Wednesday, March 30, 2016

11 Ways to Boost Your Energy With Food

Feeling sluggish? Healthy fats, iron-rich foods and smart snacking can help you fight fatigue. has the details


When asked what nutrition topic you need help with RIGHT NOW, the response was unanimous: eating for energy! You told us you feel run down and exhausted, and turn to sugar and/or caffeine to bolster flagging energy reserves.
Bad idea, says Dina Aronson, R.D.: “Fatigue breaks us down physically and emotionally and wreaks havoc on the immune system, making us more susceptible to illness, depression and even chronic conditions like heart disease.” Moreover, proper nutrition and the timing of what you eat can do wonders to make you feel alert and powerful, says Cynthia Sass, R.D.,’s nutrition and weight loss blogger. Here, new rules for eating for energy.


Certain nutrients, especially iron, may help women feel more energized. Nearly 10% of women between the ages of 20 and 49 suffer from iron deficiency, which can cause fatigue and impair physical and mental endurance. Iron is needed to deliver oxygen to cells, and too little has also been shown to decrease immunity.
recent study found that over 10 years, women who consumed the most plant-based iron were 35% less likely to develop PMS than women who consumed the least. Great plant sources of iron include beans, lentils, spinach, and sesame seeds; eating them with vitamin C–rich foods can boost iron absorption.


Sass says the right formula for maximum energy is: fruit or veggie + a whole grain + lean protein + plant-based fat + herb/spice.
She calls it the “5 piece puzzle” and it’s the premise of her book S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim. “Balance is key; your body loves to be in balance,” says Sass. “Giving it less of something it needs throws things off, as does giving it more than it needs.”


Despite the health benefits of caffeine in tea and coffee, if you’re feeling run-down, cut it out: “Caffeine gives a ‘false’ energy essentially, because it’s a stimulant,” Sass says. “And after it peaks, you can start to feel tired or even more tired.”


Don’t limit your morning meal to protein or carbs; breakfast needs to be balanced too, Sass says. Instead of having just yogurt, add some high-antioxidant fruit, a good fat like nuts or seeds, and raw or toasted oats. And go for organic nonfat yogurts to maximize protein and quality.


Real food means food that’s closer to nature: whole grains rather than processed chips or crackers from a box, whole fruit rather than juice or fruit bars. The energy dividends will pay off!
“When I’ve had clients swap more processed foods for ‘real’ whole foods, their energy has gone through the roof, and many lose weight, even if the swaps result in eating more calories,” Sass says.


Sass recommends eating a wide variety of superfruits—apples, stone fruits, berries, tomatoes. Limiting yourself to the same old banana for breakfast curbs your nutrient and antioxidant intake and can make you feel run-down. “Research shows that people who eat the same amount of produce but a wider variety have less oxidative stress, which is a precursor to aging and disease,” she says.


It’s also about avoiding the traps that can zap or drain energy—primarily processed and artificial foods, refined grains and sugar, skipping meals, and drinking too much caffeine and alcohol.


When choosing an energy bar, ignore what’s on the front of the package and check the ingredients list, says Sass: “If the ingredients read like a recipe, and I feel like I could buy the ingredients and make it myself, that’s great. If the list reads like a science experiment, with ingredients that aren’t real whole foods, I’ll pass, regardless of the protein/carb/fat ratio or vitamin/mineral content.”


Don’t eliminate healthy fats if you want more energy. “You need fat to absorb some key antioxidants,” says Sass. In one study that compared salads served with fat-free, low-fat and full-fat dressing, people absorbed fewer antioxidants from the veggies when they ate fat-free dressing. The reason: Some antioxidants have to grab on to fat in order to be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the blood, where they can go to work. Antioxidants are important for energy because they fight free radicals and keep your cells healthy, Sass adds.


The secret to eating for energy, according to many nutritionists? Eat locally and in season. “When you go to your farmers market, a lot of times the produce was harvested less than 48 hours before you buy it, and because it didn’t have to travel far, it was allowed to really reach its peak, which means more nutrients,” Sass says.


