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New ideas and thoughts from some of our very favorite health and wellness experts.

Posts Tagged fitness

Experience Life Magazine

Skinless Project Vlog: Pilates Triathlon Training

The Skinless Project founder Maaria Mozaffar takes us behind the scenes during her triathlon training pilates session.

View more vlogs of Maaria’s triathlon diary here.

Maaria Mozaffar, Esq. is the founder of The Skinless Project, a company created to help women reach their highest potential personally and professionally.

Experience Life Magazine

Reframe Your Mindset: It’s Not As Bad As You Think

“I feel fat everyday.”

I hear this a lot when I first start working with clients. Truthfully, this is where a lot of women hang out, starting their days by opening up their closets only to stare at clothes that make them feel less than satisfied with themselves — because every pair of pants or blouse is uncomfortable to wear and reminds them that they are not where they want to be:

I want to confident in my body and my clothes. I want to feel at peace and alive. But I can’t seem to make it more than one day on my eating plan. I know WHAT I need to do, I just seem to refuse to do it. And I don’t know why. More than anything, I want to be motivated to take care of myself, to be happy to choose healthy foods, and for it to be easy to say no to a fourth (and third and second) helping.

On the surface it seems so simple, right? Eat these foods, do these workouts, and bingo, you get the body you see in the magazines and The Biggest Loser “after” show. Everybody else seems to be able to do it, so why can’t you?

When you hit this wall of resistance around making the healthy choices that are going to take you in the direction of what you crave for your body and your life, it can feel hopeless, overwhelming, and lonely.

I know because I have been there. I used to feel this exact same way.

I’ve worn jeans that are two sizes too small because I didn’t want to buy the bigger size, even though they cut into my legs and it was painful to sit. At the end of every day, I couldn’t WAIT to get out of my jeans and into my sweatpants so I could breathe!

I remember crying on the phone to my college boyfriend because I just couldn’t figure out why I was self-sabotaging every diet I went on. (Side note, now THAT’S a fun conversation for a 20-year-old guy). As you might guess, he was clueless on what to say to “fix it” on that topic!

So why is it so difficult to get on track with eating healthy and get motivated to work out? Furthermore, why is it so difficult to stay on track once you get going?

The truth is, there are two reasons.

Number one: Temptation is everywhere, and it’s easy to get stuck in the mindset that eating healthy and working out sucks because it’s hard and uncomfortable.

Turn on the TV and 90 percent of the food-related commercials are for pepperoni pizza with cheese so gooey it stretches across the screen and charbroiled burgers that look so amazing you can practically smell them.

Of course you are going to crave this stuff: We are programmed to!

Number two: You’re disconnected from YOU. You have a hardline to what your boss, your spouse, your kids, your family, the media say — what evvvverybody else is telling you that you should be doing. But you rarely check in and/or listen to the wisdom that comes from within.

When you turn off the TV, close the magazine, turn down the volume on everybody else’s opinions, and start spending more time focused on taking care of yourself and your needs, those cravings begin to wane.

When you stop finishing all of your self-care wish-list sentences with “but I don’t have time because [EXCUSE GOES HERE],” then you open yourself up to allowing the healthier habits, ideas, and inspiration in.

Eating healthy and working out doesn’t have to be a chore. It’s a chore because that’s how you’ve viewed it up until now.

Combine that with the stress you are under and the fact that food is an easy thing to reach for when you want fast comfort, and it’s no wonder that you have a hard time sticking to any type of healthy plan.

So here is one simple thing you can start doing right now to get out of your rut and get pointed in the direction of achieving the goals you are after:

For more on how changing your mindset can improve success rate, read “Mindset


Take 5 deep breaths, and then reframe. Remind yourself that things are not as bad as they seem. Remind yourself that you are actually pretty healthy. You have a lot of positive things going for you in your life. Make a list of those things.

Reframe your relationship with healthy food. You don’t have to eat spinach salads with bland dressing or grilled chicken and steamed broccoli in order to be healthy. Choose meal options that are nourishing and tasty, too.

I am a big fan of ranch dressing, so my go to favorite dressing is Bolthouse Farms Ranch. No, not every ingredient in it is a whole food, and yeah, it comes in a bottle. But I love it and I really look forward to eating salads with my Bolthouse Ranch.

Reframe your relationship with exercise. Let it be easy. The true benefit of exercise is that it gets you breathing. Your cells need oxygen and when you’re sitting at the office all day, you’re probably breathing pretty shallowly. So rather than forcing yourself to do exercise that you hate, why not just get up and move in ways that make you feel good in your body? Focus on breathing deeply as you do it.

Try a new workout class. Go for a girl-talk-walk with a good friend to catch up, rather than chatting over drinks or dinner (hit the gym and talk on the treadmill if it’s too cold to do this outside).

Make your healthy lifestyle fit you. Don’t think you have to change everything overnight. Take one baby step today and then another tomorrow until one day you wake up and instead of your first thought being, “I feel fat,” it’s instead, “I feel pretty darn good.”

