The Flex Belt – Friend or Foe?

I have never been aCAM00244c big fan of fitness equipment fads. I go with the tried and true free weights and running through my neighborhood. With that said, when I was contacted by The Flex Belt representative to try out the company’s product, how could I resist. I get a free Flex Belt to try, and then I just have to write an honest review.

So, we all have those things that we hold to be true, and two of my biggies (when it comes to fitness) are that 6 pack abs are made in the kitchen more so than the gym. Of course it’s important to work out your abdominals to build those muscles, but unless you have a healthy diet and lose some of your abdominal fat, all that ab work will never show itself. Secondly, I don’t feel like I have had a great workout unless I am sore the next day. This second one may or may not be scientifically true, but in my mind it’s true for me.

So here are the pros and cons –

PRO:

1. It’s easy to use once all the pads are in place. Don’t get intimidated by the pads… they are a bit sticky. Be sure to read the directions.

2. There are so many intensity levels of muscle contraction, it seems unlikely to get maxed out or outgrow the belt’s scope for a strong ab workout. The belt has longevity of usefulness.

3. MY ABS ARE SORE THE NEXT DAY… YAY!

4. I can wear it around the house while playing with the kids, cooking dinner, chores, or whatever.

5. It comes with a convenient carry case.

6. I don’t have to take time at the gym to work abs, and it works all abdominal muscles, so there is no need to do three different exercises to get this result. .. which translates to a shorter work out or more time for other muscles groups.


 

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CON:

1. It’s a bit pricey.

2. The directions indicate that if you have a belly button ring, you must take it out. This may or may not be an issue for ring wearers.

3. The belt is set up for only one individual to wear… can’t be shared with other family members.

4. I haven’t had to replace them yet, but additional gel pads must be ordered – (the belt includes the first set)

 

So, The Flex Belt claims that it will stimulate all your major stomach muscles at the same time providing you with the perfect abdominal contraction – that means your upper abs, the lower abs and even your obliques are going to get worked from The Flex Belt… and it does all the work for you. From what I have experienced this claim holds true. Will it give you a six pack abs? It may, but you won’t see that six pack reveal itself unless (or until) you also have a diet that contributes to shedding belly fat. Will I continue to use my Flex Belt… YES!

For additional information on The Flex Belt, check out this link! http://www.theflexbelt.com/?mcp=12389

Are You Likable?

Okay, so I want people to like me. I may even be considered a “people pleaser”, gasp.  I think as women, we are more prone to have that need for people to like us. Good, bad, or indifferent, the X chromosome strikes again. There are no rules for love and attraction. But there are certain things that we can do to be likable to those people we like and admire.

Confidence

Confidence is the number one must have, and it can instantly make someone find you appealing. Confidence is all about being comfortable with yourself. Always feel that you are no less than others when you interact with someone you like. Don’t come off as being “more” than another, though, as you don’t want to come off as cocky. Over confidence can be counterproductive, so learn to know or limits and just be comfortable.

If you don’t feel confident, fake it.  One of my favorite tactics is to ACT AS IF. It can get you through an uneasy situation when you want to make a good impression.

Smile

A Smile has enormous power to draw people towards you. They are warm and inviting, and a genuine smile can put others at ease.  The smile should be straight from the heart and it should be the reflection of your confidence level.

Listen

We all love to tell others about ourselves. We love it when people ask us about our work, family, friends, etc. So, continue a good conversation with the person by asking more questions and keep listening to what they are saying. Pay attention to each thing they are talking about and learn about them.

When people talk about themselves, they become confident and relaxed. They find it easy to interact with you. If you keep listening to that person and give your opinions where it requires, it becomes easier for both of you to carry on the conversation. It also makes the other person know that you are interested in knowing about him or her.


Be positive in your approach and your body language. Your body language reflects your confidence and your mental state. So, when you talk to person, look straight into the eyes. Apart from that, keep your posture straight but casual to show that you are paying attention.

So what does this have to do with fitness and nutrition? Well, nothing really. But having self- confidence and being liked, no matter what level of fitness or how much you weigh, can make our day a little brighter. Have a bright day!

Welcome To Summer – How To Keep Cool With Hot Weather Exercise

Welcome to summer. Today in Arizona the high was 111. My kids often hear me say stuff like “playgrounds aren’t for summertime in Arizona”. Our outside activities are relegated to the swimming pool, unless it is before 8 am.

The reason that I mention all this is because I struggled a bit to write this article, as summer activities in Phoenix are always indoors, so we don’t think too much about outside exercise and heat related issues.

I decided to enlist the help of Mayo to offer some tips for summertime fun, for those of you who live in more hospitable environments.

Exercising in hot weather puts extra stress on your heart and lungs. Both the exercise itself and the air temperature increase your body temperature. To dissipate heat, more blood circulates through your skin. This leaves less blood for your muscles, which increases your heart rate. If the humidity is high, your body faces added stress because sweat doesn’t readily evaporate from your skin — which only pushes your body temperature higher, and your natural cooling systems don’t work as efficiently.