While fresh and local is great, frozen foods are a potent source of energizing nutrients too. “Freezing actually locks in nutrients, so a frozen fruit with no added ingredients can be just as nutritious as or even more than, fresh, unless the fresh was just picked,” Sass says. “The minute a fruit or veggie is harvested, it starts to lose nutrients.”

GGX Schedule for Thursday, Mar.31
AM: Spin Bike (Jerome)-5:45am-6:45am
Functional Fitness (Aaron,Valerie) -8:30am-9:30am
Belly Dancing (Allen)-9:30am-10:30am
PM:TRX (Ferleen)-5:00pm-5:30pm
Abs/Core (Ferleen)- 5:42pm-6:20pm
Spin Bike (JP)- 5:15pm-6:15pm
Zumba (Elly)-6:30pm-7:30pm

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

GGX Schedule for Wednesday, Mar.30
AM: Zumba (Nats)-8:30am-9:30am
Pilates (Valerie)-9:30am-10:30am
PM:TRX (Aaron)-5:00pm-5:30pm;5:30pm-6:00pm
Spin Bike (Beth)- 5:15pm-6:15pm
Tone and Sculpt (Bel)-5:30pm-6:30pm
Belly Dancing (Allen) - 6:30pm-7:30pm

Monday, March 28, 2016

GGX Schedule for Tuesday, Mar.29
AM: Spin Bike (Beth)-5:45am-6:45am
Tone and Sculpt (Bel) -8:30am-9:30am
PM:TRX/abs (Ferleen)-5:00pm-5:30pm;5:30pm-6:30pm
Functional Fitness (Jerry/Gerald)- 5:30pm-6:30pm
Spin Bike (Erico)- 5:15pm-6:15pm
Zumba Mashup (Allen) - 6:30pm-7:30pm

The best exercise of all time

Improve all over muscle tone and lose weight by doing just one exercise.

The plank is one of the most popular and effective exercises for the abdominals in the whole world. It doesn’t just make the abs and shoulder girdle work, its workout for all the muscles in the body.
At the offices of, we all do it now on mats, before settling down to provide you with these articles.

What it’s all about

The essence of the plank is to ‘hang’ above the floor for several minutes once a day, supported only by your hands and toes. No-one would say that it is easy to be in this ‘hanging’ state, even for only a few minutes. In this pose, a huge number of muscles are activated.

The Classic Plank

The plank is a static exercise. There’s no movement in it, so the main thing is to hold your body right.
  • Lie on the floor stomach down. Bend your elbows at 90 degrees angles and transfer your weight onto your arms. Your body should form a straight line from the top of your head to your heels.
  • Support yourself only on your forearms and the tips of your toes. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders.
  • Hold your body as level as possible, tense your stomach muscles and don’t relax them. Try not to point your thighs towards the floor.
  1. Feet. Put them together. Keeping balance becomes more difficult, which increases the load on the stomach muscles.
  2. Legs. Should be straight and tensed. Otherwise, the load on the abdominals will be reduced. This is what is keeping the spine from bending.
  3. Buttocks. Keep tensed, and don’t relax them until the workout is over. Clenching the buttock muscles increases the activity of the whole muscular system.
  4. Small of the back. This is the most difficult part! If you do the plank right, the lumber region of your spine should be flat. That means you shouldn’t round or bend the small of your back. Imagine that you’re holding it flat against a wall.
  5. Stomach. Stretch it out, and then try to pull it towards your ribs. Throughout the workout keep your stomach in this position, but don’t slow down your breathing.
  6. Elbows. Keep them directly below your shoulders, so as not to create unnecessary strain.
It’s important to breath out when assuming the pose and stay in position until a reasonable level of muscle fatigue is reached. Try to keep it up as long as possible; at first 10 seconds is enough. As a rule, people with differing levels of fitness keep the pose for anything from 10 seconds to 2 minutes. If you’re new to all this don’t try to break any records; start at the minimum.

Side Plank

This exercise for the abs is more effective than a traditional plank as you hold all your bodyweight on two points points of contact rather than four. You will need to make more effort to keep your balance.
  • While lying on your left side, place your elbow directly below your shoulder. Keep the legs straight. Put your right hand on your right thigh, still keeping those legs straight.
  • Tense your abdominal muscles and raise your hip from the floor until you form a right-angle, balancing on your forearm and feet. Remain in this position for 30-45 seconds. If you can’t hold it that long, repeat the exercise until you have spent a total of at least 30 seconds in this pose. Change sides and do it again.


