SPEED Magazine: Wanna get FIT? There’s an app for that!


Like a lot of people who have crossed the 30-year mark and are beginning to experience increasingly slowing metabolism, I am under a lot of pressure to keep fit – both for aesthetics and health reasons. But when you have a job that requires you to work beyond 9 hours and travel frequently abroad, not to mention, one or two extra curricular activities you dabble in outside of work, it becomes a major challenge to slot-in a sustainable fitness regimen.

But thanks to great discoveries in fitness technology, people like me who barely have time to visit fitness clubs (I enrolled for a one-year program at 360 and have only visited the club less than 10 times in four months), now have access to games such as Xbox 360 Kinect add-on or Nintendo Wii Fit and do workout at home instead. I don’t own either of these two but what I do have and I must say I am quite hooked on these days are mobile apps that let me share my accomplishments with online friends and fellow fitness freaks.  The latest crop of fitness technology –pumped up with gaming and social networking features – certainly add a deeper level of fun to the usual sweat and burn.

Currently, there is an onslaught of apps that are downloadable for free or for a minimal download fee. When it comes to health and fitness, here are some of the ones that I have on my iPad, which I try to update as often as my schedule permits me.

1. MyFitnessPal. Before getting started with this program, make sure to key in basic information about your current weight, height, activity level, goal weight etc. MyFitnessPal app allows you to set goals for yourself make suggestions on how much calories you should be consuming everyday in order to reach your goal according to the timeline you have set. You can log in the food you eat and this app will tell you how many calories that food contains. Furthermore, it also helps you monitor and keep track of your exercise and the amount of calories you burn for each workout session. The app shows your weight loss over time in a graph format, which you can share with your friends anytime.

2. Fitness Pro. With Fitness pro you can easily create your own workout plan. It has 450+ exercise photos of real people that help you find the right exercise routines for you. Fitness Pro 2.0 contains an advanced logging system that can assist you in tracking your progress. Just start logging your exercises during training so you can track your progress in detail.

3. LoseIt. Get closer to success when it comes to weight loss with LoseIt! Set goals and establish a daily calorie budget that enables you to meet them. Stay on track each day by recording your food and exercise and being conscious of your allowable calorie consumption. This app has a track record of helping the average active Lose It! lose more than 12lbs .  Now who needs lipsosuction when you have this app to help you shed excess weight?

To ensure that you keep to your health and fitness goals as the year continues to get busier for you, here are simple ways you can follow:

1. Make your goals visible.

I’m sure you’re just as tired of making resolutions that don’t get fulfilled just like the next person but probably one of the reasons why you have a hard time seeing your goals through is because they are not visible. I recommend that you put “I WILL…” and your resolution on the homepage of your computer, your mobile device, and your monitor at work so that your goals are in your face every time you power up your machine, make a phone call, or check your email.

2. Go on social media.

Self-pandering or not, you gotta admit that social media is a great tool to help support your resolution. Start out by announcing a measurable, attainable goal with a deadline (ideally the first quarter of 2012) and invite your Facebook and Twitter friends who can help support your initiative by training with you, sharing healthy recipes, providing you with extra motivation at work, or simply not tempting you with treats along the way.

3. Keep track of your performance.

Use an online workout tracker like Dailymile or download mobile device apps such as MyFitnessPal to help you keep track of your performance and identify trends to help you better succeed. Core Performance tracking and reporting tools allow you to track your weight, energy levels, quality of sleep, pain and soreness, productivity, overall mood, impact on others, and willingness to train. Fill in your trackers daily and see your progress charted over time in your Reports section.

