Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Best Tips For Staying Healthy While Travelling

Lately I have been doing a lot of traveling across Canada and the United States, and even being a trainer and in good health there is nothing that feels more awful than of long travel days, not to mention the dehydration and swelling that you end up experiencing from the flights. With flying because of the cabin pressure you may not realize it but there can be de-oxygenation. Not to mention the less-than healthy menu airlines usually serve that consist of processed foods. With connections, jet lag and in and out of hotels it is also hard to find time to exercise properly.
Follow these tips to combat the icky travel feeling so that you feel more like your normal health self.

Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing so you are more apt to move around.

When traveling the absolute most important thing is to stay hydrated,. Think about what happens to a bottle of water or a liquid that you carry on the flight with you. It looks all sucked and indented in. Your body is mostly made up of water so this is pretty much what is happening to your body as well. When you get dehydration you can feel de-energized and it will cause your skin to look dry and dull. Also when you are dehydrated you feel hungrier, and it will cause you to  eat more than you normally would.

If a flight is short, I suggest that you try to eat a meal before your flight. Most of the food at the airport are fast, unhealthy fixes. Although I found a great healthy store in the Chicago airport. I forget the name of it. But keep an eye out for it if you are connecting from Canada. Also be careful of airport and plane salads. It’s the dressing that is bad for you, look for vinaigrette instead of fatty dressings.  If you can try to bring your own snacks such as fruits and veggies. I always make sure to pack some PROMASIL protein powder by RIVALUS, I’ve often been stuck in an airport with nothing but fast food as options. I’d rather have a shake to hold me off than back-track on all the hard work I’ve put in during my workouts.

Sometimes a flight can be up to 4 hours plus. This is a lot of sitting down. Your muscles build up tension and sometimes you can get stuck in a tricky position, get muscle cramps and this can lead to injury. I suggest trying to stand up and stretch your whole body. This includes arms, legs and back. Even simple static stretches held for at least 30s do the trick. Try getting up in the isle, and you can even use your seat as an anchor for the stretches.

Get up out of your seat and use the isle to do a few laps. You can even do this as your are stretching. Or walk in the airport in between connections instead of sitting. Explore the airport, browse the shops, and if you’re lucky enough to have minimal carry-on luggage take a brisk walk around for 10-20 minutes. You will feel better and more relaxed on flight. I find most airports these days are like malls. There are endless shops that carry an array of items. Go get that gift for your parents or spouse and check out the duty free shops to stay active instead of sitting right at your gate.

When you reach your destination, the best thing you can do to rejuvenate yourself and fight the jetlag. This can be done by simply getting your butt to your hotels gym to workout. It doesn’t have to be long, try 15 minutes on a full body machine like the elliptical or do a quick circuit to get the blood flowing again. If you are tired as I always say  the hardest part is getting started, but once you start you will thank yourself after. If your destination hotel or condo does not have a gym or you don’t want to be in a gym try traveling with a light weight jump rope, or do push ups and sit ups in your room, followed by a few stretches. After this first day get right back into your regular workout regime at your destination and you will feel back to your regular self!
Enjoy your travels and don’t let them disrupt your exercise regime. Even if you are traveling it is possible to still be the best you that you can be with a little bit of adjustment and effort. So happy airplane and destination fitness!

[Alicia Bell is an Elite Personal Trainer, NCCP Sprint Coach, and a Training Advisor for RIVALUS.]

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Alicia Bell Trains Lil Jon.. OOKKAAAYYY!!

When most of us think of a rapper or DJ performing we think of lots of alcohol, girls, late nights out, room service and lots of sleep during the day. This is a stereo type. Lots of rappers/DJ’s live healthy lifestyles. They do this for personal health issues, aesthetics’ (maybe to get the girls), lose weight. I know that if I was constantly in front of cameras and paparazzi I would want to be in shape though!
OKAYYYYY! Who am I kidding though….In reality Lil Jon does live a fun and crazy life that might include wild nights, women, patron, tequila, vodka and chicken wings, but who doesn’t fall off the wagon every now and then? When I think of Lil Jon I am always reminded of the song he did with LMFAO called SHOTS. “SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS!” Besides knowing how to party like no other person I know he is also very grounded. He recently has gone on a health kick and works out nearly every day whether he is at home, on the road partying until sunrise so hard that he probably doesn’t even know his own name, or even up so late that he just rambles on about how certain girls need “bigger assets”.
He is focused, determined and driven when it comes to fitness. When I heard that he was on this journey I asked him if he took any supplements. To which he responded “YYEE-YAAH…”  Just joking. What he actually said was that he took some protein and a few other supplements here and there. I asked him if he would be interested in trying RIVALUS. He received his package and immediately loved the product! Vanilla PROMASIL seems to be his favorite flavor (just a FYI.)
I eventually had an opportunity a few weeks ago with the help of RIVALUS to fly all the way from Canada to train him in MIAMI! When I arrived, the first thing I said was “IM IN MIAMI $#%@&.” Shortly after being dropped off at the amazing Fontainebleau hotel I met up with Lil Jon.  I noticed he already had his Vanilla PROMASIL in hand and a few of the pills like the Libido enhancer…WHAT…OKAYYYY! Comon guys I know what you’re thinking, but the man is on the road a lot…Don’t judge!
Not only does Lil Jon try and make it a habit of working out every day, so does his crew and his body guards. You’re more apt to be motivated when you surround yourself with people who enjoy the gym and training as much as you do. I immediately noticed that Lil Jon had dropped a few pounds since I had last seen him in Vancouver during the Olympics. He said that since he had started taking RIVALUS and training more the weight started to come off. We didn’t go to the gym right away. We all headed down to a Cabana at the Fontainebleau Hotel for some food. I noticed most of his crew ate healthy, with the exception of one or two. Lil Jon himself ordered a nice healthy chicken wrap and had water to drink. Great pre-workout meal if you ask me. He got his carbohydrates, protein, and some hydration. A few hours later we agreed to meet back up at the gym.
We were very lucky to be staying at the Fontainebleau because there gym is amazing! It’s nicer than a lot of studio gyms I have visited in other cities and hotels, you name the piece of equipment or cardio machine and it can be found at this hotels gym, along with there own fully certified and knowledgeable personal trainers. I give the gym a 5 star rating.

