On Being Fit and Healthy.


Bend it like Vicky.

So I’ve been asked several times by people what it is exactly that I do to keep in shape. There’s running, of course, which I try to do as often as possible for a minimum of 5k for each run. There was a time when I logged 10k everyday and I was able to keep at it for about a week. But given that it’s not my main vocation and I do need to put food on my table, clothes on my back, and fancy shoes on my feet, work always come first.

There’s hiphop which I try to do every Thursday when I’m not traveling or at work. I like my workout with a lot of body movements and loud music which explains why dancing holds a lot of appeal for me even when the only time I’m even remotely graceful on the floor is when the routine involves grinding, booty-shaking, and chest pump. Anything more complicated or technical than that, I might as well be the girl born with two left feet.

And then there’s  free weights. I was not a fan of fitness clubs before. I dreaded the smörgåsbord of exercise machine, most of which I didn’t know how to operate. And back when I used to carry a little bit more weight on my petite frame, I would get completely self-conscious around gym members who look better and fitter. But when my body began to improve little by little, I must admit, I would sometimes be a little shameless in showing off. No, not full monty of course, but maybe just a tight tank top or a sports bra top and shorts or capris for workout which often get a lot of appreciative looks from men and uhrrrm, very scary dagger looks from some women. Though it may be deemed as little bit too much in the self-promotion area, but my rationale has always been that I worked hard to achieve my ideal body shape and form and if I can inspire even just one person to do the same, then I’m happy. Whether it’s for health reasons or just plain and simple affectation, it doesn’t matter, so long as I get to motivate people to do something about their fitness and looks. After all, who wants to be obese in the first place or for the rest of their lives for that matter?

Workin' it!

So yes, lately I have also been spending some time in this fitness club I frequent – mostly to do free weights workout and spinning or RPM. My friend who’s a complete health and fitness freak got me into it and I must say that he knew exactly what he was preaching about because I have seen significant improvements in my body and most especially, my overall health and fitness. I am more agile and flexible now. My endurance has also improved a lot and it may have been brought about by my strengthened core.

Last time I bumped into one of my favorite Takbo.ph friends Dennis at FF, he made me his guinea pig . In his spare time, Dennis is studying to be a full-fledged fitness instructor/personal trainer. He showed me a lot of workout routines targeted to develop and tone specific areas of my body. He even showed me how to use some of the exercise equipment there, much to my delight because I have always felt that it’s such a waste that I don’t get to maximise my monthly club membership. But that’s going to change from here on in.

So going back to the question on what I exactly it is that I do to keep fit. Well, here are some of them…

This one here is called the Russian Twist and it's mainly for core strengthening. This is also how you get that nice line on the sides of your midsection. And the 5kg weight plate I'm holding as I twist to the left and right also helps give my arms a very nice definition.

This is the free weights alternative to the equipment-aided squat exercises. The bar weighs around 20kg and as you can see, it's not that tough to carry. After the initial fumbling execution, I can now squat 30kg; 12 reps; 3 sets.

This is called the Preacher's Curl and this is good for the biceps. I usually do 3 sets of this with 12 reps for each set.

And because I burn tons of calories and expend a lot of energy after each run and/or workout, I make sure that I eat healthy and on time. I used to consume a lot of junk food before (potato chips, soda, chocolate, name it!) but with the desire to look fit, healthy and extremely good comes great restraint. These days, when couch potato-ing at home and feeling the niggling urge to open a bag of chips or take a bite off that block of chocolate, I grab an apple or a pear instead and drink a glass of water.

Aside from that, I also take vitamins and health supplements to make up for lost nutrients, especially when I miss an important meal of the day or had been delinquent with my food intake.  I’m sure you have your own preferred supplement and brand whose health benefits you’ve already proven over the years. Below are some of the stuff I take every morning, usually after my workout, in order to keep health-IER. Now, if you haven’t been bitten by the fitness bug yet, look for me and I would gladly clamp my sharp teeth on your neck or shoulder – whichever is yummier – and maybe we can run and hit the gym together! What did I tell you? I’m all about inspiring people to living nicotine/alcohol/excessive fat and sugar-FREE lifestyle. Lezgow!

Health supplements for a healthier me!