Awareness is the first step. You see your unhealthy habits clear as day. Yeah, you may be struggling with what to do about it, but so what? You’re aware. Give yourself a big hug because you ARE on the right track.

Lots of people go their whole lives never even questioning what they are doing or why. You are tuning in to both, and you’re ready.

We don’t make the decision to change until it’s more uncomfortable to continue doing what we’re doing than it is to do something different. You’re uncomfortable. That’s a good thing. Use that momentum to your benefit.

If this resonates with you and you want more, check out my free video series, The Secret to ROCKIN’ Your Dream Body For Life, where I take you by the hand and show you my process for going from “diet living” to real living while getting the body of your dreams.

Sheila Viers is an Emotional Eating Expert, Holistic Life Coach and co-founder of Live Well 360.

Experience Life Magazine

Changing The Female Brain to Change The Female Body Experience



What amazes me supporting women in their natural healing work to restore better function in their body, and come into a better relationship with their body, is how much as women we allow our minds to not trust our bodies.

When we’re coaching & supporting our E3 Energy Evolved members, sometimes I am so sad to read the emails from some of our members about how much they worry, question or criticize their own healing potential just as a natural way of how they think, when I know from experience how much more their bodies DESIRE to do for them in both healing & fat loss, but we allow our minds to sit in these negative blocked places.

Why as women do we allow our brains to constantly second guess, criticize, berate, talk negatively too, or create thoughts of mistrust in our bodies?

How do you think that is serving your goals of changing your body, because it’s not? It’s limiting your natural health and fat loss results, how you talk to your body with your mind.

Why is it that women as a gender and societal way of being and thinking we naturally knee-jerk into this most likely more than men, and who do you think has the power to reverse that trend for our daughters, and generations to come? (Hint: you’re reading this right now.)

What do you think would be possible if you committed to only speaking kind, caring, loving, limitless potential, trusting, belief-based thoughts to your body daily for even just 30 days?

Whether it’s a day I step onto a natural healing change program with my body, or the day I step onto a natural body transformation path as a competitive athlete, my MIND IS ALL IN to where I’m headed, & it 100% TRUSTS MY BODY.

Women, you want better results from your body? Start by assessing where you allow your mind to go each day about your body. Work towards questioning your body less & believing in your body more. Because your body hears EVERYTHING your mind says.

So please do this… MENTALLY DUMP all the thoughts your brain keeps saying to your body in the share box below…. let’s get real.

What are some of the “negative thoughts” that spin in your mind about your body, that are holding you back?

Dump them below, then choose a POSITIVE thought you commit to putting in its place for the next week, so you can give your body the permission & trust it needs to change & do its best work for you & stop blocking it with your mind.

Heather Dubé is a Natural Metabolic Recovery & Conditioning Specialists and one of the creators of the e3 Energy Evolved™ System |

Experience Life Magazine

SUMMER STRESS DETOX! Week 2: Revitalize, Step 4: Revitalize Through Exercise

This blog is part of our “SUMMER STRESS DETOX!” Series

Time to clear your slate—and start the summer season refreshed and revitalized. To that end, Experience Life has partnered with meQuilibrium, the first-ever online stress management system, to bring you this 8-part series on detoxing mind, body, and spirit. You’ll discover strategies for everything from rethinking your diet to clearing clutter and shifting your stress response so that you can feel lighter, cleaner, and healthier than ever. (Learn more about the 28-day summer stress detox challenge!)

Step 4: Revitalize Through Exercise

The simple act of moving—whether you do yoga, run, or go for a long walk—has an incredibly detoxifying effect on the body. Your lymphatic system, a whole network vessels, is the body’s drainage system, and helps remove waste from the blood. But lymph doesn’t get pumped through the system by the heart the way blood does. Rather, it gets moved through other ways, including breathing and muscle contractions—which is why exercise is so critical to the process.

“Exercise isn’t a hobby, something you do occasionally when you have time and are in the mood,” says Adam Perlman, M.D., integrative medicine expert and Chief Medical Officer of meQuilibrium. “It’s not just about weight loss, either. It’s about feeling stronger, more vibrant, more resilient,” he says. “Research has shown that regular exercise is the most important thing you can do to optimize your quality of life today and maintain it in the future.”

But beyond that, exercise can greatly reduce your stress levels. In fact, movement should be part of what de-stresses you, not the source of frustration or discomfort. Wellness expert and fitpro Ellen Barrett says that when reducing stress is the focus of fitness, you’ll experience better results. “The core reason for exercise has changed,” she says. “It’s not only about burning calories. It’s not only about weight loss. It’s about calming the frazzled psyche and caring for the body.”

Here’s how to use fitness to detox and de-stress:

Stay present. When’s the last time you tuned in to your body as you were exercising, rather than tune out by distracting yourself? You can experience the benefits of mind/body exercise (a clear head, a sense of calm) when you pay close attention to your body as you move it—the muscles stretching and contracting, your lungs expanding, energy moving through you. “To detox the mind all you have to do is get into the ‘here and now,’ and let go of the mental toxins of past worry and future fear,” says Barrett.

