Swimming Exercise and Mediation

Swimming in tropical colors.

Swimming too boring?

Are you not good at swimming?

Cant’ get started with meditation but want too?

Try this!

Reset your mind and body during a busy week.

Hi, I’m John Dawson Channel creator for eFit30.

I don’t usually appear in eFit30 videos; I’m, the behind the scenes guy but I wanted to share with you a different kind of exercise that I discovered by accident. I have had some injuries in my life that have led me to explore many different types of activities many of which I have shared with you here on eFit30.

Swimming is often not considered by many to be an option for exercise as it is not very mentally stimulating and yet can be quickly tiring. However, there is a way to change all that and turn this is a combination of cardio and mindful meditation, that is second to none.

So here is the step by step instruction on how to do this. I won’t be doing this on video in the swimming pool for you, but I will describe this to you so you can do it.

To meditate you need to pay attention to breath as opposed to breathing. You need to be able to focus on breathing in and out. You could also use focus or a type of body scanning meditation.

To better help with this exercise I suggest that you use a snorkel, flippers, googles and a nose clip. These tools will change the way you swim so that it is more effortless and enables you to be centred and focused only on your breath. When you are swimming, then you will be able to leave your head in the water seeing only the bottom of the pool. The best type of pool is about 50 meters long with lanes, so you don’t bump your head during the practice.

Start by sitting on the edge of the pool and clearing your mind of thoughts of work or outside matters. You may want to take a note of the time if you wish to punctuate your swim with a walking exercise after about 10 minutes.

Make sure all your equipment is adjusted so you are totally comfortable so won’t be distracted by discomfort or equipment malfunction, however, if this does happen don’t let that stress you simply see it as an opportunity to reset your practice.

On your first lap, I suggest you use breast stroke. Don’t swim quickly but rather focus on your arms reaching full and comfortably through the water. Notice the bubbles as you push forward and each time bring your hands back to a prayer pose then stretch. Some way down the first lap you may want to turn your attention to your legs making sure that you clench your but and for a small arch in your back as you gently approach the wall.

Once you reach the wall, you may want to stand and turn rather than tumble turn as your snorkel will fill with water. If there is a need to reset your equipment, this is a good time to do it before you turn back. On this next lap try over arm now as you have begun to warm your body. Once again on this lap, you can scan down your body to pay attention to your stroke, feeling that your arms and legs move freely and calmly though the water. The purpose of this is to get a smooth, comfortable stroke established which you will use throughout the rest of your practice.

Pay attention to your arms, your stroke, move your thumbs pas your thighs, watch your hands travel through the water and find a rhythm and stroke that suits you.

At the next turn switch back to breast stroke so that now you are blending short bursts of High-Intensity training into your practice. This although seeming effortless will produce results later and is almost exercise by stealth.

In this lap focus on your breath having established a rhythm on your first lap. If you are not happy with your stoke, it is ok to use as much time as necessary to feel comfortable with your routine. When focusing on your breath, you will notice that it is easy to do as this is a great part of what you are doing. Try to regulate your effort so that you are not out of breath but rather taking deep and purposeful breaths. If you find that you are out of breath, you may need to take the time to reset your body and start again.

Now that you have set the scene it is a good opportunity to remember the context of the reflective part of your practice and that is non-judging, patience, beginner’s mind, trust, non-striving, acceptance, and letting go.

As you are swimming up and down the pool, you continue to switch strokes each time. Focus on a “being” mode make time for yourself, slow down and nurture calmness and self-acceptance in yourself. This is a good opportunity to stop all your doing, learning how to make this time for yourself, slow down your mind and nurture calmness and self-acceptance in yourself using the serenity to focus and centre, learning to observe what your mind is up to from moment to moment, watch your thoughts let go of them without getting so caught up and driven by them.

If you are feeling fatigued, you can split your routine in two with a walk. Starting from either end of the pool leave all you swimming equipment behind and walk towards the other end of the pool if the pool is the same depth at either end this is best otherwise you may need to begin at the shallow end and turn back when it gets too deep.