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CURVES Promo: Beat holiday weight with no monthly fees until January 2012


Keeping in shape in the season of noche buena and media noche is a tough feat to achieve. Ask anyone who bears the same fondness for food and festivities as you and I probably are, and they will tell you the same thing. Firsthand observation: there are fewer people frequenting fitness clubs during Christmas season and why not? It’s holiday season, our once-a-year-waived-strict-fitness-observance period and there are parties to attend and loads of gastronomic delights to consume! And we haven’t even touched on alcohol yet. I mean for those of you who are rather fond of the bitter and those salt-lined rim drinks.:)

Still, some of us think that calling a two-week truce with fitness is probably too much of a slack. Take me, for example. I wouldn’t be so bold as to completely shun working out during this period because I have a figure to watch (and a reputation to uphold, haha). When you’ve worked hard at something for, say, 11 months, you wouldn’t just lay your efforts down to waste by gaining the excess weight you’ve kept at bay for so long.

Not to say that I also would shun eating, and believe me I won’t, because I love food far too much to deprive myself of it. The beauty of the rigid discipline I have instilled in me as far as fitness is concerned is that, I no longer bother counting calories. I eat whatever I want to eat, knowing full well that my body needs all the energy it can store and spare due to the maniacal workout I do several times a week. Ultrarunning, Insanity, Pole dancing, Power yoga, STC, Circuit training – all these things keep me physically fit and strong. Add to that the amount of thinking, strategizing, and concentration that I also plow into my work and other activities, then you can more or less deduce just how badly I need sustenance.

This kind of healthy behavior – well-balanced eating coupled with a healthy dose of workout in an all-exclusive, fun environment – is exactly what CURVES BGC has in mind. Curves wants us, women, to get a head start on our New Year’s resolutions and evade holiday weight gain by slimming and sculpting.

How? The club is waiving the monthly fees until 2012 for new members who join between 1 November and 31 December! Can you believe that?!?

“There’s no better way to finish the year strong than getting in shape and looking and feeling amazing,” says Fe Abrihan of the Bonifacio Global City Curves. “Just 30 minutes, 3 times a week at Curves can lift your spirits and help you enter the New Year with confidence and style.”

Studies have shown that women gain an average of 0.8-1.5 kg over the festive season. With the proven Curves 30-minute circuit, women can work every major muscle group and burn up to 2,000 kilojoules in a single workout to combat excess fat. Current members praise the benefits of the circuit, including muscle toning, weight and inch loss, increased energy and stamina, and a strong community of peers.

“This program is just the push you’ve been looking for to let you fit into that little black dress or enjoy your holiday treats to the fullest,” says Abrihan.  “The sooner that new members join, the more money they will save. The benefits won’t last just for the festive season, but all year long.”

For more information, please contact Fe Abrihan at (02) 8280208 or visit the Curves at 2F Serendra, McKinley Parkway, BGC, Taguig City.

Oh it’s a beautiful day, I’m looking for something dumb to do…


…and since there’s no one around at 6AM whom I can ask to marry me, I did 15k race pace and capped it with INSANITY Maximum Interval Plyo! Don’t tell anyone but while I was running, I actually toyed with the idea of dissing work and going on a solo full marathon of sorts. Or I don’t know how far my feet will take me but I was feeling so good about nearly everything this morning that I thought I could go on running for five hours.

But of course I did no such thing. I am such a freak that I feel extremely guilty when I would so much as clock in five minutes late for work. Worse, even when I’m sick and practically burning up with fever, I still feel guilty about not being there in my office, working like a maniac behind the desk. No, really.

So 15k race pace done and I still have a universe of energy to spare so I decided to take on Insanity. God knows what Day I am on now because it’s already Round 2 and my body- sucker for physical torture that it is – already feels somewhat desensitized from circuit-workout type of pain. In fact, yesterday, when I shared this with my resurrected friend, he said I need to try something new. I need to shock my body, he added. But what else is out there to shock me? Insanity ASYLUM is one, but I won’t get my hands on the workout dvd until gorgeous Abby burns me a copy – and hopefully soon. But really, what else is there to try? S&M? Absolutely NOT. *ROTFLMNSSAO*

