Love Notes by Jari Love

Posts in the Wellness category

Eat Real Food for Weight Loss

by Jari Love

Most people think that weight loss comes from giving up the foods that they enjoy and that staying skinny means never enjoying eating out again. While some dietary modifications are necessary for success, you hardly have to stop eating for pleasure. There are a few tips that will let you bend the rules a little more and still succeed, and we’d like to share them with you.

Meat Isn’t the Problem for Weight Loss

While more doctors are advising that you should eat less meat, only a few are saying don’t eat it all. Much of the issue with meat being linked to illness comes from pollution that animals absorb when they live in factory environments, not from the meat itself. Even the famous vegan doctor Michael Greger cited carcinogens from industrial environments, not the meat itself, as the cause of disease.

The solution to this issue is simply to eat more local meats and just moderate your portions. Meats do provide protein and iron in large amounts. Grass-fed beef is far richer in nutrients and is easier to digest.

Sweets Are Not the Problem for Weight Loss, Either

Natural sweeteners are an excellent replacement for processed sugars, just don’t heap them onto your food. Honey is an excellent sweetener that is also known to help loosen sinus congestion. So is maple syrup. Cookies can be made with raw cane sugar and can also be sweetened with natural molasses.

For Weight Loss Whole Grains Are the Best Choice for Breads and Cereals

Did you cringe when you were advised by a diet plan to eat a hamburger without the bun? Then forget you were ever told that. We already know that meat isn’t the problem, you just want to have a better burger.

So go ahead, grill that quarter pounder, and serve it on a good quality, wholegrain bun. Whole grains undergo less processing and retain more nutrients. Buns made from whole grains typically aren’t enriched with chemicals, but read the label to make sure.

Cereals made from whole grains are available in every grocery store. They are nothing new, and nowadays, they are so popular that you can easily find a cereal that is not only healthy but tasty. Wholegrain cereals that include natural berries, raisins and other sweet fruits are fine. The fruits add a bit of flavor and help you absorb the iron.

Whole Foods Make Your Body Work Better

Weight loss isn’t just about cutting calories and carbs. A lot of times, people are a bit overweight just because their bodies are slow to metabolize foods. Processed foods move more slowly through your system and waste byproducts back up. This slows you down and makes you feel lethargic.

Whole foods digest quicker and your body doesn’t have to do as much work to process them. As a result, you can lose weight just by eating better-quality foods and not having to count calories all the time. You do still need to moderate your portions, but the RDA labels on most foods will give you the information you need.

Look At the Food Labels and Plan Accordingly

If your recommended daily allowance of carbohydrates is 300 grams a day, just look at the labels of foods you are eating and see how many carbs you’re consuming. Check the labels for a few days, or maybe a week and take a few notes. Then make your daily plan according to the recommended daily allowance. All that’s left to do is just make sure you eat a fun-enough variety of foods so that you’re still enjoying life.

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

5 Plateau-Busting Plyometrics Exercises to Swap for Cardio

by Jari Love

If you’ve been hitting the gym double-time and still aren’t seeing results, you could be hitting a workout plateau. It’s everyones worse nightmare when it comes to weight loss. That scale just isn’t budging. There are ways you can break the plateau, plyometrics on the Get RIPPED workouts. Instead of spending more time sweating, shorten your routine by using plyometric movements that combine cardio and strength to give you a well-rounded workout in less time.

“Practicing plyometrics regularly will increase your speed and power, plus get you shredded,” says Grace Menendez, a trainer at Crunch gyms in NYC. The goal is to exert maximum force in short intervals of time, she adds. In other words, adding these few movements below can totally replace your regular cardio routine.

 Kettlebell Swings

A Stand with feet hip-width apart and place a 12kg kettlebell (for newbies) or 16kg kettlebell (for advanced users) on the floor about 18-inches in front of you. Push hips back and bend knees enough to place hands on the bell handle.

B Tilt the bell back towards you as you hike it through legs, hinging at hips as you inhale.

C Stand-up completely straight as you exhale, squeezing glutes and straightening knees at the top of the swing. Continue the swings for 10 minutes. At the top of each minute, swing the bell 10 times, then rest.

 Plyo Pushups

A Start in a pushup position, fingers spread wide to create a firm foundation, belly-button drawn in towards spine.

