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Pilates for Running

Run faster and father with less chance of injury.

Whether you’re a competitive runner or weekend jogger trying to shed a few pounds, there’s no doubt that running is an easy way to keep in great cardiovascular shape. But your body can take a beating – this is especially true if it develops asymmetries.

Body asymmetries develop because of poor body mechanics, causing certain muscles to become overused (a common trait in runners), while others become underused. This can result in a variety of ailments from lower back pain to hip bursitis to arterior knee problems.

It can also lead to a wide variety of tears, strains and pulls.

Why Pilates?

Pilates exercises create a stronger, more flexible spine and core, and also promotes faster recovery from strains or injuries.

For a runner, posture is one of the key ingredients to success. And posture is very dependent on a strong core. Pilates develops a strong core by supporting and strengthening the muscles of the torso, hips shoulders and pelvis. These can eventually lead to a huge positive difference in your posture, technique, balance and stability. It enables you to focus on where your head and neck are in relation to the spine and pelvis, on down through the legs and toes. This all adds up to more efficient movement and less chance of injury.

Pilates exercises will:

  • Build up the back muscles evenly
  • Elongate and align the spine for better stability
  • Expand the diaphragm
  • Increase overall flexibility, strength, and balance
  • Increase range of motion in hips and shoulders
  • Enhance concentration through focused breathing
  • Provide more upright running
  • Help bodies recover faster from injuries

Performance Benefits

A stronger and more stable core helps a runner:

  • Run more efficiently uphill with a stabilized musculature
  • Run more efficiently downhill with a stronger and more balanced sciatic area
  • Experience less tightening of the neck, head and shoulders
  • Increase oxygenation and stamina with a diaphragm that is able to fully expand
  • Decrease fatigue because of less strain on the body
  • Shave seconds off your times because you move more efficiently
  • Run without pain!

Check the schedule for classes !

 

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Christmas 2016 Vai Leggings Giveaway

We’re giving away a pair of new leggings from the Vai Fitness 2017 Collection!

Here’s all you have to do…

  1. Make sure you’re following us on both Facebook and Instagram.
  2. Post a picture in your favorite workout gear or your favorite fitness activity.
  3. Make sure to tag your picture #vaifitness #lovemyleggings
  4. Enter as many times as you want!

Winner will be randomly selected on January 3, 2017 via social media.

For questions on restrictions, please email silvia@vaifitness.com.

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Eggnog – Healthy Recipe

Eggnog Ingredients

12sugar

1 quart cream

1 quart milk  egg yolks beaten

12 egg whites beaten to stiff peaks

12 tablespoons

1/2 pint rye whiskey

1 pint brandy

1/2 pint Jamaican rum

1/4 pint sherry

Mix liquors together first.

Separate yolks and whites of eggs. Whites need to achieve room temperature. Beat the egg yolks with sugar until they turn to a creamy, light yellow paste.

Add liquor to beaten yolks, drop by drop first, slowly beat. Add cream and milk, slowly beating.

Once blended, set aside. Beat the whites of eggs until seeing “stiff peaks” – Peaks will form in the foam, and the tips will curl over.

Carefully fold into the creamy yolk mixture. Folding in the egg whites adds a fluffy texture that will keep the eggnog. Let set in the refrigerator at least 3to 5 days to cure the raw eggs and so flavors can blend.  The mixture will separate as it cures. This is OK. Just be sure to re-incorporate mixture before serving cold.

Top with a sprinkle of nutmeg. Garnish with cinnamon stick if desired.

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Banana Chocolate Muffins – Healthy Recipe

A sweet and savory healthy muffin that tastes like what you buy at the bakery, except this one wont break your diet or your stretch your belt buckle. I’m telling you, you’ll absolutely love these banana chocolate muffins!

This recipe is a 3-in-1 special by delivering a convenient, hearty and sweet snack, with less than 100 calories, you can have 1 or 2 muffins between lunch and dinner for a high-protein snack, with a little chocolate to satisfy those mid-day cravings.;-)))
So easy. So healthy. And most importantly, so delicious.

Why its a Healthy Recipe ??

These banana chocolate muffins are full of fiber, healthy fats and food-sourced protein, this muffin is a macronutrient balanced on-the-go snack.

The combination of Greek yogurt and egg whites make this a great high-protein snack (if you have at least 2 muffins). And the fiber-packed oats are great any weight-management regime because they help slow down digestion, which keeps you feeling full for longer.

