Posts Tagged ‘Fitness Empowerment’
When I was a kid, mid-life meant something awful to all the adults around me. Boomers looked at it as a time of crisis- a time in review of what was left undone in one’s life. At that point (age 40), they were freaking out because they thought that this was the downhill slope of life. They seemed to assume the state of mind that whatever they had not built was going to be what they screamed in terror over while being shoved down that inevitable slope into the fast approaching end of life.
I feel like the people around me even looked really old when they were in the midlife stage. There were more smokers in my life at that time (as opposed to nowadays, I don’t really have too many people in my daily life that smoke), and they all had yellow fingernails and yellow teeth (only rich people had cosmetically whitened teeth back then, from what I recall). My grandpa and uncle both had yellow skin from daily alcohol intake which had caused jaundice. It was really a lifestyle, and it was normal, to smoke, drink, and just let life and age happen. In the previous generation, no one really questioned it, and they screamed and went through crisis as they “let it go” and watched time, youth, strength and beauty degenerate rapidly. Not Generation X. We are the generation that examines, questions, argues and strives to prove more.
Nowadays, even the smokers are hitting the gym. The drinkers get their weekend warrior workouts on before hitting the bars on Friday night, and a Saturday morning at the gym usually kicks off at about 11am, when all the hangover victims have rolled out of bed, only to “make up” for the previous night’s drinking rampage by lifting some weights or walking a few miles on the treadmill or stairmaster. People in Generation X seem to be trying to thwart the pains of bloat and fatigue that accompany the pleasures they gain in smoking and drinking. We have patches, pills, hypnosis, and electronic cigarettes that have helped millions to quit a now loathed habit. There are new modifications to alcohol that insights lower-fat, i.e., more fit and sexy images for drinkers who want to watch the pounds.
What does it mean for us when we observe the recent decade’s increase in stop-smoking alternatives along with light beers and “skinny” drink mixes? Do you think that smoking is something we don’t want to glamorize anymore? Does everyone want to slow down or cut back on drinking? Not so much. It simply seems to mean that these days, no one wants to just “let it go”. Gen X-er’s are getting more into juicing, wheatgrass, working out, and doing whatever it takes to fight age. At the same time, plastic surgeries are plentiful. The accessibility of many cosmetic procedures now accommodates any income level. All of this is due to our yearning for longevity and beauty, the ultimate showing of glamour.
We are fighting age, and in spite of our own devices, we are striving to undo the bad in our physical state that our old habits have resulted in. It has to do with lifestyle change. We are now seeing a paradigm shift. The shift is that we realize that what will truly give us what we want, glamour and power, can be accessed by anyone, anytime, through more tools than ever. People are not interested so much in giving up their bad habits as they are interested in being glamourous, and we now do that through fitness lifestyle habits (i.e., going to the gym, hiking, drinking or eating lighter, taking supplements, and so on). The X Generation believes in longevity, and in that we believe in long, powerful years of glamour and beauty, which is expressed, through fitness, while glamour itself exploits fitness.
Who cares about the cycle though? The fact is that we are now living more fit than ever! Thanks to Generation X’s dedication to discover of information through the age of technology, daytime talk shows about anti-aging techniques, and even baby-boomer-birthed fast-food corporations being diverted into a Gen X inspired competition for informative healthy approaches to consumers, the Fit-Life, is here to stay!
We see that Big Business is boasting of profits from this cycle of vanity through fitness. If Big Business sees profits from it, you can guarantee they will continue to market and push it like a corner crack dealer pushes the latest fix. Not to mention that what we do with our lifestyle breeds to the benefit of our children and grandchildren, as they are being raised with fitness as their habit, rather than obligation. So it shall be their lifestyle choice by default and Big Business will continue to profit from it, and will thus, continue to amplify it’s benefits, while they push for more profitability to come from that direction. In that, I thank Big Business for pushing something that I love and live by, and something that I can rest assured will be gauranteed to my children and grandchildren through the engineering of their lifestyle through, both my influence, and Big Business marketing.
On that note, as I am turning 40 myself on May 30th, I want to say thank you to my fellow constituents of Generation X. You have made an extreme change in the face of mankind’s mindset when it comes to age 40. My Mid-Life is a Fit-Life, and therefore, even as a divorced mother of two teens and a tween, I feel younger, more beautiful and more powerful than ever. This is all due to having lived fit since the age of 23, when I started this track into the Fit-Life. Generation X, you are raising children with an awareness of self-empowerment vs. power over others, and regardless of which choice our children try to access, they will be trying to access it through the fitness lifestyle. All I can say to that is, Amen.
