Try it on your phone

I had dinner with a friend last night who said she wanted to do my 5 minute fat burning workouts but couldn’t use her work computer and her laptop was down.  Then I said, why not do them on your phone.  Watch it first, then set your phone aside and follow along with my voice.  Today she called to say it worked great.  So there you go.  If you’re not currently on a daily fitness program, start small with only 5 minutes a day.  Believe me, these simple workouts will challenge you.  Just log on to my butt, thighs and heart opener Workout #23 – 5 minutes of fat burning you can truly do anytime and anyplace.   Now playing on blog.richtola.com, Vimeo and YouTube.   Happy Friday!  R

Tip of the Iceberg

For anyone just getting started with a daily fitness or weight loss program, consider my 5 minute fat burning workouts as the tip of the iceberg.  Designed to be simple, quick and effective, each workout is like the spark that ignites a more complete fitness regimen that includes anything cardiovascular, weight lifting or yoga.  Better yet, combine several 5 minute workouts and create your own customized program that fits your busy schedule and targets your body parts that require the most fat burning.  And always remember to include at least one workout to strengthen your core & abs!  Enjoy – R

 

Enjoy the simple things

What if you couldn’t tie your shoelaces or put your daughter’s hair in a braid?  This past weekend a 26 year old woman was given a hand transplant during a successful 14 hour operation at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center – the first such transplant in the state of California.  To be whole again.  And to enjoy the simple things like braiding her daughter’s hair were the young woman’s wishes.  Good news followed the operation – she’s already moving her fingers as the donor’s hand “matched beyond expectation”. Although a hand transplant comes with lifelong risks, lead surgeon Dr. Azari said, “The reasonable expectation is she will get sensation back and she will use her hand.  So far it looks spot on”.  Let’s radiate positive energy for our young woman, and let’s all enjoy the simple things in life.  Including our daily 5 minute fat burning workout.  Here’s #13.  R

One home run doesn’t make a home run hitter

That pretty much says it all for any sport, business or hobby where doing it once or twice doesn’t earn you the title.  Just ask Babe Ruth. But a dozen times, now we’re getting somewhere.  Hopefully you’ve been following along with my 5 minute fat burning workouts – today is day 12. If not, no worries.  You can combine any 2 or 3 workouts and get caught up pretty quick.  But hurry, because the days sneak up on you just like the passage of time.  So get your fitness groove-on today…and enjoy your workout!  R

Yoga for low back pain

I woke up today with pain in my low back, specifically on my right side.  It wasn’t there yesterday so perhaps it occurred during the night, or maybe negative energy or tension came to reside there as a result of stress or something I did yesterday.  No matter the cause, I went to the gym this morning and wasn’t able to work it out with my usual stretching so I decided to focus on it with 15 minutes of yoga and meditation when I got home.  First I laid on my back and quieted my mind with the meditative breathing technique called Ujjayi Pranayama.  In yoga terms (or Sanskrit) it means upwardly victorious or skull shining breath which is a three part yogic breath moving from the low belly into the upper chest and throat.  Inhalation and exhalation are done through the nose – with your mouth closed – and the resulting sound is much like the sound of the ocean.  Next I hugged my knees into my chest while rounding then elongating my spine which is call Apanasana.  All the while I kept with my meditation and Ujjayi breath while sending thoughts of relief specifically to the point of low back pain.  Next I slowly rocked back and forth and side to side massaging my low back into the ground.  Next I reached for the sides of my feet moving into Happy Baby pose.  I also teach this pose in Zoo Yoga from my Yoga Survival Guide as well as Apanasana in Comfort Yoga and Ujjayi Pranayama in the very first lesson, Mountain Pose.   Next I straightened my legs best I could while holding onto my big toes – much like Paschimottanasana on your back (also taught in Park Yoga).  Next I spread my legs wide into a big V, all the while keeping my spine elongated best I could.  Finally I hugged my knees into my chest for another Apanasana, then slowly moved into my final resting pose, Savasana.  Viola!  No more pain.  Although everyone’s body is different with varying degrees of pain, give this sequence a try the next time your low back is bothering you.  It just might do the trick.  R

 

Triceps anyone?

Triceps with Rich Tola

Sometimes you just don’t have the time or just don’t feel like changing into workout clothes just to workout, right?  Well who says you have to find time or wear something workout-ish?  Do one thing for a couple of minutes and you’ll get your workout in – at least part of it.  Like when you’re waiting for that email, or that phone call, or your girlfriend to get ready, or that client to show up.  Check out me working triceps here on my favorite reading chair (dining room and office chairs are even better).  Apply “yoga principles” as you plant your feet slightly apart with knees at right angles pressing together.  Keep your chin parallel to the floor, your spine straight and dip slowly until your elbows reach right angles (no need to go further), pointing your elbows toward each other.  Do not to jerk your head or neck.  Note: always be sensitive to any tweaks or pains in your neck as well as your shoulders, elbows and wrists.  Move with slow and deliberate movements.  Nothing fancy and make sure the chair is properly weighted to support this exercise.  Strengthen your arms and build stamina with these simple dips using whatever’s available to you.   Do as many repetitions as you can per set, and as many sets as you can – with short breaks in between until you feel the burn and can’t do any more.  It’ll happen quick.  And always maintain good posture, close your mouth and breathe slowly and quietly like the sound of the ocean, and pick a point of focus to wipe your mind clear.  Enjoy – R