  1. Plank with raised leg. Raise one leg. By doing this you significantly increase the load on the muscular system and reduce support. This means your body will have to make an extra effort to hold the position. By reducing the area of contact with the floor the strain on the stomach muscles is significantly increased.
  2. Plank with raised arm. Raise one arm. This is similar to the first variaton. You’ll have to make an effort not to fall on your side.
  3. Side plank with arm and leg lift. Lie on your side, put your legs together and straighten them. Along with your torso they should make a straight line. Put your left forearm on the floor (with your elbow directly under your shoulder). Raise your right leg and arm. Hold this position for as long as you can.
  4. Plank on an exercise ball. Rest your elbows on the ball or put your feet on it.

Benefits of this exercise

Firm buttocks. This exercise is a workout for your glutes and calf muscles, so you won’t just get them into shape, you’ll get rid of cellulite too.
A strong back. During the exercise the lower back muscles are strengthened, as are the shoulder and neck muscles. This can help to safeguard against osteochondrosis and other bone diseases in the small of the back and neck. Also you’ll get rid of pain above and between the shoulder blades caused by carrying heavy bags or constantly sitting at a computer.
Slim legs. The legs take most of the weight in this exercise. All the leg muscles are active, from the thighs to the calves. Don’t be alarmed if you feel a burning sensation in your muscles; that just means they’re working.
A flat stomach. When your whole body is straining, both your lower and side abs get a workout too.
Toned arms. It’s quite obvious that along with the legs the arms also get an intensive workout. They support the weight of your upper body.


  1. The pelvis falls towards the floor and your body forms a hoop.
  2. The tailbone points at the ceiling and the small of the back forms a bend.
To avoid these mistakes, point the tailbone towards your heels and pull your belly in. The stomach muscles should be strong, just as much as the muscles of the thighs and knees. Push your thighs up. You should feel that your lower abs are taunt and the small of the back is being lengthened. Push the heels gently back.
Don’t allow the thighs to hang down and don’t relax the knees. Try to ‘hover’ above the floor by stretching the spine and tensing the abdominal muscles. Don’t let your whole weight slip forward onto your forearms. Try to hold the legs together, toes side by side, don’t let them slip away from each other. The wider apart they are, the less load there is on the abdominals and the more on the knees.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Boxing Circuit with Jasper will be cancelled next week and will resume the following week.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

GGX Schedule for Friday, Mar.25:
AM: Pilates (Valerie)-8:30am-9:30am
Zumba Toning (Allen)-9:30am-10:30am(cancelled for Good Friday)
PM: Boxing Circuit (Jasper)-5:30pm-6:30pm
Zumba Toning (Allen)-6:30pm-7:30pm(cancelled for Good Friday)

4 Surprising Myths About Excess Weight

Here are four surprising things you may not know about weight—and why a few extra pounds aren’t always as bad as you think.
We get it. We’re fat. Americans are fat. Europeans are fat. And the rest of the globe is quickly catching up. And, yes, excess weight is very, very bad. Gaining too much weight boosts your risk of cancer, heart disease and, well, 17 other terrible things that we’ve written about before.
So, do our chubby thighs and seems-like-we’ll-never-shed-it baby weight always spell disaster? Is there any silver lining at all? Maybe. Here are four surprising things you may not know about weight—and why a few extra pounds aren’t always as bad as you think.


FACT: Body mass index, or BMI, is a good starting to point to determine if you’re in shape because it is a simple number that takes into account both height and weight. (You can easily check your BMI using a calculator). But it isn’t perfect—far from it.
BMI does not take into account physical fitness or bone structure, and it doesn’t differentiate between weight gained at a muscle-building camp or weight gained at McDonald’s.
So if you’re packing a lot of muscle—say, if you’re a bodybuilding male—you may end up with a BMI in the obese range. (For example, at the peak of his bodybuilding career, Arnold Schwarzenegger had a BMI of 33, which is considered obese.)
Keri Gans, a registered dietitian and American Dietetic Association spokesperson, measures her clients’ BMI during a consultation, but takes the number with a grain of salt. “The key is muscle,” she says. “A bodybuilder might have a BMI that’s almost obese, when he’s just really, really built with a lot of muscle.”


