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Healthy Tips

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5 Tips to Help You New Mamas (and Mamas-to-Be) Get Your Best Abs Ever

 

Seven months ago, teacher Dana Goodman had her first baby and says her workouts at The Studio (MDR) transformed her pregnancy, labor, and how she feels today. “To be honest, since this was my first baby I was super careful with core exercises throughout my entire pregnancy. I didn’t want to take any risks! However, I stayed consistent with my routine at (MDR) with some modifications along the way, and I had an amazing pregnancy. I was not sick one day and I felt energized the entire time, even when I was 10 days late delivering.” In fact, Dana was still teaching 19 classes a week when she was seven months preggers (!!).

Dana gave birth to Saylor, a 7 lb, 14 oz beautiful baby girl, and her labor was 100 percent natural. “I don’t think I would have ever been able to have a natural delivery without the strength I built from the (MDR) classes,” she says. Check out Dana’s best tips on how to get a killer core here.

Tip No. 1: A strong core will make everything feel better. Working your abdominal muscles has so many benefits. A tight tummy will not only help your confidence soar, but it’ll also help easy any low back pain you might be feeling. “Since abs are attached to your back muscles, strengthening your transverse abdominal muscles can help reduce back pain,” says Dana.

Tip No. 2: Strong abs can also make labor easier. Here’s a heads up for all of you moms-to-be: “When you learn how to better control your abs, you may not need to push as much when you’re in labor,” says Dana. “When I had my daughter, I only pushed for 20 minutes, which is pretty fast!”

Tip No. 3: You’ll have an easier time post-baby, too. “The rectus abdominis can split during pregnancy in order to accommodate your growing baby—it’s known as diastasis,” says Dana. “Having tight transverse abs during pregnancy can get your rectus muscles back into place faster and therefore give you a flatter stomach sooner after pregnancy.” After you give birth, make sure to incorporate exercises that target the transverse abs, she says, which will help improve posture, reduce back pain, and create a flatter tummy much faster.

Tip No. 4: Your strength will transfer to your baby, too. “Our daughter is super active and very strong,” says Dana. “At 5 ½ months she started crawling, and at 6 ½ months she started pulling herself up to stand. These are both major milestones she’s doing very early, and her pediatrician has told me that the environment a baby is exposed to in utero can have a big impact on your baby.”

Tip No. 5: Ease back into working out post-baby. First things first: You’ll want to assess if you have diastasis recti before you begin to workout after giving birth. If you have DR, there are several exercises you can do at home to help improve this condition before getting back into your normal workout routine. Remember to start back slowly (six weeks post-baby for vaginal deliveries and eight weeks if you had a c-section), and be cautious for the first several months. “It’s important to give yourself time to heal and rebuild your strength before venturing off to new workout routine,” says Dana.One thing I constantly have to keep reminding myself is to be kind to my body! It took 10 months to create this amazing little baby, and I have to be patient and remember it could take just as long to get back to where I was physically. Whenever I get down on myself, I just look at her bright smile and know that it is all worth it!”

Dana’s MegaMamas class is on hiatus in November but will be back in full swing when we open our Playa Vista studio!

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5 Secrets That’ll Take Your Detox to the Next Level

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5 Secrets That’ll Take Your Detox to the Next Level

Bushing ‘Tis the season to cleanse. Here’s what you need to know to detox the healthy way.

  1. Dry brush your bod every morning. First, go to Whole Foods and pick up a dry brush. Next, commit to brushing your body every morning before your shower. Start at your feet and work your way up toward your heart (to brush your arms, start at your fingertips and work your way toward your heart). This ancient technique stimulates your lymphatic system, which helps your body release toxins.
  1. Sweat every day—even if you’ve got zero energy. If you’ve got a class at The Studio (MDR), you’re set. If not, take a power walk or do some form of light exercise that gets your heart pumping. When you’re cleansing, your body is trying to get rid of built-up toxins — and sweating them out is a great way to give them the boot.
  1. Make time for downtime. When you’re cleansing, you may feel a little more tired at the end of every day. So, bank on this and cut yourself some slack. Get into bed a half hour earlier each night and read, or spend an evening in your bathtub instead of out at happy hour with friends.
  1. Get ready for things to feel worse before they feel better. You may feel a little irritable, tired, and headachy at the end of the first day. You might even feel like you’re getting sick. That’s because your body is trying to heal itself by getting rid of mucus. Just remind yourself that it will pass and that when it does, you’ll feel better than ever.
  1. Don’t go on a bender when your detox is done. When you come off your cleanse, eat as clean as you possibly can. Introducing toxins right away can do a lot of harm. So think fresh, whole, organic foods for the weeks (and hopefully months!) after your cleanse. Eat plenty of veggies, fruits, non-gluten grains, beans, small amounts of nuts, seeds, and lean organic meats and fish.

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7 Fat-Blasting Foods Every (MDR) Success Story Eats

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7 Fat-Blasting Foods Every (MDR) Success Story Eats

Quinoa Your diet is just as crucial as your workouts. Here are the foods to reach for to fuel your body, drop those stubborn 10 pounds and feel great.

