Master of the Month: Daphnie Yang

Daphnie Yang TrainerDaphnie Yang is the creator of HIIT IT!™, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), an hour long total body workout designed to sculpt every major muscle group, burn fat, torch through calories and increase cardiovascular endurance.  HIIT IT!™ is challenging, intense, effective and FUN. Each class burns up to 700 calories, blasts body fat, sculpts lean muscle mass and strengthens the core. 

Aside from teaching workout classes in studios around NYC and in Central Park, Daphnie Yang is also the head race coach for the New York City chapter of Team Challenge, a half marathon training/fundraising program benefiting the Crohns and Colitis Foundation of America.

Daphnie has been featured in Well + Good and on the Instagram of Shape Magazine. She is also a fitness contributor for Dance Spirit Magazine and the popular online fitness magazine wewomen.com.

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Your Guide to Buying Coconut Water

Coconut water has gained a lot of interest in the past few years and you can now find it bottled and boxed in almost every supermarket and convenience store.   Although most coconut waters have fewer calories, more potassium, and less sodium than many sports drinks it may have ingredients that you did not expect to find depending on the brand you buy.  Continue reading Your Guide to Buying Coconut Water

Get Outside: The Power of Nature

Spending time outdoors is crucial in establishing a healthy mind and body. In the past two centuries, beginning with the Industrial Revolution, our schedules have been regulated by the factory clock rather than the circadian rhythms with the help from the sun and moon. The 24-hour cycle regulates physiological, biochemical, and behavioral processes that send signals to our brains and allows us to feel tired once it becomes dark outside. As a hard-working city dweller, I’ve found that it can be far too simple today to be enticed by the pressures of obligations and outside forces by not taking time for myself to soak up the sunlight or even appreciate the beauty that nature has to offer.

Being in nature allows us to quiet our minds by processing less information than it normally would while at work or out to dinner with friends. Once you have found a quiet and comfortable spot to sit, take a few deep inhalations in, and make your exhales even slower. Now that your mind has slowed down a bit, find something in nature-whether it be a tree, rock, or cloud-and focus on it and do not allow outside thoughts to burden the moment. Continue your deep and long breath while observing, and then take a moment to think about how your mind has changed from the moment you initially started your breathing in nature. You may feel as though you had freed up more space and do not feel as burdened about something that was bothering you. A short 10 minute exercise such as this one has many positive benefits.

Summer time is a great time to prioritize your connectivity with nature.  The June solstice, summer solstice, day has the longest hours of daylight (15) for everyone living in the north of the equator.  This day in June marks the first day of the summer season for the northern hemisphere. Studies have shown that sunlight can ease common depression and fatigue symptoms, and especially seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Winter is a time when your serotonin levels are at an all time low because of lack of sunlight. The serotonin neurotransmitter is responsible for regulating your appetite, memory, sleep, and mood.  In order to keep off excess weight and keep a positive attitude we must remember to get about 20 minutes of vitamin D each day.

The next time you are feeling depressed, anxious, stressed or frustrated put on your sneakers and step outside to enjoy the fresh air, try the breathing exercise, and let the sun shine against your skin. Set aside 20 minutes during the middle of the day to sit under a tree or lounge in the grass to take in the beautiful aromas of what nature has to offer.

Fueling Up for Festivals

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Festivals are a lot of fun, but so exhausting! The biggest problem is, the various options of food can be far from nutritious. You know you’ll expect to find the usual suspects: french fries, hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, milkshakes, tacos, ice cream, and gyros. While these may seem like a good way to fill your belly after dancing in the heat for the past 4/5 hours, they are some of the biggest culprits for slowing you down. Fortunately, you can eat before it starts, and if you plan properly, your body will not have to suffer.

Let’s lay down a few simple guidelines for making balanced and healthy choices for your pre-festival and post-festival meals.

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New 2014 Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen List!

Without the signs at the super markets or the stickers on the fruits and vegetables it would be very difficult to know which are organic and which are not. The Environmental Working Group recently released their annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides. There are new culprits out in produce sections of the supermarket so be sure to keep clear of their non-organic versions. Keep a pocket version of this list in your wallet or purse to reference when you head to the market.

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Discover the foods to make you feel your best!