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FITNESS 101: ASK AUDRA

Audra Yocom is a certified personal trainer based out of Los Angeles, who will be answering your fitness questions on a weekly basis (every Monday) and will also bring you monthly fitness tips via her regular column (resuming in July) to help us to dis-spell those myths we’ve all been subjected to regarding fitness at one point or another in our battle with the bulge. You can also hear Audra with her fitness tips during the early morning (5am – 7am) A.M. Blast block of upbeat tunes geared towards your morning workout and via her new “Fitness and Health” Show the second and fourth Wednesday of every month at 7:30 pm on intraffikradio.com (http://tinyurl.com/intraffikradio) or under Intraffikradio under the eclectic section under iTunes Radio. To learn more about Audra or to inquire about training sessions visit her site http://audrayocom.com.

______________________________________________________________________

QUESTION: Is it effective to train 3 to 4 hours a day as opposed to training 1 to 1.5 hours per day?

ANSWER: According to the International Sports Sciences Association training 3 to 4 hours per day provides no greater benefits than training 1 to 1.5 hours per day.  Excessive training (where volume and/or intensity is increased too quickly and without appropriate progression) has shown to drastically reduce muscle strength and can lead to chronic fatigue.

If excessive training continues for extended periods of time for several days or weeks it’s possible to reduce strength and performance to the point where it will take several days, weeks or even months to fully restore your performance.  In addition, if your body is in a constant state of catabolism it can’t produce necessary chemicals in the body to facilitate healing and repair processes.

Some symptoms of excessive training include a decrease in performance, an increase in infections, an elevated heart rate, chronic fatigue, personality changes, irritability, inability to sleep and high blood pressure –  just to name a few.

It’s natural to feel tired after a workout or after repeated days of working out intensely, but if after a few days of rest and a higher carbohydrate diet don’t get you back to your full training capacity it’s definitely time to reassess your workout regimen.


Audra will be answering your fitness questions every Monday. If you have questions you’d like answered you may email her at Audra@intraffik.com or send to info@intraffik.com. To see if your questions have been addressed check out past “Ask Audra” Column Entries here


FITNESS 101: ASK AUDRA

Audra Yocom is a certified personal trainer based out of Los Angeles, who will be answering your fitness questions on a weekly basis (every Monday) and will also bring you monthly fitness tips via her regular column (resuming in July) to help us to dis-spell those myths we’ve all been subjected to regarding fitness at one point or another in our battle with the bulge. You can also hear Audra with her fitness tips during the early morning (5am – 7am) A.M. Blast block of upbeat tunes geared towards your morning workout and via her new “Fitness and Health” Show the second and fourth Wednesday of every month at 7:30 pm on intraffikradio.com (http://tinyurl.com/intraffikradio) or under Intraffikradio under the eclectic section under iTunes Radio. To learn more about Audra or to inquire about training sessions visit her site http://audrayocom.com.

______________________________________________________________________

QUESTION: If I’m pregnant are there exercises I can still do and are there any that I should avoid?

Before you begin any workout regimen it’s important to consult with your physician and make sure he or she gives you the okay to work out.

You should stay away from exercises that involve a lot of bouncing around, jostling, jarring movements, holding your breath, full sit-ups, heavy lifting or anything that requires you to raise both legs at the same time such as side lying double leg raises.   It’s important to keep in mind that your center of gravity shifts while pregnant making it more difficult to balance.

Avoid any exercises that might put you at risk of falling or losing your balance and obviously anything that could cause any kind of abdominal injury.

If you decide to train with a trainer I would recommend using one who is specialized in working with pregnant women.  Also, just because they are certified it doesn’t mean they know what they are doing!  Be thorough when you look for a trainer and don’t be afraid to quiz and question their knowledge.

Some exercises that are generally pretty safe throughout your pregnancy (unless your doctor says otherwise or you have special circumstances) would be walking, swimming (no scuba diving you dare-devil-mommies to-be!), bicycling on a stationary bike, and prenatal yoga.  Make sure that you don’t over-do it and be sure to listen to your body.

A good guideline to use while exercising is your rate of perceived exertion.  The RPE/rate of perceived exertion scale begins at 6 (lowest intensity) and ends at 20 (maximum intensity) and is based on how hard you perceive yourself to be working.  Don’t go above a perceived level of 12 or 13.  This is a fairly light to moderate exertion level.


