a tricep kickback: Reach your arms back behind you and extend, feeling a squeeze in the tricep.
  1. Stand with dumbbells in each hand in hammerhead position, with palms facing each other.
  2. Step out to the right side, with a wide stance. Bend the right leg and lower your hips down as you keep the left leg straight out to the side, feeling a slight stretch in the left inner thigh.
  3. Pressing off the right foot, keeping your core engaged, push yourself back up to standing.
  4. As you return to standing, curl the weights up toward your shoulders, squeezing the muscles on the front of the arms for a bicep curl.
  1. Rest dumbbells on your hips as you place your left foot behind you. Instead of stepping directly back, the left foot should move diagonally back, with the back knee bending down directly outside the right foot
  2. Fire up the core muscles as you squat down with the right leg, feeling the emphasis on your right glute (weight placed firmly in the right heel) as the left foot lightly supports you.
  3. As you return to standing, bring the left foot forward, landing with a wide stance.
  4. Punch the right hand across your body, toward the left wall, allowing your right foot to rotate as your torso twists to the left, engaging your right glute.
  1. Squat down to rest both hands on the floor, similar to the Mountain Climber move. But instead of lunging one leg back behind you, jump both legs at the same time into a plank position.
  2. Return to standing, and reach up to the sky.

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

Relieve Pain in 2 Minutes

by Kathy Smith

2-Min Solution To Generate More Energy While Relieving Pain!

We live in a seemingly consistent go-go-go world with little time to relax. And all this non-stop action puts pressure on our bodies.

Whether you’re knocking out reps at the gym or simply doing work at your desk, your body will tell you when you’re doing too much. Everybody has their individual aches and pains, but most of us have a bit of an issue with our lower back.

The good news is that you don’t need to be able to twist like a pretzel into any crazy poses in order to relieve aches and pains.

Today, I want to show you a 2-min relaxation sequence that will help de-compress and de-stress throughout the day. When used regularly, this routine will help give you the cumulative benefits of gently unwinding your hamstrings and relaxing your lower back.

This solution is mind-blowingly simple, and all you need is a wall, and a chair.

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

4-Min Jump Rope Routine

by Kathy Smith

This 4-Min Jump Rope Routine Takes Your Bones, Calves & Cardio To The Next Level

Entire Workout Available Here

The New York Times referred to a study about why high-impact exercises (such as jumping rope) are good for your bones, and important as you age, saying, “Bones should be jarred, for their own good. Past experiments have definitively established that subjecting bones to abrupt stress prompts them to add mass or at least reduces their loss of mass as people age.”

Today’s 4-min jump rope video from my Cardio Knockout DVD isn’t complicated…in fact, you don’t even need a jump rope…just use your imagination!

But, be prepared…this routine will take your calves, cardio and coordination to the next level. And, it will amp up your metabolism.

Plus, it’s fun.
Here’s what some women on Facebook shared with me about this workout…

I love love love this video, I own it and still do it a lot!!!!!” – Robin
Love the full jump roping section! Did it this morning!” – Ella
I used this workout to get back in shape after having children. It helped me get my absence back.” – Colleen
 

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

5 Reasons To Go On A Walk

by Kathy Smith

1. You can burn calories AND enjoy the scenery.

Here’s a little-known fact: A fast walk (at a 12-minute-mile pace) burns more calories than a slow, 9-minute-mile job. That’s because in a fast-paced walk, your body incorporates more muscles, thus burning more calories. And walking techniques like the “heel-toe-push” and “walking the line” increase this calories-burning potential even more.

2. You can de-stress AND boost your immune system.

Walking can be a powerful antidote to stress, because it requires the physical involvement of the entire body combined with a relaxed mental focus. It lowers the levels of adrenaline and cortisol flowing through the body, leaving you in a happier, less stressful state. And it doesn’t stop there: The body responds to aerobic workouts (like walking) by producing additional white blood cells – our strongest form of dense, helping to prevent a range of illnesses from the common cold to more serious health concerns, including tumors and viruses.

3. Heart rate goes up, blood pressure goes down.

Cardiovascular activity temporarily increases your heart rate, helping you to burn calories and protect the health of your heart. And there’s more: a daily walk can do more to lower your blood pressure than blood pressure medications can. Since walking increases and maintains a steady arterial pressure during the exercise, it’s an excellent way to keep your circulation (and the rest of your system) in good working order.

4. You will improve your memory and cognitive processes.

Do you ever forget a name, an appointment, or where you left your keys? Walking will help. Not only does it improve the connectivity of synaptic circuits in the brain, but walking also targets specific areas of brain function, including “executive control tasks,” which helps in problem solving. And you can enjoy all these brain boosting benefits from the comfort of you home: Try an indoor walking workout, like my Fat Burning Walking DVD, a fun and unique routine designed to zap belly fat while strengthening the entire body.

5. Walking keeps you – and your knees! – going longer and stronger.

A lack of exercise doesn’t give your knees a chance to get stronger, and overuse can sometimes wear them out too soon. But walking strikes a sweet spot in the middle – strengthening knees AND preserving them for years to come, while improving your overall endurance. The Human Body has an amazing capacity to adapt to increased levels of physical exertion, even if that “exertion” is at a comparatively low level. Walking improves both the muscular endurance and cardiovascular endurance, allowing you to walk farther, faster, while becoming healthier and fitter than ever before. For a complete at-home walking workout package that’s gentle on the knees and effective on calorie-burning endurance, try the Walk Off The Pounds Kit!

When you fully step into the walking experience, you can take back control of your health, and start feeling more energetic and alive every day!

It’s True…You Can Create Flat Abs By WALKING!

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

By Collage Video | | exercise, fitness success, Kathy Smith, story, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Let Your Towel Tone You!

by Kathy Smith

If you’re a girl on the go, then today’s the day to SKIP THE GYM. All you need to do is grab a towel with a high thread count, so it slides easily across an uncarpeted surface. Yes, your towel can become your best toning tool! (A little side-note…paper towels also work!)

When you add a towel to any sliding move, it increases the intensity, and can be a miracle for those hard-to-reach areas, including the inner thighs. Plus, it targets your core and challenges your balance.

So when you’re caught with a hectic holiday schedule and you need to skip the gym, make a b-line to your linen closet. Join me in today’s video, and I’ll show you how to tone your inner thighs and core!

Kathy

By Collage Video | | exercise, fitness, fitness success, goals, Kathy Smith, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

1 Tummy Trick You’ve NEVER Tried

by Kathy Smith

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Here’s an amazing idea…You can tighten your tummy without any more dreaded crunches. In fact, today I want to show you a mini belly-strengthening trick that will grant impressive results. I’m willing to bet that it’s a trick you’ve never (ever) tried before.

It’s called the “stomach vacuum with a lift.” This isometric contraction has nothing to do with your Hoover, but this vacuum should be part of your weekly routine :) This trick helps strengthen your transverse abdominis, the abdominal muscle that I call your “built in spanx.”

Here’s how to start:

  1. While on all fours, contract your abdominal muscles, cinching your abs toward your spine. Be sure to not hunch your shoulders.
  2. Focus on lifting your knees ever-so-slightly off the mat by creating this small abdominal contraction. Your knees will lift only a minimal amount off the floor…if at all. Remember, the key is to create the lift with your abdominals, not by rolling your weight into your shoulders and lifting your hips.

After practicing this technique for a month or two, your jeans should zip up a little easier!

Kathy

By Customer Service | | fitness success, goals, Healthy, Kathy Smith, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more
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