Monthly Archives: July 2012

Alyssa Michelle Agostini: Fitness Model and Competitor


Briefly share with us your background (Education, Interests, etc.)?

I am a 23 year old Fitness Model and Competitor. I began competing this year with the WBFF and placed 2nd in my first show! Fitness and working out has always been my passion.

I graduated from Providence College with a degree in Marketing and Communications. I am now currently taking classes to become a certified personal trainer.

I teach kickboxing and love the sport! I also enjoy bike riding. Any sport or activity that allows me to workout and break a sweat I enjoy!

Who has inspired you the most to succeed as a Fitness Model and Competitor?

Miryah Jade Scott – I saw her compete at the WBFF Worlds. I watched her videos over and over before I competed.

What competitions have you made appearances in? From these, what were your
placements (titles won)?

WBFF Eastern Championship, Boston, MA, June 2nd: Placed 2nd, WBFF Diva Fitness Model

When is your next upcoming show? What will be your competing class?

November 3rd, WBFF New England Fitness Weekend, Diva Fitness Model

Where can fans find out more about you?

Facebook
Twitter
Site


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Five Ways to Incorporate Meditation into Your Work Day


Guest Post By Danielle Mika Nagel

1. Silence before email.

Morning meditations give you a chance at clarity before your mind becomes busy with the thoughts and activities of the day. If your routine wakeup involves checking your inbox in bed, swap your mobile phone for a few minutes of morning silence. Have a comfortable cushion set up in a peaceful area of your home. Make it a habit to come to this spot before you do anything. Sit tall and allow yourself to focus on your breath. Deeply inhale, then deeply exhale. When a thought enters your mind, notice it, then return to your breath. Repeat this exercise for 10 minutes.

2. Skip the coffee, take a breath break.

Finding a place in your office to sit comfortably and meditate may not be practical, so head outdoors. Instead of spending 15-20 minutes in a busy café line up, go for a short walk. Make an effort to be mindful of your surroundings. Take deep breaths and as you exhale visualize yourself letting go of any tension or stress from your day. Return to the office with more clarity and focus.

3. Set an intention.

Just as most successful meetings have a clearly defined purpose, many executives find success in meditation by setting an intention or mantra. Your intention or mantra can be drawn upon at anytime of the day when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. When your mind starts to feel too cluttered and your breath gets short, take a few minutes to breath and gently bring yourself back to the day’s intention. Be easy on yourself and try not to judge your meditation.

4. Slow down.

Deadlines and heavy workloads often cause us to rush through daily activities. When you’ve finished your workday, pick one activity and make a concentrated effort to do it slowly. This could mean driving home with patience and awareness. Even letting a few people in “your” lane as you turn on some relaxing music. Or maybe it’s chewing your food several times and really noticing the texture and taste as you eat dinner. Slowing things down and focusing on the present moment will de-clutter your mind and refresh your energy.

5. Move.

Whether you’re tied to your desk, stuck in traffic or caught in meetings, the average Canadian worker spends three quarters of the day sitting. The simple act of moving your body purposefully can be meditative. Go for a short run, do some simple yoga stretches or put on a song that motivates you to dance. The act of moving with intention will force you to get out of your head and into your body.

Danielle Mika Nagel is the Studio Director for the world’s first Chopra Yoga Center in Vancouver, BC. www.choprayoga.com. Danielle is certified in Primordial Sound Meditation and has more than a decade of experience teaching. Danielle travels throughout the US and Canada teaching yoga and meditation at events and teacher trainings. For more information join the conversation on twitter.com/choprayoga or     facebook/choprayogacenter.


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How to achieve your goals!


Today’s article is going to explore goals, goal setting and look at the reasons why people often fail.

 

I think it’s fair to say that at one time or another we have all set ourselves a goal and failed at it. Sometimes this is because the goal was unrealistic but more often than not it is because although the goal was achievable, the steps and processes needed to get there were not well planned, followed or executed properly.

Let’s think of this another way for a moment: you want to make a chocolate cake with butter crème icing. You have all the ingredients and the recipe book and the oven, but instead of opening the packets, weighing the ingredients, shelling the eggs and mixing everything thoroughly before placing it in the oven, you just dump everything in a bowl (packaging, shell, you-name it, it’s going in!) you don’t stir it, and then you put it in the oven and burn it to a crisp, that’s going to be one disgusting cake! This doesn’t mean that you will always be a failure at baking cakes, it just means that you need to change your approach and follow a number of smaller steps to get to the end result that you want.

It’s about taking things one step at a time and doing everything properly.

The 2 main goals that I find within the fitness community or those first stating out are the following:

1)       Weight loss

2)       Muscle gain

These are both similar in the fact that they require long-term work to achieve but it is easy to become despondent.

To achieve your goals look at the bigger picture first: what is your ultimate dream / goal? “I want to be a Pro Bikini Model”.

Once you have set that initial goal ask yourself how you need to get there? What qualifications / wins / shows do you need to achieve / complete or compete in to be eligible to become a pro?

Look at people who have already achieved your goals. Compare yourself. You need to become your own biggest critic. Look at the stats of people competing at the level that you want to be. How do you measure up? If the leading atheletes have 32” busts, 28” hamstring / quad diameters, defined 6 pacs, then you need to compare that to yourself.
Set yourself a bi-weekly goal of 1/2 an inch loss or gain in your chosen area.
Keep a diary, record your achievements, comment on areas where you’re struggling.

The key thing is to be aware when something isn’t working. If something isn’t working you are wasting your time. That’s not to say you won’t achieve your goals, not at all, what I am saying is that you can’t keep doing the same thing and expect to see a different result.

