Have It All: Fitness Tips, Life Lessons

Use fitness tips and techniques to help you reach your mental and physical goals.

We have one life to live, one chance to achieve our wildest dreams, one opportunity to pursue our passions. Why not throw our cards on the table and make the decision to have it all!

In fitness and in life, it is our decision to achieve a goal that leads to our success or demise. From having the most envied beach body to opening a business, our dedication will help us reach any goal no matter how far fetched it may seem. In the pursuit of excellence, the biggest obstacle that stands in the way are our own self imposed limitations.

  • “I don’t have time”
  • “I’m too old”
  • “I’m not creative enough”
  • “I don’t have the money”
  • “I’m not smart enough”
  • “I’m not attractive enough”

And the list goes on….

Try this exercise. Imagine that there are no limitations on what you can achieve over the next 12 months. From a physical perspective, what would your body look and feel like from head to toe? From a mental/spiritual perspective, how would you describe your state of mind and the impact you’re having on those around you? Write down what a typical day would be like in your new life?

After you’ve spent a few minutes on this exercise step back and notice how you feel about this imaginary life. If you’re smiling from ear to ear and excited about what you’ve written then it is time that you consider reevaluating your goals.

The items that you’ve written are goals that you have ignored for far too long. The good news is that this brainstorming session is the first step toward achieving them. Reexamine the goals you’ve written and identify the steps necessary to achieve those goals, you may be pleasantly surprised that your goals may not be as unrealistic as you once believed.

Try working from the inside out by taking control of your mental and physical state.

Free Your Mind With Cardio
Incorporate 20 minutes of cardio at least 3 days a week. When the weather is nice take a walk or jog outside and keep your eyes on the horizon. Observe your surroundings and the people around you. Enjoying new environments is a great way to enhance your creativity and reduce stress.

Train your body and your perseverance
Weight training challenges the body to endure discomfort for the purpose of gaining strength. The rhythmic and controlled movement will calm a distracted mind. Incorporate strength training into your routine 2 to 5 days a week. Call on the services of a personal trainer to guide you through proper technique and weight selection to ensure you get the most out of each workout.

Breathe for Peace and Focus
Meditation is an excellent way to get your mind ready for the most difficult challenges. Those new to meditation may find it difficult to stay focused. Use the wave breath to calm your mind. Sit in a chair or a comfortable crossed-legged seated position. Close your eyes. Take a shallow inhale through the nose to allow the air to rise from your pelvic floor to your belly button then release the air the way it came. Take a deeper inhale to allow the air to rise from your pelvic floor to your lower ribs then release the air the way it came. Inhale to allow the air to rise from your pelvic floor to your breastbone and release the air the way it came. Complete three cycles of this breath and continue for 10 to 15 minutes, breathing steadily through the nose. During this time take your focus to the path of the breath as it rises up the spine, expands the rib cage and releases the way it came.

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To Train With Ozzie

Ozzie’s extensive training in injury prevention, weight management and yoga can help you reach any fitness goal! One of Ozzie’s long time clients explains how Ozzie has helped her develop an effective fitness plan.

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Fitness on Holiday?

During the holiday season it is very easy to put your fitness goals on the back burner. This is understandable given the numerous obligations one faces during the holidays such as gift shopping, preparing for the in-laws, cooking, cleaning and the list goes on.

How does one incorporate fitness on a “to-do list” that seems insurmountable?

Take it one day at a time!

Each evening plan out your day. List the tasks that you’d like to get done and make sure that you schedule a time for fitness. Staying in shape should not take a break during the holiday season but it certainly will if you don’t include it on your “to-do list”. Develop a general idea of how you’ll continue to include healthy eating habits into your day (this may mean packing a lunch or knowing where the healthy restaurants are in your neighborhood).

Keep your eye on the prize!

After the family fun of the holiday season, the New Year’s celebration is just around the corner. Wouldn’t it be great to look hot and sexy as you bring in 2010?

It starts today!

No one is perfect and there will be days when you “fall of the wagon” with your fitness pursuits but each evening evaluate your progress, identify things you can improve and take action.

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The Pros and Cons of Dieting

The word diet is defined as “a particular selection of food, as designed or prescribed to improve a person’s physical condition or to prevent or treat a disease”.  In this context the word diet doesn’t seem so bad but in reality most people view a diet as a significant restriction of calories and the denial of your favorite foods.

A diet is beneficial toward the reduction of weight and body fat.  It can play a major role in one’s risk for hypertension, diabetes and fatigue (among other things).  Generally, the diet is designed to help one achieve a healthier lifestyle.

A diet goes wrong when it deprives the individual of foods and experiences that they desire.  Adherence to a strict diet can prevent a person from indulging in their favorite foods, enjoying dinner with friends and can even lead to an individual falling off the wagon (when the temptation becomes too great).

Healthy eating habits should be a part of everyone’s “to do” list. When strategically designed, a diet can be manageable, enjoyable and sustainable.  In fact, when identifying the best “diet” for you it is important to choose a healthy eating program that you can incorporate into your life for the long haul.  Incorporating a long-term eating plan prevents the” yo-yo” phenomena in which you lose weight only to gain it back once the diet is over.

A sensible diet will traditionally incorporate a balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Recruiting the assistance of a nutritionist or dietitian can be a useful tool to develop a meal plan that can strategically incorporate some of your favorite foods without disrupting your caloric requirements.

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Exercise: To cope

When headlines are worrisome and news of bankrupt corporate giants are plastered on the television and internet, where can we turn to find peace???

The answer is movement, movement can be your sanctuary. Before there were mortgages, interest rates and stock exchanges we survived. We were hunters and gatherers that found joy as we danced to a beat or enjoyed a foot race through the field.

It is time to use the tools of our ancestors to rejuvenate ourselves and embrace the fact that we can find joy, strength and purpose within these economic times.

Use exercise as your healing tool.

  • As we exercise we release tension and stress, we find our “center” and press the “reset” button. In a way exercise allows us to wipe the slate clean and begin the rest of the day with a positive outlook.

Use exercise to develop the strength to persevere.

  • Exercise is an obstacle, it is a challenge that requires you to “rise to the occasion”. Through this process we develop tenacity and drive, developing these skills in the weight room can help you to successfully navigate through the stressful times in your life.

Check out the following fitness videos to help you use movement as your outlet:

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Status check: How to track your fitness progress

Ozzie Jacobs, Health and Fitness Expert, gives you insight on how to effectively track your fitness progress!

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Savasana: Peace in troubled times

Savasana is a yoga pose that can be a soothing journey for the body but a difficult expedition for a defiant mind.

Lay down on your back.  Allow your arms to rest at your side, far enough from the body so that the chest and armpits open while the neck and upper back release effortlessly into the floor.  Extend your legs straight onto the floor, far enough apart to allow the lower back to release, legs to roll open evenly and inner thighs to soften.  Lengthen the neck, drawing the shoulder blades away from the ears. Relax the hands and feet completely.  Soften the eyes, jaw, tongue and throat.  Close your eyes and inhale gently, with each exhalation relax the body even further as you become one with the earth beneath you.

Savasana is the practice of letting go; stilling the mind of distractions, fears and sorrow. Throughout our days we become a slave to our thoughts, to our expectations, to our skewed perceptions of ourselves.  We become caught up in the events of today and yesterday thus carrying an ever-increasing burden of stress and pain.  This takes its toll on our body and mind.  Savasana gives us a moment to release and free ourselves of these burdens.  It allows us to start again renewed, refreshed and revitalized.  It allows us to realize that we can have a clean slate if we allow our minds to leave the past behind.

For more info, check out the following Yoga videos:

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Recession Proof Exercise

We all have moments in our lives when it feels like we are losing control. When everything that can go wrong takes a turn for the worse. During these times we can feel vulnerable, helpless and discouraged. When our world has been turned upside down it is possible to find peace if we focus our attention inward….

Exercise can be a vital tool toward reaching a positive state of mind. The essence of exercise is to overload your muscles to encourage your body to change for the better. Overloading the body requires that a stimulus be presented that is so intense that your body must evolve into a stronger, faster and dynamic organism to survive.

This is the challenge that a large majority of us are facing due to our struggling economy. We are being presented with a challenge that will require our thoughts, our skills and our concept of who we are to evolve in order to survive.

This is the moment when we have to make the decision to take the next step!

  • Build your confidence with your cardio routine as you “make the decision” to finish that last quarter mile with as much power and energy as you began.
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Beach Body: Basketball Drills

I must admit, I am not the biggest basketball fan around but I sure can appreciate the skill and talent on the court. The strength and stamina required to step on the field make watching a basketball game an enjoying pastime for most.

On Venice Beach or your local park you can always find a basketball court full of people doing an activity they love and changing their bodies at the same time. Here are some basketball drills that can certainly help get you in beach body shape!

1. Side Shuffle – Stand with feet slightly wider than hip width apart. Bend your knees and lower your hips into a “mini squat” just enough to engage your thighs. Starting with your right leg (followed by your left) hustle over to the right side of the room. Once you’ve touched the right wall (or court line) reverse your direction and hustle to the left (starting with your left foot). Keep your eyes, face and hips facing forward (at your imaginary opponent) as your body moves from one side of the room to the other. Repeat for 5 laps.

2. Fake Shot – Stand with feet slightly wider than hip width apart in a “mini squat” with a basketball in hand. Arms should be bent with basketball near your chest. Exhale as you stand tall on your tiptoes and extend your arms toward the ceiling (don’t let go of the ball). Immediately bring yourself back to the starting position as if you just grabbed a rebound. Repeat for 15 reps.
Yearning for more!!!

Check out my video Dynamic Cardio Workout Part 1 and Part 2 for more basketball inspired workouts!

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Ask Ozzie: Session 5

Introducing, Ask Ozzie: Session 5! Ozzie Jacobs, Health and Fitness Expert, discusses how to use exercise to relax, the importance of breathing and how to avoid injury while exercising.

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