How to Incorporate Resistance Training Into Your Workout

Resistance (weight) training is an absolute must for weight loss, long-term weight management, and overall good health, as it is the only method of preserving muscle. Muscle is an integral component of your overall body composition, which is important for determining whether or not you're at an ideal body weight (click here for more information on body composition).

Read more...

Infographic: Shop Smart & Fill Up Your Cart: Your Healthy Grocery Shopping List

If you're trying to eat healthy but having a difficult time finding the right foods to buy, a trip to the grocery store can be quite intimidating. For weight management and overall good health, it’s important to eat a wide variety of food sources of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. For the most part, these foods should be relatively high in essential antioxidant vitamins and minerals. Luckily, your local grocery store houses hundreds of foods that meet these criteria but you have to know what to look for.

Read more...

Circuit Training: Research Proven Effective

If you’re looking for an enjoyable, efficient, and effective method of exercising that you can perform in the comfort of your own home, circuit training is something you may want to consider. Whether you’re just beginning an exercise program or you’re already well-trained and just trying to overcome a plateau in your exercise routine, circuit training is an excellent method of optimizing achievement of your physical fitness goals.

Read more...

Healthy Grocery Shopping: Easy-to-Find Foods That Should Always Be on Your List

If you're trying to eat healthy but having a difficult time finding the right foods to buy, a trip to the grocery store can be quite intimidating. For weight management and overall good health, it’s important to eat a wide variety of food sources of carbohydrates, fat and protein that are rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Your local grocery store houses hundreds of foods that meet these criteria. Here are some of the healthiest to add to your grocery list, even if you have a frugal food budget.

Read more...

Portion Size Essentials for Weight Management

Numerous studies show that a lot of people overeat due to a misunderstanding of portion sizes compared to serving sizes. It's important to understand that many pre-portioned foods actually contain multiple servings. Getting into the habit of controlling your portion sizes isn't as difficult as you might think. Here's a quick and easy guide for judging serving sizes for some of the more commonly underestimated foods.

Read more...

3 Useless Gym Exercise Machines

No matter what gym you belong to, you’ve seen the following 3 exercise machines and maybe even used them from time to time.  In fact, many folks spend hours and hours each week unknowingly wasting valuable workout time on them in an effort to “spot tone” and “spot reduce” troubled areas, namely the lower body and abs. Unfortunately, these exercise machines are truly useless and ineffective.

Read more...

Three Effective Ways to Slim and Tone Your Inner Thighs with Dumbbells

When it comes to slimming the inner thighs and burning fat in this area many people think about those inner and outer thigh machines at the gym. Contrary to popular belief, there's no way to spot reduce inner thigh fat. However, you can perform targeted resistance exercises to sculpt the inner thigh muscles giving them a slimmer shapelier appearance. Check out this clip in which I demonstrate three that are highly effective. 

Read more...

How To Choose Your Weight Training Equipment and Exercises

In order to establish a solid weight training routine you'll need to strategically choose your exercises and equipment. However, you shouldn't do this until you've carefully established your weight training goals. In order to reap the full benefits of weight training, all your major muscle groups need to be taxed. There are many muscle groups in the body but to keep it simple I'll refer to seven of them as major muscle groups: chest, back, deltoids (shoulders), triceps, biceps, lower body/legs, and abdominals.  

Read more...

Stop Calling Me Skinny!

Have you recently experienced a dramatic weight loss and are now sensing that people are treating you differently? Are you suddenly hearing things like you’re "getting too skinny" or that you "look sick"? Well if the answer to either of these questions is yes you’re certainly not alone. Unfortunately, this is something I’ve been dealing with for most of my adult life – and I’m not even naturally skinny.

Read more...

The Power of the Pineapple

You may find it hard to believe that something as juicy and refreshingly sweet as pineapple could actually be good for you. Due to its unique composition of nutrients, this tropical fruit has long served therapeutic purposes in traditional medicine. Regularly eating pineapple naturally boosts immunity and fights disease, aids in protein digestion, and greatly alleviates the effects of inflammation associated with injury and inflammatory disorders like arthritis.