Do something that feels good. Vigorous exercise is one thing—but pushing yourself to the limit in the name of “getting in shape” is more likely to hurt you, especially if you’re not tuned in. “The best tip for getting the benefits of mind/body fitness is to first do something you love doing, rather than forcing yourself to do something you hate,” says Barrett. So don’t run if you detest it, and don’t slog through a yoga class if you find it joyless. “You should love doing it so much that it feels like fun first, exercise second. When you see kids playing, they’re never checking a heart rate monitor.”

Don’t overdo it. If you find yourself completely depleted after every workout, so much so that you can barely function, then you may be serving fitness more than fitness is serving you. “The key is to maintain a peaceful energy level.  “You don’t need to go too hard or fast. Think 70 percent effort.” The result is fitness that gives you energy, rather than drains you of it.

Walk more. You can’t beat it for simplicity and effectiveness. No equipment required. When you walk more, you tone the body and boost your cardiovascular health, protect against heart disease, diabetes, and other health risks, fight depression, boost mood, and control your weight. Start easy but remain consistent, adding more steps and miles to your week.

Track yourself. The pedometer doesn’t lie. Keeping an eye on just how many steps you take in a day gives you a concrete goal, not to mention a sense of accomplishment as you see the steps rack up. Make it your goal to work up to and then maintain 10,000 steps a day. You can find a pedometer for under $20, or you might want to try a self-tracking tool like Fitbit or the Nike Fuel Band.

Stop sitting still. Fitness doesn’t have to take place within the confines of a gym. Find opportunities to move throughout your day, whether that’s getting up every hour to stretch, getting off the bus a few stops early to get some walking in, or taking the stairs. Something as simple as standing up often contracts the large muscles of your legs, supports metabolism, and improves your cholesterol, blood sugar, and triglyceride levels.

Want to make an even more dramatic change? Take the 28-day summer stress detox challenge!

Step 5: Retool Your Habits.

Jan Bruce is CEO and co-founder of meQuilibrium, the new digital coaching system for stress, which helps both individuals and corporations achieve measurable results in stress management and wellness.

Experience Life Magazine

You Know You Really Need It When You Don’t Have Time for It

Recently one of my online students wrote a post explaining why she was signing up for my course again. She wrote:

I need this right now. Because I don’t have time. Because I’m too tired to make the effort on my own. Because I feel weak and I know it’ll hurt. These aren’t excuses not to take care of myself, these are reasons I need to.

Which is exactly how I felt about going to yoga class recently. I was in San Francisco at the time, spending a couple of days in a city I think of as my second home on my way back to New Zealand from New York.

colorful clocks

This particular afternoon for various reasons (including a lot of travel in the previous week, an unrealistic work plan for the morning, sleep deprivation and forgetting to eat breakfast) I felt overwhelmed. Despite a rising sense of panic at my lack of progress on the to-do list, I rushed into the city for a meeting.  As I left the meeting, I noticed there was a yoga class about to start right at the bottom of the building.

And because I felt sure I didn’t have time for the class, I decided to stay. I borrowed a mat and slipped into the back of the class just a few moments before the opening OM.

I knew I needed it because I didn’t have time for it.

A sure sign that I really need a walk is when I feel way too busy to go for a walk. And when I’m too busy to do yoga, well – that’s when I need it the most.

So for the next hour I forgot about my to-do list. And when I left I felt renewed, reminded why I do yoga – and why I teach it. I was also reminded that the times when we are convinced we are too busy to take care of ourselves are the times we need it the most.

I know that sometimes you really don’t have the time (or the money) to go to a yoga class.

But even then, I know you can learn to do your own simple, short but powerful yoga practices at home. Ten minutes of energizing poses in the morning. Five minutes of grounding practice in the middle of a crazy day. Fifteen minutes of relaxing yoga before bed.

My own experience has taught me, and now research is emerging to confirm that experience, that a small amount of yoga done daily will have more positive impact on your physical and mental health than a longer class or practice once a week. One UCLA study found that 12 minutes of yoga meditation per day decreased depression in participants. And I’m convinced that anyone can find 12 minutes a day for a little bit of yoga, even if it means waking up 12 minutes earlier than usual.

Since so many people don’t have time for yoga, I’ve made it my mission find an approach to yoga that would fit into their busy life. I created a course just for people who are “Too Busy To Do Yoga,” with yoga practices you can do anywhere, even practices you can do at your computer (although I do encourage leaving the computer if possible).

So here are four ways to fit in some yoga when you really need it but don’t have any time for it:

1. Lie down and do nothing for five minutes
In yoga this is called savasana, or corpse pose and for a lot of people it’s the hardest pose of all. One of my students told me that first time she tried a five minute savasana she caught herself getting up to send an email in the middle of the pose three times in a row, and each time had to talk herself into lying back down by promising herself she’d write the email as soon as she was done. It’s not easy, but it is powerful. Give your body a five minute rest and see how much more energy you have in your day. My tip: set an alarm for five minutes so that you don’t have to check your phone every minute to see how much longer you have to go!