B Inhale and lower chest towards the ground like in a standard push-up. As you exhale, push forcefully off the ground as hands lift off. As you land, be sure to land with elbows bent to protect joints. Make it easier by placing knees on the ground, or harder by adding a clap in between push-ups. Work up to 3 sets of 10 reps.

 Box Jumps

A Stand in front of a surface around knee-height. Use a bench, plyo box, or even stairs to practice this move. Start with feet about as wide if in a squat.

B Bend knees, and bring hands behind you at your sides. Jump onto the box, making sure to stand up all the way by straightening knees at the top and extending hips fully.

C Jump or step back to start. Set a timer for 5 sets of 30 seconds with a 30 seconds rest and jump as many times as possible.

 V-Ups

A Start lying on back, palms facing down, arms at sides.

B Sit-up as you bend at the waist, keeping legs straight and reaching hands to toes. Set a timer and go for 5 rounds of 30 seconds with a 30 second rest in between each set.

 Body Saws

A Start in a plank position, forearms on the ground. Place a towel under toes.

B Press firmly into the ground with arms and pike hips up using lower abs as you slide back and forth on the towel. Do 3-5 rounds for 30 seconds.

Via shape.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Stupid fitness questions you’re too afraid to ask

by Jari Love

We all have fitness questions, especially with all the information there is out there on the internet. But who do you ask? How do you know what is the right answer? You need to find a reliable source that will provide you the answers to the fitness questions you have, and stick with that trusted person. Let me be that trusted person, since I have over 20 years experience in the industry and have worked with scientists to find out the best ways to lose weight. So here you go…

 The Debrief: Real exercise advice. No BS!  Now on to stupid fitness questions… WHY ARE YOU NOT DOING THIS?

 As a female working in the magazine industry, I know this generally isn’t what people want to hear, let alone pay to hear. It’s a sign of the times that we want get rich quick, get famous without working hard, look-like-JLO-in-a-week type spiel. He’s always loved me for who I am and whilst he wants to share his knowledge for my well being, has never pressured me to look/feel a certain way as you’d maybe think, or have experienced super fit people do. 

But I realized that women need real advice, from someone who isn’t trying to sell them something. So, I asked him for genuine advice, because a lot of people (me included) just don’t know what to believe after reading countless diet stories in trashy magazines. 

I would love to say there’s going to be an easy revelation ladies… but I wouldn’t hold your breath. The truth? We ladies can handle the truth… or can’t we?

‘Help! I've never exercised 'seriously' before, where do I start?’

 The important thing to remember here is that you can only start from where you’re at! 

As a complete beginner the best thing to start with is the basics. For the average person with fairly typical fitness goals, more often than not the most effective routine is going to come down to a mixture of compound resistance exercises (squats, lunges, presses, rows etc) and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT, short). 

To get there it’s a case of building up your aerobic fitness (whether from jogging, cycling, CrossTraining etc, I’d be lying if I said it mattered which) and learning the compound movements (remember doing movement properly and safely comes first! If you can’t squat low and your lunges make you look like Bambi on ice then there’s no point adding weight yet!) 

To a point the details don’t matter, it’s much more important that you start with realistic expectations (if you’ve had 3 years of takeaways and beer then you’re not going to transform in a matter of weeks), consistency and dedication. If you can’t bring those things then you need to ask whether or not you genuinely want it. 

That magazine told me I could drop 5 pounds in 5 days, sorted, right?

Remember that ‘weight’ applies to everything, not just fat. You’re not going to lose 5lb of actual fat tissue in 5 days. What you will do by crash dieting for 5 days is lose a ton of water and deplete the glycogen from your body (carbohydrate which is mostly stored in your muscle cells). Being dehydrated and glycogen depleted is not the same as burning fat! I can tell you from first-hand experience after I ‘lost’ 12lbs of sweat and glycogen after doing a 24 hour boxing circuit for charity and then put it back on the next day after eating and drinking again.

 Once your body has depleted water and glycogen, you’ll find the ‘weight’ loss stops. There’s no magic workout, magic diet or quick fix… just patience, hard work and CONSISTENCY is key. 

How many times have you seen a ‘D-list Celeb’ on the front cover of a magazine telling you how she’s lost 2 stone in a month, only to see her in the same magazine a couple of months later and 3 stone heavier? 

I can't afford a gym membership, I can't get fit.