Quite interesting that morning run. Like I said, my body refused to quit. Obviously, I have some serious issues and running has become, for me, the penultimate catharsis. Or escape. I think it goes so much deeper than just running from stuff but then again, what do I know? My college diploma says AB Journalism and not some fancy degree in advanced Psychology or Psychiatry. Now before we go psychoanalyzing  my convoluted mind (it’s a dark and dangerous place, i’m telling you) there’s one other interesting thing that happened during my morning run.  While running along Garnet Road, I saw this old couple suffering from osteoporosis so bad that they’re both bent over from the waist. I took one look at the old man assisting his old wife and trying very hard to put umbrella over both their heads and just like that, I cried. There’s something about old people that turns me into a puddle of tears and this coming from a girl who prides herself to be an emotional eunuch. Most of the time. I don’t do sentimental love. My boyfriend whom I love dearly would attest to my emotional frigidity. Not all the time, no. But I have always been like that. Too pragmatic and too much of a realist. To break me is very difficult. But show me old people and I am stripped away of the glacier covering that organ called the heart. In an instant. I had already passed the couple a few yards when I decided to turn back, still Weepy Weeperson, opened my belt bag and saw my breakfast money and some loose change. It was a choice between my 5-peso coin and my Egg McMuffin+brewed coffee+hashbrown+pancake money (hey, I was very hungry!). It was an easy choice. That was probably the best fully-loaded breakfast money I had ever spent and not for my own gastronomic satisfaction. I know I’ve said this before but I’m going to say it again, one day when I am disgustingly rich, I will blow all my cosmetic surgery money on helping old, poor, and abandoned elderly. Maybe all the attention and discipline I plow into health and fitness will actually allow me to live long and still look youthful and vibrant even when old and wrinkly and I won’t ever feel the need to waxify my gorgeous face with Botox and what-not. Kamusta naman daw at may gorgeous pang nalalaman si bruha. Now how do I translate that into English?

Running back to the house I kept thinking: that right there could be the elusive true love. You should see how the old man looked after his wife, letting her weak frame lean on his body, while clumsily trying to open the tattered umbrella to put over their heads. She was wearing a tattered shirt with ‘Ramones’ printed at the back which made me smile through the tears. But what really pained me was the damage osteoporosis wrought on their wrinkled frame. Every step they make seemed very painful to me. Perhaps if they had access to better nutrition in their youth, things would have been vastly different. But hey, they were holding each other up, taking each step together, no matter the pain. I think next time my boyfriend tells me he adores and loves me, I should ask him if he’d look after me like that when I’m old and traces of my youthful beauty are long gone. Equally, I should want to do the same for him (as well).

Okay, that’s it. Mushfest over. I told you I can’t do sentimental the way it’s supposed to be done. But trust me on this one: I have a good heart.

And a rockin’ body with INSANE abs. You knew that was coming, didn’t you? Oh you know me all too well! Seriously, I do. And the only reason why I’m such a braggadocio when it comes to my finer attributes is because I worked freakin’ hard to get this body. Ask Shaun T. He knows. And now, you would know, too, with these photos.

Let's give that flab the one-two punch.
Side Suicide Drills for that nasty obliques!
Stay strong, keep the abs tight!
Push-up Balance.

CURVES: Circuit Workout for Women, by Women


So finally today, I was able to check out CURVES in Serendra and boy was I pleasantly surprised! When Reebok teammate Kassy Pajarillo first told me about Curves, I thought it was an interesting workout and the timing really could not have been more impeccable because I am already at that stage where the usual workout routine no longer holds any form of appeal to me. Thanks to INSANITY, my body has gotten so used to high-impact, high-intensity circuit training type of workout that pain and maximum heart rate have now become my benchmark for a good workout. No pain, no gain.

And I also happen to have such short attention span (I suppose I need to have myself checked one of these days as I seriously suspect I may have ADHD. No, really.) that I cannot stay committed to just one type of workout. And especially not for long stretches of time. I need intense movements. I need variations. I need constant and fast transitions. And if possible, I want to cry and scream bloody murder at the end of each workout; swear never to do it again, only to do another round of it the day after…and the day after that…and so goes the cycle of pain. And why would I mind the pain, really, when it gave me this as a result?