2. Breathe deeply
It’s the oldest stress-beating advice in the book, and it still works. Take five minutes to slow and deepen your breath. The best way to get a deeper, fuller breath is by extending your breath beyond the chest into the full diaphragm – so that you feel the breath filling your belly, and then your ribcage (back and sides as well as the front) and then your chest. Important tip: don’t force this, you don’t want to feel any strain or constriction in the breath. Deepen your breath as much as you can while still feeling soft.

3. Sun salutes
This one requires a little bit more yoga knowledge, but most people who have been to a few yoga classes will have learned this basic series of poses. The beauty of the sun salute is that it uses your whole body, strengthening, opening and releasing tension in your arms, shoulders, back and legs. Three to six sun salutes every day will make a difference to your body and your mood, guaranteed.

4. Yoga at the computer
You can do a few simple poses to relax your shoulders, wrist and neck at the computer. Add in some deep breathing and you’ll be calming your mind as well. I put together a simple ten minute yoga routine for people who spend most of their day at the computer.

When you are most convinced you don’t have time for yoga, try one of these ultra-quick yoga fixes and notice the difference it makes to your day!

Marianne Elliott  is an acclaimed author, human rights advocate and yoga teacher who writes and teaches on creating, developing and sustaining real change in personal life, work and the world. She is the creator of the popular “30 Days of Yoga“ courses and author of Zen Under Fire, a memoir about doing good and being well in war-torn Afghanistan.

Experience Life Magazine


Editor’s Note: Randy Jacobus, 48, is a hedge-fund manager from Eden Prairie, Minn., and a long-time member of Life Time Fitness. A runner since high school, he completed three marathons before qualifying for the Boston Marathon in 2011. He had planned to run the world-famous course in 2012, but deferred to 2013 due to the heat (“Little did I know,” he says). The 2013 Boston Marathon was meant to be his “bucket list” race — the last one. Given the chain of events that played out just minutes after he crossed the finish line, however, Jacobus is hoping to run it again in 2014 or 2015 to show his support of Boston and its phenomenal tradition. Here, Jacobus shares his first-hand account of his experience.

The van is late. Short, nervous chitchats. Another drink of water. Nibble on a banana.  Are we going to make it in time? Finally, the van arrives and in we squeeze. On the road, our driver demands introductions, a tradition of his.  “North Carolina, Quebec, New York, Minnesota, Tennessee …” We are from all parts, some making second trips, others their first. We’re all anxious.

The traffic looks to be backed up for miles. Narrow roads and only one way to go — how are we going to make it? Proud local cops tersely deny access and turn cars away. Our driver rolls down his window, and in his think Boston accent says, “Runnas, I’ve got Runnas.” A secret code. The officer smiles, moves the barricade and ushers us to a clear lane straight to Athlete’s Village and the starting line of the 2013 Boston Marathon.

I’m shivering in the breeze, not sure if it’s the temperature or nerves, lost amongst the runners and not sure where to go. They’re tall, short; some are sitting, some standing; most with a predetermined plan, a ritual. They have done this many times: first the socks, then the shoes, tying them just right. Sunscreen, energy gels, sunglasses, time goals written on their arms. They speak in many languages: French, Spanish, Japanese. Some are old acquaintances reuniting; some are with bigger groups; others alone. All with strong calves and legs.

Trying to fit in, I removed my sweatshirt, stretched my tight hamstring, and rocked my calves back and forth against the curb, taking in all the sights and wishing I had my cell phone to take a few pictures. I had never seen so many yellow buses.  Surely this middle school never intended to have 27,000 runners stretching and napping on every inch of its grounds. I handed my bag to the volunteer. “It will be there,” she said, “just pick it up at the finish line.” She then pointed me in the direction of the starting line, and I began the slow jog to the starting area, nervous about what lay ahead.

Small houses lined the narrow street to the corrals. One with a sign that read “Free Wares” received the most attention: Free bib pins, band-aids, hair clips — you name it, you could find it at this house, and it was free. The porta potties were on the left side of the road in a parking lot, hundreds of them. The far ones had the least activity, so that is where I headed one last time before the start.

I could see corral No. 9 just down the hill, where runners were waiting nervously for the gun to sound and the official start of Wave 1. There were nine corrals, each holding 1,000 runners. Security carefully monitored the bib colors and who they let down to the starting area.  At 10 am, the gun sounded and the first wave was off. Wave two next, and security checked the bibs, turning the blue bibs away harshly, “Only red and white!” I headed for corral number one.

We stood idly, a little more nervous chitchat and some stretching. Then the gun sounded and we were off. Winding down we went, the Hopkington roads narrow and hilly. I was always watching my step: We were shoulder to shoulder; there was no room for error. Sharply down and faster, keeping a 7-minute pace felt easy. Then a sharp upturn and the pace slowed. Back and forth this went as we wound thru Ashland, local support waving their traditional signs and playing their motivational music. It was mostly older, traditional, and family support along these parts — they were proud to be our host.

The first 10k came and went, and I was running a little faster than my targeted pace. The conversations around me started to percolate as the flatter terrain encouraged a rhythm. Some runners reunited, others meeting for the first time. Two girls from Wisconsin connect over their similarities: both getting married in June, both with fiancés who did not run, both high school sweethearts.  “Go Alaska!” “Go Canada!” “Go Russia!”  I was surrounded by an international melting pot. Running side by side, I found a partner that I could stride with and forget about the miles ahead.

We ran uphill into Natick and then downhill into Wellesley, passed the halfway point. A glance at the watch and I was a little behind schedule, but not much. Hundreds of college girls lined the street, begging for kisses from all the sweaty men. “Kiss me, I am a chemistry major!” “I run better naked!”  These are the Wellesley Girls and they seem to go on forever. A good distraction, no doubt, but soon there’s another sharp downhill turn and mile 16 was in sight. My quads ached and I feared more down hills. Runners started passing me.

My legs felt heavy, but there were only 10 miles to go.  Uphill we ran toward Brookline. Another hill and more runners went around me like Billy goats. Was my pace slowing that much? Into Newton we ran, where the Boston College fraternity boys are loud. “Colorado, pick it up, you can do it,” they scream. This is Heart Break Hill, the final and toughest climb at mile 21. I counted my footsteps to take my mind off the endless climb, and I didn’t look up for fear of giving up. “You can do it Colorado!” I made it to the top, but my pace … Why were they passing me?

Five miles to go and it’s all downhill. We entered Brookline and Boston proper; more college kids lined the street and the crowds seemed to be growing. This should have been the easy part, with a gradual downhill all the way to the finish, but it felt like a knife was piercing my right side. I couldn’t stand tall and I couldn’t lift my right leg. I slowly moved to the side — the side without the jeering students: “Come on Colorado, you are almost there!” I walked next to the T-line where security guards lined the street, protecting the runners from veering onto the tracks and keeping spectators from getting too close. I wanted to run but couldn’t and a few others joined me on my walk. But they walked a lot faster.

Mile 23 came and went, and yet I was still pain. “Colorado, Colorado, Colorado …” they chanted and I tried to get going again. My goal at this point was to finish. One foot in front of another, I counted my strides, just get to mile 24, and though more people passed, I was still moving. The streets were lined with supportive crowds who encourage and pushed.

Mile 25: one more mile, an eternity. More crowds, more support.  Turning the corner onto Boylston Street, I saw the finish line and could hear the crowd’s support. Other runners in similar situations, plodded next to me, and we crossed the rubber marking the finish. We stopped our watches — 3 hours and 54 minutes later.

I was disappointed with my time, but relieved it was over. My legs were sore and numb, and my energy was sapped, but there were smiling faces all around. Amidst hugs and congratulations, we moved slowly through the finishing corral to gather water, refreshments, snacks, medals and, most importantly, a blanket to warm us from the chilly breeze that blew in our face. I wanted to get off my feet. I was too tired to find my bag and moved quickly to the right, through the crowded family greeting area, to the first bus heading back to Hopkington. The buses were warm, and I was cold and tired. A few other runners had similar ideas.

The first blast startled us all. “What was that?” we all muttered simultaneously. As we sat, the second blast hit and shook the bus. The driver was alarmed. “What the …?” he asks. We sat quietly, wondering, hoping the sounds were not what we thought they were. The driver’s radio crackled and what we all knew was confirmed: two bomb blasts one block away, the hotel blocking our view and sheltering us from the chaos. Spectators ran by our bus, one with blood on his back: “Get to Mass General, follow me, I am not a crazy! Two bombs, hundreds are bleeding. We need to get to Mass General to give blood. PLEASE, follow me!” And people did.

Our bus was full of anxious runners. Concerned about additional bomb blasts, some asked the driver to depart. He snapped back patriotically, “We are staying put in case they need us to transport the injured. Sit down!” A few minutes later, the radio crackled again and the driver slammed the door shut. “Sit down!” and we lurched forward. Word from his supervisor to get us out of the area, and quickly, had come.

It was solemn; not much talking, though lots of whispers. The thoughts of bombs and injuries drowned the feelings of accomplishment; months of training and sacrifice stolen by cowards hiding in the shadows. There was no talk of the day’s feat: Only concerns for those still on the course or for friends still missing.

As we headed out of the city, cell service resumed and phones started buzzing. Tearful runners spoke to their loved ones: “Yes, we are OK.”  “I have not heard. Call me if you hear from her.” Mark from Fort Worth sat next to me and offered me his phone to call my wife. “Yes, I am OK. I’m on the bus back to Hopkington, and will call when I get back to hotel. Love you.”