You already own the most effective piece of exercise equipment out there and that’s your own body! You can walk, run, jump, press, dip and pull. You need little more than a floor to get fit. Try a 3-4 Tabata Circuits (20 seconds of all-out effort, 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds) of movements like squat jumps, thrusters, skipping or burpees every other day for a month and then try and tell me that you haven’t gotten fitter! 

If you’re against getting tied down to a gym membership then why not shell out as a one off on a few bits and pieces for the house? Some dumbbells and an aerobic bench won’t set you back much and jogging is free. More and more budget gyms are opening up everywhere for little more than a tenner a month and I’m sure if you really looked you’d be able to save £2.50 a week somehow. 

I want a butt like Kim Kardashian!

Go back in time and pick different parents. Or failing that get implants (as it is alleged she has.) 

I’m half-joking here, but you have to be realistic. Everybody can improve and build upon what they’ve got, but we’re all born with a particular body shape. I’m built more like a swimmer, I can get leaner, I can build my muscles to look a certain way, but no amount of training, food or *ahem* ‘supplements’ is going to make me the size of a World’s Strongest Man competitor, nor could I starve myself enough to get into a pair skinny jeans without ripping them when I sat down. There is no ‘right’ body type, everyone is valid. 

How do you feel about ‘cheat days’ is it the best way to stick to a diet, or do I have to always deprive myself of stuff?

If it works for you then it works for you! Some people can be strict 100% of the time, but anything too restrictive probably won’t work in the long run for most people. 

Just make sure that you don’t confuse cheating with binging. 

Ok, what's the secret?

There isn’t one. In an online and instant age were we’re used to effortlessly getting everything when and where we want it, is it any surprise that telling people they need to be patient, dedicated and hard working to get even close to what they want is a something that even Jordan ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ Belfort couldn’t sell? 

The reality is that anybody promising you something easy or something quick is simply trying to flog you something. 

If I was to do one thing to get fitter, what would it be?

Something that you enjoy, I can program something scientifically to stimulate the adaptations your body needs to make to meet your goals, but if you hate it then you’re not going to do it consistently or for very long. 

Try stuff; cycle, swim, run, play tennis, dance, box… it doesn’t matter. Anything done with consistency and enthusiasm will serve you better in the long run than something you do infrequently and halfheartedly. 

I get bored in the gym and don’t like any sport, what can I do?

You’re either going to have to want the results badly enough that you can produce the discipline to overcome that or you’re going to have to try harder to find something that you like. Maybe you need to change your gym routine more often? Have you tried group fitness classes? Training with a friend can make things enjoyable and makes you feel accountable when you don’t show up. 

Sometimes you might just need to force yourself for a while, write a note and stick it in front of your bed ‘I will exercise 3-4 times a week for a month’, keep it up and eventually this forced routine will become just another habit. 

I don’t have time to train/go to the gym but want to get fit?

The best thing you can look to do is to boost your metabolism so that your body is burning more calories even at rest. It makes sense that although you can spend an hour or two in the gym, you’re always going to use more calories in the 23 hours that you have away from the gym, so use that time well! 

If you really don’t have 2 hours a week then start looking at ways you can keep active, clichés like taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to the shops etc, it all counts for something. 

I am naturally slim and happy with my weight, why should I exercise, I feel fine!

Exercise can have benefits other than weight and body composition control, everything from balancing your hormones, fighting stress and depression, lowering your risk of osteoporosis, diabetes and heart disease (to list just a few illnesses) and there’s also a great social side to it. Above all exercise can just be an enjoyable and cathartic activity, challenging yourself to set and meet goals can be immensely fulfilling. 

But if your health and appearance aren’t something you care about and you simply don’t enjoy exercising then nobody is going to force you to! 

Do I need protein shakes? I’m confused? I don’t want to get big Madonna arms?

Whilst protein shakes definitely won’t give you ‘big Madonna arms’, they’re also not something that you need, per say. Protein supplements are there to supplement (the clue is in the name!) your diet, if you either don’t get enough of a nutrient or your body requires more of it due to being physically active etc then supplements have their uses but most, if not all, nutrition should come from food. 

It’s key to understand that protein doesn’t make you ‘big’, testosterone, a lot of calories and genetics will (and if you weren’t built like a female Olympic shotputter in school then it’s probably not going to suddenly happen now). The great thing about protein is that it isn’t very high in calories and also takes more calories to digest and metabolize than carbohydrates do. And unless you’re using testosterone and HGH like half of the woman over 40 in Hollywood do, you probably won’t get arms like Madonna anytime soon.

