Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No time for Cardio? Try High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

If you don't have time to spend 1 hour on the treadmill or the Elliptical, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) may be the workout for you. I've been meaning to share this for a while because I get a lot of emails from readers who want to workout but have very little time. On days when I only have 20-25 min. to workout I do HIIT. Basically you alternate between working out a medium pace and working out really really hard (100% Effort). I typically use it on the treadmill but you can also use it on the Elliptical. I first learned about HIIT from my Dad, he uses it for running. So instead of running 4 or 5 miles he alternates between sprinting and jogging for about 20 minutes. This allows for the same results (or better) as jogging for 45 minutes.

HIIT is worth doing your own research on so that you insure that you do it correctly. Here is a good article I found at Sparkpeople.com

Also, here is a sample of a HIIT workout:

A Sample Progressive HIIT Program
To maximize fat loss, maintain an intensity level of 60-70% of your maximum heart rate (RPE of 5-6 on the 10-point scale) during warm up, cool down and recovery intervals.

Warm up
Work Interval (Max Intensity) Recovery Interval
(60-70% MHR)

Workout Time
1 5 min.
1 min. 4 min. 2 times 5 min.
20 min.
2 5 min.
1 min. 4 min.
3 times 5 min.
25 min.
3 5 min.
1 min. 4 min.
4 times
5 min.
30 min.
4 5 min.
1.5 min. 4 min.
2 times 5 min.
21 min.
5 5 min.
1.5 min. 4 min.
3 times
5 min.
26.5 min.
6 5 min.
1.5 min. 4 min. 4 times
5 min.
32 min.
7 5 min.
2 min. 5 min. 3 times
5 min.
31 min.
8 5 min.
2 min. 5 min. 4 times
5 min.
38 min.

A few important things to know about HIIT, you have to include a recovery day after each session. If you are truly working out at 100% effort then you are really challenging your body and you will need recovery. Also, you should only use it if you are able to exercise for at least 20-30 minutes at 70-85% of your estimated maximum heart rate, without exhausting yourself or having problems. If you want to try this workout please read this article here carefully to make sure you do the exercise correctly.


Have you tried HIIT?
Does it work for you?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A little Inspiration

I just wanted to share something quick today, a little inspiration

Up until last week I did my running in downtown chicago. I would run near the lakefront or lincoln park zoo. As I am preparing to move to D.C. , I moved out of my apartment downtown and I have been running on the southside (down king dr, to Tuley and Cole Park). At first I was dissappointed because there would be no more beautiful scenery (the lake/zoo). After running for the past couple of days I saw something even more beautiful then my cherished lakefront. When I arrived at Cole Park I saw tons of my people out running/walking. It was so great because that's not someting I was used to seeing. Also, it was great because they have built a community of people dedicated to improve their health. There were Black women and men of all ages out there. One of the older gentleman ran laps around the park motivating people giving them high fives and urginig them too keep going. He gave me a high five, it was so cute. Anyway I strongly recommend any of you ladies that live on the southside of chicago to walk or run at Cole park in the mornings. I am sure their other places in the ciites where you can find something similar too. Its definitely a great way for begginers to get started on their fitness journey. There are people all around to keep you motivated.

This experience inspired me to really dedicate more of my time to promoting fitness in the Black community. I am working on something big so stay tuned!!!

I would give up running by the lake to run at cole park anyday.

Have you come across any areas that are similar? Feel free to share them.....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Buffie the Body Workout Plan

I wrote an article last year called "Buffie the Body: Healthy my ass" and ever since then people are directed to my blog because they are looking for the "buffie the body workout plan." I did not know such plan existed but apparently it does. I did a little googling a found that Buffie created a website called Bootynomics 101. On this site she has a few workout clips and a clip from Tyra. The site does not seem to be fully developed yet because it doesn't have that much information.

From what I gather the purpose of the site is teach women how to get flat stomachs and big bootys. She also has a note on the site that talks about how she had to start exercising recently because she has not been able to control her extra fat by keeping it in the right places. I look forward to seeing the further development of the website. As of yet she has not addressed any of the health concerns that are prevalent among black women. In my opinion women should be motivated to exercise and eat healthy because of their Health not only because they want to look Buffie the Body. However, for some women that is not the case. It is unfortunate because I think as a celebrity Buffie has the perfect opportunity to advocate for Health in our community. She could encourage women to be healthy, big butt or no butt.

My other concern about her site is that it seems quite unrealistic. It is hard to believe that by doing some squats and crunches women will get a Buffie booty. We all come in different shapes and sizes and I think we are better offer trying to tone up our own shapes.

I am really interested in knowing your thoughts. What do you think about the Buffie Work Out Plan?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

How to eat Fast Food

Let's face it, it's tough to avoid fast food. Balancing work, school, relationships, family, etc. is tough enough. Trying to squeeze in exercise and cooking can make things really difficult. I know I preach the importance of cooking and eating healthy all the time but let's be realistic sometimes you just can't pass up the convenience of grabbing some fast food on the way home. Now I am by no means advocating eating fast food over cooking. But if you are going to stop by a McDonalds on the way home, lets figure out a way to make the healthiest decisions possible.