Mark offered to drive me back to Milford and to my hotel. I turned and watched the runners exit the bus as he looked for his keys: Some limped, some shuffled, some avoided the stairs. One thing was for sure — they would be back next year. This was the Boston Marathon and these were “Runnas.”


Experience Life Magazine

The Ultimate 10-Minute Jump Rope Workout

It’s time to take this playground staple to the big leagues. Jumping rope can burn as many calories as running (and build some killer muscles to boot). Plus, a jump rope is the ideal size for travel (and won’t break the bank at $20 or less). Greatist Expert Ilen Bell recommends using Tabata intervals (alternating 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest for four minutes) to really maximize calorie burn [1]. And for this workout, prepare to work: We’re putting 10 minutes on the clock to hit all eight of Bell’s moves — two times through. Need a rope-skipping refresher course? Check out this video of Bell demonstrating each of the moves in order.

The Ultimate 10 Minute Jump Rope Workout

Illustration by Shannon Orcutt

Ready to hop to it? Just remember that in addition to these 10 minutes of aerobic activity, it’s also important to warm up, stretch, and cool down correctly. Jumping into an intense activity with cold muscles is a recipe for disaster (think pulled muscles and torn ACLs[2]. Get the blood pumping with a short jog or jumping jacks followed by some dynamic warm-up moves like walking lunges, walking toe touches, and skips. It’s time to stop making excuses and get skipping — you could finish a workout by the time it takes to read this article!

0:00-0:20 — Move #1: Two feet together
0:20-0:30 — Rest
0:30-0:50 — Move #2: Front Straddle
0:50-1:00 — Rest
1:00-1:20 — Move #3: High-knees in place
1:20-1:30 — Rest
1:30-1:50 — Move #4: Side straddle
1:50-2:00 — Rest
2:00-2:20 — Move #5: Heel to toe
2:20-2:30 — Rest
2:30-2:50 — Move #6: Five hops to the left, five hops to the right
2:50-3:00 — Rest
3:00-3:20 — Move #7: Alternate feet
3:20-3:30 — Rest
3:30-3:50 — Move #8: Double hop
3:50-4:00 — Rest
4:00-5:00 — Easy skip for recovery


5:00-5:20 — Move #1: Two feet together
5:20-5:30 — Rest
5:30-5:50 — Move #2: Front Straddle
5:50-6:00 — Rest
6:00-6:20 — Move #3: High-knees in place
6:20-6:30 — Rest
6:30-6:50 — Move #4: Side straddle
6:50-7:00 — Rest
7:00-7:20 — Move #5: Heel to toe
7:20-7:30 — Rest
7:30-7:50 — Move #6: Five hops to the left, five hops to the right
7:50-8:00 — Rest
8:00-8:20 — Move #7: Alternate feet
8:20-8:30 — Rest
8:30-8:50 — Move #8: Double hop
8:50-9:00 — Rest
9:00-10:00 — Cool down

If this series of moves didn’t make you break a sweat, pick a weighted rope for an even tougher challenge (those feet will really have to move!).

Special thanks to Greatist Expert Ilen Bell for creating the workout for this article. 

Do you hit the (jump) ropes at the gym? What are your favorite recess-inspired moves? Share in the comments below or tweet the author Sophia Breene (@SophBreene).

Reposted with permission from Greatist, the fastest-growing fitness, health and happiness media start-up. Check out more health and fitness news, tips, healthy recipes, expert and opinion and fun times at Greatist.

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Experience Life Magazine

Honoring The Ebb And Flow Of The Female Body

Lets be honest, it’s not the same in a women’s body as a mans, it’s just not and it never will be.

As women we are simply built to be and function differently as a human body.

I have an amazing husband who supports me 200% in my goals and motivates me to no end with his example of natural conditioning at 40 years of age, but my body and his body are not equal and as women if we do not work to develop a different understanding of and expectation of our bodies, then we are simply missing the point and failing to honor their natural way of being.

I have learned over 39 years to see us both differently, and to develop my own unique expectations of my body, that are not equal to his of his body, because that is what achieving balanced wellness requires of us.

So many women athletes, competitors and fat loss seekers put up this inappropriate expectation on their body in my opinion as women. They demand of it to be in impeccable metabolically pushed conditioning year round and year after year, and frankly they pay for it with internal health imbalances and metabolic damage.

A women’s body is built first and foremost for the survival of the human race.

That is a black and white truth there is no way to get around, and no matter whether you’re prioritizing – fat loss or your athletic goals – internally your body is always calls the shots with your endocrine system in mind and the survival of the human race as #1, whether we want to admit it or not, whether we put our intention inward into our body enough to recognize this or not, it’s going on all the time underneath the hood.

Our sole purpose is ultimately to create human life. Man cannot do that, only we can, and we have a very hormonal endocrine system and reproductive system naturally built-in to make that very amazing act possible.

We also have naturally built-in monthly cycles or ebb and flow by which our bodies as women continually move through, over and over, round and round.