Walk slowly and using the techniques above consider how you move. Carefully use your whole foot to grip the bottom of the pool and stride forward thinking about your form with each step. Once you are comfortable with your pace and are feeling that you are fully using all the muscles in your legs, you may want to move your arms to create resistance in the water. Using opposite arm to leg sweep your extended arm forward with your hand cupped as if you mean to push as much water as you can away from you as you strive forward. After several steps, you may see a small wave form behind you and maybe even see the wash fall over the side of the pool and into the overflow. Once you have established your routine, relax into your meditative state and let the water calm your thoughts. Watch the light reflect though the ripples in front of you.

Once you have completed a forward lap you can turn a walk backwards, this time cupping your hands back and pushing the wave out behind you. If you feel the strain in any of your joints from this, don’t continue this exercise and move onto the next part.

Next crab walk sideways using only one leg to push you, keep that leg as straight as possible and use your hips to push out, if you have done Pilates clams you may feel this working some of those muscles. Again to add extra resistance use both arms at the same time to push a wave of water to one side as you extend your leg.

After you have completed one lap on each side you may wish to do the wind-down, swim using the same techniques as above except this you may feel different to the first time you as you be more relaxed and know what to expect.

Your routine should take about 25 minutes. In the end, I suggest these stretches finish your routine.

Calf Stretch. With both hands on the pool, wall stretch out your legs behind you. Legs should be hip width apart, feet pointing forwards towards the wall. Lean in towards the wall with your arms outstretched then begin to lower your heels towards to ground. If you require more stretch, you can start to bend your arms slightly, keeping your feet on the ground.

Next a Thigh or Quadriceps Stretch. This stretch helps loosen up the knee joint. Stand near the pool wall for support and steady yourself with the right hand. Lift the right foot behind your back and grab it with the left hand. Stand straight with the thighs vertical and gently push the foot further towards the lower back towards the buttocks. Then when you are ready to swap sides.

You can use this exercise with other Pilates or Yoga videos from our channel each week as a holistic approach to your fitness.

If you would like to explore mediation more thoroughly, I highly recommend reading, “Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness” by Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Our Featured Trainers – Sophie from Talking to Trees

SOPHIE 1 cMeet Sophie.

Sophie introduces you to some simple abdominal exercises such as criss-cross, single and double leg stretch, giving you options to regress or progress throughout. From there she takes you on a glute blasting journey transitioning from prone to kneeling and finally to a standing squat series. She completes the workout by returning to the core and offers three strong rounds of core boosters!
Sophie would like to personally thank all the people that took the time to get in touch with her to give feedback on her eFit30 classes. Especially those who contacted her and asked for more. It was your feedback and stories that inspired Sophie to make two more videos with the intention to help you all with your personal movement journeys.

Sophies Video Playlist offer participants challenging Pilates and Yoga inspired workouts designed to – Strengthen students’core stabilising muscles, prevent injury and improve posture and body awareness.

Sophie offers a safe and fun environment to encourage students to feel their body in space and to move with the breath.

Sophies full Playlist is HERE.

sophie@talkingtotrees.com.au
Sophie Ntoumenopoulos
Pilates and Yoga instructor
Www.talkingtotrees.com.au

@talkingtotrees_sophie

Meet Our Featured Trainers – Katie MacKenzie

katie-beginners-pilates-mat-workout

Meet Our Featured Trainer, Katie Mackenzie.

 

Build your Pilates repertoire with Physiotherapist, Katie Mackenzie. Activate the deep abdominals, glutes and postural muscles, to enhance your overall core stability. Viewers with more Pilates experience can use this class to refresh their Pilates technique. Finish off with a relaxing stretch. A workout suitable for anytime of the day: morning, noon or night. No equipment required.

 

About re-run

“Pilates, Physio and running coaching combine to assist runners of all levels to achieve pain-free running. Work to balance your body in the studio and then take to the road with a graduated and structured plan towards your goals.
Your feet are in good hands.”