FACT: Yo-yo dieting can strain the heart, cause gallstones, and disturb your metabolism. It’s better to adopt a healthy diet and exercise program and lose weight steadily—experts generally recommend a pound a week—than to crash diet and shed tons of weight, only to rapidly gain it back.
Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia are very different from crash and yo-yo dieting, but they pose many of the same health risks and also are potentially life-threatening. Anorexia and bulimia can lead to cardiac arrhythmias and other serious problems due to electrolyte imbalances. Purging, or repeated vomiting, can put a serious strain on the heart and damage teeth due to stomach acid exposure.
Gans says it is “much better and healthier” to be five or 10 pounds overweight than to constantly lose and gain weight.


FACT: Sure they look good, but those skinny people may not be any healthier than heavier people—particularly if they have a cigarette hanging from their lips.
People who are relatively thin can still carry unhealthy fat internally. This fat is called visceral fat, and it pads vital organs. Thin people who carry internal fat are still at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer, says Gans.
“Just because you’re thin doesn’t mean you’re walking away scot-free from disease,” she says. Anyone, thin or not, could be at risk of heart disease or diabetes due to his or her genetic makeup. People often assume that type 2 diabetes is caused by eating too much and exercising too little, but, in reality, about 20% of people with diabetes are thin, and that’s generally due to genetics.
What’s more, smokers are particularly at risk for illness. Some people smoke to curb their appetite (thereby staying skinny), but cigarettes can cause lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart disease.
A 2008 study found that one in four normal-weight people had at least two metabolic factors (such as high triglycerides, high blood pressure, or high blood sugar) in the abnormal range.


FACT: Not all fat is created equal. New research suggests that even if two people are equally overweight, one may be much healthier than the other.
For one, people who carry fat around their midsection are at greater risk for illness than their pear-shaped counterparts, who carry weight in the hips, buttocks and thighs. Belly fat has been linked to a greater risk of erectile dysfunction, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and other conditions.
But it goes deeper. Some people with extra pounds tend to accumulate fat in their liver; others the same size do not. Researchers now think that obese people with fatty liver deposits are at much greater risk than those without them, particularly because they are prone to insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes. The problem? It’s hard to tell who’s who. In reality, extra weight is bad for anyone, but it’s clearly worse for some people than others.
Whether you can be “fit and fat” is still hotly debated, but physical activity and a healthy diet do tend to offset the risks of being overweight, says Gans. Of course, it depends on how overweight a person is; if you’re only slightly overweight but still active, you may be less likely to experience health problems like high cholesterol or heart disease.
Although the term fit tends to be subjective, much of a person’s fitness is based on how quickly his or her heart rate returns to normal; the quicker the heart can recover, the better shape it’s in. So if you’ve hit a stubborn weight plateau, keep working out anyway—you’re doing your heart and lungs a favor.
Gans agrees. “You don’t need to be thin to be fit,” she says.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

GGX Schedule for Thursday, Mar.24
AM: Spin Bike (Jerome)-5:45am-6:45am
Functional Fitness (Aaron,Valerie) -8:30am-9:30am
Belly Dancing (Allen)-9:30am-10:30am
PM:TRX (Ferleen)-5:00pm-5:30pm
Abs/Core (Ferleen)- 5:42pm-6:20pm
Spin Bike (JP)- 5:15pm-6:15pm
Zumba (Elly)-6:30pm-7:30pm

15 super-effective stretching exercises for a fit and fabulous body

Stretching is an important element of any exercise regime that we need to keep ourselves healthy. Whether you’re an athlete or an office worker, everyone can benefit from a stretching routine. It improves your posture, increases your range of motion, and can even prevent injuries and reduce muscle soreness.
We here at Bright Side have put together the following list of 15 super-effective and easy-to-follow stretching exercises that will help you keep fit and healthy. Enjoy your training!