Things to keep in mind during hot-weather exercise:

  • Take it slow. If you’re used to exercising indoors or in cooler weather, take it easy at first. As your body adapts to the heat, gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. This is kind of a duh, but your body’s ability to sweat and cool down depends on adequate rehydration. Drink plenty of water while you’re working out — even if you don’t feel thirsty.  Heck, drink plenty of water even if you are not working out. It is easy to become dehydrated regardless of activity.
  • Dress appropriately. Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing promotes sweat evaporation and cooling by letting more air pass over your body. Avoid dark colors, which can absorb the heat. Wear a hat – a light-colored hat can limit your exposure to the sun.
  • Avoid midday sun. That middle of the day sun can feel like an oven, so exercise in the morning or evening — when it’s likely to be cooler outdoors.
  • Wear sunscreen. A sunburn decreases your body’s ability to cool itself.
  • Have a backup plan. If you’re concerned about the heat or humidity, stay indoors. Work out at the gym, walk laps inside the mall or climb stairs inside an air-conditioned building.

During hot-weather exercise, be on the lookout for heat-related illness. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat

If you suspect a heat-related illness, stop exercising and get out of the heat. Drink water, and wet and fan your skin. If you don’t feel better within 60 minutes, contact your doctor.

Regular physical activity is important — but don’t let hot-weather workouts put your health at risk.

One Little Sentence Will Change Your Day

The brain cannot see or hear –  it only reacts to the stimuli that you feed it. Positive affirmations are your brain’s way of redirecting your body’s energy to keep you motivated. Negative affirmations like: “I am always tired” or “I can’t ever do anything right” only serve to reinforce negative energy and stand in the way of your progress.

I always like a good inspirational quote, and I have taped many to my wall, but I always thought affirmations were kind of silly.

After I had my second child, I was really serious about getting back in shape, so I purchased an E-book called Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto.  After reading a few pages, the “program” strongly recommended to come up with some affirmations and also keep a food diary.  I will save food journaling for another post, but I came up with quite a few affirmations including things like “I am happy to exercise today”, “I am getting back in shape”, “I am a better mom when I feel good about my health and fitness”.

I was still skeptical about the whole affirmation thing, but I figured if I spent the money on this program, I should give it my all.  To this day, I still have many of those affirmations posted on my wall, and they made (and make) a huge difference in my motivation, self acceptance, and desire to do great every day.

Here are some ideas for affirmations if you aren’t sure how to get started.  Try it.  You will be surprised at how one little sentence will change your day!

For Exercise:

• Exercise makes me feel good.
• I feel healthier when I exercise.
• I look better when I exercise and it shows.
• I have more energy when I exercise.
• I am becoming stronger every day.
• I get more accomplished when I exercise.
• I look better in my clothes when I exercise.
• I can handle life’s challenges when I exercise.
• My diet is easier to maintain because I exercise.

For Diet:

• I will eat slowly and enjoy the taste of my food.
• My body is benefiting because I am taking charge of what I eat.
• The foods I eat will give me strength.
• I no longer want to eat foods that provide empty calories.
• Before I reach for a snack I will think about what I am putting into my body.
• I will always wait 10 minutes after eating before going back for seconds.
• I am grateful for my health and want to preserve it.
• I will not be judged by the number on the scale.
• I can make a difference in my own life.

Begin each day with your positive affirmations. Write them down where you can see them. Repeat them to yourself in the morning,  before your workout, and remind yourself of them before you go to bed at night. Believe in yourself, be grateful for all that you have and all that you are right now!

WELCOME to FIT POINT

So I am trying something new on my blog. It is called Fit Point. It is from Fit Blogs where they supply a topic, and I get to write about it! There is a new topic every week .

This week’s topic: Summer Goals

Hmmm, what do I want to achieve by the end of the summer?

After giving this much consideration I have three fitness goals. It makes such a difference when you have to consciously consider your goals and even write them down. Now they are for real!

** My biggest “crime” lately has been this obsession with the numbers on the scale. In a previous post I told you that I went out and bought a scale because the one at the gym was clearly “off”. I know better… the numbers on the scale are of little importance in the short run. I have become way too concerned over a fluctuation of two or three pounds in body weight. There are so many factors, none of which have to do with “getting fatter,” that could have caused such a minor gain, so there is no need for panic. My goal is to not just tell my clients this, but to really embrace it and believe it.

** My next goal is to tone up my legs. I have a nice physique upstairs, but my butt and thighs can use some serious toning. Over the last six months I have moved to heavier leg days and cut out a lot of exercises, mostly doing squats, leg press, and dead lifts. I need to get back to a better variety of exercises to tone all parts of my legs.

** My last goal is for my new client. She has never had to watch what she eats, but as she is getting older her weight is creeping. Since she has not needed to pay attention to nutrition in the past, she is like a blank slate. It is exciting to see the light bulbs going off in her head. We have a 30 day goal that started on June 30th, so I am ready to see her lose some pounds and gain valuable information.

1. I will put my scale away, so I am not tempted to weigh myself every single day.

2. I will split hams and quads into two different days. I will alternate high and low reps. I will add several exercises that target butt and outer thighs.

3. I will be empathetic yet no-nonsense with my client. I will give her options that she can continue to use past our 30 days. I will educate her as completely as possible about nutrition and fitness. Her success is my success.

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