I did an article on the lack of healthy options in our communities a while back called "Popeyes or KFC." I think the lack of options in our communities is terrible. It is unfortunate but just because they put that poison (food) in our communities, doesn't mean we have to make terrible choices......

Maintaining my weight loss is super important to me right now but eating fast food is sometimes unavoidable. I have developed a few strategies to be sure that I stay within my calorie limit and maintain my weight loss. I typically eat fast food for lunch 3-4 x a week. I also eat at restaurants like every weekend. I love trying new restaurants, but I refuse to undo all my hard work. So here are some tips I hope you find useful.

1. Just eat the sandwich/entree ---- Don't believe the hype, there is no value in a "value meal" Unless you see value in Type 2 diabetes. You can really save on the calories by cutting out the fries or chips. Now I know that may not seem easy because the fries/chips fill you up. But give it a try eat your sandwich and see if you are still really hungry. If you are bring your own side (yogurt, fruit, string cheese). Bringing your own side will also save on $$$$. This is the most important rule. *You can also get a side salad, you can one at McDonalds/Wendys/Burger King/KFC for just a $1.

2. Drink Water with lemon or a flavored water----- I did an article about the unnecessary calories that pop/soda adds to your meal. Check out the post...."You are what you drink." If you don't feel like reading the post, then just trust me cut those drinks and substitute water.

3. Drink Green Tea---I could write a whole post about the benefits of green tea (in fact I might). Drinking green tea everyday has helped speed up my metabolism. It's especially great for after eating heavy meals.

4. Grilled---This is an obvious one but you should always choose grilled over fried.

5. NO MAYO--- Mayonnaise can add over a 100 calories to your sandwich. It is so not worth it. Have mustard instead. This applies for dressings too, especially creamy ones. Always choose the vinaigrette over a creamy dressing.

6. Plan Ahead---check out calorie count websites like Calorie Lab before you eat. You can easily access must calorie sites from you cell phone.

7. Satisfying a sweet tooth--- Of course adding a sundae or candy bar to your lunch/dinner can really add the calories. For dessert there are a couple healthy options. I like to a have Yoplait/Dannon yogurts (Key Lime, Orange Creme). They are just sweet enough to fulfill my craving. Sometimes I will crumble up graham crackers and mix them with the yogurt. Also, you are usually pretty safe with lowfat frozen yogurt. At McDonald's you can get it for $1 and 120 calories....not bad.

Eating healthy does not have to be difficult. It just takes a little bit of thought. These are a few of my tips I may add more, so check back!


What suggestions do you have for eating healthy in this fast food nation

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Easy ways to get Fit this Summer!

Summer is almost here and I know a lot of you are trying to meet your fitness goals so you can be fit and fly. I've come across a few great products to make getting FIT this summer a little easier. Also, it's great to reward yourself with new gadgets and fitness gear. It keeps working out fresh and exciting.

Here are some items I plan to try out this summer.....

I love to show my freshly pedicured toes during the summer so I love flip flops. Well, I have found some shoes that will tone your legs while you walk...amazing! Also, they have more support then regular flip flops so they reduce joint strain. These are definitely worth trying this summer. I love flip flops but regular flip flops do not have enough support. The benefit of toning my legs puts these shoes at the top of my list. Curious as to how FitFlops work? Click here to learn about the new technology.
The Nike-Ipod Sport Kit
Now you guys now I love running especially during the summer. This little gadget is great for keeping track of your distance, calories burned, and pace. You can even program custom workouts. This is a great little gadget for the summer.

Fantasia Frizz Buster Silk Smooth Straightening Cream

This product is not really a reward but a day where my hair acts right is always rewarding. I am constantly looking for products to make hair maintenance just a little bit easier. A friend recommended this product to me. Anything that may make taking care of my hair easier I am willing to try. (I'll let you know how it goes)

MBT Shoes

Shoes that burn calories? Yes it is true there are shoes that actually increase the amount of calories you burn. The shoes are designed specifically to activate more muscles which in turn boosts your metabolism and burns more calories. I am all for effortlessly burning more calories so this are worth a try. Click here to read more about MBT shoes.


Any great products you recommend for the summer?

Any suggestions on how to keep working out easy and fun this summer?

Also, share your fitness goals for the summer. Can't wait to hear from you!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

So Emotional

I'm sure at one time or another you have let your emotions get the best of you and unintentionally pigged out. As women, life can be quite stressful balancing work, school, kids, dating/relationships, your girlfriends, money and family, etc. Sometimes it just gets to be too much and that bag of Doritos ( insert your favorite junk food here) happens to be in the right place at the right time.......

It helps to be aware of your eating habits especially when there are emotions involved. For example, when finals time comes around I prepare for my snack cravings by arming myself with 80 calorie Dannon yogurt (Key lime is my favorite), 100 calorie packs of my favorite/candy cookie, and plenty of fresh fruit (like strawberries) so I can make smoothies. I love to snack and if I don't think ahead of time a pick up some healthier snacks, finals week can turn into an eating disaster.