See Katies Video’s here 

Contact Katie here http://www.re-run.com.au/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Gift Ideas for Health Conscious Friends

flowersContrary to popular belief, buying healthy doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, there’s oodles of options when it comes to health and wellbeing and their just as deliciously exciting – if not more – than those regular gifts. We’ve all got a health nut friend that come birthday or holiday time, is near impossible to buy for. But just because you can’t go your regular chocolate goodies or an expensive bottle of liquor that may meddle with their fitness plan, it doesn’t mean to say there’s nothing good to buy for them.
You want to find something that’s creative and supportive of their lifestyle, whilst still maintaining a high level of appeal too. From gourmet healthy delights and pre-paid passes to their favourite Yoga workout class, here’s a few fantastic gift ideas for your health conscious friends, partner, family member or work colleague.
1. Fitness Class Pass

Maybe your health nut friend has a favourite gym class they just can’t get enough of or perhaps they’re wanting to try a new fitness trend? Whatever it is, you can help them achieve their fitness dreams quicker by purchasing a pre-paid pass to a workout class.
Buying a fitness pass tends to suit a better variety of health conscious friends that an actual gym membership, because it allows them to step outside their boundaries and try something new. If you want to play it safe, choose a new class for them to try at their local gym, or be a little adventurous (for your close friend and family) and allow them to try a new workout studio that may be able to offer them something a little different.
2. Organic Hamper

Hampers aren’t always just filled with sugary sweetness that’ll make you feel bloated afterwards, there’s a great range of organic hampers out there with delicious, healthier versions of all the goodies we love. Whether you’re after some health snacks to boost their energy levels before their next workout, or some health nut options for the ‘naughty’ treats like wine, beer and chocolate that will still appeal to them; there’s an organic hamper to suit all options and tastes.
Perfect for tea enthusiasts, your health conscious friend that still enjoys the cheeky bottle of (organic) red, or for healthy cooking fans that need a little inspiration in the kitchen.
3. Flavours with Benefits

Most health nuts are big on home cooking and growing their own vegetables and herbs. Not only is a huge money saver, but it allows them to have better control over what they’re actually putting into their bodies. If your health nut friend is one of these, offer them a gift that keeps giving and a whole lot of flavour for those stay-in cooking nights.
Wall herb gardens not only look lush and fantastic, but they will offer your health conscious friend flourishing leafy food toppers all year round. It’ll give them access to the healthiest of vegies and cooking herbs all a step and a snip away from their kitchen.

wallwall 2

4. At-Home Gym Equipment

If going to the local gym isn’t your friend’s thing, they probably have a few bits and pieces set up at home. Especially in the colder months, going to the gym can be a big struggle for even the most health conscious so make sure they are still doing what they love and contribute a few home gym essentials.
Whether it’s something as simple as a workout DVD they can use in the comfort of their home, a new flashier yoga mat or get them looking the part with new workout gear, accessories or weights. Giving indoor winter workout gear is perfect because you know it’ll get used all year round.
5. Fitness and Health Trackers

You can’t have a good workout or fitness plan without tracking progress, so help your health enthusiast buddy by purchasing the latest fitness watch or band. You can opt for something basic that records their movement in steps and kilometres – the Fitbit is great for this, or you can really tech it up with wearable devices that act as a heart rate monitor and show how many calories are being burnt throughout a workout.
Depending on your budget range and your health nut’s fitness goals, there’s a lot on offer when it comes to fitness and health trackers. And it doesn’t always have to be wearable either, but they tend to be the most practical and come in a range of colours and styles to suit everyone’s style.
6. Spa Gift Certificate

A little RnR time is the perfect way to boost your mood, health and wellbeing – without having to step into the gym. Perfect for the health conscious friend that is needing a little ‘me’ time, a trip to the day spa can really force even the busiest to stop and relax.
From facials to soothing massages to simply soaking in the spa for a few hours, a spa gift certificate makes for a great gift. And it’s not always something people will go and buy themselves, so it’s nice goodie to receive. Find a local day spa near your friend’s location they can try out and let them indulge for an afternoon.
Author Bio
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, an online blogger and copywriter who recommends the organic gift hampers at Boxt.com.au for the perfect gift idea for that health conscious friend. Boxt are a leading online provider of hampers and other gift ideas and do delivery throughout Australia.