Read more...

5 Simple and Delicious Low-Sugar Smoothie Recipes for People with Diabetes

Whether you’re constantly on the go or just looking to spice up your diet, smoothies generally make great meal replacements. However, if you have diabetes, chronically elevated blood glucose (sugar) levels, or are just trying to control your overall intake of simple carbohydrates (carbs), it’s important to choose your ingredients carefully to ensure that your smoothies aren’t exceptionally high in sugar.

Read more...

What Free Radicals Really Do To Your Body

If you’re one who regularly seeks out the latest and greatest in health, fitness, and nutrition information, you’ve likely heard the phrase "free radicals" tossed around, oftentimes in conjunction with the term "antioxidants". In fact, many health food manufacturers swear that their shakes, smoothies, vitamins, and other supplements will defend the body against these 'boogeyman' chemicals, which leads to billions and billions of dollars in sales to consumers seeking optimal wellness in a glass or bottle.

Read more...

The Best Types of Cardio Equipment for Women

As a woman you can experience significant health benefits from exercise training regardless of the type of exercise equipment you select. It all comes down to your access to equipment, personal preferences, and lifestyle. Cardio exercise equipment like treadmills, elliptical trainers, stair climbers, and stationary cycling machines are excellent for burning calories and improving your cardiovascular fitness. Check out this video clip to see some of the best types of cardio exercise equipment for women.

Read more...

How to Make a Traditional Conch Salad from Scratch

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting any one of the 30 or so inhabited islands of the Bahamas, you have likely either had or heard of conch salad, as it’s indeed their signature dish. Now, a good conch salad is one that’s packed full of raw/live conch, veggies, citrus juices and zesty spices for maximum flavor and utterly enjoyable satiation. During one of my visits to the beautiful island of Nassau, I had the privilege of having a full batch of traditional conch salad made fresh for me by Mr. Tyrone Culmer, one of the towns best culinary talents, as part of an exclusive event catered by Circa1890 Lounge.

Read more...

Research

Research Nina Cherie Franklin PhDDr. Nina Cherie Franklin is a research scientist with over 15 years of academic, clinical and industry experience in health and wellness promotion and programming with extensive expertise in working with minority and underserved communities. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), a Master of Science degree in Movement Science and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Kinesiology, Nutrition and Rehabilitation Science, both from UIC. Dr. Franklin is also a board certified and licensed Clinical Massage Therapist (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork), a certified Health Fitness Specialist (American College of Sports Medicine), and a certified Group Exercise Instructor (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America).

Read more...

The Ideal Elliptical Stride for Working the Glutes

The elliptical trainer is an excellent low impact alternative to the treadmill in that you can get in a great full body workout without placing undo stress on your joints. Most elliptical trainers allow you to adjust the cross ramp angle to target the lower body muscle groups, including your legs, thighs, and glutes. Check out this clip to see the ideal elliptical stride for working the glutes. 

Read more...

A Quick, Easy, Anywhere Full-Body Kettlebell Workout

Kettlebells are a unique type of weight training equipment that’s gained considerable popularity in recent years. Whether you’re new to weight training or just looking to spice up your current routine, they’re great for building good balance, coordination, muscle definition and size. Kettlebells are also very low in cost, versatile, and quite easy to use.

Read more...

How Healthy Eating Habits Can Ward Off Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a complex disease characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. It is a leading cause of death worldwide and most people with the disease have type 2 diabetes. While the development of type 2 diabetes is closely linked to genetic factors, when coupled with regular physical activity, nutritious eating habits can greatly influence the occurrence of the disease by promoting healthy blood sugar levels. To reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, implement the following dietary strategies into your lifestyle.

Read more...

3 Simple Exercises That Fight Jiggly, Flabby Arms

Do you have jiggly, wiggly upper arms? Your triceps are a likely culprit. Triceps are often forgotten during weight training and, as a result, these muscles tend to atrophy, which basically means that they lose their strength and tone. Muscle atrophy, as well as excess body fat, contributes to the jiggly, wiggly appearance that can often be seen on the backs of the upper arms. In order to build strength and maintain tone in your triceps, here are three exercises that should be staples in your weight training routine (click the links to see a full description and image for each exercise).