Exercise #1

  • How to perform: Straighten your neck as much as you can. Slowly tilt your head to the right, trying to touch your right ear to your right shoulder. Repeat for the other side.
  • Benefits: this exercise helps to stretch and strengthen the sternoclavicular, mastoid and upper trapezius muscles.

Exercise #2

  • How to perform: keep your back straight, lace your fingers together behind your head and very gently push it downwards with your interlocked hands. Try to touch your chin to your breast bone.
  • Benefits: this exercise helps to stretch and strengthen the sternoclavicular, mastoid and upper trapezius muscles.

Exercise #3

  • How to perform: stand on one knee and slowly push your right hip forward. Grasp your left foot with your hand behind you and tighten your gluteal muscle.
  • Benefits: this pose is great for stretching your knees and strengthening the hamstring muscles.

Exercise #4

  • How to perform: stretch your right arm across your body. Use your other arm to pull the arm that’s being stretched toward your body.
  • Benefits: this exercise helps to stretch the shoulders and strengthen the neck muscles.

Exercise #5

  • How to perform: Bend your right knee and place your right foot flat on the floor on the outer side of the left thigh, as close to the pelvis as possible. Put you right hand behind your back and grasp your right knee with your left hand. Then, alternate the legs.
  • Benefits: this pose helps open up the thoracic cage and elongates the muscles of the neck, shoulders, back and hips as well.

Exercise #6

  • How to perform: start in the plank position, then move your left foot towards your hands. Feel the tension in your hips. Return to plank position and repeat with your right leg.
  • Benefits: this exercise is great for strengthening and elongating the muscles of your hips and ankles.

Exercise #7

  • How to perform: lie on your back, bend your knees up and move them over to your right side, slowly rotate your torso in the opposite direction.
  • Benefits: This exercise improves mobility in your back, elongates your spine and stretches your thighs, chest, shoulders and upper back.

Exercise #8

  • How to perform: sit back onto your heels, put your hands behind your back and push your hips up and forward. Be careful not to overtax your lower back. If you have problems with your neck, don’t drop your head back.
  • Benefits: the pose will allow you to strengthen your internal and external obliques.

Exercise #9

  • How to perform: Lie on your back, with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart. Slowly and gently lift your back off the floor. Keep your feet and the tops of your shoulders pressed down toward the floor.
  • Benefits: the move stretches your chest and neck muscles and elongates your spine. It calms the nervous system and relieves stress as well.

Exercise #10

  • How to perform: lie on your side, prop your head up with your hand, bend your right knee and bring it towards your buttocks.
  • Benefits: this exercise helps to eliminate pain in your knees.

Exercise #11

  • How to perform: begin in a sitting position and slowly pull your leg towards your chest while rotating your hip and keeping your back straight.
  • Benefits: the exercise helps you to work your glutes.
Exercise #12
  • How to perform: sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you and the muscles in your feet flexed. Lean your torso forward and grasp your feet with your hands. Keep your lower back straight and try to make your belly button reach your thighs.
  • Benefits: this pose calms the nervous system, relieves stress, elongates your spine, and works the muscles in your shoulders and the back of the thighs.

Exercise #13

  • How to perform: grasp your left ankle with your right hand and try to pull your foot towards your buttocks as close as possible. Keep your back straight.
  • Benefits: do this exercise to stretch the muscles in the back of your thighs.

Exercise #14

  • How to perform: clasp your hands behind your back and slide them as far up the back as possible, without causing yourself any pain; then lift your hips up and away from your upturned heels. Let your forehead rest on the floor.
  • Benefits: perform this exercise to stretch your neck and shoulder muscles. It will help you to reduce headache and drowsiness as well.

Exercise #15

  • How to perform: press the heel of one foot into the floor and your toes into the wall. Feel the tension in your feet as your press your toes down. Then, alternate the legs.
  • Benefits: this exercise is a great way to stretch the calf muscles.
Remember: overstretching can harm your body. Stop and correct your technique if you feel any sharp pain. Try to do these exercises naturally and carefully without overtaxing your muscles. It is also important to watch your breathing.