How do I choose the right size fitball?

Fitballs, also known as Swiss, Stability or Yoga balls, are a safe and very effective tool for exercising. They are suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels, from the occasional home user to elite athletes.

The fitball provides instability and mobility while exercising, which strengthens and works the “core/spinal” stablilsers. These are the deep abdominal muscles that play a very important role in good posture and back care. While using the fitball for training you are stimulating those deep muscles, so not only is it great for exercising but also for injury prevention.

Measuring Up

The general rule for choosing the ball for you is that when sitting on the inflated ball your hips and knees must be at a 90-degree angle. It is ok for your hips to be higher than your knees but not lower. For a novice or someone with poor balance a larger ball will provide better stability and support. Also, if you suffer back problems the larger ball will be more suitable. You can always slightly under inflate it so it feels softer to sit on. Fitballs are measured in centimeters.

Check out the right one for your height.

Under 1.52m = 45cm

1.53m – 1.66m = 55cm

1.67m – 1.85m = 65cm

1.86m – 2.03m = 75cm

Over 2.04m = 85cm

The Finer Points

There are many versions of the fitball available, but don’t compromise your safety by buying a cheap, poorly made ball, especially if you are using the fitball throughout pregnancy and for post natal exercises. Here at eFit30.com.au we use fitballs that are slightly weighted with sand (Balast balls) in our pregnancy workouts, because they don’t roll or blow away and they provide extra resistance during upper body exercises.

You should ensure the ball you buy has an anti-burst rating that equals or exceeds 500kg. These balls are also more resistant to wear and tear. It is preferable to have a non-slip vinyl surface, while many fitballs come with ribbing for extra traction and support.

Cost and Availability

Fitballs range in price from around $30 to $145 and some are packaged with pumps and instruction DVD’s. The pump can be purchased separately for between $15 and $20 or if you have a foot pump at home with a cone nozzle that could also do the job. The burst resistant balls are slightly more expensive, but well worth the money.

They are usually available from sports stores, physiotherapists, fitness centres and rehabilitation equipment stores. If you purchase online, make sure you are dealing with a reputable site.

Fitballs are a convenient and useful tool for any age or fitness level and can be used both indoors and out. Unlike other gym equipment, they can be deflated and easily stored away when not in use. The right sized fitball will help you maintain good posture and get the most out of your fitball workouts.

Fast Lower Body Toning Moves To Do In The Yoga Studio

woman exercising yoga

If your biggest ‘trouble spot’ on your body is your hips, thighs, or glutes, it’s time to get a good workout program in order. The great news is that you can effectively work all of these areas right in a yoga or gyms studio. All you need is a yoga mat, a set of small hand weights, and an exercise ball.

Using these three pieces of equipment, you can whip yourself into shape, ensuring you look better than ever in any yoga pants, jeans, or dresses you choose to wear.

Here are the details of the main moves to do.

Stationary Lunges

In a standing position with both feet on the yoga mat and the weights in either hand, step one foot directly in front of the other about 2 feet. Once firmly planted, begin to bend the forward knee as you slowly lower yourself down so the back knee is almost touching the ground.

Pause here and then press back up to complete the rep. Continue on until 15 reps are completed and then switch sides and repeat.

Leg Curl

To hit the back of the legs and work the bum region, the leg curl is the ideal move. To do this, lay flat down on the yoga mat with the ball placed under the feet, the legs extended.

From here, lift the hips up off the ground and then slowly begin to bend the knees as you bring the ball towards your bum. Once you’re as far as you can go, pause briefly and then extend back out to complete the rep.

Continue doing this until 15 reps are completed.

