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.

Event: DISCOver Duathlon with Coach Andy Leuterio


What is duathlon?

What are the essentials and basic duathlon techniques I need to learn?

What workouts should I do that will help me become a competitive duathlete?

Get the answers to these questions and more from no less than Coach Andy Leuterio this coming Wednesday, 18 July, at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall at the run-bike clinic dubbed as DISCOver Duathlon presented by Newton Running, RUNNR, Toby’s and Fitness First, and supported by various media partners.

Registration fee is P495 and participants get FREE Newton singlet, RUNNR socks, Runner’s World Magazine and snacks.

This event is limited to 50 slots only so hurry, McFlurry!

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!

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.

TOTAL FITNESS: Fun Activities To Tick-off Your List Before Summer Ends


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In a tropical country like ours where you don’t exactly have a choice when it comes to seasons, it’s fairly easy to mark summer as your default favorite. And why not? Here, we have some of the best beaches in the world and a few other interesting travel destinations, if donning short shorts and bikinis aren’t exactly your thing. But for those of you who can ill-afford to travel so much because of family and work restrictions, there are a lot of other activities you can do before summer is chased away by torrential rains.

1. Check out new dining places once a week and make your recommendations to friends and social media followers. Summer shouldn’t be just a treat for your (bronzed) skin. You must find ways to lavish your taste buds as well – without having to spend your entire life savings away. To make your gastronomic adventure even more exciting, try incorporating a theme into it.

2. Do a weekend movie marathon with friends. Start with your common favorite romcom or art film and then work your way through other movie genres. Don’t forget to serve up reduced-fat popcorn and healthy snacks so you can store up energy for a lively discussion during and after the screening.

3. Check out bazaars, flea markets, and ukay-ukay. Fashion need not be expensive and you can certainly look like a million bucks with a unique piece from ukay-ukay if you pull it off.

4. Travel locally. Whether by plane, bus, train, or boat, traveling has always been a panacea for all ills – except maybe that of your wallet. While it’s always enriching to travel abroad and getting exposed to foreign cultures, it is also equally important to discover pockets of beauty in our own shores.

5. Enroll in a language class. French, Mandarin, and Spanish are among the favorites and by the time summer is over, you just might surprise yourself – and your friends – with your multilingual dexterity.

6. Launch a garage sale. Rid your closet of clothes and accessories you haven’t worn in ages and make a bit of money you can spend on updating your wardrobe after. Now that’s a smart fashionista!

7. Visit a museum or check out the local art scene. Museums are one of the best places to learn about so many different topics ranging from space, to art, to natural history, and everything in between.  What makes museums so special is their ability to transport us to different times and places – at minimal cost.

8. Go to a basketball game or the local boxing match. Or any sporting event you’re a fan of. There is some wicked pleasure to be had in being part of a live action/crowd, and if you’re up for it, sign yourself up for some pre-game or half time festivities.

9. Sign up for a self-defense class. These days, it’s becoming increasingly important to learn the ways of defending oneself against criminal-minded people and dangerous situations. Take your pick from taekwondo, muay thai, or jiu jitsu and avoid looking like an easy prey.

10. Let your hair breathe. Before you know it, the humidity will cease and you’ll no longer have an excuse to not heat-style your hair when going out. Save time (and sweat) by using some texturizing spray in your hair before heading out the door.

11. Watch the sunset and take photos. Always beautifully dramatic, the sunset evokes a cornucopia of wonderment and emotions so much so that even if you don’t take good photos, you can always count on one or two of your captures coming out real good.

12. Stock up on fresh fruits. Make sure to put peaches, watermelon, cantaloupe and mango at the top of your grocery list, and keep them there as long as possible.  Suring summer, our skin tends to gets so dry especially when not cared for by moisturizers, so make sure to indulge in Vitamin A and E-rich foods and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

13. Sign up for a summer-savvy mani/pedi and spa treatment. Treat tortured tootsies and whole body to an extravagant TLC with a spa treatment finished off with a quintessentially summer shade like mint green or tangerine nail polish.

14. Have a fling. Whether it’s a guy with great surf moves or the girl down the hall with a shared love of long island iced tea, invest in the type of connection that runs on sun and laughter, and make sure to remain Facebook friends when the day gets shorter – for who knows what the following summer might bring?

15. Visit an amusement park. Pay tribute to your twelve your old self by hitting up all of the roller coasters at the local theme park. If living far from one, you might want to consider paying Tom’s World or World of Fun a day visit.

Total Fitness: IMPROVE YOUR DATING LIFE


Be Dateable.

Note: As published in this month’s (April 2012) issue of Total Fitness Magazine. Grab a copy today!

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Dating is a tricky business. Yes, it can be fun – which can also translate into a lot of calories ingested in the process, so remember to keep the fork off that chocolate lava pie, dinner date after dinner date – but for some people, it can also be the single source of epic frustration that can potentially render the heart scarred for a long period of time.