Via thedebrief.co.uk

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Secret Ingredients Every Vegan Should Have

by Jari Love

When you first start cooking vegan food, you know that beans, veggies, fruits and grains are your best friends.

 But what about those secret ingredients that make everything taste just a little bit better? These are my favorite flavor-packed, workhorse, vegan pantry items that I turn to again and again in my quest to make the best cruelty-free, vegan food possible. 

  1. Dried mushrooms

When you’re craving that umami flavor you used to associate with meat, dried mushrooms are your best friend. You can steep them in hot water and use the liquid as the base of soup broths, add it to pan sauces or use it as the liquid when making couscous or risotto. The rehydrated mushrooms can be chopped and added to any dish in which mushrooms are called for or can be subbed in to take the place of beef in many recipes. Shiitake mushrooms are especially flavorful. 

  1. Ground flaxseed

Baking without eggs can be tricky at first, but ground flaxseed is all you need to make the magical “flax egg.” Add 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed to 3 tablespoons of water. Stir, and let sit for 5 minutes or until gelled. This “flax egg” works in any recipe calling for eggs as a binder, like pancakes and cookies. 

  1. Miso

Some people complain that vegan food is bland, but it doesn’t have to be. The trick is to replace the savory flavors that come from meat with something equally flavorful. Miso, a salty, sweet and slightly funky fermented soy paste, is just the ingredient. You can add a tablespoon to soups just before serving to add a new layer of depth (and give a healthy dose of probiotics to your meal). It makes salad dressings sing, marinades more merry and a glaze that will make mild tofu or eggplant star entrées. There are different types of miso; try white or yellow for a milder flavor or red if you’re feeling bold. 

  1. Cashews

Isa Chandra Moskowitz, vegan culinary superstar and cookbook author, has one rule all vegans should always follow: ABS, as in “always be soaking” cashews. Cashews soaked in water overnight can be blended in minutes into a luscious cream. Use it as the base for vegan jalapeño poppers, sour cream, ice cream — basically anything that calls for a rich and creamy base. 

  1. Nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast is a great ingredient, and not just for flavor alone. It contains vitamin B12, which vegans usually have to take in supplement form. Luckily nutritional yeast is a vegan source of this important nutrient. Better yet, it has a cheesy flavor that can accent a wide array of dishes. Use it to make vegan mac and cheese, sprinkle it over pasta, add it to casseroles — the options are endless. 

  1. Chickpea flour

You can use tofu to make a breakfast scramble, but what if you’re craving a classic omelet? For that, you can turn to chickpea flour, also known as besan. You create a sort of pancake out of the chickpea flour that is a super-close approximation of a folded omelet. Stuff it with your favorite veggies or vegan cheese, and get ready to break that fast. 

  1. Aquafaba (chickpea brine)

Aquafaba, the water that’s in a can of beans, is all the rage in vegan baking. Strain the beans, then beat the liquid until it forms stiff peaks. You can use the fluffy mixture in any recipe that calls for meringue. 

  1. Vital wheat gluten

Veggies are great, but sometimes you just want something more substantial. Vital wheat gluten is the key. You can use it to make seitan, which you can then marinate and use in everything from vegan French dip sandwiches, vegan “beef” and broccoli and more. You can also use it to make vegan “chicken.” It’s the perfect cruelty-free and cholesterol-free way to sate your cravings for the foods you grew up with. 

  1. Canned, full-fat coconut milk

Coconut milk is a real lifesaver. Not only can it be used for classic vegan Indian and Thai curries, but it’s great for baking too. Use it to make the frosting for your favorite cake, or refrigerate it overnight, skim off the solid cream, and beat it until it can be used as a whipped cream. You can also use canned coconut as a base for vegan ice cream, or add some to make your next smoothie taste more like a shake. 

  1. Nut butter

Nut butter is so versatile. You can schmear some onto apple wedges or celery sticks for a quick snack, spread it over hearty toast and drizzle with agave and sea salt for breakfast, or you can use it as the base for more complex things like almond satay sauce, creamy cashew butter sauce or peanut salad dressing. 

 

via sheknows.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Workout Excuses You Cannot Use Anymore

by Jari Love

Being in shape and looking great makes our lives as women so much easier and more enjoyable. Working with many moms, young women, and even high school girls, I hear the same excuses over and over about why they can’t work out. 

