TOTAL FITNESS: Workout Wardrobe Essentials


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Us girls fancy looking fierce and sexy whenever we have to make that trip to the gym or yoga and dance studio. Hence, our discriminating taste in workout wardrobe, which we invest heavily in. Lululemon, Moving Comfort, Nike, Adidas, or Reebok are some of the brand heavyweights we look for when out shopping for workout tops and capris or shorts.

While all these make us look good, there are other workout essentials we must never compromise on not only because of their value-added comfort, but most especially because they keep us away from embarrassing fashion disasters at the gym. Here are some of the essentials:

  • Underwear: In choosing underwear for your workout, it is important to take note of the fabric. Usually, we go for a soft, stretchy microfiber blend of nylon and spandex that helps wick away moisture to keep us cool and dry. As to the type of underwear, thongs or boyleg panties with seamless technology are more popular with the ladies because they don’t get VPLs (visible panty lines) even when wearing the tightest of leggings or capris.
  • Running socks: Wearing the wrong pair of socks can cause your feet to feel worn, blistered, sweaty and stinky. When going for a workout, choose a pair that’s padded but not too thick — so your feet don’t feel too tight in your shoes — and wicks away sweat while also offering breathability. For running, you may check out specialized running socks to avoid running-related injuries.
  • Sports bra: No matter what your cup size is, intense workout calls for the right sports bra. Ill-fitting sports bra can lead to discomfort, pain, and chafing. And did you know that neglecting to wear a snug sports bra can lead to stretch marks and in the long run, very saggy breasts? So let’s fix that, shall we?
  • Hair bands or sturdy clips: When working out, we wouldn’t want our hair to be all over our face, causing major distraction for us – especially when we’re doing the circuit or those complex yoga poses. Therefore, large hair bands or clips to keep your hair in place during a workout are a must.
  • Face towels and or wristbands: Very important in wiping sweat dripping from our hairline and keeping them away from our face and neck. Wristbands come in handy when wiping sweat off our brows, especially if we don’t really like the idea of carrying towels on our person at every workout routine or when moving from one equipment to another.

In choosing our workout wardrobe, we must keep in mind the following: Comfort, Protection, Safety, and Quality. Always try on the item to ensure that you are getting the right fit, size, and fabric material for your specific workout requirements. If you sweat a lot, for example, it would be good to invest in dri-fit clothing. All in all, don’t treat these essentials lightly because they could be the only thing standing between you and a fantastic workout!

TOTAL FITNESS: Trick Your Brain Into Loving Your Workout


TF September 2012

Truth is, not everyone loves (to) workout. Otherwise, we would all be looking very fit and healthy and the word obesity may not even be found in the dictionary.  For most of us, the problem is not the absence of desire to get fit. Secretly, we all want to fit into our sexy pants and tops and still breathe normally; or reach for that last piece of muffin not worrying about our clothes suddenly bursting at the seams. The problem is embracing the paradigm shift that it is within our capacity to reach new level of excellence each time we do our workout. And the key to taking this paradigm shift to heart and making it happen is to trick our mind into loving our workout.

How successful we are in making our exercise a big part of our routine has a lot to do with our mindset. Meaning, we have to change the way we see ourselves. If we keep thinking fat and resign ourselves to our overweight state, the more that it will become a reality.

Having a defeatist mindset is counterproductive and not just in keeping fit. So the first thing that you must do is to see yourself as a healthy person and affirm it! Instead of obsessing about how fat and sluggish you are, picture yourself fit and healthy. Same thing goes for your workout. Let your mind tell your body that workouts are a fun challenge that can give you that body you want and not a tedious chore that you can keep putting off.

Here are some more tricks you can employ to finally get you on the road to a passionate love affair with your workout:

  1. No more excuses! We all make excuses to try to justify our behavior – eating too much and working out less – but these kinds of excuses are not going to bring us any closer to our ideal weight and form. Break the cycle and work on improving our eating and exercising habits.
  2. Decide to be thinner, fitter, and healthier. Sometimes all it takes is a firm resolution to make a change in your life. If you want to lose weight, make the choice to do so and let your actions follow suit.
  3. Avoid being emotional when it comes to your weight and diet. For many people, food is a convenient coping mechanism for things that aren’t right in their lives, that’s why we have such a thing as emotional eating. When faced with such situations, the wise thing to do would be to think clearly. Try to separate your emotions and employ a logical approach as far as your diet is concerned.
  4. Be positive. There is no benefit to negative thinking when it comes to weight loss. Staying positive will help you feel better about yourself, keep you motivated and reduce stress — all of which will help you lose more weight.
  5. Think in your best interest. Direct your thoughts to gradually replacing your unhealthy thoughts and habits with healthy ones. Keep revisiting your health and fitness goals and you’ll be one step ahead of the game.