There are those who are blessed with excellent gene pool and seem to have a natural knack with charming men and women off their socks with a mere smile or fluttering of the eyelids; there are those who evoke the same response with smart quips and perfectly-timed compliments and punch line; and then there are those whose dating life seems to be a never ending reel of horror and disaster films. Whichever category you fall under, remember that dating is an art and a skill and we will all have our share of bad eggs – but with a little work, our dating life can easily undergo an upgrade.

Try these tips and see how your dating life eventually takes on a more positive spin.

1. Give yourself a makeover. Dating is as much about you as it is about the other party. You cannot demand for good looks, social graces, witty repartee, and all that jazz if you yourself are not willing to make an effort. It doesn’t mean you have to alter yourself and become someone unrecognizable, but at least work on your flaws and don’t fall into this trap of ‘what you see is what you get’ claptrap because believe me, doll, if he sees a lot of bad things, the last thing you would see is his back as he runs away from you – fast.

2. Open yourself to possibilities, date outside your usual type. Did you ever stop to think that perhaps one of the reasons why your dating life always has the same bad ending is because you are stuck with the same type all the time? Monotony breeds dissatisfaction which, in turn, can open up to a whole tub of worms. So shake it up, invite the world to see your versatility, and claim exctement as your middle name.

3. Take your time, take it slow. Remember, it is ONLY dating for now so don’t go jumping the gun and planning your wedding just as they are serving dessert. The purpose of dating is to open yourself up to a great deal of wondrous possibilities of friendship, which can potebtially blossom into love, and perhaps later on, a lasting commitment. These things take time to grow, just as you, as an adult need time to grow up.

4. Get mentored. Let’s face it, we’re not all blessed with an active flirting gene and sometimes, we do tend to get signals all mixed up. In dating, body language is important. We may be saying something verbally but our body language is screaming something else altogether. Enlist the help of a friend or acquaintance whom you know has a berth of dating experience and knowledge under his/her belt. At the beginning, it will seem unnatural but after a few dates, you will find your own style and revel in it.

5. Be sincerely curious about people. Dating is an exercise in getting to know the other person, and for this reason it’s important that you’re able to communicate your interest. Sometimes two people are just right for each other, but they never get to realize it because both are holding back or too focused on themselves to show true interest in their mate. Try not to hog the limelight too much. Ask him/her questions; be curious about the person sitting in front of you. Disclose a little about yourself, something that can pique and intrigue your date. Sometimes even if a date doesn’t lead to romance, the good conversation can be worth the evening’s entertainment. At least this way, if you two don’t work out you could gain a friend for life.

And lastly, be the person you yourself would want to date. Show the world that you are worthy of being loved and cared for. Even if it’s casual for now, don’t make it a habit to casually sleep with every single man or woman you go out with. Think of the damage this can do to your self-esteem both in the short and long term. If your ultimate goal is to have a nurturing relationship, by all means have fun but don’t sacrifice your values for it.

Total Fitness: GOTTA GO WITH YOUR GUT


Scenario: You had a niggling feeling you ought to go a different way home from work and found you avoided a major accident, or bumped in to a long lost friend, or found a shop selling something you had been looking for.

These feelings of knowing something without any logical basis to it is called intuition or gut feel, to others. It is when you are aware of things that you consciously could not have been aware of and they are often triggered by something you see, hear or feel, or just happen without any prompting at all.

While some people do not subscribe to the concept of intuition, Laura Day, American author of Practical Intuition, tells us that these feelings should not be ignored because they can actually lead you to a more rewarding life.

Anyone can develop their intuition through some simple exercises and a little bit of effort. Some people are born very highly attuned to their intuition, while others need to develop those skills.

In some cases, people who are not that intuitive have taught themselves to drown out their intuitive voice. All they need to do is to start listening to it more. Try these simple steps and see how intuitive you can get after:

  • Listen; don’t be quick to dismiss that feeling! Whenever you start to fret about something, like a relationship or financial matter, pay attention, Day advises. That hunch may pay off: “Out of the blue, I started to worry about the stock market a few years ago, and I sold everything,” Day says. “I avoided a financial crisis.”
  •  Let go. If you worry or over analyze your intuitive feelings then you will block them, thereby making it harder for you to hear your intuition.
  •  Be more attuned with your senses. Intuition is said to be an extension of your senses—so paying attention to the things you smell, hear, taste, touch, and see throughout the day can sharpen your intuitive skills. You’ll pick up info that could feed your intuition and lead you in new directions.
  •  First impressions DO matter. Quite often, people will try to talk themselves out of their first impressions of anything or anyone, that is, their intuition. Intuition is those first impressions you get, so when you feel them trust them.
  •  Reality check. Not every thought that pops up is worth following. Think about what else could be at work. Maybe you’re feeling down on your new job just because you skipped breakfast and your blood sugar is low. Also, know if you are reacting to a phobia, rather than your intuition.