Read more...

The Ultimate Cure For A Saggy Butt

Not satisfied with the lower half of your body, namely your rear end? Do you have a mild to severe deflation in this area with surrounding skin that appears loose and lax otherwise known as a "saggy butt". These days, more and more women are opting for expensive, invasive cosmetic butt enhancements to correct this situation as opposed to putting in a little hard work and dedication.

Read more...

Five Highly Effective Ways to Prevent Running-Related Injuries

Whether for weight management, sport, recreation, comradery, or charity, running has become a favorite pastime of many people around the world. In fact, due to its utter convenience and outright affordability, running is second only to walking as the most popular form of cardiovascular (cardio) exercise with over 50 million runners in the United States alone. In spite of its popularity, running is indeed a high-impact activity that needs to be approached in a strategic manner, as habitually doing so can place excessive stress and strain on the joints leading to overuse injuries and other musculoskeletal problems. This holds particular true among individuals with underlying joint disorders or those who are new to running.

Read more...

My Unintentional 20-Pound Weight Loss

I’ve been actively controlling my body weight for nearly 20 years and it isn’t easy as I’m a big-boned, pear-shaped woman who fights the disease of obesity every day. However, I’ve found great solace in managing my body weight and ultimately my health with sensible dietary strategies and a large volume of exercise. Over the years, I’ve learned some things about myself when it comes to eating:

Read more...

Healthy Eating

In this video clip I focus on ways to develop your own personal patterns of healthy eating. I also focus on ways that you can bend some of the rules for 'healthy eating' that may have been instilled in your head over time (i.e. eating 5-6 meals a day, eating breakfast everyday, eating late, etc.).

Read more...

Three Simple Tips for Living Healthy in the Summer

With the summertime here and in full effect I hope you’re sticking with your New Year’s resolutions to stay healthy and physically fit. Given that the summer is a season of vacations, picnics, cookouts, happy hour, pizza by the slice, ice cream, sugary frozen beverages, and lazy days outdoors, it's easy to slack off from practicing the healthy behaviors that brought you to where you are today.

As you’re enjoying your summer, take full advantage of everyday opportunities to remain healthy. Here are three quick and easy tips for doing this.

Read more...

BeTwixed, Bothered, and Bewildered

A while back I was talking to my husband about a bad habit that I’d picked up when I was pregnant. Before I tell you what it is, let me tell you a little bit about me. I’ve always been extremely structured and very disciplined when I put my mind to something. Even when I had weaknesses, they were consistent. I loved salty foods as a child, as opposed to sugary snacks, so that’s all I ate. In fact, up to the time I was pregnant, I didn’t eat sweets at all. Talk to anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you that this is a true fact.

Read more...

Two-Day Fasting: A Viable Option for Healthy Eating

Two-day fasting is a type of intermittent fasting regimen that’s associated with exceptionally high levels of adherence. What makes two-day fasting especially beneficial is that it encourages substantial reductions in body weight, body fat percentage, and visceral (belly) fat, which is the type of fat that's linked to disease. I’ve practiced two-day fasting and other forms of intermittent fasting for years and I often recommended this way of eating to serious clients who are committed to maintaining a healthy body weight in the long-term.

Read more...

Fueling Your Run: What to Eat Before a Race

Since races are generally held in the morning, eating breakfast can be a real challenge, as you have to choose foods that boost your energy levels without filling you up and wearing you down. Although not always necessary, eating breakfast prior to a race can be quite beneficial, especially if your run covers a distance of 5 miles (8K) or more. Whatever the case may be, when eating beforehand, there are certain tips you should follow to ensure that your chosen meal supports your run instead of hindering it.

Read more...

How to Exercise with Water Dumbbells

Water-based exercise is an excellent form of cardio that works all the major muscle groups and burns calories while significantly elevating the heart rate, thereby improving your overall level of fitness. Using water dumbbells allows you to perform full-body resistance training which greatly increases the intensity of your workout while also providing a toning effect. Check out this video clip to learn how to exercise with water dumbbells.