Glute Bridge

The glute bridge is very similar to the leg curl only this time all the emphasis is placed directly on the bum. If you want a firmer backside
, this is the move for you.

Assume the same position as the leg curl only this time rather than bending the knees an bringing the ball into the body, simply squeeze the glutes and lift the hips up. Pause and then lower them so they are almost touching the ground.

Pause here and then lift up once again. Keep doing this until 15-20 reps are finished.

Sumo Squats

Finally, don’t overlook the sumo squat. This exercise is great for firming the inner and outer thighs, really toning the hip region.

Stand on the yoga mat
with the feet wider than hip width apart, your toes slightly turned out. From here, bend at the knees as you lower yourself down. Once you’re at a 90 degree angle, pause and hold this for 5 seconds. From there, rise up again to complete the rep.

Continue on until 15 reps are completed. To make this exercise more challenging, hold your weight down between your legs with both hands.

So there you have your fast and efficient, total lower body toning routine. Do this next time you hit the gym and you’ll be seeing results in no time.

Shannon Clark has been working in the personal training and online fitness writing field for the last 12 years and has worked with numerous clients and websites, providing content in the fitness niche. She holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta and has a passion for continued learning as she is constantly researching up on the latest exercise and nutrition techniques to try with her clients.

Sculpt, lengthen & tone – Pilates Workout

Sophie from the Aspire Group’s Pilates Workout video:

Sophies Aspire Pilates video predominantly focuses on strengthening and isolating the core to help create lean flat abdominals while improving posture and preventing injury. It is a full-body workout focussed on toning and sculpting our major stabilising muscles such as the core, gluteals and upper body. Sophie provides options for all levels, however, it is at an accelerated pace to get the most out of your workout, so if you have not done Pilates before make sure you are familiar with switching on your T-zone and using an imprinted spine before you start the video!

About Sophie:

Qualifications and experience:

CERT III in Fitness and Exercise to music with Lifetime training in London UK.

Studio Pilates

TRX certificate

Les Mills Body Balance Instructor.

Group Fitness Instructor/Fitness First/Good-life.

Education:

Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing and PR – Notre Dame

Bachelor of Education majoring in Theatre studies and minor in English (2/4 years) – ECU.

The Aspire Group Studio:

The Aspire Group – we are located in 3 major locations.

City Beach – Fred Burton Way

Mosman Park – Lochee St (Camelot)

Osborne Park – Dale Alcock Homes

Find us via:

http://www.aspire-group.biz/

F: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=173168362747754

I: aspiregroup

My Niche and passion:

Sophie has a passion for introducing hard core Pilates to those who enjoy working up a sweat but knowing that they are supporting and listening to their bodies at the same time. She is passionate about introducing Yoga and Pilates to athletes and males who are less familiar with the benefits of these training styles and less comfortable participating in Pilates and Yoga classes.

Here is my first Pilates Workout Video, enjoy!

Sculpt, lengthen & tone – Pilates

6 Week Boot Camp – train like a Champion!

 

This is your free step by step program to lose six kilos in six weeks! Your new you starts HERE!

To help you on the journey we have put together;

  1.  A full six week diet plan from Jo Beer at Revitalise.
  2. Download your food diary.
  3. Weekly video coaching instructions from our dietician & diabetes educator Jo Beer and boot camp coach Justine.
  4. Step by step 30 minute exercise routines, one per day and suggested active rest Yoga routines for the days when you need a break.
  5. See more at Revitalise and Babes on the run, the people who donated their time for free to make this happen.

Let’s start, week 1 exercise routine.

Week 1

Coaching video 1 is here! These are just some tips from real people that train mums and have advised allot of people what you need to do to stay in a health weight range for the long haul.