Guess what? I’m about to blow away five of the biggest excuses we hear. No more excuses! You can do this — immediately. 

  1. I’m too out of shape to go to the gym 

With Clickbank, YouTube, the Internet, DVDs and outdoor yoga, you do not have to go to the gym to get in shape. In fact, you can get into good shape at home! Then, if you so choose, you can join a gym when you feel more comfortable. 

If you’re like me, you’ll work out at home forever — and love it! I exercise at home everyday with a kettle bell, medicine ball and dumbbells. Granted, I have some background knowledge, but with technology, you can follow along with online programs in the comfort of your own home every day. 

I blow everyone away with this fact from my physical therapy days: My oldest patient was 108. She did awesome booty squeezes and leg kicks, and excelled at riding the stationary bike. As we age, our bones become more brittle, and one way we can prevent fracture is exercise. Get started now. Within a few days, you’ll see a difference — you will! 

  1. I don’t have anyone to exercise with me 

When I hear this excuse, I know you’re grasping at straws. Someone in your circle of friends feels just like you do. The difference between your friend and you is that they are afraid to ask around… but I know you are motivated, strong-willed and ready to get healthy. Ask around and see who’d like to join you on your morning walk. You’ll be surprised at how many women will take you up on it! The bonding and exercise together will make your soul so much happier. 

  1. I don’t look good in workout clothes (or I don’t have anything to wear)!

There are so many cute exercise clothes out there, but seriously? Your fashion statement should not be a reason to stay out of shape. All those new yoga pants are adorable and comfortable, and I’m guilty of wearing them every time I get a chance. You do not have to look like a celebrity to start getting in shape. Throw on some old pants, a cozy top and tennis shoes, Google “yoga for beginners” and get moving. You’re exercising in your cozy clothes in your cozy home. Boom. 

  1. I don’t have time 

I hear this one more than all the others, but no one is ever “too busy” for 10 minutes of exercise. It’s not a lack of time, but a lack of planning and prioritizing. Ouch. Yes, that may have stung a little, but I was guilty of that excuse once, also. It doesn’t fly when you realize taking away 10 minutes of your morning show, 10 minutes of your evening show or 10 minutes of gossiping with a neighbor could be spent exercising.

The common myth is you must exercise 60 solid minutes every day or it doesn’t count. That’s simply not true. Any physical activity is better than zero, and popping in 10 minutes here and there throughout the day really adds up. Truly look at your schedule, and see where you can carve out time. Jog while the kiddos practice ball, get up 10 minutes earlier, do lunchtime yoga or go bike riding on the weekends. Finding time is possible with creativity, planning and dedication.

Regardless of your reasons to avoid exercise, there is a way to squeeze in time for yourself. You need exercise, you deserve exercise and you will love yourself once you get into a routine. Try some little changes for at least a month, and before you know it, they will become habit. Love your body, and your body will love you back!

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

When Heavy Weight Lifting Pays Off

by Jari Love

Weight lifting isn’t just for body builders. Everyone can benefit from adding resistance weight training to their exercise regime. 

Here’s why: 

#1: Stronger Bones

No I don’t mean your muscles! While of course your muscles will get stronger by lifting weights, your bones will get stronger too. Since weight-bearing exercise stimulates bone formation, bones, like muscles become stronger and denser when demands are placed on it. This is great news since it means that weight lifting reduces the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. 

#2: Improved Balance

Strength training strengthens and tones your muscles by contracting them against a resisting force. Increased strength and tone aids in better body mechanics resulting in better posture, balance and coordination. Improved balance can reduce your risk of falling by as much as 40 percent, which is a crucial benefit especially as you age since elderly people who lose their balance can often wind up with life-altering broken bones. Lifting weights can help you stay mobile and strong throughout your life. 

#3: Improved Brain Function

Strength training helps us grow more muscle and bone cells and helps make the ones we have more powerful and effective. However, it is not just our body cells which receive these benefits. The same signals which increase muscle and bone cells also encourage growth, power and efficiency in our blood vessels and brain cells. Stronger blood vessels coupled with a stronger heart can also improve blood flow to the brain and has the potential to improve memory, slow the onset of dementia and boost overall cognitive performance. 