TOTAL FITNESS: Stand Out In A Crowd


When we were much younger, we were taught to cultivate and nurture our individuality. ‘Express yourself’ is an expression you have probably heard one too many times, and not just from Madonna. But as you go through different phases of growing up, you will find yourself trying to blend in with a certain crowd – morphing into a certain type of personality. For a moment, your sense of individuality takes a backseat – until such time when you begin to realize again just how important it is to be recognized and appreciated for who you are and what you are capable of doing.

When you can draw the attention of others positively because of your unique individuality, you can have windows of opportunities opening up to you. Whether you want to stand out from the crowd because you want others to know how special you are, you want a particular job, or you feel that doing so will help you become more confident, knowing what steps to take to achieve this goal is important.

How do you stand out in a crowd?

  1. Develop a healthy self-esteem. People who are confident about themselves and their status in life are more likely to stand out in a crowd. Keep yourself abreast with current events and feed your hunger for new discoveries – whether it be a new language, culinary skill, playing the guitar, etc – and do whatever it takes to remain confident and on top of your game.
  2. Speak your mind. Have your own opinion about things and make your opinions heard but in a polite and respectful manner. It is also important to have a solid basis for whatever opinion you voice out because nobody wants to listen to ineffectual ramblings during a discussion.
  3. Be passionate about something and be a powerful speaker. Is there a particular advocacy you support? Then make sure your community knows about it. It may also be a good idea to hone/enhance your communication skills so you are able to get your message across eloquently. But don’t let it be just lip service. Walk the talk and you are guaranteed to stand out.
  4. Show a genuine interest in those around you. Make eye contact when talking to people. Pay attention to details of conversations and mention them in later encounters. Say thank you when someone does something nice for you and make it a habit to send notes of appreciation when necessary. Making others feel special will ensure that you do not blend in with the crowd.
  5. Be your own fashion icon. While it’s tempting to copy whatever is touted by magazines and fashion gurus as trendy; it won’t help your case one bit if it’s not a reflection of your personality, character, and strengths. Don’t hold up a mirror to someone else’s personality by merely copying. Be your own fashion icon.

TOTAL FITNESS: Conquer Your Relationship Slump


July 2012 Cover

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Most, if not all, of us who have been in the dating scene for a while would know that there is no such thing as unbreakable, consistent winning streak when it comes to relationships. Often, it all starts out hunky dory until you get past the crux of the honeymoon stage, then things start spiraling down, and before you know it, it’s over.  And the process gets repeated in your succeeding relationships to a point that you feel you have officially struck out. This stage is what we call The Slump – the danger zone in which you begin to suspect that your unlucky streak might have already taken a permanent residence in your life.

Being in a slump is a terrible situation to get caught in. Not only does it give your dating resume an unpalatable feel, it also does some very weird things to your ego. Being unable to keep a relationship and make it last longer than the first season of Game of Thrones can make you feel insecure and incapacitated. Unless of curse, you don’t mind the label – which I highly doubt because at the end of the day, we all just want to love and be loved in return. Don’t we?

Your dating slump may feel like a terrible disease, but the prognosis is excellent. It is highly curable and with some work, you can just as easily get your groove back and maintain the upper hand. Here are some recommended courses of action:

Have a long hard look at yourself; do you still like what you see? In this case it could be you and not she or even the ones that came before. One failed relationship too many should alert you to something no longer caused by external variables you conveniently put the blame on the first few times. Evaluate yourself from your wardrobe, mannerisms, to where you typically go on dates. Analyze your attitude carefully and look out for glaring signs of self-fulfilling pessimism or intolerable self-indulgence as these could potentially ruin your chances of relationship success. How nicely do you carry out a conversation? Are you aglow with positivity or do you immediately launch on a barrage of complaints about the weather, traffic, and your evil boss and co-workers? Remember, the next time you have an opportunity to date someone new and actually start a relationship, be mindful of the ruts you keep falling into and make a conscious effort of avoiding them.

Don’t try too hard. Dating and going into a relationship is supposed to be fun, so let loose! Maybe you are simply trying too hard. Approaching each new date as though the long buffet cart is going to run out of food the first five minutes will freak anyone out so bad they’d be running towards the opposite direction – on a sprint pace. Don’t come off as uptight, overly serious, and emotionally fragile— too terrified of yet another strike out before the pitcher even takes the mound. I bet you’ve heard it said a bazillion times but ‘Relax. Take it slow.’ The journey to a relationship is not about winning or losing, it’s about having as much fun together as possible. Don’t obsess about your losing streak because it will show in the manner that you speak and conduct yourself.