Here are the workout videos;

  1. Day 1, 6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Full Body Workout
  2. Day 2, Interval Training Workout
  3. Day 3, Total Body Workout Beginner

  4. Day 4, Pilates Essentials

  5. Day 5, Interval Training Workout Part 2
  6. Day 6, Tone up with Yoga routine
  7.  Day 7, 6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Full Body Workout

Week 2

Check-in coaching video 2 is here! Use this to stay motivated and on track! Yes it is hard, but it is supposed to be right? Now keep going!!!! Enjoy feeling better.

  1. Day 8, 6 Week Boot Camp Core Full Body Workout
  2. Day 9,6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Full Body Workout
  3. Day 10,Interval Training Workout

  4. Day 11, Pilates Essentials
  5. Day 12, Interval Training Workout Part 2
  6. Day 13, Hatha Yoga routine with Holly
  7. Day 14, 6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Full Body Workout

Week 3

Check-in coaching video 3 is here! Some more of what to expect and some tips and tricks to stay motivated and on track!

  1. Day 15, 6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Interval Full Body Workout
  2. Day 16,6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Full Body Workout
  3. Day 17,6 Week Boot Camp Core Full Body Workout
  4. Day 18, Pilates Flat Abbs
  5. Day 19, Interval Training Workout Part 2
  6. Day 20, Yoga routine with Valerie
  7. Day 21, 6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Full Body Workout

Week 4

Check-in coaching video 4 is here! OMG passed half way! I’m sooo excited! Watch the coaching video get advice about fatigue, sleeping right and new mum advice!

You can substitute in a shorter Yoga routine for active rest and we have posted several routines to do just that!

  1. Day 22, 6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Interval week 4 Full Body Workout
  2. Day 23,6 Week Boot Camp Core Full Body Workout
  3. Day 24,6 Week Boot Camp Core Full Body Workout
  4. Day 25, Pilates Essentials with Angela
  5. Day 26, 6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Full Body Workout
  6. Day 27, Full total body workout
  7. Day 28, 30 minute Yoga routine

Week 5

Check-in coaching video 5 is here!  Are you still with us? WOW what could possibly go wrong?

Don’t forget you can substitute any of our Valerie’s shorter Yoga routines for active rest and she has posted several routines for you to do!

  1. Day 29, Six Week boot camp workout, week 5 workout, with Justine
  2. Day 30, Interval Training Workout Part 2
  3. Day 31, Interval Training Workout

  4. Day 32, Pilates Essentials with Angela
  5. Day 33, 6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Full Body Workout
  6. Day 34, Full total body workout
  7. Day 35, 30 minutes of Yoga with Valerie

Week 6

Check-in guidance for  week 6 is here! 

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”; Walt Disney, ok so that’s not totally relevant but an incredible quote from an amazing entrepreneur that did some pretty amazing stuff; keep moving forward!

  1. Day 36, Six Week boot camp workout, week 6 workout, with Justine and Vanessa.
  2. Day 37, Interval Training Workout

  3. Day 38, 6 Week Boot Camp Core Full Body Workout
  4. Day 39, Pilates Essentials with Angela
  5. Day 40, Interval Training Workout Part 2
  6. Day 41, 6 Week Boot Camp Cardio Interval workout
  7. Day 42, 30 minutes of Yoga with Valerie

Substitute this  active rest Yoga routine if you don’t feel like doing a full 30 minute routine.

Don’t stop here! now you are in the swing of things keep working out using our routines!  This is a change for life not a fad, “lock in the new you”.

Additional Resources below….

There are more free recipes here from Jo.

We recommend MyFitnessPal Mobile Apps tools you need to successfully take weight off – and keep it off. And best of all, everything on the site is 100% FREE.

Check your BMI with this Body Mass Index Calculator. BMI is a ratio between weight and height. It is a mathematical formula that correlates with body fat, used to tell if you are at an unhealthy weight (given a certain height). BMI value is more useful for predicting health risks than the weight alone (for ages 18 and over).

Calories burned??

Use a calorie calculator like this one or google another one. You will need to know stuff like your height, weight, age type of exercise, the length of time you did it. We would have included a calorie burn estimate for every video but as you can see there are a number of variable that would make our estimates inaccurate.

