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Awesome October!

Posted by on Oct 1, 2014 in Blog, Challenges, Fitness, Lifestyle | 0 comments

Awesome October!

Hello, October!!

In honor of my favorite time of year I’ve got some tips, tricks, and bonus challenges that are going to keep you moving the entire month of October. Check out my AWESOME OCTOBER calendar below and download today for daily reminders on how to have a fit and AWESOME fall. This month we are COMMITTING to our weekly workouts – that means at least 5 workouts per week! My CHALLENGE to you this month is to never miss a Monday or a Friday workout leading up to Halloween! Download your calendar here and pin it to your fridge, office, or any place you look daily. Let’s commit to entering the holiday season feeling fit, strong, and better than ever!!

Download Your Printable Awesome October Calendar Here!

 

Screen shot 2014-10-01 at 2.46.50 PM

Anja’s Workout Playlist – Update!

Posted by on Sep 17, 2014 in Blog, Lifestyle | 0 comments

Anja’s Workout Playlist – Update!

Need some musical motivation to amp up your daily workouts? Spice up your September with a new workout playlist. Here is one of my latest creations – a fun mix of old and new! Steal it or get creative with your own… but whatever you do, keep movin’!!

 

Sweating for the Wedding!

Posted by on Sep 9, 2014 in Blog, Challenges, Fitness, Lifestyle | 0 comments

Sweating for the Wedding!

You know the story… Boy meets girl. They fall in love. He gets down on one knee in the middle of Central Park. He asks her to be his forever. She cries, and says YES!!!

As some of you may have started piecing together by now, this lil’ mama is getting married in just a few short weeks! And let me tell you, we ALL want to look our best – girls in dresses AND boys in their tuxes! So to help us out with a little extra toning and strength for our upper body, I’m starting a 30-day challenge this Friday with one of my all-time favorite moves!

Wedding_Challenge_Sweating_for_the_Wedding

Introducing – the Staggered Push-Up! The staggered push-up is great because not only does it work the CORE and shoulders, but it also works the CHEST and the TRICEPS! Now ladies, most of us don’t have sleeves on our dresses so we want sexy, toned arms! And GENTLEMAN,  the push-up is one of the best total body exercises to get lean and strong so you can carry your lady right through your doorway and into wedded bliss!

In order to perform this movement, start in plank position. The right hand should be staggered in front of the left.  As you perform your pushup, the right elbow goes out like a “regular pushup” working the pec (the chest) and the left elbow goes back into your side working your triceps! Switch hand positions every rep. This is a quadruple whammy move! And who doesn’t like a lot of bang for their buck?!

No need to be getting married to hit this challenge! Sexy, strong arms are here to stay as far as I’m concerned!

Here comes the (strong, fit) bride  😀

 

Fitness Motivation: Looking Ahead

Posted by on Jul 8, 2014 in Blog, Fitness, Lifestyle | 0 comments

Fitness Motivation: Looking Ahead

 
“What I want to convince you today is that all of us are walking around with an illusion, an illusion that history, our personal history, has just come to an end, that we have just recently become the people that we were always meant to be and will be for the rest of our lives.” — Dan Gilbert, TED Talk, The Psychology of Your Future Self
 
 

According to Harvard Psychologist, Dan Gilbert, “Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.” In a recent TED talk, Gilbert discussed the fundamental misconception we have about the power of time. In a study measuring people’s perception of their personal values over time, people at every age from 18-68 people vastly underestimated how much change they would experience over the next 10 years!

What does this mean when it comes to our health and fitness motivation? As human beings we naturally want to focus on the NOW. For the most part we think we are finished so we want FAST results and INSTANT gratification. We are hardwired to make decisions that please our current selves rather than looking ahead to the future. Yes, there is something to be said for living in the moment, but with a vision for the future we open our horizons to infinite possibilities! But there is a catch – making decisions for the benefit of our future selves takes some serious mental discipline. My challenge to you is to take some time this week to expand your mental framework beyond your current self and make some decisions your future self will thank you for!

Some keys to keep you motivated on your lifelong fitness journey:

Develop a long-term health and fitness goals. 

What do you want to look and feel like 5 years down the road? 10 years down the road? Can you see that far ahead?

Don’t be intimidated by the journey.

What’s your impossible? Running a marathon might seem impossible to you today – but if it seems impossible to you today, I bet it also seemed impossible two years ago. What if you had started training two years ago? Imagine where you would be right now!

Tweak your tools!

Over the next few years you will undoubtedly change more than you imagine – your interests, your body, and even your personality may change – don’t be afraid to adapt your tools!