Remember to Be Well, Be You and BE PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
Many people are aware that squats can give you great glutes, wonderful toned legs, and an overall more beautiful physique. What most people don’t know is that squatting with inappropriate form can compromise your knees and back, making you prone to injuries. In my famous “Hundreds Workout,” squats are one of the main components. However, I would also like to share with people that they are not only important, but that it’s important to use proper form and technique. In addition, did you know that proper form can also help you get more toned abs? Read on…
There are five rules for the movement before, during and in completion of a proper squat.
- The proper squat is done while pressing through the heels (“toes up” is a good rule of thumb for beginners to associate the feeling of pressing all their weight through the heels).
- “Core Tight” before you start, after you start, all through the movement, and when you complete the set movement and are replacing the weight on the bar. Tightening the core is the foundation for this movement’s safety, because it reinforces all the mechanics in the body, as the core itself is the foundation (or it should be, anyhow, but most people don’t use their core, which is why they have back problems).
- “Chest up/Shoulders back” as you move! The proper squat starts with the core tight, torso tall, chest up, and shoulders back for proper form PRIOR TO BEGINNING THE MOVEMENT, and continuously through the movement.
- Make sure that your knees are not bent and leaned forward so much that your knees are NOT extended beyond parallel to your toes. A 90-degree angle, a right angle in other words, should be your target for your leg movement, dropping your butt back as you drop into the squat, with a goal of keeping your chest as high as possible.
- Inhale through your nose as you drop down into the squat and exhale through your mouth as you “explode up” out of the lowest point (the seated position) of the squat, returning to the standing up tall position.
The best way to begin learning proper form on most standing leg exercises is on the smith machine, which is a weight training machine that imitates a squat rack and a barbell, with the support that is needed to keep us from falling or putting undue stress on the joints. Remember to keep the core tight, chest up, shoulders back, as this combination supports the back. The smith machine is a very effective way to learn proper form of squats for beginners. Once you have learned the proper squat technique, it’s best to start off with very light weight (or even no weight at all), as you move forward by performing your own proper squat on the squat bar, free-weight style. It’s always great to have an experienced trainer or workout partner with you when you perform these exercises, so that they can be available to check your form, and support through spotting if necessary.
I have always struggled with keeping my legs and glutes firm, so I hope this article will help anyone out there with the same issues. Great tips are also available at siouxcountry.com for these and other great exercises. Be on the lookout- Workout videos will be returning to nitasworld.com! Meantime, you will see that I’ve linked this article to two other sites that share exercise videos for men & women. Be aware that there is always support available through chat threads online. You are never alone on the journey of fitness.
Be well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
A lot of people have asked me over the years how to get “legs of steel.” The fact is NOTHING will shred your legs up like doing these three things:
- eating lean (85% of the results you get in the gym come from your food intake- i.e., “diet”)
- combined with weight training for maximum output (going to failure, whether its with a moderate weight- not super light, or a heavy weight for sets of even 8, as long as you are going until you cannot do even one more full rep)
- sprinting (HIIT-high intensity interval training- see my other blog for detailed explanations of HIIT by clicking here)
First, you can learn more about lean eating, sprinting and weight training by researching on the internet, or checking out the dieting tips category in the nitasworld.com blog (click here). Of course, we talk a lot about clean eating and sprinting both in my book FIT FOR COMBAT with Nita Marquez, so ordering a copy for yourself to have on hand is not a bad idea for reference’s sake. It may be helpful for those of you who like hardcopy materials to scribble notes onto.
For the purposes of this article, we are talking about the hundreds workout, as I vowed to share my secret to keeping conditioned legs and glutes via spelling out the hundreds workout. My famous Hundreds workout is what works best for me in maximizing the effects of my leg workouts during all my year-round weight training regimens. It’s called the Hundreds Workout (you’ll understand why shortly- read on) and I do it once every week, in addition to my regular leg weight workouts. So, that amounts to two workouts for my legs alone on weights each week. If you’re a beginner, perhaps you should do the Hundreds Workout every other week, in addition to your regular weight training routine for legs. *Remember, the Hundreds Workout is a CONDITIONING WORKOUT- It is not intended to grow, develop, or reduce leg size. It is meant to condition the detail, for a more sculpted look of your legs that you can’t get through cardio or basic weight training for maximum output.
*Nita Marquez Hundreds Workout:
25 Leg Extensions x 4
25 Leg Curls x 4
25 Hip Abductors x 4
25 Hip Adductors x 4
25 Squats x 4
25 Calf Raises x 4
Do a moderate weight that you don’t have to reduce throughout the workout, so that you can complete the whole set without a “drop-set” style of training. Yet you want it to be heavy enough so that you can still feel it burning excessively by the 15th rep, making it difficult to finish the last ten reps of each set.