 

  1. Steel cut oats. This fiber-filled breakfast staple will help you feel fuller longer, meaning you’ll be more likely to pass on that mid-morning snack (or those pastries on the board room table).
  2. Walnuts. Loaded with omega-3s and protein, this healthy snack can be eaten on its own or tossed into salads or on top of that steel cut oatmeal.
  3. Quinoa. Instead of rice, try this ancient grain, which is loaded with protein and fiber and has a delicious nutty flavor. Mix in some fruit and have it for breakfast or a snack, or add in some chopped veggies and a protein for an easy lunch or dinner that can be eaten hot or cold.
  4. Chia seeds. Move over, kale: Chia seeds are the new darling of the food world, according to nutritionists. These little seeds are packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fatty acids — a combo that’ll help you feel energized, full, and fabulous. Add a spoonful to water for a satiating snack.
  5. Flax seeds. Want to keep your digestion rocking and bloating at bay? Sprinkle a teaspoon or two of freshly-ground flax seeds on top of your oatmeal or salad for an easy, healthy upgrade.
  6. Avocados. They’re filled with healthy fats that rev the metabolism and keep you satiated. They’re loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. They taste AMAZING. And, California makes the world’s best avocados. Need we say more?
  7. Salmon. This lean protein is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to do everything from boost immunity and mood to help keep weight in check.

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Make Any New Year’s Resolution Stick

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Make Any New Year’s Resolution Stick

Resolution Want to make sure 2015 is different and you stay committed to your dreams and goals this year? Here are the expert-approved secrets you need.

 

Set realistic goals. One of the main reasons we struggle to keep resolutions is that our goals aren’t practical. Most people aim too high and consequently bail when they don’t see immediate success. The result? Frustration, angst, and having that extra slice of pizza or scoop of ice cream with a “who cares” attitude. So, set realistic goals and break them down between long- and short-term aims. You might also consider setting several smaller goals that are easier to attain than your big goal. With each little success, you’re more likely to become more motivated.

Jump “back on the horse” immediately. If you find that you’ve slipped from your plan, don’t wait until ‘Monday’ to start again. Instead, reintroduce the new habit as soon as possible to avoid guilt and developing unhealthy patterns.

Forgive yourself. Silencing our inner critics can be seriously tough—but crucial if we’re going to hit our goals. Here’s how Gabrielle Bernstein does it: In a quiet moment, go through the list of ways you attack yourself. Next to each attack write: I forgive this and I release this. Setting the intention to forgive yourself sets the practice in motion. Bernstein does this practice whenever she detours into fear-based thoughts or actions. Whenever you notice self-attack set in, simply say, “I forgive myself and I release this thought.” It’s an amazing practice for maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself.

Give yourself a pat on the back. Take time to recognize your progress, no matter how insignificant it may seem. All too often we beat ourselves up about what we’re not doing and how we haven’t done enough, which doesn’t do anything for our progress. Instead, treat yourself for meeting your goals, even small ones. For instance, if you’ve committed to making it to The Studio (MDR) three times a week, promise yourself a reward, such as a new workout top or water bottle at the end of the week. Even better? Have a special reward in mind for when you reach your final goal.

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The Post-Workout Snacks You Should Be Eating

Bananas You worked hard, and you’ve got the hunger to prove it. Here’s what to whip up after your Studio (MDR) workouts to refuel.

A kale smoothie. Toss 1 cup of kale, ½ green apple, juice from half a lemon, ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (whey or plant-based) and 4 ice cubes into your blender, whiz, and serve.

Green eggs (no ham). Sauté 1 cup of spinach, arugula or another leafy green in coconut oil, then scramble in two eggs.

Breakfast quinoa. Sweeten up this protein-packed ancient grain by adding a little cinnamon and diced apples or pears.

Almond butter on banana slices. Bananas are packed with fast-acting carbs (a.k.a. the “good” kind) that you need to replace your body’s levels of glycogen after a workout, which helps rebuild your muscles.

Greek yogurt with blueberries. The yogurt provides a good serving of protein, and blueberries have been shown to triple your rate of recovery after a tough workout.

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5 Tricks to Sail Through the Holidays Without Gaining a Pound

Holiday Not gaining a pound during the feeding frenzy that is the holiday season may sound about as feasible as holding plank on your elbows for five minutes straight. But just like that formidable plank that we promise is possible, so is ringing in 2015 in even better shape than you’re in now. Truth.

To help you stay on track even when your mother-in-law puts another glass of eggnog in your hand, here are The Studio (MDR)’s favorite tips. Keep them in mind—and keep showing up to class on the regs—and watch yourself look even hotter at that New Year’s Eve party.

 

  1. Be a social butterfly. The more party time you spend catching up with friends and meeting new people, the less focused you’ll be on the mini quiches and mac ‘n cheese bites. At the very least, choose a spot away from the buffet table: Research shows the closer we’re situated to food, the more we’ll actually consume.
  2. Talk a friend into joining you at The Studio (MDR). You know the “buddy” rule you’ve read a million times in magazines, about how working out with a friend keeps you on track? Well, it works—and studies show exercising with a partner may actually help you perform better on aerobic tasks (hello, 50-minute Studio (MDR) class!).
  3. Cave in to your cravings. Yep, that’s right. We’re telling you to go ahead and splurge. That’s because if you forbid yourself from sipping on hot cocoa or eating those Christmas cookies, it’ll likely only make those foods more attractive—and prompt you to binge on unhealthy foods as a result. So, go ahead and have your fruitcake and eat it, too—in moderation.
  4. Pre-game with veggies and water. Five hours before the holiday party or gathering, start chugging water like it’s your job. Then, load up on fiber-rich fruits and veggies—or make a beeline for the crudités platter. There is one definite way to say “no” to even the most tempting-looking, unhealthy fat-filled foods, and that’s stuffing yourself with the good stuff so you’re literally too full to overindulge on the unhealthier grub.
  5. Be the guest that brings something healthy (yet still delish). If your go-to excuse for gorging on the unhealthy options at a party goes something like, “But there were no better options,” it’s time to be that guest who insists on bringing a dish. A massive salad, platter of sushi, or gorgeous array of raw fruits and veggies is the kind of contribution that’ll wow your host—and give you a healthy option to chow down on.

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