#4: Prevent Disease

Strength training not only improves the look of your body, but can also help you stay healthier. Studies have shown an overall improvement in your body’s ability to fight inflammation, including inflammation associated with colds and flu, as well as the body’s increased capacity for glucose control good news for those at risk for diabetes. Increased heart strength reduces the risk of heart disease and lowers blood pressure, while strength training has also been found to ease the pain of osteoarthritis and reduce depression.

 #5. Improved Mood

Lifting weights elevates the number of endorphins (your brain’s natural mood boosters) which makes you feel great, not to mention the self-esteem boost you receive when you look and feel strong.

 #6: Burns More Calories:

Lifting weights does so much for your physique. Strength training is crucial to weight control because increased muscle mass corresponds to an increased metabolic rate. Muscle burns calories even while at rest while stored fat uses very little energy. Strength training can provide up to a 15% increase in metabolic rate, which is enormously helpful for weight loss and long-term weight control.

 #7: You Eat and Sleep Better

Regular weight-lifting can make you more aware of what you put in your body. Better self-awareness makes it easier to say “no” to temptations, while people who lift weights regularly fall asleep more quickly, sleep more deeply, awaken less often, and sleep longer. Improved overall sleep quality is also key to maintaining weight loss.

 Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Top Tips for Firming Up a Saggy Butt

by Jari Love

If you ask people to identify the least favorite part of their body you will find that many get upset about a saggy bum or bottom. Although the lower body contains the largest muscle groups, we often have trouble keeping these muscles in top condition – and this is the primary cause to a saggy butt.

How do you get these muscles back in shape? You use “targeted” workouts and you partner them with fat burning exercises that help to define all of that gorgeous muscle you are working so hard to build. Keep in mind that you will not see changes overnight. It is going to take the average person from four to six weeks before they see and feel the major muscle groups begin to take shape. However, within eight to ten weeks most people have the “lifted” and rounded bottom they covet.

The Way to the Best Backside

What sort of exercises are needed? If you visualize the muscles of the buttocks, you already know that the “gluteus maximus” are the defining muscles in this area. That tells you that anything you can do to challenge and strengthen them is going to make a big difference. Additionally, you can always boost the effectiveness of any exercise by adding some hand weights when possible – such as five pound dumbbells, etc.

The exercises to use at least three times per week  to firm up a saggy butt are:

  • Squat - This is “the” exercise for lifting the butt. It is done by standing with the feet at shoulder width apart. Toes are pointing forward. Put your hands in “prayer position” in front of you or hold the arms straight out at shoulder height. Bend the knees and begin to squat until the thighs are parallel with the ground. Remember to squat downward – not forward. Pause for one breath when your thighs and shins are at a 90-degree angle and then lift to original position. Do three to five sets of eight to twelve squats.
  • Deadlifts - This benefits you by demanding that your butt muscles do most of the lifting of a heavy barbell from the floor. The most effective is the “straight-leg deadlift” done with a rack. The barbell is roughly three inches above the knee and this is a safer approach to the lift. You begin at the center of the bar with right palm facing towards you and left palm facing away and thighs touching the barbell you stand straight and use the legs to lift the barbell from the support pegs. Take two steps back, and tuck the navel towards the spine to ensure proper back position (flat back). Let your buttocks begin to project behind you as you lower the bar to the ankles (keeping knees slightly bent). Lift your head and look at the wall in front of you. Contract your butt muscles as you raise the bar and return to your initial position. The barbell is close to, but not touching the body. Do three to five lifts in sets of eight to twelve.
  • Lunges - When perfected, the lung is highly effective at butt lifting. The best version is the walking lunge and it is done by standing with the feet together (hold weights at the top of the shoulders for even greater results). Take a large step forward with the right foot, bend the knees and lower the body into the lunge. Check your form to be sure that the thigh is parallel with the floor and the knee is above or slightly behind the toe. Lift with the bent leg (standing up out of the lunge), and then step forward on the left foot. Repeat fifteen times on each leg.

Perform these sets at least three times per week, and do at least 30 minutes of daily fat burning, cardio work and you could see your new and shapely butt in the next four weeks.

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

4 Natural Ways To Soothe An Angry Gut

by Jari Love

It’s pretty much impossible to dodge the occasional upset stomach, diarrhea, or constipation. Tummy trouble is just a part of life. Fortunately, a cranky belly tends to feel better quickly if you keep hydrated and stick to easy-to-digest foods.