Don’t Quit!

Fitness is a LIFELONG journey.

 

 

Fitness Motivation: Social Media

Posted by on Jun 20, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments


Outside the cyber world we often seek out relationships with individuals who inspire, motivate, and push us toward achieving our goals. Why wouldn’t we seek the same in our online relationships?! Did you know that the average person in the US spends 2.3 hrs per day on social media?! That’s alot of information coming at us! Be intentional about the online community you build. Filter out the negative and embrace the positive. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to fuel your mind with daily fitness motivation. Check out Everyday Health’s “The 10 Fittest People You Aren’t Following on Instagram” (with yours truly at #2) and add to your personal fitness team.

Seasonal Eating

Posted by on May 15, 2014 in Blog, Nutrition | 0 comments

Spring is in full swing! The weather is warmer, the flowers are blooming and the markets are brimming with delicious, nutrient packed spring fruits and vegetables. What’s the benefit of eating in season, you ask? More bang for your buck! In season fruits and veggies are at their peak when it comes to flavor and nutrient quality – plus they are almost always on sale!

Get inspired by the spring and early summer produce available in your region. Now is a great time for strawberries, asparagus and nectarines! Here are a few recipes to get you started:

Strawberry Quinoa & Feta Salad

Love and Lemons

www.loveandlemons.com

Health Benefits of Strawberries: Sweet, juicy, and rich in vitamins this super food helps fight inflammation and supports bone health. With one cup of strawberries weighing in at only 43 calories what’s not to love about these guys?!

 

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Vinaigrette

Food Network - Melissa d'Arabian

Food Network – Melissa d’Arabian

Health Benefits of Asparagus: This spear is your weapon against toxins! Armed with glutathione (a powerful antioxidant) and loaded with vitamins A, C, E, and K this spring veggie makes an excellent partner for your favorite chicken or salmon dish.

 

Spinach Salad with Grilled Pork Tenderloin & Nectarines

MyRecipes.Com - Cooking Light - Oxmoor House

MyRecipes.Com – Cooking Light – Oxmoor House

Health Benefits of Nectarines: The furry outside isn’t the only difference between a peach and a nectarine. Nectarines contain twice the amount of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. These low calorie fruits are also rich in minerals like iron, phosphorus, and potassium.

Looking for even more inspiration? Amelia Saltsman’s “The Santa Monica Farmer’s Market Cookbook” is a great read and teaches you how to incorporate seasonal foods onto your plate and encourages fresh, healthy eating. Have some favorite spring recipes of your own? Share them here!

 

Anja’s 30-Day Ab Challenge

Posted by on May 4, 2014 in Blog, Challenges | 0 comments

 

30_day_ab_Challenge

It’s time to get workin’ on those summer abs! Add my 30-day ab challenge to your current workout program and get those abdominals in prime shape for summer fun.

Day 1:

5 Bicycles

(Focus on form and hold for a 2-count.)

5 V-Ups:

(V-Ups are HARD work! Scale to tuck-ups as needed but keep perfect form.)

10 Sec Plank Hold

(Plank time is cumulative but challenge yourself to hold plank unbroken for as long as possible. As the cumulative time increases, try to increase your unbroken time each day.)

Day 2:

10 Bicycles

10 V-Ups (or Tuck-Ups)

20 Sec Plank Hold

Day 3:

15 Bicycles

15 V-Ups (or Tuck-Ups)

30 Sec Plank Hold…

…Add 5 more reps each day and 10 sec each day to your cumulative plank hold. Every 5th day is a rest day. After your rest day, repeat the set from your last work day and continue adding reps and time for each additional day.

READY, SET, GO!!!

 

Your Brain on Exercise

Posted by on Apr 28, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Exercise_and_your_brainWe often focus on the benefits of exercise on our thighs, hips, bellies, and hearts but did you know that exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your brain?! The British Journal of Sports Medicine published a study this month on the effects of exercise on brain function. The study took 86 women, ages 70-80, with signs of mild cognitive impairment (women at high risk for dementia) and assigned them to an exercise program consisting of aerobic training, resistance training, or balance and tone training. The women who had participated in aerobic exercise showed a significant increase in the size of their hippocampus – the part of the brain that deals with memory, learning, and spatial processing. This also happens to be the area of your brain that has the ability to produce new brain cells!

Over the past decade neurologists have been studying the link between exercise and brain function. Evidence continues to suggest that exercise is key in reducing the effects of aging on the brain and preserving (and improving!) cognitive function. Physical exercise may be one of the best things you can do to keep this vital organ agile in your later years!