Read more...

The 6 Worst Weight Loss Methods Ever

One out of every 3 adults is trying to lose weight yet nearly 70 percent are still overweight suggesting that popularized weight loss methods aren’t working. Of those folks who are lucky enough to experience weight loss, over 90 percent subsequently experience weight regain within a 3-5 year period (or less) and this is largely due to faulty approaches. Truth be told, weight loss is really only half the battle. Keeping the weight off for good by managing your lifestyle through effective weight maintenance is the real challenge. With that said, if you’re in pursuit of successful and sustained weight loss, here are six erroneous methods that you should avoid.

Read more...

The “Freshmen 15”: Six Simple Ways to Avoid Gaining Weight

With every passing year a new pool of incoming college freshmen are faced with the sudden risk of double digit weight gain commonly known as the "freshmen 15". While some folks call it fiction, the fact of the matter is that many students do experience weight gain during the first couple of years of college oftentimes due to a newly found food independence and subsequent changes in customary eating patterns, social influence, peer pressure and even stress. Given the ever-lurking threat of the dreaded freshmen 15, here's a crash course on avoiding all that unnecessary weight gain.

Read more...

Vionic Walking Shoes: Fashionable and Healthy to Wear

Walking is by far one of the best forms of cardiovascular (cardio) exercise for weight management and overall good health given that it’s easy to perform, requires little or no equipment, and can conveniently be incorporated into your everyday routine. To reap maximum benefits from a walking program, you’ll definitely need to invest in a good pair of shoes. This holds true even if you normally walk for leisure, as wearing the wrong types of shoes day in and day out can seriously harm your feet and may ultimately lead to injury.

Read more...

Beginner’s Tips for Running a 5K

Training for a 5K (3.1 miles) is pretty simple but if you’re a beginner allow yourself about 6 weeks to train adequately. Your program should involve 3 days of walking, jogging, or running and 2-3 days of cross training (bicycling, swimming, or elliptical training) for a total of 5-6 days of cardiovascular exercise each week. Start your 5K training program by implementing a schedule similar to the one below:

Read more...

The Body Mass Index Versus Body Composition: What You Need to Know

There is so much controversy surrounding continued use of the body mass index (BMI) in clinical and research settings. It’s well justified too. Because of this somewhat misleading tool a large percentage of people in the United States have been classified as either overweight or obese. Now that obesity is treated as a disease, measurement tools for diagnosing obesity definitely need to change and they need to change fast.

Read more...

Dietary Sugar: The Good, The Bad and The Unnecessary

Sugar is by far the most widely used additive in foods and beverages across the nation. If you’re like many people, you may be taking in way more sugar than you realize. In fact, the average American consumes about three pounds of sugar in a single week, which is equivalent to around 1,767,900 Skittles Bite Size Candies over a lifetime. While the body needs and uses sugar to sustain normal vital functions, there are certain sugars that are not at all necessary for good health and should therefore be consumed in extreme moderation or totally avoided.

Read more...

Ten Tips for Keeping You and Your Family Healthy During the Holidays

The holidays are a popular time for eating socially. Unfortunately, with all the rich foods and sweet indulgences that surround families during holiday parties, gatherings and events combined with those lazy days spent indoors, the threat of weight gain is always lurking. Although tempting, it’s important not to let the holidays become a free-for-all. Consider these quick and easy tips for keeping you and your family in good health over the holiday season.

Read more...

8 Amazing Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

You’ve probably heard a lot about the many benefits of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids but do you actually know what they are and why they’re so beneficial?

Also known as omega-3s, these essential fatty acids collectively include alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Since the body doesn’t naturally produce omega-3s, they must be obtained from the diet through consumption of everyday foods like oily cold-water fish (salmon, tuna and sardines), flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, high-quality soy products and canola oil.

Read more...

Is Your Girdle Doing More Harm than Good?