Choose Carefully. It’s true that being in a slump longer than you’ve gotten accustomed to can really put your patience to the test. But you must also realize that willingness to wait for the right person to come along never stops being an essential element of your dating game. Do not swing wildly at anything or any relationship possibility that shows up in your orbit. Chances are, these may NOT at all be what you need in your life. Ultimately, your goal should be to have a good and fulfilling relationship and that usually takes time.

Listen Carefully. Everyone needs objective input now and then. We need to keep ourselves attuned to what our friends, co-workers, and family think about the state of affairs of our relationship. Even though, ultimately, the decision rests entirely on us, it helps to listen to our friends’ advice, opinions, and perspectives. If you’ve got someone whose insights you trust, listen carefully. There might be some things or behavioral structures that we tend to overlook which gets in the way of lasting and meaningful relationships. Most important, allies like this provide encouragement to press on and persevere until the slump is over. After all, it always pays to have friends as cheering squad when you’re feeling way down in the dumps.

One last tip: when you finally overcome your slump, invest a good amount of energy and commitment into making the relationship work and last. Best of luck!

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.

TOTAL FITNESS: Secrets to a healthy relationship (And why you should know them)


Total Fitness May 2012

Relationships are a tricky business. Even with a thick manual on Do’s and Don’ts, a lot can still go wrong and you’re left wondering why, when you were pretty confident you followed every single ‘How To’ down to the last punctuation mark. This happens usually because most of the thoughts and sentiments of both parties are not conveyed verbally and it can get so cryptic at times that you would think mindreading really ought to be put down as a qualification for a potential partner.

So, really, what is deal here? Are there any more juicy secrets that men and women ought to know about each other to settle the stalemate once and for all? There are, in fact, a few secrets women wish men knew about them and men, too, have a list of what they want women to know. So how about we go through them quickly now?

She said:

  1. There are no secrets among us girls. We talk about everything, including sizes and embarrassing gaffes.
  2. We love men with an outstanding sense of humor. So make me laugh and that will make me happy, but being able to laugh at yourself and not looking so constipated-serious all the time; that, my man, is what will make me love you.
  3. Please listen to me when I’m saying something. Not because my statement will change the course of the world but because listening is a sign of respect. And respect just happens to add great value to how our relationship can eventually change course from being casual to serious.
  4. Always tell me when I look hot and try to bite your tongue when I just barely tip the scale of hotness to my favor. I’m only human and I have bad hair days, too. But you must know that I always want to look pretty for you, hence, the spa, mani-pedi sessions, shopping, etc. These activities I know you consider as frivolous, but let me tell you that the time to worry is when I stop making an effort.
  5. I love sex and yes it applies to days when you’re not around and I have to take care of business all by myself. I may be a suit-wearing corporate hotshot by day, but my mind is filthier than you might think. So allow me to run the night show sometimes and I guarantee you will be blown out of your mind.

He said:

  1. Men are turned-on by a challenge, NOT a chore.  We don’t like getting anything too easily, too fast. We want to work a little bit to get the woman we want. Instant gratification is cool when we are simply out for a play, but when we are serious we really mean ‘meet-my-family’ kind of serious.
  2. Men are not mind readers and we really need women to give us a bit of a heads-up, a hint here and there, to know exactly how to handle certain situations. Giving us the cold treatment will only cause us to fumble some more. You don’t even need to spell it out; just a hint will do because we are quite smart too.
  3. Guy time is an absolute necessity for us. We NEED time to bond with our buddies over sports, drinks, etc. Not for anything, but because it is healthy for us to develop and maintain good friendships and support systems in a highly competitive society.  This is not to alienate or isolate you and in fact, we will love you even more if you would also show some streak of independence and not demanding to be constantly together 24/7.
  4. Men love being wanted just for being who they are. Learn to simply bask in my presence and not only will you make me feel special, I will ensure that you will not nothing more when you’re with me.
  5. Men DO like it when women initiate sex. As seemingly crazy as we are about sex, we are impressed and pleasantly surprised when women are just as exuberant and sometimes take the initiative when it comes to sex.

By taking into account these suggestions, any woman can greatly enhance the way they communicate with the men in their lives, and vice-versa. Men desire to be understood just as much as women do; women desire to be listened to just as much as men want to dominate the conversation sometimes. And guess what? Both have a healthy appetite for sex and intimacy which when stoked, will certainly add spice to the relationship. With this in mind, any woman can always do her best to better understand her man; and any man would adore the woman who could apply such suggestions towards building a healthy relationship with them.