If something isn’t working, tweak it, change it, try again. Keep a record of your changes and new things you are trying – but don’t change too many things at once!

Overall my advice would be your bigger picture is your motivation, the smaller steps are your goals that will get you to your bigger picture. What you do to achieve your goals are your tools. Make sure you have the right tools.

Train Hard
xoxox


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Make Your Diet Work For You


There are millions of people in North America who are considered to be overweight, and many are actually obese. Being overweight or obese is never a good thing, and can lead to a lot of health problems,  including heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes, just to name a few. Unfortunately weight loss is not the easiest thing in the world to accomplish, and for many of us it is a lifelong battle to maintain a healthy weight.
Finding Your Ideal Diet
If you have decided that it is time to go on a diet to lose weight, you are probably wondering which diet is the best for you. Every day we are bombarded with new fad diets, each one guaranteed to “melt fat”. I agree, some of these diets do just that, but some are extremely low in calories. The problem with these low calorie diets is as soon as you go off the diet and eat more food again, the weight you lost will come right back. The best way to lose weight and keep it off, is to follow a balanced diet with all of the nutrients we all need to stay healthy, and also making sure that you are eating enough so that you do not feel hungry. This is one of the first things that make people want to go off their diets – they feel deprived and starved, which can lead to binge eating.
If you are not sure how to go about getting started on a healthy and well-balanced diet, you should speak with a registered and well educated nutritionist. A nutritionist will know exactly what you need, and this will help you with your new diet that will keep you  satisfied while helping you to lose weight and keep it off. No matter what type of diet you plan to use, it is important to first discuss it to  make sure that you are getting all of the proper nutrients you need.
Treat Meal
Make sure that when you are on a diet, that you allow yourself the occasional treat. This will help to keep you from binging and keep you feeling sane. There are all kinds of healthy foods that also make delicious treats, such as fruit, unsalted nuts, and even dark chocolate which is loaded with healthy anti-oxidants. If you use your imagination, you can come up with healthy treats that taste naughty!
Keep Going!
With great snack options, a positive mind and a balanced lifestyle, you should have no problem at all with sticking to your diet, and you will see those pounds fall off in no time. The key is to never give up and to never get discouraged if a mistake is made.


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CRAMP – What it is and How to Avoid It!


Leg Cramps

We all know the feeling of being doubled -over in the gym holding our calf / thigh / hand as crippling cramp strikes us, but what IS it and why does it happen?

What is cramp?

Cramp is the involuntary spasming of a muscle or muscle group where the muscle refuses to relax.
It is normally accompanied by a painful sensation that can range from a slight spasm to agonising pain. It can last a few seconds to 15 minutes and often recurs in the same muscle repeatedly.

Types of Cramps:

There are 4 distinct cramping types:  “true” cramps, tetany, contractures, and dystonic cramps but it is most likely that fitness models and athletes will be affected by “true” cramps, as these are commonly associated with the vigorous use of muscles and muscle fatigue brought on by excessive use in sports, or through repetitive use i.e. in weight lifting.

Muscle-Leg-Cramps

Such cramps may happen during activity or later, sometimes many hours later and are usually caused by:

  • Dehydration: Sports and other vigorous activities can cause excessive fluid loss from perspiration.
    Any athletes who commonly use diuretics such as “stackers” are likely to suffer from cramping more frequently than those who do not due to the chronic volume depletion of body fluids brought on by these substances.
    Sodium depletion has also been associated with cramps – Sodium is the most abundant chemical constituent of body fluids outside the cell and is usually a function of dehydration.
  • Conditioning / Injury: Persistent cramping may occur as a protective mechanism following an injury or in weaker less conditioned muscles. In this instance, the spasm tends to minimize movement and stabilize the area of injury.
  • Fatigue: Cramp sets in when our muscles are tired
  • Vitamin Depletion – Low blood calcium and / or magnesium: Lower than recommended levels of either calcium or magnesium directly increase the sensitivity and excitability of nerve endings and muscles. This additional stimulation can be a predisposing factor for the cramps, and can often be brough on through excessive sweating as key electrolites are lost from the body.
    It can also be caused by: inadequate calcium absorption due to a definciency of vitamin D, hyperventilation (overbreathing), vomiting, inadequate calcium and/or magnesium in the diet, and other conditions.
    These can be combatted by ensuring that electrolytes are consumed during any periods of nausea or diarrhea, that a sufficient level of sun-light exposure is maintained, and that a good quality vitamin supplement is taken as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
    Low potassium blood levels can also occasionally cause muscle cramps, although it is more common for low potassium although potassium deficiency usually results in weak muscles rather than cramp. Banana’s are an excellent source of potassium and are also an excellent source of energy before a workout.

Treatment?

Leg-Cramps-Remedy

The immediate treatment for muscle cramp is to stretch and gently massage the muscle. Use ice packs for severe cases and drink water or a sports drink, or better yet dextrose or maltodextrin – as a lot of the glucose in “sports” drinks will go to the liver as opposed to the muscle.

How can you avoid cramp?

Plenty of fluid and a nutritious diet along with a proper warm-up such as walking on an incline or x-training on a medium resistance for around 10 minutes will ensure that muscles are warm. NEVER STRETCH COLD MUSCLES AS THIS CAN RESULT IN TEARS IN THE MUSCLE.



Article Written by Georgia B. Simmons

Georgia B. Simmons is a Bikini Athlete and Competitor out of the UK. Read here featured interview here.



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