For centuries girdles or "body shapers" have been mass-produced to meet the needs of women wishing to easily and effortless achieve the coveted hourglass figure. But, for the first time ever these body shaping apparatuses are being touted as spot reducing, fat burning tools that promote efficient weight loss and improve posture while eliminating 'toxins' through sweat. So I ask: If you can achieve this much with a body shaper, tummy control girdle, waist cincher, or thigh shaper why workout at all?

Read more...

Cellulite: My Battle With The Bulge

A while back a young lady posed a question to me on Facebook regarding cellulite. Although I provided her with the answer she sought, I decided to dive a little deeper into this topic by providing some insight from my own personal experiences. I’ve battled cellulite all my life, especially during obesity in my teens and pregnancy as an adult. When coupled with my expertise, these experiences have given me a unique perspective on how to treat cellulite with simple lifestyle changes.

Read more...

East-West Curried Seafood Stew

Are you a fan of bouillabaisse? Well, prior to meeting my husband, I’d actually never had bouillabaisse, which is surprising since I’ve always been quite the foodie. Now, I’m somewhat of a connoisseur. Bouillabaisse is essentially a type of seafood stew that’s packed full of veggies, beans, herbs and spices. Using a pressure cooker to prepare such stew can substantially reduce your cooking time while also preserving all the savory flavors. Here’s a fun and delicious pressure cooker bouillabaisse recipe that’s perfect if you’re in the mood for something exotic: "East-West Curried Seafood Stew".

Read more...

Why You Shouldn’t Abandon Traditional Strength Training Methods

These days, many gyms are going away with traditional strength training machines and sometimes even free weights opting instead for trendier fitness techniques like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and Tabata boot camp workouts. While such exercise methods can substantially improve muscular endurance, boost metabolism, and enhance fat burning for weight loss, progressive strength (resistance) training with machines and free weights remains at the core of a well-rounded fitness program that’s both safe and sustainable.

Read more...

Incorporating Exercise Training Into Your Daily Routine

Exercise training is crucial for successful weight loss. Ideally, a weight loss program should consist of daily calorie expenditures of at least 250 calories a day through exercise training or other forms of physical activity. Exercises like jogging, running, bicycling, stair-climbing, and group exercise can burn up to 1,000 calories per hour while moderate-level physical activities like gardening, walking for pleasure, dancing, and recreational sports (tennis, basketball, and soccer) can burn up to 500 calories per hour.

Read more...

Building Sculpted Shoulder Muscles

The shoulders, or deltoids, are basically made up of three parts: the front, middle, and rear deltoids. To completely train the deltoids you must perform exercises that develop each of these parts. Strong deltoids are essential for performing many physical activities that require overhead arm motions like hanging curtains, painting, washing walls, swimming, and throwing.

Related Article: Six of the Best Exercises for Sculpting Lean Arms

Read more...

Physical Fitness: It Doesn't Have To Be All or Nothing

How many times have you promised yourself that you'll start an exercise or dieting program on a Monday because it was the 1st of the month? Have you ever woken up late for your morning workout, concluded that the rest of your week was ruined, and pledged to resume your workout program the following week? I’ll bet you’ve broken your New Year’s Diet with some naughty foods and then reneged on dieting all together with the plan to change "FOR REAL" on January 1st of the next year. Why does it have to be so ALL or NOTHING when it comes to achieving physical fitness?

Read more...

Infographic: Uncovering the Exact Moment Your Diet Will Fail

Research shows that 1 out of every 3 adults in the United States is trying to lose weight yet nearly 70 percent of American adults are overweight or obese suggesting that the popularized dieting and exercise programs aren’t working. In fact, a dirty little secret in the weight loss industry is that only 5-10 percent of people who lose weight actually keep it off. It’s true! Over 90 percent of people who lose weight regain the weight within a 3-5 year period (or less).

Read more...

The Secret to Achieving Permanent Weight Loss in the New Year

For many people, January is the most important month of each year. It's the month when most of us feel renewed, refreshed and full of hope and promise. It is also the month during which people start working towards their goals to lose weight, get healthy and become physically fit. Unfortunately, without proper planning and foresight about 90 percent of these goals result in failure and this usually occurs by January 31st.