Ok I talk too much sometimes, Here is the recipe:

Banana Chocolate Muffins

Yields: 12 muffins

Cook time: 25 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Serving size: 1 muffin

Wet ingredients

2 smashed extra ripe bananas, yields about 3/4 cup

1/4c non-fat Greek yogurt

1 tbsp. all-natural almond butter

1 tbsp. melted coconut oil (unrefined, cold-filtered)

1 c liquid egg whites

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tbsp. raw, unfiltered honey

Dry ingredients

1/2c oat flour + 1/4c old fashion oats

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tbsp. granular coconut palm sugar or Stevia *

¼ tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4c slivered almonds

2 tbsp. dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners.
  2. To make the oat flour simply add ½ cup of oats to a blender and pulse until smooth.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add all wet ingredients, and stir until combined. In another bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Then add in the dry bowl to the wet bowl, and mix until well combined. Gently fold in the whole oats, chocolate chips and almond slivers.
  4. Divide the batter into the paper liners, about ½ to ¾ up the side, using a spoon or ice-cream scooper.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool. Enjoy immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze.

Enjoy it !

Macros per serving (1 muffin) 87 calories 3.6g fat 9.3g carbs 6g protein.

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Are HIIT workouts right for you?

High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is a form of cardiovascular exercise that will help you improve on your existing fitness levels, as well as tone up and shed any unwanted weight. Practiced by alternating between high intensity anaerobic exercises and interspaced with less intense recovery periods, HIIT workouts will get your heart pumping and the sweat pouring off you! The idea behind this type of exercising is that, when you couple short bursts of high intensity training, with less intense resting periods, the total amount of time you need to be working out for is dramatically reduced. So an average HIIT class may go for between 5-30 minutes.

Workouts will include high intensity exercises, such as push ups, high knees, burpees, skipping, jumping jacks and jump squats (just to name a few), with a medium to low intensity exercise for 1 minute or so, as the rest period in between. So essentially you never stop exercising, you just alternate between high and low intensity. A perfect example would be sprinting for 20 seconds then walking for a minute, before sprinting for another 20 seconds.

HIIT workouts work to improve both your anaerobic and aerobic energy systems, which means that HIIT will help you build both levels of endurance. They will also have your body burning calories for hours even after you have finished. This is because the bodys natural ability to return to homeostasis after a workout, referred to as exercise post oxygen consumption, requires calories to be burnt. So your body keeps churning through those calories even after you have sat down.

CHECK OUT OUR CLASSES SCHEDULE AND TAKE A HIIT CLASS FOR FREE BY CLICKING HERE!

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Nutrition Facts Panel Puts Spotlight on Added Sugars

Food Policy. It’s been more than 20 years since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the Nutrition Facts Panel on packaged foods a major retread; “the current one was long overdue”, say nutrition experts.

Among numerous changes, the revamp includes a line disclosing “added sugars,” along with a corresponding % Daily Value—based on a limit of 50 grams (roughly 12 teaspoons) of added sugar toward the daily 2,000 calories recommended for most adults. Average Americans consume an estimated 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day, most of which comes from processed and prepared foods.

Until now, it has fallen to consumers to scan ingredients and determine how much sugar is added. The release of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines included a recommendation to limit added-sugar intake to less than 10% of daily calories; and the new panel puts this into practice. Once implemented, consumers will have a clear way to see how much added sugar they are consuming in comparison to the suggested limit for a day.

Bravo USFDA… Bravo!

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4 Weight Loss Strategies to help you be “The Biggest Loser”

A few weeks ago, I came across an article online called “After ‘The Biggest Loser’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight” published on the New Your Times. Former contestants of the show, whom all lost significant weight in a short amount of time, were reporting that they were struggling to maintain their weight loss, even though they were still maintaining a strict diet and working out on a regular basis. In the article, physicians reported that due to the way they lost their weight, their metabolism was operating at a much slower than another people at their same weight. The slowed metabolism had cause them to gain weight since the show. In fact the article reports that “13 of the 14 contestants studied regained weight in the six years after the competition. Four contestants are heavier now than they were before they were on the show.”

Losing with “The Biggest Loser”

As a fitness professional, I’ve never been a fan of “The Biggest Loser” or other extreme weight loss shows, because they do more harm than good. “The Biggest Loser” is an example of a show that uses threats about, baseless promises of health, and manipulation tactics, to convince overweight people that it’s okay to be physically and mentally abused for weight loss results. The reality of these reality shows is that they make overweight people feel like abuse is okay if it’s “for their own good to make them healthy,” while they’re focused on the health of their ratings and not the health of their contestants. The saddest part is, we’re now learning that these extreme tactics are doing more long term damage than good.

You can’t fight the science

The article in the Times reported that the study found that, along with other factors, resting metabolisms of the contestants dropped, and kept dropping ven after they left the show and started the “maintenance” phase of their weight loss journey. Former contestant Danny Cahill was described as “one of the worst off” because he started with a typical metabolism, but now has to eat 800 calories a day less than a typical man his size just to maintain his weight. Their experience shows that the body will fight back for years.  Dr. Micheal Schwartz, an obesity and diabetes researcher from University of Washington said “you can lose enormous amounts of weight, you can go on for six years, but you can’t get away from a basic biological reality. As long as you are below your initial weight, your body is going to try to get you back.”