For more proof, please refer to the photo below. That is the result of a semi-serious training spanning about six months. I have made a few more trips to the fitness club since then and therefore I look more toned now but I still say it’s a work in progress. I’m closer to my fitness goal now but there’s still tons of work to be done. And I don’t mean the surgical kind of work, just so we’re clear. I wanna see just how far I can still push the fitness envelope…

Still a work in progress...

 

Favorite Item no. 4: Apple Cider Vinegar with Honey


 

Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar with Honey

 

Apple cider vinegar (ACV), or cider vinegar, is one of the most popular alternative health remedies in use today. It has been used since ancient times as a remedy for many different ailments. Hippocrates is said to have used it as an antibiotic, and when mixed with honey, functions as an energizing tonic and a healing elixir.

I have been drinking ACV on and off for a few months now. I was introduced to this brand called Bragg by a good friend and though I have mixed feelings about the taste, I swear by its health benefits. Some people, like my friend, can drink it undiluted but I prefer to mix it with water. Unless it’s sinigang (a Philippine soup or stew characterized by its sour flavor most often associated with tamarind (sampalok), guava, or calamansi) I still like my food either sweet or with a bit of salt. Mostly with a bit of salt. Hello there, water retention.

For one, ACV is a great pick-me-up health concoction. Some mornings when I’m running a little low on energy supply but would still insist on running and hitting the gym, I will myself to drink ACV – preferably with cold water added to it – and I’m instantly energized!

It’s also great for detox cleansing. I noticed that when I drink ACV every morning and at night time, my digestive and excretory systems function at their best.

But I must admit that I still have some reservations about the taste. That is, until I was asked to try Bragg ACV with honey. Now this, I can drink in one gulp without having to pinch my nose and make funny faces after. I love this drink and if you are conscious about your health, figure and general well-being just as I am, I suggest you get into the ACV habit as well.

But don’t just take my word for it. There are many other health benefits of ACV and while some of them are anecdotal and have not been scientifically confirmed, here are some very interesting points to take note of – a great starting point for your own research on the product:

  1. ACV is said to be an effective facial toner when diluted with water 50/50. Just be careful not to get some in your eyes as the liquid can be detrimental to the eyesight.
  2. A bath of apple cider vinegar is said to reduce the effects of sunburn. ACV soaked on a cloth and applied to sunburn may also be used.
  3. Some say ACV is also an effective remedy for yeast infections when used as douche. There are others who claim that vinegar causes or worsens yeast infections.  Whether it’s the brand or the quantity of vinegar used, we really have no way of verifying it. I guess there’s only one way to find out…get yourself some yeast infection and try washing it away with ACV. Yaiks.
  4. There have been reported claims that apple cider vinegar is a powerful weight loss aid. Many people use it in salad dressings or drink a tablespoon diluted in a glass of water once or twice per day.
  5. It is said to lower bad cholesterol naturally.
  6. A teaspoon of cider vinegar in a glass of water per day is said to lower blood pressure.

So how about you try ACV and let me know how it works out for you. Keep healthy and fit, people!

Mother Nature speaks, we MUST listen


Malungai Life Oil

Last night, I, along with a few other bloggers, got a crash course on Biology. Specifically, plant biology. Chlorophyll and photosynthesis, words I have not heard at all since high school, were discussed albeit briefly by well-known and widely-respected pediatrician in the Philippines, Dr. Marthony Basco, as he lent his expertise on the subject of health during last night’s bloggers’ launch of Malungai Life Oil (MLO) held at Oakwood. The event was hosted by Mr. JC Cuadrado.

Malungai Life Oil (MLO), manufactured in the Philippines by Manila Nature’s Link, is a 100% natural food supplement made from oil extracted from selected leaves of the moringa oliefera tree (malunggay) under strict post-harvest and quality control procedures. It is the only moringa oil product in the world and available locally in 500ml gel unit which is equivalent to 1000 grams of malunggay leaves. Other moringa products in the market are made from pulverized malungai leaves and therefore, not as potent.

MLO drew its inspiration from the Filipinos’ growing interest in natural wellness to cope with a 24/7 lifestyle and perpetual multi-tasking which leads us to demand maximum return from every peso spent and every calorie intake. If you llok at it, however, 100% health perfection is simply not realistic. Our daily trip towork exposes us to toxins and pollution; sleeplessness, fastfood diet and inadequate exercise are facts of modern office life. Funny then, to fight these new ills with wisdom from an old source: Mother Nature. In thedays when “organic” was the rule rather than the exception, balanced health could be found as close as the family garden. Humble, homegrown malunggay kept generations of Pinoys hardy and strong, without ever setting foot in a gym. All these facts and realizations have inspired the makers of MLO to bring this amazing health supplement to the market.

Bloggers at the MLO Launch.

Moringa Oliefera boast of the following health nutrients needed by our body in order to function to its highest level of performance:

  • It is low in fats and carbohydrates.
  • High in vitamin B, Iron
  • Has 2 times the Protein of yogurt; 3x the potassium of bananas; 3x the iron of spinach; 4x the calcium of milk; 7x the vitamin C of oranges
  • Contains protein, the building blocks of the muscle tissues
  • Contains potassium  that helps in brain development and functions
  • Contains iron which binds oxygen to the blood; helps the cell respiration and oxygen transport and regulates body temperature
  • Contains calcium that prevents osteoporosis and maintains healthy teeth and bones
  • Contains large amount of Vitamins C that helps boost the immune system; prevents infectious diseases like colds and flu and makes sperms healthy and happy.

The key to it all is chlorophyll, engine of the plant’s powerful conversion of energy. By distilling both seeds and leaves into a pure, cold-pressed oil, MLO maximizes malunggay’s chlorophyll and renders it, in the words of a medical expert, “preserved,conserved and available.” This means that malunggay’s health benefits can be delivered with more stability andconsistency than in the dried powder that was previously available. So you get asynergistic combination of nutrients which normally can be obtained only from separatefood sources.

MLO is now available at Mercury Drug and other reputable drug stores in the country in the 60 day MLO power pack/kit and the 10 day MLO energy pack/kit.

Favorite Item no. 1: BADGER Headache Soother


Lately I’ve been experiencing dizzy spells for no reason. Like last weekend in Banaue when we were going down this long flight of stairs, I had to stop several times and grip the hand rail tightly to keep myself from pitching forward and falling as my head kept going on a mad spin.

However, I haven’t had myself checked yet, as I really don’t think it’s anything serious. It could be attributed to a lot of things – stress from work, lack of sleep, lack of food and water in the system. Those things happen to me a lot because of the nature of my work, compounded with my hyperactive fitness lifestyle. But come to think of it, I haven’t been using my health card lately. I better set an appointment for various tests covered by our HMO – while it’s still free.

So anyway, I’ve been looking for the perfect headache-buster for the infrequent attacks and Noel, bless his heart, would usually pass his Katinko or Tiger Balm for me to apply on my temple, forehead, neck, etc. But he’s not with me all the time so I usually just suffer in silence when he’s not around to share his ache balm. I hate, hate, hate taking painkillers as I flatly refuse to get desensitized to its effect. Let’s just say I’m reserving them for the bigger pains.

This afternoon, just after I went to my Dentist for a dental emergency – I popped a bracket and swallowed the tiny metal thingy of my braces – I passed by Rustans and found this gem of a headache soother called BADGER.

Badger Headache Soother is an organic blend of virgin olive oil, beewax, peppermint, and lavender. This blend is cocktailed into a balm that you can rub onto your neck, temples, and pulse points.  The balm is cooling due to the peppermint which also happens to be the dominant note so as you breath in you’ll get a cool, fresh burst of peppermint. The lavender in the blend breaks the peppermint down a fair bit and gives off the scent of a cooling, herbal blend which relaxes and soothes headaches in a flash.

On my ride back to the office, I began rubbing the balm on my temple and neck with my eyes closed and I experienced almost instant relief from my headache! It’s like magic! With my new discovery, I have one more compelling reason to stay away from Aspirin for mild headaches.  Badger Headache Soother Balm performs just as good, if not better, and is a whole lot healthier because it is organic.

 

BADGER is so cool and soothing I keep rubbing it on my temple and neck while toiling away in front of my laptop.

 

If you experience stress headaches, eye strain headaches, or just a regular old headache here and there, I highly recommend trying out a tin of Badger Balm Headache Soother to relieve and refresh you! For a price of Php 395, you can’t get a better deal than Badger.

Vicky loves Badger, yes she does!