If you have resolved to lose weight in the new year, here are three tips for making your weight loss a success, permanently. 

Read more...

Six of the Best Exercises for Sculpting Lean Arms

Oftentimes people ask me "how do I get rid of this?", pointing to the flab on their arms and around their shoulders. Some people even wiggle their arms for me in order to emphasize the point. If you have excess flab around your arms and shoulders, the only natural remedy involves a combination of sensible eating, fat burning with cardiovascular (cardio) exercise, and regular weight training, especially for the muscles of your arms and shoulders.

Read more...

Effective Strategies for Avoiding Hypertension

Often labeled "the silent killer", hypertension (or high blood pressure) is a serious medical condition that occurs when pressure within the arteries is chronically elevated. If left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can trigger the onset of life threating events like heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. Although the development of hypertension is a complex process that’s closely linked to inevitable factors like genetics, you can greatly reduce your risk by making healthy lifestyle choices and regularly monitoring your blood pressure levels.

Read more...

Exercise Tip: A Great Way to Sculpt Your Glutes and Quads

Squats are one of the best exercises for working the muscles of your lower body, mainly your glutes and quads. If you have difficulty performing squats, try exercise ball squats. Exercise ball squats allow you to work your lower body muscles while providing added stability and support for your back and knees. You can perform exercise ball squats in a gym or at home.

Read more...

Product Review: Why I Recommend LifeSpan Workplace Solutions Treadmill and Bike Desks

With the widespread promotion of regular physical activity for good health, new breeds of exercise equipment are hitting the market each and every day. Most of this equipment is specifically designed for performing low-to-high intensity levels of cardio exercise and resistance training either at a gym or at home. However, thanks to LifeSpan and their Workplace Solutions product line, there are now specialized forms of equipment specifically designed for regular use at work or in a home office.

Read more...

Understanding The Significance of The Calorie

A basic understanding of how calories work is essential to a successful and safe weight loss. Calories are obtained from essential nutrients (carbohydrate, fat, and protein) and serve as fuel for the body to carry out vital functions like breathing, eating, and sleeping. In addition, calories fuel all types of physical activity from taking a shower to strenuous exercise.

Read more...

Exercise Training While Juice Fasting: The Best Blends for Fueling Your Workouts

A while back I wrote an attention-grabbing article entitled "Intense Exercise Training During a Juice Fast? Is This Even Possible?" Since this article was originally published dozens and dozens of people have written me with specific questions regarding the best ways to approach prolonged juicing fasting (3-10 days or more) in the presence of exercise training.

Read more...

Seasons 52: A Dining Experience that Celebrates the Art of Eating and Living Well

Chicago is indeed one of the best cities for foodies, there’s no doubt about that. But, as a healthy foodie who lives nearly 40 minutes outside of the city, I’ve got to be really excited and enthused about a restaurant to make the commute. Prior to last week, there were only two restaurants in Chicago that have wowed me to the point of wanting to travel. Now, there’s a third – thanks to the grand opening of Seasons 52 in the North Bridge downtown area. 

Read more...

How to Tone Your Thighs with Dumbbells

There are many resistance training exercises you can perform to give your thighs a sleek and shapely appearance. Dumbbells are great for working the thighs and other muscles of the lower body as they are relatively cheap and pretty easy to use. Here's a clip in which I demonstrate four great exercises for working your thighs with dumbbells

Read more...

Four Simple and Effective Tips for Achieving Permanent Weight Loss

So, you’ve decided to lose weight. Congratulations! Now, how do you intend on losing the weight? More important, how will you permanently keep the weight off?

After working with hundreds of clients over the years and 2,500-plus pounds of fat lost, I’ve concluded that weight loss is easy—Weight management is the real challenge. The fact of the matter is that over 90 percent of people who lose weight regain the weight within a 3-5 year period (or less). It’s disturbing and alarming, but true. Unfortunately, without a well-thought-out approach, you’ll surely find yourself in the same viscous cycle of weight loss and weight regain.

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed