Sr. Mortgage Loan Originator
Alaska USA Mortgage Company
Fitness on a Budget
Staying in Shape During Tough Times
Just because money is tight doesn't mean we can afford to let ourselves go. They may sound like harsh words, but the truth for many of us is that with tougher times comes a propensity to abandon our workouts and eating regimen. This is exactly why we enlisted the help of a leading fitness expert to get us back on track.
In an effort to show you that it doesn't have to be this way, we brought back celebrity fitness expert and licensed professional trainer, Juliet Kaska. According to Kaska, "Tough times are the perfect time to refocus on fitness." As you'll see, the following sit-down with Kaska is part of her attempt to set the record straight.
Take it Outdoors
For anyone who enjoyed running on the treadmill at the gym, and wants to avoid the high impact of running on the street, Kaska has one word – sand. The beach would be the natural choice, but she pointed out that sand can also be found at parks, as well as at manmade lakes.
"Go for a jog in the sand," says Kaska. It might be a lower impact alternative to jogging on the sidewalk, but according to the expert it is also a much tougher workout, and can be accomplished in less time than your normal run.
For the advanced exerciser, she recommends finding a grass hill. Run wind sprints up the hill and then jog down. The number of repetitions is completely up to you.
One of the best outdoor exercises in Kaska's opinion is swimming. This, of course is predicated on having access to a pool. While an ocean swim is an option, Ms. Kaska recommends avoiding it unless you are a very strong swimmer and can do it along with a workout partner. "Because it is so low impact, swimming is perfect for people with injuries, skeletal issues, and even the elderly," adds Kaska.
At Home Workouts
One of Kaska's favorite at-home routines is something she refers to as the "Prison Cell Workout", named for its ability to be conducted in a very small space.
The Prison Cell Workout
1. Jumping jacks (1 minute)
2. Pushups (40)
3. Lunges (25 each leg)
4. Burpees (20)
5. Tri-ups (20 each side)
6. Wall squats (1-2 minutes)
7. Crunches (200)
8. Oblique crunches (200 each side)
9. 1/2 Plank holds (1minute)
10. L Pose shoulder presses (20)
Another at-home option, Kaska says, is to break out any exercise DVDs you may have lying around. "Some are better than others," she claims. But, the bottom line for her is at least you are making attempts to move your body.
For those of us without an exercise DVD collection, Kaska says a computer and an Internet connection may be an even better option. By logging on to ExerciseTV.TV, you can view countless "mini-workout" videos featuring dozens of the country's leading fitness trainers, including Kaska herself. Simply click on the tab at the top that says "Trainers" and choose from the list of experts. Find the mini workouts that appeal to you and get at it.
We asked Kaska to recommend a few affordable, yet highly affective, pieces of workout equipment that could be purchased for the home. At the top of her list is the TRX Suspension Training System. Not available in stores, the TRX system can be purchased online at FitnessAnywhere.com. The product starts at $149.95.
According to Kaska, TRX was developed by Navy Seals and utilizes straps that are easily hung from door jams. She says it allows you to do over 500 different exercises and stretches, and it's great for all ages and fitness levels. Kaska loves this product, and even uses it herself.
If the TRX isn't in your budget, Kaska says the Gravity Bar may be a better option. It's similar to the TRX system in what it accomplishes, but instead of straps it's a bar that suspends in any doorway. This product is only $79.95 and can be purchased at GoFit.net.
For Pilates enthusiasts, Kaska recommends the Pilatesstick. It also utilizes a doorway for its use, and for $149.99 it replaces a Pilates Reformer, (a Pilates exercise bed that can cost over $3,000.00). To purchase the Pilatesstick, log on to Pilatesstick.com and type in promo code, YOU, for a $20 discount.
Diet and Nutrition
Make your food, as opposed to buying it. Ingredients are things you buy. The food you eat, however, should come from what you create with those ingredients. By shopping wisely, a healthy diet won't cost a lot.
Check the bargain bins first. Nearly every supermarket has a section in their produce, meat and bakery departments dedicated to the food they need to sell quickly. If you are doing any "day of" shopping be sure to hit these spots first. You will find dramatic savings on many quality ingredients.
Plant a garden. Free fruits and vegetables, along with creating an alternate form of exercise (yes, gardening is exercise), is the epitome of a win/win situation.
Organics are everywhere. While organic products can be pricey in the supermarket, stores such as Costco and Trader Joe's sell them for very reasonable prices. Don't give up the organics just seek out better deals, or wait for them to go on sale at your local market.
Think fish and poultry. Poultry and fish such as tilapia, snapper and sole are much more cost efficient than most red meats. The pest part is they are also lower in fat and cholesterol.
Make every bite count. One of the biggest enemies to our waistlines is the consumption of empty calories, or food products that contain little or no nutrition. Junk food and processed foods are notorious for this. Due to their enhanced flavors, large amounts of these products can be consumed in one sitting. On the other hand, food that is dense in nutrition has the tendency to fill you up quickly. You'll eat less, spend less, and be much healthier as a result.
Save money on water. Instead of spending money on bottled water, buy a Brita® water pitcher or a sink filter. Instead of buying sodas or expensive flavored waters, fill a pitcher with cut up fresh fruit and purified water. The calories and money you save will pay dividends.
The second point that Kaska made is that staying healthy actually saves you money. She's right. Fewer doctor's visits and sick days away from work is financially positive any way you look at it.
Kaska ended our discussion with a reminder that everyone is experiencing the current crunch. This includes charities. She encourages everyone to get out there and help. The perfect solution in her eyes is to do a run or walk that benefits a charity. You raise money for a worthy organization and get yourself in great shape in the process.
Juliet Kaska is one of the country's leading fitness experts, celebrity trainers, and fitness entrepreneurs. In 2005, she opened Emerson Hall Fitness in West Hollywood, California, which quickly became one of the most sought after boutique gyms in the Los Angeles area. Recently, she has partnered with Absolution Workout Complex to create Juliet Kaska-Absolution Workout Complex, with the intention of building the "funnest place to do fitness in LA." In January 2009, she opened her newest and most exclusive location at Evo-South in downtown Los Angeles; Juliet Kaska's Zen Fitness sits 24 floors above of the city with sweeping views of the surrounding area.
To learn more about Juliet and Zen Fitness, log on to www.jkzenfitness.com
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