That’s it. By the time you’re done with my Hundreds Workout, you should feel exhausted, and ready to hit the jacuzzi, which won’t be a bad idea. The hot water and jets can be helpful to loosen up the muscles after this massive thrashing & conditioning workout you’ve just done. Always remember to have a fast-assimilating protein after your workout! If you’re unsure of what to buy, check out the store here to see some protein shakes I recommend. Of course you can always research online, too, checking out blogs & threads at siouxcountry.com.
Best of luck leaning out those legs, friends & fit moms! Be Well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
I will be 40 May 30 of this year. Ecstatic as I am (and I truly am excited, because all the women in my life tell me that the 40′s are the best years!), somehow, my body’s signs have been in disagreement. My moods have been swinging, patience has been shorter, sleep patterns have changed drastically (I can’t help but wake up at 3 or 4 am, like clockwork!), and energy has been doing a roller coaster number for the past year.
Maintaining my physique has actually been the least of my concerns. In fact, aside from having three awesome kids, nearing age 40, I have found that continuing to workout has been my main grounding factor, as well as the only thing that has given me more energy throughout the days. Eating better has definitely gotten easier with age, as I do believe that I am kind of “over it” with the “temptation” factor of food. These days, I eat to live and instead of living to eat. I experience and appreciate each day’s moments and accomplishments in order to “indulge.” Therefore, my indulgences are seldom beset in food, because I have children, a career, and I still continue to dream and do all that I can to build great things in my life, both for my family and for just myself.
As I said, nearing the age of 40, I have noticed a decrease in mood stability, and I am usually a vibrant and happy person. As well, my energy levels have begun to bounce extremely, making it less difficult to stay excited. I started doing some research and I found out from a counselor friend who is 48 years old and gorgeous, that she herself had experienced similar things at about age 42, so she started taking a supplement call Sam-E. I looked into it more, and yes, in fact as we near the aging of the 40′s, our bodies do slow down on the manufacturing of this amino acid derivative. Also, of course, I know that B-12, and all B-vitamins are a huge component in energy levels. I have my own multi-vitamin formula that includes a beneficial B-complex blend, but I also increased my dosage of the B’s, specifically of the B-12 and B-3 vitamins. I have a great liquid dropper of the B-12 made by NOW and I also got some additional capsules of Niacin (B-3), which help with circulation, energy, and seemingly for me, metabolism. Doses of niacin should be researched considerably prior to intake, so as to avoid some possible side affects.
With the three in combination with my usual daily intake of supplements like Fish or Krill Oils, multi-vitamins, glutamine, and Echinacea/Vitamin-C combination, I have enjoyed the benefits of taking Sam-E, and additional B-vitamins. I started by taking the Sam-E at the 200mg dosage daily and one B-12 dropperful with a Niacin capsule. I have already noticed a change in energy and moods. In addition, I should tell you that I cut out coffee about three days prior to doing this new supplementation combination regimen. It’s been helpful, tremendously! I have a lot more patience on the road (and in Los Angeles, that is difficult), I am less snappy with people, and I am getting a different, better type of rest now that I am back to maximizing the day’s hours. I did not add in any melatonine or sleep aids at any point because I wanted to see the change in my patterns simply by adding the Sam-E/B-Vitamin combo. It’s fabulous!
I recommend you do your own research, and start out with the lowest dosages (while removing caffeine pills or coffee for the first week, for the purposes of accurate energy measurement) of Sam-E and B-Vitamins 3 & 12. Increase as needed, and pay attention to your body. The age of beauty, inside and out, is definitely 40, and I am truly looking forward to it. If you’re not, then feel free to search out natural ways of maximizing what you have in you to offer not only to yourself and your family, but also what you are destined to bestow on the world with your wonderful energy! Be Well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
Essential Fatty Acids – We hear the term all the time, but what does it mean?
Essential Fatty Acids are unable to be synthesized by humans, but are necessary components for healthy metabolism. Metabolism is the body’s rate of ability to burn fat. Simply stated, EFA’s assist with the breakdown of fat. Omega-3′s can be found in fish, eggs (the yolk), hazelnuts, pecans, in plant-based foods deriving from micro algae and brown algae, grass-fed beef, krill, hemp seeds and flax seeds, to sum up the majority of human-ingestible foods that contain EFA’s.
