Slimming sensation: 100 % guaranteed weight loss with the 7:0 diet!

Af Marina Aagaard, MFT

Another one? Yes, I know, what I am thinking, but what do you think??? First there was the 5:2 diet and a multitude of 5:2-ripoffs, then cleverly came the 6:1 diet and just now the 4:3 diet. Oh no, what is left …. oh yes, my brand new 7:0 diet!

7 0 kur US ArtM shiny-brain-1254880-m

What is the 7:0 diet? A brilliant new ‘diet’; no aids required; no books, no bathroom scales, no kitchen scales, no measuring cups, no calorie tables and it works:

0 days a week do you follow diets, that stress, worry and harm you.

7 days a week do you listen to your body and use your head to make the right choices and generally eat healthy with room for less-healthy choices as needed (think strategic, eat slow and with maximal enjoyment)..
Combine with easy physical activity during the every day and internally motivated exercise (fun (and games) with friends) which gets the heart rate up 2-3 times a week.

Then you will get real results; lower body fat percentage, flatter abs and especially a much, much better mood (and life) – without side effects such as increased body weight, frustation and lots of disheartening diet failures!

Have your cake apple and eat it!

Weekend Wellness Walk: Get Up, Get Out, Get Well

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Easter time is holiday time for some. If time and money is tight, a day trip or two to a place near you, preferable one you have not visited before, is an o.k. holiday travel substitute. As always it is good to grab the chance of getting some free exercise; going for a run or brisk (as in heavy breathing) walk. I did.

Weekend weather was wonderful … and springtime was in the air and colours everywhere. The small national park of Mols Bjerge (Bjerge means Mountains, but they are really just small hills), Jutland, Denmark, and surroundings, was waking up after ‘hibernation’ and is, I think, well worth a visit and a walk.
Outdoor fitness at its best behaviour.

Mols Bjerge tree photo Marina Aagaard

Kaloe kroget treeKaloe grene himmel distantKaloe skovbund blomsterdaekkeKaloe traerThorsager skovbundMols kidMarina Aagaard og Kaloe slotsruin photo Henrik ElstrupTrees and water black and white Henrik Elstrup and Marina Aagaard

Kaloe gren artLast three photos by husband Henrik Elstrup going overboard with filters,
lenses and photoshopping. This is quite popular on 500 px, though …

Happy outdoor fitness workout, where ever you are.

Saint Valentine’s Day Hug and Kiss: It is Healthy and a Bliss!

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Today is the day, when lovers express their love for each other, and a liturgical celebration instated around 495 AC; a day named after the Roman priest Valentine.
Valentine, later Saint Valentine of Rome, continued – in spite of the laws against marriage of Christians – to marry soldaters; this unfortunately lead to his dimise on 14.2.269 (exact year unknown).
Saint Valentines Day is big business for flourists, chocolatiers and Hallmark … but also a day, when you without any expense and with great rewards can cultivate romance and health. Hug around right now.

Whether you are in a romantic mood or not, it is clever to pamper yourself with warmth and touch for physical, mental, emotional and social wellness; touch, stimulation of the skin, can improve recovery, reduce stress and increase overall well-being.

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Social Bonding Bonus (apart form health and wellness): Researcher Christian C. Nocera tells, that “touch and greatings involving touch, such as handshakes and kisses on the cheek, can have great impact on our social interactions.”

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Neighbourhood Nature Watch: A Fall Wellness Walk

Marina Aagaard, MFE

In between working and travelling there is time for a little home time. Not home time on the couch, but daily dog walks for fresh air inhalation and basic movement. It is physical fitness activity with a low level of intensity, but a high level of wellness, mindfulness and mental benefits.
Everyone should go out and ‘go green’ … or red, brown, yellow in the fall.

Rosenholm Slot Efterår Photo Henrik Elstrup

From todays walk in the vicinity, the area around Rosenholm Slot (Castle), Jutland Denmark: Recreation ground Iver Kilde (spring) from 1900 with a  deer park long gone, grotto, well, fishpond  and arbor, in the midst of a small wood with paths and bridleways.