Lil Jon had beat me to the gym and was already warming up with his RIVALUS shirt on. He was using the Elliptical as his security watched on. Now some people think rappers are characters of sort, and can be different people on stage then they are off stage. Lil Jon works out with his Oakley’s on at all times. This man is serious about his look on or off stage.
As he was warming up he pointed out to me that the gym was demo-ing a machine called the Trazer and wanted to try it after he was done his warm up. I was all for it because I love technology and trying new workouts. I am always aiming for continual education. Its important to always be up to date on trends, education, and even new studies.  As a trainer you never know when you are going to come across something that could benefit yourself and/or your clients. I knew just by looking at the machine I was going to have to change my previously planned workout for him. This is because from talking with Lil Jon I knew that he usually does traditional type workouts, and I love doing dynamic/functional workouts. The machine looked as if it was going to be very dynamic and included resistance with a little bit of fun. So I immediately began brainstorming of more traditional exercises to do after we were done with the Trazer.
The Trazer is basically a 3D interactive sport and movement simulator. It is a more advanced version of the Nintendo WII with resistance bands, dumbbells or any other equipment you would like to implement to the sequence. It is very realistic and the screens can help with balance, coordination, movement and speed. You can incorporate whatever exercises you wish. It all depends on the trainers creativity. You can incorporate, squats, lunges, dumbbell curls or even presses, or any combination of these moves. It was really fun, and the thick resistance bands make it challenging. You can be hooked from 0 to 4 bands at a time. The more you are attached to the more difficult it is. The computer can read where you are standing via a sensor on the belt that the bands attach to. One could easily work up a sweat in just a few minutes.
Lil Jon spent a good 20-30 minutes on the machine, going through various jumps, lunges, squats, bicep curls etc. He was not attached to no bands for the first round and then we progressively added bands as he moved on from one sequence to another. He was pretty winded after the trazer. The bands used are very high resistance and when you add in the squats, lunges and lifts it becomes a challenging workout.

I wanted to try it as well so while Jon rested it was my turn . I have to say that I was exhausted after a few circuits of moving from grid to grid, jumping and squatting with all four resistance bands attached to my waist. The trazer is comparable it to cardio strength circuits and I give the whole concept 2 thumbs up and a definite 5 stars. You can find out more information on the Trazer here:
After a little break we then decided to do some lifting with the sun glasses on. We did a series of chest, back, shoulders, arms and core. I’m not gonna say that I totally kicked his butt because he is strong and determined but I definitely left him challenged, as you can tell in some of the pictures. It was fun and he was a good sport about it. We finished up the workout and headed back to our rooms. Because later that night he was performing at the world famous club in the hotel called LIV later that night.
LIV was jammed packed, and he got the crowd going right away.  It was an experience to remember and really fun to see how hard he works at his fitness when he is not partying hard. And it is always a great experience to see how hard he works at his job. He is a very talented artist and DJ. His sets had the crowd going until the early hours of the morning. He has had a lot of hits, and when you hear them mixed in with other songs it really puts you in perspective on how much this man has effected the music industry in a positive way. It was definitely a fun trip to Miami to work with Lil Jon and RIVALUS. I hope to be able to train him again in the future and kick his butt even more without the Trazer! Thanks RIVALUS and Lil Jon for the great experience! OKAYYYYYYYYYYY!

[Alicia Bell is an Elite Personal Trainer, NCCP Sprint Coach, and a Training Advisor for RIVALUS.]

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Alicia Bell’s Favorite Protein Shake Recipes

As most of you reading this blog know that RIVALUS PROMASIL in all flavors (vanilla, chocolate, white chocolate) all taste amazing! It does not matter if you mix it with water or milk, because it all mixes and tastes great.

However, I myself sometimes get bored with drinking it straight so I mix it in with fruits and other things to make healthy smoothies. All of my recipes have variations for the liquid that include: water, juice or non fat milk/soy milk. The options are there in case of any allergies or personal preferences. Remember if juice is added because of the sugar content there will be more calories.
The following are a few of my personal and favorite recipes. ENJOY!
Strawberry Banana
1/2 banana
6-8 frozen strawberries or fresh
Cover the fruit with your choice of:
c)Non Fat Milk/Soy Milk
1/4 cup of NON FAT plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
1 Scoop of Promasil Vanilla protein
Peanut Butter Chocolate
1 spoon natural peanut butter
Dash of cinnamon
2 tbl spoons of NON FAT plain yogurt
1/2 Cup of blueberries
Cover the fruit with your choice of:
c)Non Fat Milk/Soy Milk
1 Scoop Promasil Chocolate protein or Promasil White Chocolate protein
PINA COLADA                                                                                  
6-8 Pieces of frozen pinneapple
1/2 Bananna
1/4 Cup of NON FAT Plain Yogurt
Cover the fruit with your choice of:
c)Non Fat Milk/Soy Milk
1 Scoop of Promasil Vanilla protein