It is often noted that Americans consume far too many Omega-6′s and not enough Omega-3′s, which can be problematic. It is suggested on multiple medical sites and blogs to limit the Omega-6 supplemental intake, and measure the dietary and supplemental intake of Omega-3′s. This is very important.
EFA’s help with a number of health ailments, including prevention or management of Alzheimer’s, stroke, cancer, cardiovascular health, mental health, ADHD, along with some Autism disorders, and depression. However, dietary intake should be monitored. More than 3 grams daily of Omega-3 Fatty Acids can cause negative effects. Therefore, when taking in fish or krill oil gel caps, be sure to manage your intake according to the label’s stated ratios of Omega-3 to Omega-6 EFA’s.
Because of the effects of EFA’s on brain development, children are candidates for the usage of fish oil or plant-derived EFA supplements, as well as the foods that can contain Omega-3′s, such as the foods you will see mentioned below. Parents, it’s highly imperative that you manage supplementation for healthy brain development, but that you also balance your child’s limited supplementation with a diet that is rich in EFA’s for your child(ren)’s ongoing development and cognitive acuity.
EFA’s have been a part of my daily intake for years, primarily through Salmon, and occasionally through gel cap fish or krill oils. Recently, I learned that raw eggs (the yolk) will stay rich in Omega-3′s when uncooked, so I have been adding 1-2 whole raw eggs to my protein shakes in the morning when I wake up. The FDA has only ever reported .0003% salmonella poisoning deriving from eggs.
If fish isn’t your thing, eggs or grass-fed beef, then keep your krill or fish oil capsules around, or perhaps you can get a plant-based EFA supplement from the store (supplements are usually made from the algae mentioned above for vegan diets). Or keep a lot of hazelnuts, flaxseeds, and pecans around. This all helps tremendously, as Omega-3′s contained in these foods/supplements will especially support your skin, hair, nails, brain and overall metabolism.
So, develop well and healthy, maintain clear mental function, and stay fit, utilizing the fine benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. EFA’s are your friend, so keep them around at all times! Be Well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL!
-Nita Lee Marquez
America’s Hottest Fit Mom – Author, Fitness Expert, Motivational Speaker
One of the things I have found to be tried and true in the life of training to be a Fit Mom, is that I can fit my kids into my fitness NO MATTER what age they are. The other thing I found to be tried and true fact is that you can do anything you want, but you can’t all of it right now, a common disappointment to those of us who want to rush it all and do it all, like the commonly over-achieving Fit Mom tends to attempt to do.
Fit Moms have a nack for balancing tons at once- we are the ultimate multi-taskers. We don’t need to be reminded to go to the gym, or to take care of our children, to balance checks, pay bills, stay motivated to work hard, or things that we are known for our brilliant management of.
However, it’s important to our health that we remember the soothers in life, as these are the things that will keep us capable of our most awesome of awesomeness for the long term, while also helping us stay sane and even happy. After all, happiness is the whole point of living, right? The two main things we fit moms tend to neglect, but can stand to pay more attention to are:
- Rest- Sleep is necessary for our bodies (muscles and organs) to recouperate, and that recouperation is when our recovery from usage takes place. Sleeping 6-8 hours nightly is often difficult for us to force ourselves to do. When people don’t sleep enough, we burn out our health, and lose our patience easier. Keeping it all together for the long term requires proper sleep. For without proper recovery, we can cause health risks and moodiness that make it impossible to enjoy our lives.
“Sleep deprivation has been proven to lead to… weight gain… increases in inuslin resistance (which leads to diabetes)…” says Dr. Ann E. Rogers, who has studied the effects of sleep with test subject groups and individuals.
- Affection- Being adored, adoring ourselves, and adoring others amps the “yippee” chemicals in our brain. Whoever said a cocktail was the only way to wind down and smile at the end of a long day? Taking the time to hold our children, our companions, or our friends & family for long embraces actually stimulates the secretion of endorphines, which lead our brains and bodies to experience joy. ASU’s Associate Professor, Kory Floyd, has studied the effects of affection extensively. People’s organ capabilities, blood pressure, weight management, and overall health can be managed better with affectionate behavior.
“Affection can be a simple, non-pharmaceutical, cheap way to reduce stress.” Floyd has found that there are direct associations between being an affectionate person and a lower risk of depression and stress.
Thus we see that no matter how healthy we eat, how much we exercise, how much we extend to our children, and no matter how many tasks of responsibility we cover in our daily lives, we could be actually limiting ourselves, and our years, if we are not taking care to rest and embrace on a daily basis as well! Sleep and Love, life’s combo remedy to help longevity!