This kind of 'INSANITY' comes highly recommended. Believe you me.

Now as much as I enjoy annihilating my own body within the four corners of my tiny home doing Insanity, I still am a social creature who sometimes wishes I have workout bodies. But since the usual gym setting no longer appeals to me and I have somehow gotten quite tired of  being scrutinized like a fly under a microscope maybe because my workout outfit tend to look a bit risque on me sometimes, I have decided to look for an alternative. I must because I will die – seriously die – if I don’t get to workout at least five times a week, and that already includes running of course.

Vicky and Kassy lead the pack of fit and active modern-day multitasking women professionals (yes, best in caption award!)

Enter CURVES. The minute I saw the purple logo and the purple and pink-themed interior, I fell in love. The place itself gives you that warm fuzzy feeling but there is nothing in there that will put you to sleep! Curves’ General Manager Ms. Fe Abrihan was there last night and Joi, the amiable marketing assistant, took me around the center for a quick tour and it was all I needed to write my name down as a member. This is exactly what I was looking for – a circuit training fitness program that will look after the unique needs of my body (a woman’s body, generally, is unique and beautiful) and tone it in a way that I will look neither emaciated or too macho for a girl.

Being interviewed by Annie regarding my fitness & medical history

Ann took my fitness and medical history along with my measurements and I found out that ohmydotingdaddy, I still have 5lbs in excess of my target weight! Although she said that my weight may be such (in the neighborhood of 100lbs) because of the muscles that have already been formed due to my intense workout and so we decided to just focus on my ‘problem’ areas – arms and thighs. Although my arms and thighs are so much better now than when I was lugging around more fat, I still see some jiggle when I run, for example. The sagging and jiggle have to go.

Getting my body fat measured.

Now looking at my fitness goals and objectives, Curves is just perfect because it works every major muscle group with a complete 30-minute workout that combines strength training and sustained cardiovascular activity through safe and effective hydraulic resistance. If you ask me, I’m already happy with this but no, Curves also has these benefits to offer women —  weight loss, gain muscle strength and aerobic capacity, and raise metabolism with its groundbreaking, scientifically proven method that ends the need for perpetual dieting.

But don’t just take my word for it. Why don’t you come and drop by one of these days and find out what Curves can do for your body?

Get the curves you want at CURVES!

Oh and by the way, Zumba® Fitness classes have recently been added to Curves® Circuit in Bonifacio Global City – much to the delight of women, young and old alike. During the 30-minute class, participants work out on each Curves strength machine for one minute, alternating upper, lower and core muscles. After one minute, the music cues the participant to change stations on the circuit, and she moves to an area between machines to do Zumba® moves, which tone and sculpt the body while burning fat. Licensed Zumba® instructors from the Zumba® Instructor Network (ZIN), Via Bonoan and Rowena Jose, teach simple, modified Zumba® moves from the center of the circuit.

Kassy tries Zumba with Ms. Via

In Which I Cry A Little…and Smile More…


… Because I won’t make it home in time for the REEBOK ZigTech Run after all. It’s happening this coming Sunday and I will only be back sometime next week. Dejected is what I am but all (hope) is not lost as I still have several races lined up – at least two of them fall into the long distance category. I can imagine my REEBOK teammates not feeling so good about this piece of news, especially since we were supposed to have another team photo shoot at BGC tonight.  And so on Sunday, I will be at the race but only in spirit. I am pretty confident the Team is going to do extremely well. I can’t wait to see the photos!

In related news, Bruno was ubiquitous at V-Malaysia and if I may say so, quite a number of people were smitten by him. If he weren’t mine, I would have been so jealous of the attention he was getting! Seriously, I just love how Reebok sexifies me!

Running around is FUN because of Reebok!
Now I'm a BELIEVER!
Working Girl.