 Efteraarsskov og hjulspor    Efteraarsskov Fall Fish pond with reflection at Ivers Kilde Rosenholm Photo Marina Aagaard

Aging fish pond with reflection. Water and sky image with some fall decor.

Granskov smal      Granskov

Fir trees supply a splash of green. Green is a soothing colour. Nature is medicine.

Ivers Kilde Rosenholm Fall wood with lake reflection Photo Marina Aagaard

Mesmerizing mirror images as seen in a forrest lake.

Mos       Træer   Stump with moss in fall wood Photo Marina Aagaard

Moss, moss and more moss. Nature’s own plush carpet.

Hey, you, what are you waiting for?
Your Nature is right outside your door.
Go out, get well, feel better, than before.

Wellness Tour: Let Your Five Senses Travel

By Marina Aagaard, MFT

Stay fit and well by seeking new sensory experiences; this stimulates the tactile organs and the brain. You do not have to travel around the world; every day you can experience something new, if you want to: Be mindful and proactive.
Let your eyes, ears, nose, mouth and skin ‘wander’; keep all your senses happy by treating them to different things.  

I took a sensory trip late summer to Sculpture by the Sea, Aarhus. The sound of the wind and waves is always pleasing to the ear and seaside air feels and smells refreshing.
This ‘trip’ was mainly a visual experience, though, as most of the sculptures were surrounded by signs ‘Do Not Touch’. However, some artworks were meant to be touched and used, eg. a lively bathing jetty and a tea ‘frame’ (at bottom of post).

One special piece attracted my attention. At a distance it looked like stone, alabaster, but when I got up closed and touched it, it was sticky and foul-smelling! A surprise:
Beautiful art is nice, but so is ugly and puzzling art.

Sculpture by the sea Grain of Soap photo Henrik Elstrup 1) I see something somewhat different. 2) I listen; no sound except for the waves.
3) I touch it, it is sticky! 4) I smell it, a strange smell (later learned it was raw soap).
Due to the smell, I refrain – for once – from tasting it.

This piece – I discovered when reading the program later on – was meant to resemble a super large grain of sand.
Grain of Soap. Material: Soap. Approx. 200x200x300 cm. Artist: Esben Brandt-Møller.
The artist used a microscope to map a grain of sand from the Aarhus beach, enlarged the image, then had it modeled in clay and cast in soap. Just as a grain of sand is worn by water, wear and tear reshaped and dissolved the ‘grain of soap’ continuously throughout the exhibition. A thought-provoking idea.

Sea kaffeTea with a view # 2. Wood, acrylic. Artist: Anja Franke. Spectators could sit on the frame,  many did, and make a cup of tea (with herbs planted next to this) and become part of  the view and landscape. Art with a touch of taste.

Jetty at Sculpture by the Sea photo Henrik Elstrup Vandmodul A1 og B2 Fase 1. Floating pontoons, larch wood. Artist: Jesper Dalgaard.
A sculpture, special movable-element bathing jetty in-between art and architecture.
Challenging your sense of balance.

Your senses are truly fantastic, treasure and protect them. Here is a quick guide to strategies for improved sensory fitness and wellness and anti-aging:

Senses | Senses Super Life and Sport

Eyes | Look See Super Performance Tip

Ears | Hear Hear Performance Listening

Nose | Sniff Sniff Air Energy and Life

Mouth | Chew Chew Life and Energy Anew

Skin | Touch Touch Feel Much …

Express Fitness # 1: Interval Training For Travel or Home

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Stay fit and healthy without wasting time. Even if you are travelling, on holiday or have a busy life with little time for exercising, you need to take care of your health, the foundation of fitness, wellness and performance. The good news is, that you can have great results with minimal time investment. The number one option is:

  • Interval training (yes, it’s for you, no, it’s not just for athletes)

Interval running for travel fitness or home fitness

Interval running on the Zaton Holiday Resort, Croatia, (soft) running track. Nice .