We are not stagnant, we are not straight-lined like men – we are up and down all the time – which is exactly why men are built as consistent and steady, to balance us women out in a very natural, foundational and healthy way.

What does this all mean to you? What I’m saying is step back and consider your health and body and the demands you set on it as well as the expectations you set on it. Also, question whether you are recognizing and honoring this natural cycle of your body in a multitude of ways.

Where are you not honoring your bodies natural ebb and flow?

Where could you do better to “go with the flow” than fight against it, and just let nature “be” as its meant to in your life as a women, and in your body?

Your body is brilliantly programmed to do what it needs, but often it requires us to get out of its way so it can lean towards its natural work and tendencies.

Here’s an example. For me right now, I’ve taken some more internal time and backed down my energy output through changing up my training frequency, workouts & intensity at times. Much of my energy is focused in my mind and creation of e3 Energy Evolved for you, and so that is drawing away from the creative energy and force in some ways I can redirect into my body with high intensity training…for now.

So I’m changing up my workouts and training in ways to adjust for that, fully know when I can release my mind and creative energies back into my body more fully again once more after e3 Energy Evolved is fully complete & launched for you, I will return to more heavy energy output training goal again that I also love and crave as an Ayurvedic pitta, when its time. Right now I am focused on the goal at hand which is creating a mission greater than ourselves to heal this world, and that effort is significantly harder and more demanding than it is to train naturally for NPC national level athletic competition frankly was for me.

Do I love being in very lean, strong physical conditioning naturally, do I love pushing my metabolic boundaries to grow them, do I love tapping my potential as a physical and mental being? Sure I do.

But do I believe that’s a healthy goal to have all the time in a women’s body without creating space of recovery time, without backing off, with out energy and balance restoration and recovery time, letting go of that outward push of energy for a bit?

At 39 years of experiencing and learning about the women’s body through competing at the national level as a natural figure athlete in NPC with advanced natural fat loss goals and beating rare chronic illnesses naturally over years, no I most definitely do not, because that is ignoring our natural ebb and flow.

Our bodies as women are so hormonally charged, we have an energy that is meant to go internal every 20 days or so with our cycle, going again in and out, energy in, energy out.

Keep in mind if you constantly “give give give” your energy out to others or to other creative or athletic processes with no energy in restoration, there are consequences.

Women again have unique needs of restoration with our bodies that men simply don’t have at the same level because the purpose of our bodies & how they are built differs, in my opinion.

We go through our journey in cycles, being into certain forms of training, then evolving into others, needing shifts. We move from self-focused fit times to selfless times of motherhood and caring for family, and we once again return to our fitness. We are strong and powerful, we are dominant, and then we may find for a bit we need to admit our weakness and softness again for a short while and seek that strength in our husband or someone we love nearby to bridge the gap til we find our strength again, while we rebalance.

We are women in a very unique body in a lifetime of natural ebb and flow, ebb and flow, ebb and flow.

I’ve come to a place in my life at 39, through naturally healing a life-changing & life-threatening auto immune illness in my body involving metabolic damage, that I now understand my bodies purpose and how to work in harmony with that purpose at all times, so much better, and it’s a gift to know.

It’s something for 30+ years prior I never felt or knew because of how society and the medical industry teaches us to numb our experience of the natural flow of the women’s body, with birth control pills and ignorance. That are natural flow is “evil”, “annoying”, and “inconvenience” we must eliminate, when in actuality it’s a deep part of our being, knowing our truest self, tapping into our power to create life and experiencing the feminine body in a healthy, balanced way.

It is part of celebrating the amazing gift we’ve been given with a body uniquely built to generate human life.

And unless you’re recognizing and honoring that ebb and flow as part of how you’re experiencing your body, you’re missing a big part of the gift, and a healthy balanced journey of what it means to be well.

What thoughts or ideas does this topic bring to your mind about your body experience so far as a women? We’d love to hear from you. Share your comments below.

For more of our unique approach to natural health, fat loss & fitness, become a part of our e3 Energy Evolved community by signing up for our e-newsletter, gifts & giveaways. If you’re experiencing challenge in this area and need support, we support distance and in person natural health, fat loss & fitness seekers in creating a better natural result and human body experience for their own unique body.

In energy for improved natural health, fat loss & fitness,

Natural Metabolic Recovery & Conditioning Specialists

Creators of the e3 Energy Evolved™ System |

Experience Life Magazine

What Napping and Fat Loss Have in Common

Recovery (sleep, naps & rest activity) improves not just human body, but brain function.

How we use our energy throughout our day carries over to our cognition, motivation, focus, creativity & mood.

“What do Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, Salvador Dali, and John F. Kennedy all have in common? All of them were brilliant thinkers and leaders, and all of them took daily naps. Napping increases focus, memory and energy. A recent NASA study revealed that a 20-40 minute nap boosted cognition by almost 40%.”