But for people with “functional bowel disorders”—doctor-speak for conditions that cause chronic stomach pain and other digestive problems—a stomachache isn’t just an every-now-and-then thing; it’s a debilitating ailment. The most common bowel disorder is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which affects roughly one in 10 Americans, according to H. Christian Weber, MD, a gastroenterologist at Boston Medical Center. For the millions of people with IBS, letting stomach pain run its course isn’t an option.

Fortunately, there are several drug-free methods proven to calm an angry gut.

1. Ditch these foods.
Whole wheat, honey, beans, and even garlic can cause trouble—or not. The tricky thing about bowel disorders is that everyone’s gut is different, so what irritates one person’s gastrointestinal tract may be harmless for someone else’s. That said, something called “the low FODMAP diet” should work for just about anyone, Weber says. FODMAP is short for “fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols” (say that three times fast), and it targets natural sugars that pull water into the intestines and make digestion difficult.

There’s a long list of foods forbidden for people on a low FODMAP diet, including watermelon, lentils, and chickpeas. But passing on hummus is a no-brainer compared to suffering through chronic stomachaches or diarrhea. Also, you may only have to give up your favorites for a few weeks, says Stephanie Moleski, MD, a gastroenterologist at Thomas Jefferson University. After a 2- to 6-week “elimination phase,” during which you ditch every FODMAP food possible, you can reintroduce items one at a time until you’ve identified your triggers.

2. Get off the couch.
Exercise is a potent remedy for everything from depression to Alzheimer’s disease. A workout can also quell the discomfort associated with digestive disorders, research suggests. “Endorphins are painkillers,” Weber says. And exercising releases them while upping the amount of oxygen circulating in your body, which makes you feel better—albeit temporarily. Weber says exercise doesn’t really address the underlying causes of your angry gut. Still, if you’re looking for natural relief, a little sweat is a great way to sidestep ibuprofen. Research isn’t clear about whether aerobic exercise is better than strength training, so Weber suggests you try both and stick with whatever type makes you feel best.

3. Assess your stress.
A big interview, public speaking, or other stressful activities can launch stomach cramps, feelings of nausea, and gas. Some experts attribute this to something called the brain-gut axis. Basically, your brain and your gut talk to each other. When one’s upset, the other may feel junky, too. (Some research suggests those with bowel disorders like IBS also tend to feel depressed or anxious.)

As a result of this brain-gut connection, stress can be a big trigger for people with chronic stomach problems, Moleski explains. “When you’re having a lot of stress, it’s going to wreak havoc in the intestines,” she says.

There are several quick ways to slash stress. Finding a method that works for you may make your gut happier in the long run. In one study, people with bowel disorders spent 15 to 20 minutes a day fighting stress with yoga, meditation, or prayer. After 9 weeks, they reported less pain, lower anxiety, and better quality of life.

4. Grab some peppermint.
Although he doesn’t usually recommend supplements, Weber says anyone looking for a natural way to ease stomach pain could try peppermint oil, which studies show can calm symptoms of IBS. But Weber cautions against picking up peppermint supplements at your nearest health store. They’re only lightly regulated by the FDA, and are often loaded with unnecessary additives that could do more harm than good. He advises talking with your doctor before trying a supplement.

via prevention.com

Jari Love
– original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Quick Tabata Workout

by Jari Love

Tabata workouts are short and intense bursts of exercise that are designed to burn maximum fat and calories. The idea behind Tabata is that you work as hard as you possibly can for 20 seconds, then take 10 seconds to rest, and then repeat that for a total of 8 times. This is the first HIIT workout ever created, by a guy in Japan.

You can use any exercise in a tabata workout, but the main thing is to chose an exercise that will work all your muscle groups and elevate your heart rate.

Start any workout with a little warm-up to get your blood flowing before doing any intense exercise. Then set a timer, either on your watch or phone and get to work. It is a total of 4 minutes, so there’s no room for excuses in not getting a workout done on this busy Monday.

Here’s your workout! Let me know how it goes. I have instructions below on how to do a burpee.

Browse Tabata Workouts

To do a burpee, start standing straight up with your core engaged like you’re being punched in the stomach. Then bend your knees and reach your hands down to the floor. Hop your feet back, keeping your core strong, not letting your back sag, into a plank. Do a pushup (if you can). Finally hop the feet back to your hands and stand up. If you’re advanced, you can add a tuck jump when you stand up.

Burpees work your quads, glutes, core, shoulders, and chest. Best workout ever!

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Sitting all Day? Try These Stretches

by Jari Love

When you sit, your body slumps, your metabolism slows, and you…spread. At least, that’s what all the experts say. But if you’re in a job where you must sit—or you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a standing desk—you’ll be happy to learn that there are ways to undo the damage—plus boost your calorie burn.

 First, chairs and couches lead to trouble for the simple reason that they support your body weight. With a chair holding you up, your ankles, knees, and hips stiffen, your muscles weaken, your shoulders round forward, and your back hunches. Even worse, your circulation slows, which depresses your metabolism.

 Yikes. Okay, now for some good news: In a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers tracked nearly 13,000 women for 12 years to find out how much health damage sitting could do over the long term. Yes, years spent on the couch or hunched over a desk was linked to a greater risk of weight gain, heart disease, and an earlier demise—but only for women who sat still. When the researchers separated the women into three groups—low fidgeting, moderate fidgeting, and high fidgeting, they discovered that the most active sitters completely dodged any increased health risks. These women sat as much as 7 hours a day, but by continually tapping their fingers, bouncing their legs, and, the researchers suspect, hopping up frequently, they were able to avoid the health impacts of lounging.

 So if you’re trapped in a chair, be sure to add some fidgeting and get up to wander around every 20 minutes or so. And try out the 6 stretches below. They’re designed to counter the muscle-weakening, joint-stiffening, and shoulder-hunching effects of spending too much time on your keister.

 What to do: Hold each of these static stretches for 30-seconds, and try to do the series in this order, twice a day. 

  1. Supported Backbend

 Why: Bending backward helps improve posture, and supports the muscles that stabilize your spine. 

How: Stand facing away from a wall, your heels about one foot away from the baseboard. With your arms over your head, elbows bent backward so that your palms are facing the wall, slowly lean back and catch your body weight with your hands. Walk your hands down the wall until you begin to feel a stretch. (You may also need to step further away from the wall as your back bends. 

Be sure to start slowly; as your back gets stronger you’ll be able to go deeper into the backbend. Place the tip of your tongue in the roof of your mouth, drop your jaw, and breathe in and out through your nostrils as you hold the backbend. 

  1. Lunge With Rotation 

Why: Build strength in your legs and shoulders while stretching your hips. The twists will also help maintain healthy spinal movement (healthy discs). 

How: From a standing position, take a big step forward with your right foot into a lunge, taking care that your right knee does not extend past your toes. Place your hands on either side of your right foot. Now lift your right arm toward the ceiling and turn your gaze upward at the same time. As you exhale, try to rotate a little deeper into the rotation. Switch sides and repeat. 

The lunge is not as deep as a “runners lunge,” and the bottom hand touches the knee, not all the way to the floor. 

  1. Shoulder Opener 

Why: Sitting tends to pull our shoulders inward and collapse our chest. This opens the shoulders and chest.

How: Stand up straight and tall, holding a towel or belt in each hand behind your back. Raise your arms behind you as high as you can without feeling discomfort. Pull your shoulders back and together as you lift the towel.

  1. Low Cobra With Feet Elevated 

Why: Stretching through hip flexors (they get really tight from being bent in a seated position for too long); strength for the glutes; openness in the chest and shoulders; strengthening for the lower back.

How: Lie face down with your ankles resting on a foam roller or set of yoga blocks. Press your forearms into the floor and pull your shoulders back as you raise your head up and back. 

  1. Star Reach 

Why: This move lengthens the body by stretching the shoulders, chest, mid-back, hips, and ankles, and it’s the perfect antidote for chair-tightened joints and muscles. 

How: Stand with your legs slightly wider than hip-width. Reach your arms high in the sky with palms facing forward. Spread your fingers. Rise high on your tippy toes. You’ll experience an exhilarating stretch from the extension of the ankles, knees, hips, chest, and shoulders. 

  1. Number 4-Sit 

Why: This little muscle in your rear end atrophies and tightens with prolonged sitting. With a simple stretch you can keep your piriformis active and flexible. 

How: While seated, cross your right ankle over your left thigh. Use your right hand to apply a tiny bit of pressure to the inside of your right knee, and then slightly lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch in your right piriformis (on the side of your glute). Hold the stretch there as you inhale. When you exhale, attempt to apply a tad more pressure and lean a half an inch further forward into the stretch. Continue with each breath. Switch sides and repeat. 

via prevention.com 

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

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