It really helps to plan ahead and only eat portion controlled servings. I can not say that I have quite conquered emotional eating; It's hard becasue in our society we celebrate accomplishments with food and drinks and we console ourselves with food and drinks. It really takes some effort to break this cycle.

After a rough week of dating, school, work etc. I know it's tempting to invite the girls over for a glass of wine and all of you favorite sugary and salty snacks. But be careful, all that sugar will surely send you crashing and it's highly unlikely that you will feel any better.

How can you tell if you are eating because of your emotions? Here are some tips from Heather Hatfield at WebMD.

1. Emotional hunger comes on suddenly; physical hunger occurs gradually.

2. When you are eating to fill a void that isn't related to an empty stomach, you crave a specific food, such as pizza or ice cream, and only that food will meet your need. When you eat because you are actually hungry, you're open to options.

3. Emotional hunger feels like it needs to be satisfied instantly with the food you crave; physical hunger can wait.

4. Even when you are full, if you're eating to satisfy an emotional need, you're more likely to keep eating. When you're eating because you're hungry, you're more likely to stop when you're full.

5. Emotional eating can leave behind feelings of guilt; eating when you are physically hungry does not.

Here are some ways to avoid emotional eating:

1. Try waiting 15 minutes and see if the craving passes

2. Try a portion controlled snack (100 calorie packs)

3. Have a small piece of candy or chew on gum ( it may help to trick you mind into thinking you gave into the craving my chewing on a small piece of candy or gum)

4. Eat sweet fruit like strawberries or peaches, or make smoothie ( it's sweet, healthy, and filling)

5. Have a glass of wine (it's sweet, doesn't have a ton of a calories, and can help you relax)


What is your experience with emotional eating....ever eat because you were sad, stressed, happy...?

What do you to prevent yourself from going overboard?

Update! I just signed up for twitter. So follow me fitnessgoddess3

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tired of the GYM?

Ladies are you tired of the gym? Then take a break and do something fun.....

Your health is a lifetime commitment so you might as well find a way to enjoy eating healthy and exercising. There is no reason exercise should be a chore. Especially in the summer, there are tons of thing to do....I am currently on a quest to find a new physical activity that I can do in addition to my regular work out. Here are some things I came up with (some are local...chicago), hopefully you will find it helpful.

1. Bike Riding.---I'd rather ride than run any day. Try bike riding with ur honey or friends. Make an effort to do it a couple of times week.

2. Cardio Pole Dance Class--- Check out these inexpensive classes at the Discovery Center Chicago. 6 sessions for $89 If you don't live in Chicago; than look for similar classes at community centers in your city. The discovery center also has tons of other classess (African Dance, Burlesque, Hip Hop Dance)

3. Flirty Fun Girl Fitness---If you have extra cash to spare checkout Flirty Fun girl fitness they have a range of classes (Pole dancing and strip tease). They also have a DVD collection so you can practice at home.

3. Belly Dancing- Try a class or DVD this is a great way to tone your tummy

4. Rekindle your relationship with your favorite sport. The Chicago Sport and Social Club has several leagues you can join. Or look for a league at your local park district.

5. Walk or Run for a cause. Use this link to locate different races for great causes (races any many different cities).

Hopefully this will help you all find fun ways to tone up, slim down, or maintain this summer. Depending on your weight loss goals you should still get some weight training or more cardio in. My plan is to substitute two days in the gym with a fun a class, bike riding, or swimming.


Other fun ways to exercise?

Summer weightloss plans?


About two weeks ago my fiancee threatened to get rid of my scale because he didn't think I needed to weigh myself everyday. At the time I did not see the problem, I just like to be sure that I am at least maintaining my weight loss. Well, ironically a few days after he said that it cracked....

I keep a glass scale in my bathroom so that I can weigh myself regularly. I went to put it away and it broke into a million pieces. At first I was upset because I was going to have to purchase another one. Then I realized I was free....

free from weighing myself daily or sometimes more than once a day, free from being dissapointed because I gained a pound
. My weight fluctuates by about 5 lbs and watching the scale fluctuate drives me crazy. I realized that weighing my self everday was torture. Keeping track of my weightloss was a good habit gone wrong. I realized that certain habits that I needed in the beggining of my weight loss are not necessary now.

As I mention all the time my goal is to be healthy and committed to my health for life! I certainly don't anticipate getting on the scale everyday for the rest of my life. So I am happy that scale is broken.

Update! I'm moving to D.C. in June (hurray!!). I'll be starting research at my program early. I am still fully committed to my weight loss. I have new motivation (my wedding) so I am trying to switch things up find a new fun workout to tone up. I'm almost done with finals so keep checking back I'll post new tips, product reviews, and maybe even some recipes (i'm trying to cook healthier).


Do you think weighing yourself everyday is unhealthy?

Do you have any bad habits you need to free yourself from?

Any weight loss updates?
Stay motivated ladies!

~~~Nubian Fitness Goddess~~~~