In a nutshell, this research really proves that “dieting” is counter-productive—and that extreme dieting is extremely counter-productive.

Strategies for long-term, permanent weight loss

The great news is, there are tried and true methods that health and fitness professionals have been using for years, that WILL help you to be The Biggest Loser. So don’t fret. This study doesn’t mean that there is no hope for those who want or need to lose weight. Here are four healthy strategies for long-term weight loss. In addition to helping prevent the worst of the damage—they might also help restore metabolisms for those that have already been damaged by rapid weight loss.

1. Lose weight slowly.

I know… You have heard this advice before, right? But most people want to lose weight as quickly as possible. But as this latest study reminds us, rapid weight loss creates long-term hormonal and metabolic changes in your body that make it extremely difficult for you to maintain that hard-won weight loss. Think about this for a second, is what you’re doing sustainable?! You can not workout for 6 hr a day or be 0n a diet of 800 calories for a long period of time. You have to have a regimen that you can adopt and keep for the rest of your life. Sustainable, slower weight loss is less likely to trigger the sort of catastrophic metabolic collapse that we see in “The Biggest Loser” contestants. The other reason is that this approach focuses on permanent changes in behaviors and habits rather than short-term dieting tricks.

2. Think and re-think your goals.

If you are very overweight, your “ideal” weight might be higher than the ideal weight for someone who has never been overweight. Remember that losing even a good amount of weight—say, 5 to 10% of your body weight—can give you huge benefits in terms of improving your health and reducing your disease risks, even if you remain significantly overweight. Start setting goals focused on your health that will help give you a etter quality of life. Losing a small amount of weight and keeping it off will do far more good (and far less metabolic damage) than losing a large amount and gaining it back. Always remember your health is more important than the scale or clothing size.

3. Consider calorie cycling.

If you’ve ever experienced a plateau, you know it can be frustrating. Instead of automatically just reducing your calories and increasing your activity, try calorie cycling. Calorie cycling alternates between higher and lower calorie days, as a way to break through a weight loss plateau, and essentially give your metabolism a workout. If you don’t give your metabolism time to adjust to a standard caloric intake, it will burn more efficiently. This is a good way to potentially restore damaged metabolisms as well.

4. Try intervals Training.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is one of the most effective ways to exercise. It involves alternating short bursts of intense effort with short “recovery” intervals. Just like the calorie cycling, the HIIT workouts will keep your body’s metabolism burning at a higher rate. Studies have shown that HIIT training causes you to have a slightly elevated heart rate and metabolic rate, so you keep burning calories long after you have finished exercising.

The best way to lose significant weight, is to break down your weight goals into smaller more achievable numbers. Let’s say you have 40 pounds to lose. Instead of trying to lose all 40 pounds in a single sustained effort, start a weight loss program focused on losing 10 lbs. Once you achieve your first goal, spend a few days refocusing your goals and building sustainable, maintenance efforts to keep you at your lower weight for a while. After maintaining the 10 lb weight loss for a while, start your next weight loss program to lose another 10 lbs. Yes, this will take a bit longer than other methods. but you will get there and most important you will KEEP your weight off.

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Avocado Pesto Zucchini Noodles

Ingredients

2 large Zucchini, spiralized
1 Tbsp olive oil

zuchini noodles

You can also substitute zucchini noodles with whole wheat pasta.

thin spaghetti Pasta

Sauce

2 ripe avocados
1 cup fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic
1/4 c pine nuts
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
black pepper

 

How to Prepare

Spiralize your Zucchini and seat aside on paper towels water is soaked up

In a food processor, add avocados, basil, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, and salt.

Pulse until finely chopped.

Then add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified and creamy.

Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat then add Zucchini noodles cooking for 1to 2 minutes until tender.

Add zucchini noodles to a large bowl and toss with avocado pesto.

Season with cracked pepper and Parmesan cheese.

Serve and Enjoy!

Zucchini Nutrition Facts

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Simple Quinoa Salad

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. You don’t need to get rid of the carbs from your diet, you just need to find better options. I love this quinoa salad as an efficient and healthy way to fuel your body. This salad is a good side dish, which can be added to almost any meal or enjoyed as a hearty snack.

Often mistaken as a grain, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), is actually a seed. A complete protein and full of minerals, quinoa’s high-quality nutritional profile is undeniable. If you’re a vegetarian, this is the way to have that “go-to” balanced dish with protein-packed quinoa and almonds. For the non-vegetarians like me add a grilled chicken breast or fish for an amazing meal.