Audra will be answering your fitness questions every Monday. If you have questions you’d like answered you may email her at Audra@intraffik.com or send to info@intraffik.com. To see if your questions have been addressed check out past “Ask Audra” Column Entries here


FITNESS 101: ASK AUDRA

Audra Yocom is a certified personal trainer based out of Los Angeles, who will be answering your fitness questions on a weekly basis (every Monday) and will also bring you monthly fitness tips via her regular column (resuming in July) to help us to dis-spell those myths we’ve all been subjected to regarding fitness at one point or another in our battle with the bulge. You can also hear Audra with her fitness tips during the early morning (5am – 7am) A.M. Blast block of upbeat tunes geared towards your morning workout and via her new “Fitness and Health” Show the second and fourth Wednesday of every month at 7:30 pm on intraffikradio.com (http://tinyurl.com/intraffikradio) or under Intraffikradio under the eclectic section under iTunes Radio. To learn more about Audra or to inquire about training sessions visit her site http://audrayocom.com.

______________________________________________________________________

QUESTION: Ideally how many calories does a person want to burn when they exercise? Is there a healthy amount?

ANSWER: How many calories you want to burn each time you exercise is really dependent upon what your fitness goals are. There are 3,500 calories in a pound so divide 3,500 by 7 days. If the goal is to lose a pound a week you need to create a deficit of 500 calories per day. To burn 500 calories in one workout is do-able, but it’s a very intense workout.

Combining a healthy diet with exercise is the best way. One of the best ways to count your calories and help yourself lose weight is to use an app like Loseit.com. With this app, you can enter everything you are eating (many of the foods you consume daily are likely already in the app) and it will count the calories for you. It also allows you to enter your exercise and will calculate roughly how many calories you burned based on exercise type and intensity level. To get a more accurate idea of how many calories are burned in each of your workouts it’s best to get a heart rate monitor that calculates the number of calories burned based on your heart rate throughout the exercise.

_____________________________________________________________________


Audra will be answering your fitness questions every Monday. If you have questions you’d like answered you may email her at Audra@intraffik.com or send to info@intraffik.com. To see if your questions have been addressed check out past “Ask Audra” Column Entries here


FITNESS 101: ASK AUDRA

Audra Yocom is a certified personal trainer based out of Los Angeles, who will be answering your fitness questions on a weekly basis (every Monday) and will also bring you monthly fitness tips via her regular column (resuming in July) to help us to dis-spell those myths we’ve all been subjected to regarding fitness at one point or another in our battle with the bulge. You can also hear Audra with her fitness tips during the early morning (5am – 7am) A.M. Blast block of upbeat tunes geared towards your morning workout and via her new “Fitness and Health” Show the second and fourth Wednesday of every month at 7:30 pm on intraffikradio.com (http://tinyurl.com/intraffikradio) or under Intraffikradio under the eclectic section under iTunes Radio. To learn more about Audra or to inquire about training sessions visit her site http://audrayocom.com.

______________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

QUESTION: I have always longed to have “dancer’s legs”? Are there any leg exercises that can re-create those for those of us who haven’t had the years and years of formal dance training?

ANSWER: The best exercises to start with would be ballet dancer’s exercises.

According to Mary Helen Bowers (Natalie Portman’s trainer for “Black Swan”), “ballet targets the smaller muscles that you don’t often use.”  Instead of working the quads it works the inside and back of the leg.  A few of the basic exercises would be the plié squat, the releve calf raise, and jumping exercises.

Plié Squat

– Standing with your feet slightly further than shoulder width apart point your toes outward.
- Bend at the knees and press your weight through your heels as you lower yourself until your knees are at a 90 degree angle.  Make sure you keep your upper body straight and never let your knees go forward past your toes.
- Pushing through your heels, raise up to the starting position and repeat.

Releve Calf Raise

    – Place your heels together with your toes and legs pointing out to the sides.

    - Squeezing your hips, thighs and butt tight and press through the balls of your feet as you slowly raise your heels up so you are balancing on the balls of the feet.  Hold for a few seconds and slowly lower.  Repeat.

    Jumping Exercises

These are a bit more tricky and should only be performed if you have no injuries and have mastered the above movements.

The Plyometric Plié
-Starts out the same as the Plié Squat.
-Once you get to the bottom of the squat raise back up and spring into the air from the balls of your feet. You don’t need to spring very high.  Repeat.

The Plyometric Releve Calf Raise


    (Performing a releve in ballet means that you raise your body up on your toes)

    – Starts out the same as the Releve Calf Raise, but once you get to the point where you are balancing on the balls of your feet you want to bend slightly at the knees and spring up.  Again, there is no need to spring high.
    - After you land back on the balls of your feet lower your heels to the ground and repeat.

    In addition to these exercises you’ll want to incorporate a good cardio workout.  Yoga and Pilates are also great ways to create long lean limbs.

