Women ask all the time what fitness routine would burn fat and tone the body in the shortest period of time with the longest-lasting results. Is there an exercise program that is the BEST and that would continue being fun after a few weeks, months or years?
Before I answer this question, let me share a little of my background.
I have been immensely fortunate to have been trained by some of the world’s best coaches and choreographers, professionals who worked with elite Olympic athletes and performers. Over the years of my involvement with figure skating, dancing, SCUBA diving and Martial Arts, I have also done an enormous amount of research on women’s fitness, optimum athletic performance, nutrition and mental conditioning for success. At the same time, I have studied with a number of exceptional spiritual teachers and attended numerous seminars and workshops on personal growth, meditation and awakening of the Goddess within. Women’s Perfect Body Program is a tribute to my excellent teachers and my way of “giving back to the system”; it is my way of sharing what I have learned and to pass the inspiration and empowerment on to other women.
Here’re a few principles that I live by:
- You must love it! If you do not, learn to love it! A big part of the Women’s Perfect Body Program is the mental reconditioning process that trains the mind to change your old habits, likes and dislikes to the ones that are best for your body and mind.
- Variety! Ladies, let’s face it, we love variety! Whether it comes to shoes, colors or daily routines, we hate being bored! Indulge yourself, please! Have a healthy assortment of exercise choices for every occasion, weather, location, mood, company (or not), kids (or not). Do you have an hour – have an exercise for that; do you have only 7 minutes between the board meetings – have an exercise for that. Have reminder notes in front of you, whether in the office, your daily planner or on your frig, of a few exercise routines you could do right there and then.
- Resistance! Incorporate weights and resistance bands. The more muscle mass you have, the faster you will burn fat, even when you quietly sit at your desk. (Tip: if you do your weight reps 2-4 times slower that you normally do them, you will burn more calories, burn more fat and fatigue muscles much faster.)
- Cardio! Running, power walking, dancing, SCUBA diving, swimming, yoga, palates, Martial Arts… pick your favorite! You must get your heart rate up and break the sweat! A good mix of cardio and resistance in the same workout does wonders. (Remember to vary the sequence to have a “surprise” factor for your body. We adapt so easily to become efficient, which means burning less fat.) I love running with weights! I started very easy, just 1 lb; now I run with 4 lbs… in each hand. To introduce variety, I sometimes run sideways, backwards, do launches, skip… you get the idea. Yes, it probably looks silly to the passer-by’s… or maybe it inspires them to hit the gym! I hope for the latter. (Make sure to keep your arms slightly bent at all times to protect the joints.)
- Join a group or/and get an exercise buddy. Lets face it, we do work harder in a group! It’s much easier to stop pushing when no one is looking. When other women are working hard next to you, you don’t want to let them down by stopping, or looking like a wimp… hey, whatever works!
- The worst fitness routine is the one you do not do!
- Headphones on! I love listening to energetic music and powerful affirmations while exercising! They keep me motivated.
- Stretching is a must! Regardless of your workout, always stretch before and after. Not only do you prevent injury by stretching, your biological age is largely determined by your flexibility.
- Breathing. Sounds basic, but there’s a science to it. Deep, slow breathing throughout the day helps to keep cool under pressure and increases oxygen flow throughout your body. The more oxygen in your bloodstream, the faster you will burn fat! For the same reasons, I love working out in nature, when possible. (Stay tuned for a post dedicated specifically to the art of breathing. I already have it in the works, just have been really swamped with launching this site.)
- Always find time to dance! No matter what your day looks like, find at least a few minutes to shake that beautiful body! Dancing reduces stress and puts you in touch with your feminine energy. Put your favorite diva’s CD on and move those hips! Shakira, anyone?
Of course, fitness is a big subject that I am barely touching on here! I had many obstacles; I failed miserably at times… and I also had victories that I am proud of. I would love to hear from you, about your challenges and victories and what made the biggest difference for you, what inspired you to pick yourself up and keep going.
Affirmation for the day:
“I like listening to inspirational and empowering affirmations while exercising. They provide positive self-talk and keep me motivated. I resolve to succeed!”
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Article and Affirmations by Mila Diamond
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