Just a few ways exercise changes your brain:

  • Exercise reduces insulin resistance. Among other problems, insulin resistance reduces the ability of insulin to get into the brain, leaving the brain without enough fuel for normal functioning.
  • Exercise reduces inflammation. Cognitive decline, memory impairment, and neurodegenerative disorders are all associated with higher levels of inflammation in the brain.
  • Exercise stimulates the growth of new brain cells! (And not just any brain cells– smart, multi-talented brain cells that can perform a variety of cognitive tasks.)
  • Exercise elevates mood by releasing endorphins. These endorphins interact with receptors in your brain to trigger a positive feeling in the body.
  • Exercise helps to combat depression and anxiety. In studies, the benefits of exercise on depression and anxiety have been shown to last longer than the effects of drugs!

 

5 Tips for Maximizing Your Inferno HR Workout

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Anja_InfernoHR

I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally be able to share Inferno HR with you! If you don’t already know, the “HR” stands for heart rate training. In this series we are getting strategic about how much time we spend in each heart rate zone. This is the FIRST TIME live data has ever been incorporated into an interval heart rate zone workout series. This means you get instant feedback from your Bluetooth heart rate monitor on your screen during each of the Inferno HR workouts. Why focus on heart rate training? It allows us to improve our VO2Max and lactate threshold – improving stamina, energy, and increasing our metabolism so that we continue to burn calories HOURS after our workout! Here are 5 tips to help you get the most out of this awesome new workout series. 

 

5 Tips for Maximizing Your Inferno HR Workout:

 

1. Get a Bluetooth heart rate monitor! 

While you can participate in all the Inferno HR exercises without a monitor, the purpose of the program is to train SPECIFIC heart rate zones. That means you need to know where you’re at in order to train the right zones, effect change, and get maximum results from this program. Inferno HR will sync any iOS device with any major Bluetooth low energy heart rate monitor. Don’t know where to purchase one? Check out the DailyBurn Store.

 

2. Focus on your breath. 

You can help control your heart rate by focusing on your breath. Slower, controlled breathing drops your heart rate. This is especially important when transitioning from Zone 5 to Zone 4. Bringing oxygen into your body will also help those muscles work longer. Trust me, you’re going to start feeling some fatigue in these workouts – you’re going to want all the help you can get!

 

3. Adapt the exercises. 

Still in Zone 5 when you should be in Zone 4? Don’t be afraid to drop down your weight or scale the exercises. Keep your eye on the prize and focus on your target heart rate zone. This might be a different type of training than you’re used to. Eventually you’ll be able to pick up that weight without compromising the zone.  Heart rate gets priority here.

 

4. Note how your body feels in each heart rate zone. 

You’re going to get better and better at controlling your heart rate during Inferno HR. Note what tricks (breathing, adaptations, speeds) allow you to transition in and out of zones. Remember them when it comes time for the next workout. This may be different for everybody.

 

5. Do the mental work. 

Inferno HR requires a significant amount of mental discipline. Maxing out in Zone 5 is HARD WORK and can’t be sustained for very long. You WILL need to push yourself!

 

I can’t wait to hear your feedback on the new Inferno HR program! Also, a reminder – if you’re participating in my Spring Challenge don’t forget to post your selection to my facebook page this week! (There’s no excuse not to join!!)

 

Best in Health,

Anja

 

Anja’s Book Club: Spring Reading Challenge

Posted by on Mar 11, 2014 in Blog, Challenges | 0 comments

ABC_Challenge

Spring is a time of renewal and reinvention. So what better time to present you with your next challenge?! Are you ready? I’m excited to announce Anja’s Book Club: Spring Reading Challenge!!! Let’s kick off spring with some reading that inspires our creativity, motivates our day-to-day life, and strengthens our commitment to healthy living.

Here’s how it works: Choose any nonfiction book that inspires you to lead a full and healthy lifestyle. It can be anything that you believe will motivate you on your journey to becoming the best, liveliest version of yourself. This can be anything from a stress-relief guide to a book of inspirational stories – the possibilities here are truly endless! Find what works best for YOU. Post your selected title to my Facebook page or website by March 20th, the first official day of spring! Your mini-review is due on April 20th (Easter Sunday, if you didn’t already know). Come back and post your review to my Facebook page. Let us know how it has inspired you on your journey to healthy living!

I’m so excited to see how the Spring Reading Challenge will impact your lives. I can’t wait to hear from you. Start thinking about your book selections!