Tip: you may want to try using this portion plate from the Revitalise website.

Best of all it’s free so you can’t afford not to do this starting right now!

Top 10 Ways To Slash Calories Quickly

If you’re aiming to lose fat rapidly, one thing that you must pay attention to is your calorie intake. Your calorie intake does dictate whether you gain or lose body fat, so it’s vital that you get it set up correctly.

This said, cutting calories doesn’t mean going on some starvation diet. Let’s look at a few simple and easy methods to slash calories painlessly so that you can enhance your progress.  Be sure to check out LiveLighter for more help formulating a proper diet plan.

Swap Milk For Cream In Your Coffee

Cream is far too high in fat and calories to be a part of your regular diet – go for milk in your coffee instead.

Opt For Ground Turkey Rather Than Ground Beef

Ground turkey is a very lean protein source and can be used in all the same ways that ground beef can be utilized.  Make meatballs with it today.

Go With Egg Whites Rather Than A Bagel

Egg whites are a great source of protein and will get your day started off right – and help you avoid that mid-morning crash that you’d have if you had eaten a bagel.

Choose Sweet Potatoes Over Pasta

Sweet potatoes are far higher in good nutrition and vitamins compared to pasta and won’t encourage fat gain.  Serve them with some salsa on the side.

Go For Fresh Fruit Rather Than Fruit Juice

Fruit juice is rich in sugar and calories and lacks the dietary fiber that real fruit provides.

Choose Fish Over Beef

Fish is a lower calorie, high protein option when aiming to lose weight. Choose it over beef more regularly.

Eat Oatmeal Rather Than Cold Cereal

Oatmeal is a slow burning carbohydrate that’s low in calories and full of fiber. Opt for it rather than cold cereal more often.

Opt For Squash Over Potatoes

Squash is a lower calorie option to regular potatoes, which are ranked high on the GI index. Opt for squash more often to slash calories quickly.

Choose Green Tea Over Gourmet Coffee

Green tea is full of antioxidants and will even boost your metabolic rate to a small degree as well. Gourmet coffee, on the other hand is loaded with calories and not a superior choice.

Choose Greek Yogurt Over Mayonnaise

If you need to use mayonnaise in any of your recipes, try going for Greek yogurt instead. it’s rich in protein, low in sugar, and a far more ideal option.

Use all of these swaps and you’ll be eaten leaner in no time.

…now try these workouts from eFit30

Pilates strengthens the mind-body connection while burning calories

Pilates is one of those workouts that necessarily doesn’t end when class does. The lessons and effects of pilates carry over into everyday life. Pilates teaches you how to control your body, mind and soul at the same time strengthening the mind-body connection. It conditions your muscles in a balanced way and increases your self-awareness by drawing your focus inward benefiting your emotional health. Stretching and strengthening of muscles will amplify your blood circulation and help ease any tension guiding you to feeling rejuvenated and calm after class. Although many people may do pilates for the mental health benefits it’s also an activity that burns calories even if it feels effortless at times.

A report published by the American College of Sports Medicine outlines pilates research conducted by Michele Olson, Ph.D. Olson and her team. They measured the calories burned during beginner, intermediate, and advanced Pilates mat workouts. The research team monitored heart rate, metabolic rate and rate of perceived exertion while the participants performed exercises in a random order. The research team found that a 30-minute session at an intermediate level burned 180 calories, and continuing the workout burned an additional 90 calories each 15 minutes.

More interesting results showed that beginner Pilates exercises burned energy comparable to active stretching, or to other low-moderate intensity exercises. The intermediate workout proved to be of a moderate intensity level, similar to speed walking at a rate of 4 to 4.5 mph. The advanced workout was found to be of high-moderate intensity, similar to taking a step aerobics class.

Pilates is one of those workouts where you can get a lot of bang for your buck so to speak. You are able to walk away from a pilates workout confidently knowing that not only have you burned calories but you will also be more focused, more productive and more at ease… and who doesn’t want that?

 Pilates fitness female instructor