Healthy Dinner Menu: Cod En Papillote, Beet, Walnut and Goat Cheese Salad, Rice









This is a beautiful and delicious combination. If you would like, add some cooked brown rice and spoon the fish sauce over it.

En Papillote White Fish with Tomatoes, Olives and Capers

Arugula, Beet, Walnut and Goat Cheese Salad


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HIIT Training: Get Fit Fast with High Intensity Interval Training

What is so great about HIIT training is that you can get fit fast! And I am talking minutes a day. So, if you are short on time and want to get in shape and improve your health, consider trying HIIT training.

So let me tell you about HIIT training, what the benefits are and how you do HIIT training correctly and what my favorite way to do it is.

HIIT Training Offers Big Benefits:

  • HIIT training is a time efficient way to improve fitness.
  • It may burn the same amount of calories you would with longer aerobic workouts.
  • It raises metabolism and keeps it elevated hours after a session.
  • It lowers body fat, resting heart rate and blood pressure.
  • It helps lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.
  • Hunger hormones are suppressed after a workout.
  • Studies prove a few minutes of HIIT training is as effective as much longer periods of moderate intensity training.

HIIT workouts provide similar fitness benefits as continuous cardio workouts, but in shorter periods of time. This is because HIIT workouts burn more calories than traditional workouts, especially after the workout. The post-exercise period is called “EPOC”, which stands for excess postexercise oxygen consumption. This is about a 2-hour period after an exercise bout where the body is restoring itself to pre-exercise levels, and consequently using more calories. Burning calories for free!

How To to High Intensity Interval Training

HIIT training involves short high effort exercise for 30 to 60 seconds followed by one-to-two-minute active recovery periods.

So go as hard as you can for 30 to 60 seconds hard and then actively recover for one to 2 minutes.

Repeat to accumulate 4 to 12 total minutes of the high effort segments.

And how hard should you HIIT? As hard as you possibly can. You should feel like the work interval is “hard” to “very hard.”  It’s tough but we can handle anything for 30 to 60 seconds, right?

What are ways to do HIIT? Well you can do biking, sprinting, running, walking, stair climbing or a step mill. But my favorite way is the Xiser machine, right here. Having the Xiser machine means you don’t need a gym. It’s so portable that you can take it with you and do your HIIT training in your office or when I’m on a weekend getaway on your boat, RV, Van or camper. You never have to miss a workout! Want one? Here is a discount.

Starting Out with HIIT Training

Before beginning HIIT training I encourage you to establish a base fitness level of consistent aerobic training (3 to 5 times a week for 20 to 60 minutes per session at a somewhat hard intensity) for several months.

Let’s use using walking and running as a HIIT workout example. You want to start out with an easy walk as a warm up for 5 to 10 minutes to gradually rev up your cardiovascular system and increase blood flow to your muscles. Once you are warmed up move from a walk to a fast run. Now this is relative to you, so for you, that might be a jog or it might be an all-out sprint for 30 to 60 seconds. Then you’ll actively recover as you slow it down and walk for a minute or two. Repeat this until you accumulate 4 to 12 total minutes of running.

If you are new to doing this type of exercise gradually build up the amount of time you spend doing your high effort segments. You want to do a HIIT workout 3 to 5 days a week.

See how you can do HIIT training in just a few minutes a day? And studies have demonstrated that HIIT truly is effective.

So let me explain how to do this using the Xiser. You do not want to bounce up and down. To do this correctly bend your knees slightly with your hips back a bit. Feel the tension on the front of your thighs. Push through your heels always keeping the pressure on the front of your thighs and don’t fully straighten the legs.

If you want to make this harder you can add in an upper body movement with or without dumbbells and you’ll get even getting more of a balance challenge, toning and core work. You will get a lot of exercise in one short session.

Discount Code for the Xiser Portable Stepper Machine

So, if you are short on time and want to get in shape and improve your health, consider trying HIIT training.  If you are interested in purchasing an Xiser, here is the product website and a $15 off promo code. This is the best price available.

Save $15  for each Portable Stepper purchased from Xiser

Follow this link to the retail site and use the discount coupon code maria35 in the shopping cart for a $15 dollar discount on each new Xiser Stepper you purchase from Xiser Industries.


Free Workouts When You Purchase an Xiser Using My Discount Code

There are multiple protocols for performing interval training, each with different training objectives so variations on work intervals and active rest.  Each workout designed to specifically to improve the different energy systems of the body. If you purchase an Xiser, let me know and I will send you some bonus workouts!

Check with Your Doctor

And, of course, it makes sense to check with your physician to make sure they think HIIT training is a good idea for you. Medical clearance from a physician may be an
appropriate safety measure for anyone having any medical conditions.

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Low Back Pain When Hiking, Backpacking and Trekking

Low back pain is a common issue amongst hikers, backpackers and trekkers.

Long days sitting at the computer with shoulders rounded forward combined with recreational weekend outings with heavy backpacks and long hours on your feet can lead to uncomfortable pack pain.

If you have recurring back pain, it is best to address back pain symptoms with a physical therapist or orthopedic specialist.

And in addition there are a number of things that just about everyone can do to help their pain.

Improve your posture

Poor posture can lead to changes in your spine, pressure on muscles, discs and joints as well as nerve damage that contributes to pain. When you practice optimal posture techniques during the day you are less likely to experience the damage that contributes to pain and more likely to hike with good posture. Here are some exercises you can do to help strengthen the deep neck flexor muscles.

Use trekking poles

Research has shown that using poles can help alleviate pain when walking. “Pole use increases balance and stability, distributes weight through the arms and torso, and decreases loading of the spine and lower limbs.” And, “Trekking poles decrease lower extremity loading and forces.”

If you aren’t sure how to use trekking poles properly, here is some great advice from REI.

If you regularly experience back pain, important features to look for are shock-absorbing poles and foam or cork grip with extended sections of foam that go 4-5 inches down the shaft from the grip so you can easily move your hands to adjust for various terrain.

Wear the right backpack

It is worth taking the time to get fitted to get a back pack that is the perfect for you.
It is imperative that you get one that has a chest strap and a hip belt. The hip belt should ride snuggly around your hips to cover the front of your hips. This takes the weight of the pack off shoulders and spine and transfers it to the hips so that the big muscle groups of the lower body can carry the weight.

Build your core strength

Your core is a complex of muscles that include the muscles in your back, spine, abdomen, glutes and hips. These muscles act to stabilize your spine providing a firm foundation for all the activities you do. When you hike, run, walk, jump, bend over, and turn, these muscles work together. They transfer force through your body and if strong and well trained, help prevent you from having back, hip, knee and even neck pain.
Strengthen the weak muscles and stretch the tight

Sometimes there is a muscle imbalance in the core and this can lead to pain. It is common to see the hip flexors being very tight and the glutes and other core muscles being weak from sitting for many hours of the day. This combination could result in an anterior pelvic tilt which can cause lower back pain as well as knee and hip problems.

When I work with clients, I perform functional movement assessments to identify these imbalances and correct them with stability and strengthening exercise, stretching and myofascial release.

I recommend devoting time every single day to working on your core to ensure the right muscles are activated as you head up a trail.

Here are some exercises you can do to improve your glutes and core.


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