Forgettabout using that infamous phrase “I used to” when it comes to health & fitness. Stop resting on your workout laurels of yester-year, and get it together today!
There’s been a lot of talk these days about how “yoga can wreck your body”. Well, there’s no question that practicing yoga with an inexperienced or bad teacher can lead to injury; I’ve been hurt three times in the past six years from so-called master teachers and their inappropriate sequencing of poses. Unfortunately, just like Glenn Black says in the NY Times article, “To many schools of yoga are just about pushing people”. Add to that, too many yoga teachers have no background in physical fitness and/or body mechanics, and voila, yoga can hurt you.
Proof in point: Last summer I read a GQ article and posted my Letter to the Editor in my July 22nd blog (click HERE to read). In short, a NYC studio owner prescribed a 15 minute yoga workout with three twisting and forward bending poses that made me cringe. Because there are certainly yoga poses that should never be attempted without the proper (and complete) understanding of how to come into and out of each pose, as well as properly warming up the spine and preparing your body. And if you’re new to yoga, be extremely careful with any teacher that’s pushing too hard or moving too fast – especially an overzealous one that’s new to the profession.
And if you’re someone who truly wants the benefits of yoga but are reluctant to take a class (for a variety of reasons), then try my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workouts that are based on yoga principles and employ my very precise teaching style that’s designed to minimize injury to any body part, especially the neck and low back. Or better yet, if you really want to arm yourself with knowledge, then watch my Yoga Survival Guide with 30 fun lessons teaching you the proper and safe way to practice 100 yoga poses. Enjoy – R
Set your sights on new goals and opportunities, and weigh in. That’s right, it’s New Year’s Day so get on the scale and check your body weight. Because your weight matters, and having a known starting point for the new year is important. And the next thing you should do is workout. That’s right: weigh in and workout. Because preserving your body starts with a daily fitness program. So set your sights for 2012, and know that exercising every single day helps push back the hands of time – and unnecessary pounds of time.
Today I weighed in at 151, then did 30 minutes of abs and yoga stretches, then 30 minutes of weight lifting (mostly machines). Afterward I drove the amazing 5 mile stretch from Hawaii Kai to the Makapuu Lighthouse, hugging the shoreline around the southeast corner of the Island as the waves crash into the rocks below. The certainly challenging but very do-able uphill run starting from the Kalanianaole Highway up to the Lighthouse, well, it ranks second only to my favorite – Runyon Canyon in Hollywood. Not that the 1.5 mile loop around the Reservoir in NY’s Central Park, or the beautiful West River Drive and the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps aren’t great runs too! But the breathtaking ocean views along the narrow blacktop road leading to the Lighthouse are incredible. Not to mention the energy you feel as you pass the lookout for the Humpback whale sanctuary. Totally awesome. And worth running or walking – at least once in a lifetime!
I never imagined I would be traveling this lovely Hawaiian path when I first set my sights on publishing my memoirs less than six months ago. So believe in yourself and believe that you can. Then get on the scale and get started with your daily fitness program. Wherever you are! And if you don’t know where to start, how about strengthening your core with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #81 – Plank Crunches. Happy New Year – R
Have you ever challenged yourself to change one thing? That is to say, to change one thing about yourself that you know would significantly benefit you in the long run. Something that you do – or don’t do – that when changed results in a positive outcome. For me it was Sardines. Yes, those small, saltwater, oily-rich, silvery soft-boned fish that feed exclusively on plankton, and therefore, do not concentrate mercury and contaminants as do other fish.
Named after Sardinia, the Italian island where large schools of these fish were once found, sardines are: 1) rich in Protein – which provides us with amino acids to create new proteins, 2) one of the most concentrated sources of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA – which have been found to lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels, 3) an excellent source of vitamin B-12 – which promotes cardiovascular well-being, 4) incredibly concentrated in vitamin D – which plays an essential role in bone health since it helps to increase the absorption of calcium, 5) a very good source of Phosphorus – a mineral that is important for strengthening bones, 6) a very good source of Selenium – a mineral with powerful antioxidant activity whose dietary intake has been associated with reduced risk of cancer, and 7) relatively inexpensive, low in calories and have a long storage life. Except for the fact that sardines contain naturally occurring substances called purines – which too much purines in the body can lead to an excess accumulation of uric acid, and thus, can lead to gout or kidney stones – they’re excellent for you!
So why is it that prior to this week I wouldn’t go near sardines? Because when I tried them as a youngster, I hated them. Or at least I hated them at that particular time in my life. So when my father told me he eats canned sardines regularly to help combat his cancer, I thought why not change one thing about myself and start eating sardines. No matter my pre-conceived notion that I hated them, I purchased a few cans and dove right in. Now sardines are a regular part of my diet. Quite frankly, I like them more than any other of my previously consumed canned aquatic vertebrates, like tuna and salmon.