Interval training
As the saying goes: With interval training you will double your results in half the time!
Or something to that effect …
The definition: A series of repetitions of a work period (higher intensity) followed by a rest period (low intensity).

The (active) rest periods are crucial to succes; you need to recover in order to put just as much energy into the next work period: So no push-ups etc. during rest periods, that is not interval training. 

More and more recent research points to interval training for just 3-4 minutes per time/week as enough for becoming healthy and fit and even loose weight.
In reality, though, this is too little, as you need 1) a warm-up and cool-down and 2) to train at higher intensities, than most will be able to, to get the mentioned results.

Interval training is, however, the number one way to get fit fast for everybody. Interval training is not just very high intensity training. It is interval work at intensities higher than during continuus exercise. This means, that exercising just a little harder than you normally do will work!
Of course, if you are in shape, you should work at high intensity to get even better results.

There are numerous ways to do interval training and it can be tailor-made to meet specific needs. You can have short intervals or long intervals or fartlek, various speeds and intensities. All intervals, though, will improve your cardiovascular fitness and body composition.

If you are new to interval training try these super-easy sample programs:

  • 5 repetitions: 1 : 1 min., e.g. jog for 1 minute, walk for 1 min.: 10 min. ex. warm-up.
  • 10 repetitions: 30 : 30 sec., e.g. jog for 30 sec., walk 30 sec.: 10 min. ex. warm-up.

Or:

  • From lamppost/tree to lamppost/tree: Run/jog/powerwalk as fast as you can.
    Then walk, focus on breathing, to the next lamppost/tree. Repeat 5-20 times.

Try it. What do you think?

Travel Fitness and Cruise Ship Fitness: Improve Your Fitness (Program)

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

On a recent cruise I was at the ship’s fitness centre every day, because I needed to practice some training programs for workshops.
Day in and day out I witnessed a classical fitness scenario, lots of movement with little effect, and decided to do a tiny travel fitness tutorial, as it is possible to double your workout investment in half the time.

At sea fitness centre

The cruise ship fitness centre had lots of machines, some free weights and ample space for floorwork, but also the typical ‘fitness scene’ throughout the week:
Women at the cardio machines (not for hours, though, due to a 20 minute time limit) and on the floor doing 100’s of 80’s callanetics exercises, while the men where at the fitness machines working out.

Optimal travel fitness: It is time to move on. You want to trim and tone?
You must crank up exercise quality. You will get twice the effect in half the time!
This can be done with bodyweight exercises or with machine exercises.
A travel fitness program can be done in a very short time, 10-30 minutes:

3-10 minute warm-up (or extended cardio).
5-7 exercises for the major muscles
8-12 repetitions of each exercise.
3-10 minute cool-down/stretching for the major muscles.

Maximize workout time. Go from exercise to exercise without pauses (circuit training).
If you want more, you just start over from the first exercise, e.g. 2-4 rounds.

Machine exercises are simple, but effective for novices and beginners. So, if you are not used to doing fitness, and would like to try to get fit (or keep fit), while at a hotel or a cruise ship, the fitness machines provide an easy method of working out. You can do it.
Do that instead of hanging onto the same old mat exercises; don’t waste your time.

Important note: Some trainers will tell you not to use machines, as they are not really functional, and instead recommend free weight exercises.
However, if you are not ready or up to it, it is a lot better to use machines, than 1) not exercise at all or 2) do free weight exercises incorrectly.
If you are used to work out or have a trainer to assist you, it is another matter.

Free weight and bodyweight exercises are multi-dimensional and functional, e.g. relates to everyday and sports activities.
However, they do require 1) some knowledge of movement to be safe and 2) full body movements, full range of motion and in some instances speed to be really effective.
Below some exercises to get you started with bodyweight exercises; they trim, tone and burn fat all at the same time:

Happy holiday (or at home) fitness!