… This time in sheer delight because for the first time in my life, I actually bought a point-and-shoot digital camera which I have aptly christened LUMI the Lumix. Yes, I am creative like that. Lumi comes in Rose Pink and is fully HD video-capable and you wanna know the best part? *cover your ears, Lumi!* She’s so cheap you won’t believe how much I got her for! I have already taken some photos with her but I have yet to transfer them to my laptop. Andy and Claire also picked up the same brand and model and they both swear by the amazing photo quality. Uhrrrrm, truth is, they were the ones who planned on buying a camera. Envy got the better of me, ergo… So anyway, this morning, while I was doing my Insanity workout, I happened to look out of my hotel room window – which gave me the best view of the pool. And there, at 8 in the morning, were six guys with some of the nicest abs I have ever seen, clocking-in some swim time – perhaps, as part of their workout. I was so tempted to take Lumi out for some paparazzi mission but I was petrified they’d catch me sneaking some shots by the window. The photos I would have taken were not for my viewing purpose, but for Noel’s. Because, you know, these days, I only have eyes for the boyfriend. Ahem. And well, he did commit to embrace cardio the way I have. After all, we gotta look fierce on beaches we have yet to explore together.

And why shouldn’t I have eyes for him alone, really, when he’s all sweet and adorable like this?

'Nighttime' by Noel Abelardo.
'Touch' by Noel Abelardo.
'Exhausted' by Noel Abelardo.

BREAKING NEWS:

Kassy Pajarillo and Vicky Ras have just been named local ambassadors of Curves® . Curves works every major muscle group with a complete 30-minute workout that combines strength training and sustained cardiovascular activity through safe and effective hydraulic resistance. Curves also works to help women lose weight, gain muscle strength and aerobic capacity, and raise metabolism with its groundbreaking, scientifically proven method that ends the need for perpetual dieting. Founders Gary and Diane Heavin are considered the innovators of the express fitness phenomenon that has made exercise available to millions of women globally, many of whom are in the gym for the first time.

Recently, Zumba® Fitness classes have been added to Curves® Circuit in Bonifacio Global City – much to the delight of women, young and old alike. During the 30-minute class, participants work out on each Curves strength machine for one minute, alternating upper, lower and core muscles. After one minute, the music cues the participant to change stations on the circuit, and she moves to an area between machines to do Zumba® moves, which tone and sculpt the body while burning fat. Licensed Zumba® instructors from the Zumba® Instructor Network (ZIN), Dina Grieve and Rowena Jose, teach simple, modified Zumba® moves from the center of the circuit.

In just a few days, Kas and I will have a photoshoot for Curves with the great Jar Consengco of Campfire Media. Now that is something to look forward to after 17 days of toiling away in sunshiny Kuala Lumpur!

But wait, where are my Zumba shoes?!? *hint, hint*

 

Race Event: REEBOK ZigTech Run on June 5 & Zambales Fun Run on June12


It seems I am not going to be left out in the cold when Team Reebok goes to Zambales for the 400th municipality anniversary fun run after all.  Just learned from Kassy that it has been postponed to June 12 and I would already be back in Manila by then and that could only mean one thing, tadaaaaah, one more race for me before the Nuvali 50k Trail Challenge on the 18th! June is going to be absolutely insane for me on the road race front and I can only hope I would still be standing by the time July comes and I celebrate my 32nd  birthday. Oh my. When did I get so old?!?

Go vertical with Team Reebok!

Now tell me Loves,  are you all pumped-up and ready to rock n’ roll at the Reebok Zig Tech Run on the 5th of June? Registration ends on May 31 so you better make your way to the Reebok store nearest you – or you can also visit Royal Sporting House in Ali Mall and Robinson’s Place Ermita, as well as, The Shoe Shop in Rockwell and Alabang Town Center. The ZigTech Run is a combination of road and vertical races, so if you are on the lookout for something different but equally challenging, this is the run for you! Choose from 5k, 10, and 15k and make sure you are in fabulous condition for the race. Remember to eat healthy and on time, hydrate as much as your body requires, and if you’re planning to get yourself a new pair of running shoes, may I suggest a pair of ZigTech?