Whether it be sardines or a daily fitness program, change one thing that will better your life today and in the long run. Just because you think you don’t like something, doesn’t mean you can’t change your way of thinking. Especially with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workouts. They’re so short, simple and easy to follow, that anyone with a computer or smart phone can do them in the same amount of time it takes to eat a can of sardines! Here’s a 5 minute workout from my 100 day web series: #94 – Leg Stretches. Enjoy – R
Coming Soon!!! Rich Tola’s Fat Burn America Tour: 100 Cities in 100 Days
Check out the full length Hollywood Sneak Peek. We’ll be doing this in every City!
We’ll soon begin a 30,000 journey across America visiting all 50 states – 100 Cities in 100 Days – to raise money for my charity, The Boulevard Zen Foundation. We teach yoga to women and children living in domestic violence shelters. Ambitious? Yes. For a great cause? Yes. Impossible? Certainly not! I expect it to be life changing. For all of us, as well as all of you because we intend to EDUCATE, INSPIRE, EMPOWER and ENTERTAIN you with cool, trivia-filled workout videos from historical sites everywhere.
Here’s me teaching the women and children at the San Diego domestic violence shelter:
Here’s the Hollywood Sneak Peek Trailer for my Fat Burn America Tour. Enjoy! – R
“Holy expanding waistline Batman, America just keeps getting fatter”. Now if you’re a fan of the infamous Caped Crusader and read this morning’s newspaper, this is definitely something Robin would say. Because in today’s Los Angeles Times, a new report on our nation’s weight crisis – as prepared by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America Health – says “16 states are experiencing steep increases in adult obesity, and none has seen a downturn in the last four years”. So what’s up with that? With an obese population of 19.8%, Colorado is the ONLY state with an adult obesity rate below 20%. Furthermore, “adult obesity rates have doubled or nearly doubled in 17 states. Two decades ago, not a single state had an obesity rate above 15%. Now all states do.” But no worries folks…help is on the way! Soon my team will embark upon my FAT BURN AMERICA TOUR, visiting every state in America, 100 cities in 100 days, filming my fat burning workouts to promote daily fitness & yoga, and to raise much needed funds for my charity, The Boulevard Zen Foundation. As you know, we teach yoga to women and children living in domestic violence shelters. And since the report also states that “obesity remains a condition disproportionately affecting those with poor education and income, and closely tied to minority status”, it’s all the more reason to bring my FREE Fat Burning Workouts to the public. Our goal: to EDUCATE, EMPOWER, INSPIRE and ENTERTAIN. So get ready and get set with today’s 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #94 – Leg Stretches. Enjoy and we’ll see you soon! – R
It felt like a ghost-town when I walked into the gym this morning at 6am. I expected it to be light because of the holiday, but it was barren. And as I was making my way past the Chest machines, this older gentleman sat up tall and said to me, “I’ll glad you’re here.” Of course, right. Because when it comes to a daily fitness program, sometimes it helps to get a little boost from your compatriots. Let’s face it, honoring our Nation’s Independence deserves a day off from exercise, right? Wrong. That’s all the more reason to honor yourself and your freedom with a strong body – clear mind. So don’t let the Fourth of July festivities spoil your routine. Grab a fellow barbecuer and challenge yourself with today 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #95 – Dancer’s Pose. Enjoy – R
Happy Independence Day Everyone!
This goes out to all the Ladies living at the domestic violence shelter in San Diego where I taught a 2-hour yoga & lifestyle class last night. Because after teaching a 75 minute yoga class followed by a 45 discussion about embracing a positive mindset, a healthy diet, and most importantly, a daily fitness routine, I truly believe in each and every one of them. I know you’re reading this Ladies, so don’t forget to do your Peaceful Warriors, Temple Poses, Side Body Abs and Stretching, Chair Poses up against the Wall, and of course our favorite, Viparita Karani or Legs Up the Wall. Today and every day this week until I come back again next Thursday to “kick it up a notch”. Always remember to stay present with your thinking and live positively and happily, moment to moment. Because whether or not your past experiences have been negative or abusive, you never have to carry that energy with you. Let it go. And if it begins to creep into your mind and body, go outside and do some yoga and my fat burning workouts, or better yet, work on some balancing with that meditative breath I taught you – and remember to pick that point of focus and use all distractions to help you focus more. So respect yourself each and every day, especially during this long holiday weekend, and enjoy sculpting your thighs and butt today with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #96 – Killer Squats II. Namaste – R
The other night I had dinner with Stephani Drapeau, my dear friend and co-star of my film, Boulevard Zen. We were discussing the concept of “freeing your mind and your soul” from anything that prevents you from evolving to a higher level. That is to say, letting go of the “ties that bind” you to past beliefs, or rather, disbeliefs about your dreams, your desires, and your life’s destiny. Because when you free your mind and your soul, you evolve to a much better and brighter place. A place where anything is possible if you truly believe it. So make a conscious effort to become Free Squared, especially when it comes to fat burning and a daily fitness routine. Because anyone and everyone has at least 5 minutes a day to respect themselves with a little exercise. So enjoy firming your Core & Abs with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #97 – Side Plank. My best – R