Ingredients

2c cooked quinoa
¼ c sundried tomatoes, sliced
½ c artichoke heart quarters, in water
1/3 c almond slivers, lightly toasted
2 tsp garlic, minced
½ tbsp olive oil
2 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
¼ tsp sea salt Black pepper, to taste
1 oz. crumbled feta cheese, (optional)

In a large sauté pan on medium heat, add the olive oil and garlic. When the garlic is slightly toasted, add in the rest of the ingredients except the feta cheese. Stir until well combined. Cook for five to 10 minutes to let the flavors develop. Stir occasionally. Top with crumbled feta cheese, if desired. Serve up ¼ of the recipe for a light, vegetarian-friendly meal or add a grilled chicken breast or fish to bump up the protein.

Makes four servings.

Macros per serving (¼ of the recipe) 222 calories 10g fat 25g carbs 7.5g protein Total calorie 4 servings Quinoa: 444 calories, 8g fat, 80g carbs, 16g protein

 

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Don’t Waste Your Time With Waist Training

As we all know, corsets have been worn for centuries. Let’s travel back to 1900’s.
Remember the famous scene in Gone With the Wind, when Scarlet O’Hara’s mom ties her corset so tight she can barely breathe or eat? That scene wasn’t much of an exaggeration of the common beauty practice that was popular at the beginning of the 1900’s and this crazy trend is starting to comeback with women today. But women don’t realize they are much larger today than they were 100+ years ago.

The obsession with unrealistic body proportions has increased, particularly with the boom of social media, tv, and media sites concentrating on celebrities such as Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian with their hourglass figures, equipped with huge breasts, flat stomachs and huge Brazilian bubble butts (I can say that, because I’m Brazilian!) These features are a hot commodity in today’s society. So now women every where are “getting waisted” to get a curvier figure, with the help of this medevial undergarment: the corset.

As a trainer and core expert, I would HIGHLY recommend you leave corsets where they belong… in the 19th century Lol. Here’s some of the reasons why:

  • This stretchy rubber thing is constructed, it is not custom-fit to the individual’s anatomy, and it’s designed to compress everywhere from the ribcage to the hips. It will compress whatever gives the least resistance, whether that is the sides of the waistline or the front of your abs and your back. Keep in mind each individual has a different amount of muscle tone or body fat percentage, each person has very slight differences in position and size of their internal organs. So it WILL compress your internal organs.
  • All you’re doing is compressing your stomach and pushing the fat around instead of getting rid of it. It’s a very temporary thing. It can restrict your lungs, which can cause lung infections as well as restrict your bowels, which can cause constipation. It can also cause bruising and rib pain.
  • Regardless of what you think is going on in there, your core is gonna go down the drain!!! It will definitely weaken the muscles in your core and your back, since you’re not forced to hold your core with your own strength. Bye Bye definition.

I honestly think that’s ok to wear Spanx for a hot date, an event or to get a smoother look in a special outfit… that’s understandable. But wearing a corset for hours or all day long isn’t a good choice for weight loss or your health. But watch out for wearing anything that’s restrictive for long amounts of time.

I have a friend that started wearing Spanx every day, even to exercise because she wanted to lose weight and define her waist line. Of course she did get the type of results she was hoping for. So since she was not happy with the results, she switched to the “corset” or waist training. Oh God… that was a big mistake. She was wearing it all day long for months like 6 or 7 months. The outcome was not good. She was pretty much deformed. Her whole ribcage was compressed and she started having a difficult time breathing.

So if you want to change your body, do it naturally. There are much safer ways to get results. Here are some of the things you can start doing today:

  • You should look at your diet and make sure to watch your total calorie intake. You should also monitor the consumption of carbohydrate intake and sugar.
  • I also suggest you do exercises that focus on core strength. If you’re in San Diego, come to one of my core classes!
  • Focus on abdominal exercises. They are obviously going to help produce a more defined waist, but it’s important to remember that this will only work if you shed residual body fat first.
  • Metabolic training and high-intensity interval training fat-burning exercises should always be used in conjunction with the ab exercises to diminish measurements in your waistline.
  • You will never achieve a lean, sculpted body if you are eating junk food… so the first step should always be to improve your diet and make sure you are eating plenty of protein, complex carbs, veggies and drinking your water.
  • People who work out regularly often find that their bodies enter a state of stress, resulting in the over-production of cortisol. That in turn allows a layer of fat to build up around the waist. Get a massage and allow your body to rest and restore its chemical balance to see some real results from your training.

It’s guaranteed that if you put in the work, you’ll see the results! Don’t forget to check out my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/vaifitness for videos, tips and inspiration.

Until next time,

Silvia

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