Kick Your Old Cardio Routine to the Curb

Are you one of those cardio-obsessed people who spend hours on the treadmill or elliptical, thinking that the longer you spend on the machine, the more you will see results (weight loss or better body)? This is a boring waste of your time, and this outdated method of exercising is highly overrated and may not give you the results you are expecting. Think about who you would like to model your body after. If it is a professional athlete, fitness model, an actor, or Karina Smirnoff, do you think this is what he or she does all day? Nope. Some fitness experts now believe that for some, the body adapts to excessive long sessions of steady aerobic exercise by storing MORE fat.

Don’t get me wrong, you are burning calories, and yes, cardio (aerobic exercise) in appropriate amounts is important for heart health and blood glucose control, but long, isolated cardio sessions are NOT the superior method to burning fat. The myth that strength training only builds muscle and cardio only burns fat is simply not true. Mindless steady state cardio (especially if you watch TV or read while doing it) leads to a body-mind disconnection resulting in poor results. The ability to do anaerobic exercises—lifting heavy things, running fast, jumping, climbing, fighting—was vital to the survival of our species (primal movement patterns). Being able to jog for an hour at a specified percentage of your maximum heart rate wasn’t vital for our survival. Strength training is essential to build muscle. Muscles are your body’s fat-busters. Muscle will burn calories all day long, not just when you are exercising. The more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate, and the more fat you will burn.

Try doing intervals- just 20 minutes of interval fitness training is as effective as 40 minutes of a cardio routine. Interval training combines short, high intensity bursts of speed, with slow, recovery phases, repeated during one exercise session. Decreasing your empty cardio, increasing your intensity, and adding strength training will give you your best body. You will have more energy, more free time, and you’ll be leaner and stronger. Change up your workout routine every six weeks because your body will adapt to whatever routine you put it through. For workout ideas, check out Zuzana from BodyRockTV. This girl gets it. I’ll post one of her videos below.

Review: Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters

I picked up four shades from the new Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter line at my local CVS, and they definitely live up to the hype! Due to their ever growing popularity, these lip butters have been increasingly difficult to find, but I was lucky enough to snatch some leftovers on sale. If they are not available in your city, or if they are sold out, don’t worry. By January, they will be everywhere. They are AMAZING! Just like normal lip butters, they are very moisturizing and smooth, but what sets this product apart is the pigmentation. Finally, a lip moisturizer that shows up on my lips! I love how they are fragrance free and tasteless, for there is nothing worse than tasting flower petals all day. There are 20 sweet-named shades to choose from. Check out my four swatches below.

L to R: 025 Peach Parfait, 050 Berry Smoothie, 035 Candy Apple, 030 Fig Jam

The only downside is that you have to reapply every three hours or so, like a typical lip balm/butter.

In the photo collage above, I know it is difficult to tell the difference between Peach Parfait and Berry Smoothie, but in person, the Berry Smoothie definitely has a more bluish-pink tint, and the Peach Parfait is peachy with gold flecks (see the hand swatch). My favorite is Candy Apple, a bright, vibrant red. As you can see, they provide high shine and beautiful pigmentation (I only used one light coat in the lip samples above). They are infused with jojoba oil, mango butter, and shea butter to moisturize and improve lip condition. Let me know which colors you love. I’m obsessed!

Sweat Science

Let’s get one thing straight: everyone sweats, or everyone SHOULD sweat. When I teach my classes or when I am working out on my own, you better believe that I look like a hot mess afterwards. My one exercise rule for myself has always been the following: Break a sweat everyday (and not by using the sauna). I still see people walking around aimlessly in the gym, barely moving, with no intention of working hard. I see it in bootcamp class (BOOTCAMP class!!!!!) – people cheating themselves by not taking advantage of the resources available to them and by not pushing to their potential. These are the same people that complain that the class isn’t challenging enough. This is mostly an issue with women, more so than men, because there is this stigma that we have to look cute and presentable at every moment, and there is a misconception that training hard or lifting heavy will make us look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

THE SCIENCE: People who are physically fit sweat more readily than those who are not fit. Research has shown that inactive women had the lowest sweat rate of all. Physically fit people begin to sweat at a lower core body temperature. Since sweating is our body’s way of cooling off (and keeping from overheating), this allows us to perform longer. Make sure you are exercising within your target heart rate, and ask yourself if you are exerting enough energy during your workout. If you can hold a conversation while you are exercising, you are probably not doing much. YOU are in control of your workout intensity. If you are certain that you are training hard, but you are not sweating, this is a serious medical condition called anhidrosis, which should be addressed immediately.