Audra will be answering your fitness questions every Monday. If you have questions you’d like answered you may email her at Audra@intraffik.com or send to info@intraffik.com. To see if your questions have been addressed check out past “Ask Audra” Column Entries here


FITNESS 101: ASK AUDRA

Audra Yocom is a certified personal trainer based out of Los Angeles, who will be answering your fitness questions on a weekly basis (every Monday) and will also bring you monthly fitness tips via her regular column (resuming in April) to help us to disspell those myths we’ve all been subjected to regarding fitness at one point or another in our battle with the bulge. You can also hear Audra with her fitness tips during the early morning (5am – 7am) A.M. Blast block of upbeat tunes geared towards your morning workout and via her new “Fitness and Health” Show the second and fourth Wednesday of every month at 7:30 pm on intraffikradio.com (http://tinyurl.com/intraffikradio) or under Intraffikradio under the eclectic section under iTunes Radio. To learn more about Audra or to inquire about training sessions visit her site http://audrayocom.com.

QUESTION: I want to start taking a spinning class, but am a little intimidated. Every time I see one they look so intense and fast-paced I’m afraid I won’t be able to keep up. Is there anything I can do to work up to that level of biking so that I don’t make a total fool of myself and pass out from exhaustion after 40 seconds of a class?

ANSWER: I have been a spinning/cycling addict for some time, but I still remember the first time I tried it and I was just as intimidated as you!

Luckily I had a really great teacher who made sure to guide me and teach me the proper technique right from the beginning.  She also continued to coach me continuously each class thereafter if my form was ever off.  It’s really important to have a teacher that knows what they are doing and who will gently guide you. 

When going to your first class, show up early and tell the instructor you are new so they can teach you how to set your bike up properly and so they know not to push you too hard.  Any decent cycling instructor will ask their class in the very beginning if there is anyone new anyway, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.   

Don’t try to be a cycling pro walking in the door.  Take it slow.  No one expects you to be Lance Armstrong on your first day. 

Keep it at a slow and steady pace and don’t add too much resistance or try to go too fast.  Building your endurance takes time.  Just keep going and pushing a little harder each time. 

Breathing is really important when cycling.  It’s an intense exercise, so breathing in and out through the nose is a good way to regulate breathing so as to keep from hyperventilating.  If at any time you feel lightheaded, or find it hard to catch your breath, back off the resistance or slow it down.  

If you aren’t comfortable trying to stand when they tell you to stand yet, don’t.  Listen to your body and work up to doing anything you aren’t comfortable with.  If you can’t keep up with everyone else don’t be hard on yourself.  It’s your first time.  Just keep going back and before you know it you’ll be a pro, and remember everyone in there had to start somewhere!

Audra will be answering your fitness questions every Monday. If you have questions you’d like answered you may email her at Audra@intraffik.com or send to info@intraffik.com. To see if your questions have been addressed check out past “Ask Audra” Column Entries here


FITNESS 101: ASK AUDRA

Audra Yocom is a certified personal trainer based out of Los Angeles, who will be answering your fitness questions on a weekly basis (every Monday) and will also bring you monthly fitness tips via her regular column (resuming in April) to help us to disspell those myths we’ve all been subjected to regarding fitness at one point or another in our battle with the bulge. You can also hear Audra with her fitness tips during the early morning (5am – 7am) A.M. Blast block of upbeat tunes geared towards your morning workout and via her new “Fitness and Health” Show the second and fourth Wednesday of every month at 7:30 pm on intraffikradio.com (http://tinyurl.com/intraffikradio) or under Intraffikradio under the eclectic section under iTunes Radio. To learn more about Audra or to inquire about training sessions visit her site http://audrayocom.com.

QUESTION: My backside could use some toning, what are some things I can do to make sure it looks great?
ANSWER: Everyone wants to look good from behind – especially during bikini season! So if you’re dying to hit the beach looking good from the backside here are are some great exercises for your back and glutes:

Back

Seated Overhead Lat Pull-down:

-Sitting at a seated lat pull-down bar style machine using a pronated grip (palms facing away from you) grip bar about 6 inches wider than shoulder width
-Grasp bar with arms slightly bent and elbows pointed away from the body

-Make sure your knees are planted directly under the support pads and feet are flat on the ground
-Lean back slightly so bar will travel correctly down in the correct path (lean back about 15 degrees)
-Keeping your back in a natural arch in the starting position, pull your shoulder blades down and together. Begin contracting your latissimus dorsi muscles by bending the elbows down to the floor
-Contract your latissimus dorsi and keep your hands and arms relaxed as you bring the bar to your chest.
-Slowly return the bar back to the starting position and repeat

Seated Machine Row

-Seated at a seated row machine, your seat should be adjusted so that the handles in front of you are slightly lower than shoulder height and the chest pad is resting at a point where it will allow your body to stay erect
-A starting position elbows should be slightly bent and pointed down
-Retract the scapula by pulling the shoulders down and then squeezing together as you contract the latissimus dorsi by pulling the arms back until your elbows are beneath the shoulders
-Slowly return back to the starting position

Back Hyperextension Exercise

-Lying face down on your stomach with your hands resting (more…)