Many high performance athletes whose lifestyles most people don’t get the chance to observe, and some of whom we’ve worked around when we were competing naturally at the US national level in the sport of figure, build naps intentionally into their day for good reason: improved results. Napping and added recoveryimproves everything from performance to speed to reaction times to muscle growth to natural healing.

Your brain & body do amazing natural healing & growth work while you sleep, WHY? Because it’s the one time all day that all your energy is being focused internally into your body to do good work. You’re not thinking, you’re not moving, you’re not stressing, you’re not digesting… you’re just recovering.

Most people only perceive that they are “using energy” when they exercise, but that is an incorrect understanding of the human body. This was something we began to understand further when we successfully naturally healed my own battle with adrenal fatigue & Hashimoto’s disease drug-free; all the ways the body uses, produces, and conserves energy.

In fact, our bodies and brains use energy all day long, for thinking, talking, internal pain management, processing food we eat, and so on. The amount of energy we use just increases during an exercise session (hopefully!).

Consider the human lifespan & how we naturally integrate rest & recovery into that cycle from birth to death when we just allow our bodies to lead us to do what they’re naturally built to do as a brilliant machine driven by natural instinct.

Small children take naps naturally because at that time in our lifespan the human body and brain has so much amazing growth work to do, significant energy conservation is needed for this purpose, and so we nap, or should be napping as children.

As we age, and energy levels naturally decline unless we work to counter that naturally, we tend to also take more naps in the name of energy conservation.

But naps are ALSO for adults who seek better natural health & fat loss results, better productivity and clarity, or even just a better overall human body experience.

There is an excellent book called, The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr which I read around 2008 that discusses research studies on the most effective ways to use our bodies energy for improved physical & mental performance. In the book they noted studies done on corporate workers and found that those who used their energy in a cyclical fashion, working in 2 hour or so spurts with recurrent breaks throughout the day in this pattern, had the most effective productivity levels through body energy and mental focus.

Now, don’t misunderstand us and think, it’s all about rest, when in actuality what we’re sharing with you is that improving your natural health, fat loss and fitness results is all about improved cycles of energy output and energy input. This is a completely different statement then, hey, just go take naps, already!

This is why one of our five core values of e3 Energy Evolved is “Efficiency”. These are essentially ways we improve our human body and brain energy efficiency, and THAT always leads to a better result. Mark our words, naps are making a come back!

To stay updated on our unique e3 Energy Evolved natural healing, fat loss & fitness philosophy, updates & tips, make sure you also become a part of our e3ee community.

In energy for improved natural health, fat loss & fitness,

Natural Metabolic Recovery & Conditioning Specialists

Creators of the e3 Energy Evolved™ System |

Experience Life Magazine

Fall Funk

Here I am again, closing in on the impending time change feeling like my energy, productivity level, ability to stay on task and overall enthusiasm (even for the fun stuff–hello exercise!) has hunkered down in the nearest cave for impending hibernation.

It happens every year (and apparently I write about it every year). I hit the proverbial wall as the days get shorter. Fall literally feels like it falls on me, knocking me over. I want to look up and say, “What the hell?” I shouldn’t be surprised and yet every year I begin October thinking I’m going to be able to outwit the darkness. By November I’m flailing. “You can’t go over it, you can’t go under it, you just have to go through it.”

So I do, or at least I have in years past. Despite the appeal of slothfulness at this moment, I’m trying to remember how it is I get through it. So far, my list includes:

1. Give in. But only for a week. I give the finger to my alarm clock and otherwise slack off in any way as is possible for a mother of four. The highlight of my slackerness, which I allowed myself last week, was stealing a nap one afternoon while my son napped. Yes, it felt very indulgent.

2. Reintroduce myself to the dark. I do have to function before the sun gets up and after the sun goes down. That alarm goes back into commission and I use any motivation I can to get out of bed. I have discovered, in doing this, that the sunrises from my new house are spectacular and are, in fact, worth getting up for.

3. Keep exercising even when I don’t feel like it. What can I say. I just don’t feel like it. I know better, though. I know that if I can just move a little here and there, I will remember that exercise will be the light for the long winter months.

4. Avoid ruts. Especially when it’s dark, you don’t want to find yourself in a rut. Two years ago I switched it up with dancing, last year I signed up for tennis lessons. This year I’m still undecided. I plan to hit a new class at the gym tonight and try a masters swim class on Thursday. I seem to muster up motivation for something new. It better be good…

5. Stay out of the Halloween candy. For the love of Hersheys, we have waaaaay too much sugar in the house for me after our four trick or treaters hit the road last night. Let it be known I have raided the candy bags and am now searching for a way to get rid of it. The Butterfingers, like sleeping in, provides only temporary, fleeting gratification, not long-term satisfaction. Still, I allowed myself the splurge, now it’s time to move on.

Any other ideas to help me through my fall funk are welcome!

Kara Douglass Thom is a triathlete, freelance writer and mother of four. She and Laurie Kocanda are the co-authors of Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom

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