INSANITY with Bruno

On a somewhat related note, just to prove to you that I wasn’t just running my mouth like I’m known to do sometimes, haha, when I said I will try to keep my Insanity workout right on track despite the crazy-ass schedule we have here, I did Insanity on the double this morning. Although it’s supposed to be my off day, based on my Insanity workout calendar, I decided to forgo rest knowing that beginning tomorrow, we will be clocking in a minimum of 15 hours each day until the event officially ends on the 1st of June.

So, how about we form that TeamBeachBody club now?

Now if only there’s an official Team Beach Body club in the Philippines, Abby and I would most certainly file our membership application in a blink of an eye and make Shaun T. extremely proud! I mean, why wouldn’t he?

***

In less than 6 hours, Fernando ‘the greatest love of my life’ Alonso (of course, Chris is my one true love so there’s really no conflict there. I swear, I cleared it with him. hahaha) will be slugging it out with the Red Bull and MacLaren drivers – who claimed P1 to P3 in yesterday’s qualifying race. The Spanish Grand Prix is home race for Alonso being a (hot) Spaniard himself and I’m confident he will finish the race somewhere in the top three. Vettel’s winning streak has got to end at one point, right? I think maybe this is it. So Fernando My Love, go forth and bring that GP trophy home to Momma. Yes, Me, not that woman Racquel. *ROTFL*

Because I’m Fit and Flexible Like That


These days, I am — wait, am I allowed to be crass and wee bit disgusting here? *lip biting* — shitting bricks and boulders, figuratively that is, because of work deadlines and our upcoming MAJOR MAJOR event in Malaysia, 15 days from now to be exact. Though we have everything pretty much under control (do we, really? *big grin*), it’s still somewhat stressful dealing with little irritants that crop up at the last minute. But hey, we’re one tough cookie and it’ll take a lot more than the small things to get us completely off-track. Yes naman.

Oh so, anyway, given the crazy-ass work schedule that we keep these days (and I don’t see the trend easing up a bit until after June, maybe) I have become more obsessed with getting fit. Almost to the point of running myself down to the ground. I officially wrapped-up INSANITY last Friday buuuuut instead of taking a week off to recover from the madness, I sprinted my way to a podium finish at the Fuego Sunset Run the day after (Saturday last week) and immediately embarked on INSANITY Round 2 just this Monday – posting incredible results in my Fit Test!

Insanity Round 1, Day 58

                                        Round 1         Round 2

Date                               5-Mar               9-May

Move                            Fit Test 1          Fit Test 1

Switch Kicks              70                      136

Power Jacks              25                      60

Power Knees             80                      95

Power Jumps            10                      60

Globe Jumps                9                      13

Suicide Jumps          10                     20

Push-Up Jacks          15                     40

Low Plank Oblique  30                    74

To say that I am mighty pleased with the results of my workout is putting it mildly. I AM STOKED!  But now, I’m starting to get bored again so the offer to take basic diving lessons could not have come at a better time. Yes, my sweethearts, I AM GOING DIVING!  Never mind that I don’t know how to swim. Which, by the way, is giving me the chills but I’m sure I will be just fine. The diving instructor is there, as well as, a handful of other students. And if something does happen – knock on wood! – I’m sure one of them would jump right in and save me. Right? Please say yes. YES!

So, diving it is.

But, running is still my thing and thanks to Reebok and its all-out support to the Team, I am kept right on track with the sport. I have been logging PRs and even managed to snag a podium finish here and there and these little achievements admittedly do incredible things to my health and general well-being.

Here are two photos taken by Estan Cabigas at the Fuego Sunset Run. I just look totally legit as a runner, don’t I?

I Run, therefore, I'm A Runner. Teehee.
Reaching high but keeping feet planted firmly on the ground.
Yes, I run on swimsuit too.
Run like the wind...
Now that's a HAPPY RUN!
But this one takes the cake out of any other happy runs. Ang saya lang, oh!