Enjoy & Empower! Be PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
smashing out the old drab hues
brighten with enlightened dues
refuse to be so broken used
standing in results i choose
there i am but there she went
she served a mission heaven sent
here i stand and pose with love
rich in heart with will to shove
shoving out that mass of pain
select outside what’s mundane
from the hatefulness refrained
i choose to be a soul regained
a clarity besets my thoughts
what shall i buy, not will be bought
the doubt dissolves as we forgot
remembering what strength has wrought
avail to me right now i claim
the riches of my children’s name
see the signs and live the times
sing the songs of hearts and minds
destiny is not resigned
for now our stars are realigned
and as we held hands all this while
my family’s souls only smile
smile on us, angels do
only in our tickled view
for as we feel and laugh in deed
integrity and passions lead
leading us to golden roads
lit and paved with seeds we sowed
lifting us with lighter loads
and gifting us as our will flowed
worship thankfully in hopes
while toiling to untie ropes
and now the picture becomes real
we manifested what we feel
- Nita Lee Marquez
IFBB Pro Fitness Athlete, Author/Speaker/Poet
Miss National Fitness, Fit Mom, Fitness Model
It’s easy to stay active and fit when the weather’s warm. If you’re like many people, you probably spent much of the last few months swimming, biking, running, hiking, playing in the yard with your children, or savoring a nightly walk. But while warm weather may stick around for a bit longer, autumn has begun, and winter’s colder temperatures and shorter days are on the horizon. This is the time to think about how to maintain your exercise motivation beyond into the colder months.
The Harvard University School of Public Health states that exercise helps keep us physically healthy and even helps you cope with stress and bad moods. This is extra important in the fall and winter, when many people suffer from colds, flus and even seasonal depression. However, cold weather, early nightfall, and changes in your schedule can be barriers to keeping up your exercise routine. But these things don’t have to get in your way. Here are some tips for sticking to a fitness regimen as the seasons change:
* Move your workout indoors. An investment in some home gym equipment, such as treadmills and ellipticals, can make the difference between sticking to your exercise routine and skipping it altogether. Home equipment makes exercise convenient and weather-proof.
* Hit the ice. If you like to exercise outside, ice skating is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get exercise even when it’s cold and snowy outside.
* Try snowshoes. Once a solid snowfall has arrived, snowshoeing is an ideal way to enjoy the outdoors and get a great workout to boot. It’s simple, fairly inexpensive and gives your heart, lungs, glutes and legs an incredible workout. If you don’t own them, you can rent snowshoes at many park districts and outdoor-sports shops.
* Enjoy the ski slopes or trails. Skiing–especially cross-country skiing–is a full-body workout. Many towns maintain local trails or hills for skiers to enjoy the snow and get fit at the same time. You can often rent skis if you don’t own them.
* Consider winter running or walking. You don’t have to give up your beloved outdoor walking or running once winter comes. Plenty of runners and walkers do so all year long. Just be sure to dress for the weather, avoid icy areas and make yourself visible with reflective clothing and clip-on lights if you run or walk after dark.
Do you need some extra motivation? These strategies can help you get and stay motivated when your mood is flagging:
* Change your time. In the winter, it may be too dark for your liking to run or walk outside in the evening. Try switching to early morning or lunch hour workouts instead.
* Find a workout buddy. A friend can provide social interaction, motivation and encouragement. In addition, if you’re nervous about exercising outside in waning light, a workout buddy provides added security.
Resolve to stay fit and active, even as autumn brings cooler temperatures and winter arrives on its heels. You’ll be healthier and happier.
Jim Rollince is a member of the creating writing department of Gym Source
He enjoys writing about Fitness, Nutrition, and many other related topics. Contact him at email@example.com
Embarking on a new song sent
Wondering what moments meant
Elated by a hopeful gent
Gentle like a power bent
Bend the mends that closed the shade
End the rendered pain’s charade
Gallantly we stand on faith
Bringing us to heaven’s gates…
Heaven’s calls do relegate
Beyond what heathens delegate
We take on knowledge to create
A manifested vision’s state
There we go and here we stand
Tempest was an old remand
Bow to a forceful, truthful light
I am that forceful in my might
Now I see what all that meant
No need for my heart to resent
For thereupon their need repents
For naught what my world represents
So now I walk a path in peace
So much joy to be released
Walking in prosperities
My soul to will a heart that’s pleased
Forego a blank tranquility
To live inside serenity
My dignity, my gentle strengths
Reflects my will’s tenacious lengths
- Nita Lee Marquez
IFBB Pro Fitness Athlete, Fitness Model, Fitness Personality, Author/Speaker/Fit Mom