January
15

10 TIPS TO STAY FIT DURING YOUR VACATION

We survived the holiday season! With all those festive parties, Christmas cookie tins and savory meals, staying fit and healthy was quite the challenge.

Although our goal is to lead an active, healthy, #GetOutThere lifestyle, sometimes we need a little kickstart. So we turn to our MI OLA Brand Ambassadors for inspiration.

This month we sat down with one of our Ambassadors, Catherine Marquis.

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MI OLA Ambassador @kathmarquis

I have always been active and involved in lots of sports. I was a personal trainer and kinesiologist, for 15 years in Montreal. After a surf trip to Costa Rica, I decided to move here.

I now live in Tamarindo and work as a personal trainer and Surfset instructor. Being active is my life!  Every day I wear my MI OLA bikini and I #GetOutThere to either surf, swim, hike, run, bike, do yoga, pilates or functional training.

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MI OLA Ambassador @kathmarquis

It’s Summer all year long here, so it’s no surprise Costa Rica is a popular vacation destination. So, for my first blog contribution, I thought it would be great to share tips for a keep fit holiday.

 

10 TIPS TO STAY FIT DURING YOUR VACATION

By Catherine Marquis, B.Sc.kinesiology

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Photo by MI OLA

1.  Staying at a resort or all inclusive hotel? Take advantage of all the sports and activities included in your package. Beware of the inviting buffet. Try having 3 small meals and 1-2 healthy snacks during the day. Remember, it takes 3500 extra calories to gain 1 pound.

2.  Most of us will indulge in a ‘Big Night Out’ when on vacation. Prep for this by eating lighter during the day or maybe having a snack before dinner. Try a good ceviche. You will avoid the starving sensation that makes you eat like there is no tomorrow! When mañana comes, cut on calories and try to eat only veggies and protein.

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Photo by MI OLA

3.  Drink water! And I mean a lot. You sweat more in a warm weather, so you need to drink more. Dehydration will result in water retention, which can then cause a bloated sensation making you feel heavy and uncomfortable. The last thing you want when wearing your MI OLA bikini!

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MI OLA Ambassador @kathmarquis

4.  Smoothies can be very tempting on hot, sweaty afternoons. I say yes to a smoothie, but pay attention to what it’s made with. They can be very high on calories. Ask for fresh fruits only, mixed with water or coconut water – delicious! Specify no sugar or honey and try adding ginger.

5.  Enjoy happy hour with your friends but stick to low sugar drinks. Sweet drinks can easily contain more than 350 calories. Good options are light beers or Micheladas – lemon juice, ice, spices or fruit mixed with light beer.  It’s delicious and will last you longer. A vodka or tequila with seltzer and a splash of fruit juice is nice too.

Happy Hour

Photo by MI OLA

6.  Get out of your comfort zone and move! Try new sports and enjoy being challenged. Surf, hike, rent a stand-up paddle board, play volleyball, do yoga! It’s a great way to meet new people and to improve your physical skills through other activities you would not normally do at home.

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MI OLA Ambassador @kathmarquis

7.  Get up early. Early mornings are the best times to do a workout on the beach or to go for a run. Exercising outside is also a great way to explore the place you are visiting and to see the sights when it’s not too busy.

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MI OLA Ambassador @kathmarquis

8.  For an even tan, walk on the beach instead of lying down with a drink.  You’ll be more active and you’ll avoid flipping around on a sandy towel.

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MI OLA Ambassador @kathmarquis

9.  Sleep! Enjoy it and don’t feel guilty or lazy about it. You are on vacation, so please your body by getting the rest you need. A good nights of sleep and a little “siesta” (20-30 min.) will decrease your body stress and will help you avoid weight gain. It’s also a great way to cool the body and recharge your batteries to enjoy any other activity you might want to try!

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Photo by MI OLA

10.  Short workouts are the best. Try to fit in a 20 min. metabolic circuit workout every day. You will get a boost of energy out of it and you will burn calories all day long! Do this workout outside and get ready to sweat!

 THE METABOLIC WORKOUT

Perform each exercise for 60 sec. with no rest between.  Follow the circuit with a 10 sec. sprint and take a 60 sec. rest. Repeat 4 times.  Total time: 25 min

1.  AIR SQUATS

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2. BURPS

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3. MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS

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4. ALTERNATED BACK LUNGES

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5. PIKE PUSH-UPS

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6. SPRINT FOR 10 sec. RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!

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Photo by @kirstenrinck

Now repeat 4 times!

 

 

October
23

Get Fit – Stay Fit Guide: Yoga Flow with Amanda

Back in March we caught up with MI OLA Brand Ambassador Amanda Minton (@mermanda_) and shared her #GetOutThere Guide for Marathon, Florida. Since then, she has gone to India and back, earned her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher certification, and started her own yoga studio right in Marathon. We could not be prouder of this entrepreneuring mermaid!!! After a crazy couple of months of launching a new studio, we chatted with Amanda about her new business and got a pretty awesome yoga flow sequence for our new series, Get Fit – Stay Fit Guides.

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Back in July, I opened Sol Shine Yoga Studio. Let me tell you: it is just. so. glamorous. I hang out in my new bamboo yoga pants all day long. My OMies and I get together over Kale salad & green juice to talk about the latest eco-friendly yoga mats. We exchange Kombucha recipes and practice graceful transitions from arm balance to inversion. I have also begun chanting in pitch perfect, vibrationally-sound, sanskrit. Totally Magical.

Just kidding.  It’s actually not like that at all.

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It’s a business; which means bills and marketing. Oh and an automated phone caller named “Abby” who wants to give the business a seven million dollar loan.

Dang, I forgot to update/post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Wix, Pintrest, Snapchat, Youtube, Shout Out, Gmail, Vine; what’s the password for that one?  Do I have a periscope account? Wait, what do I “periscope”?

To Do:  Make 10 awesome unique class sequences with deep intentions and matching playlists.

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A while ago, my very proud father asked, “So how does it feel to own your own business, darling?” To which I replied, “It feels like a very expensive hobby that I also pay taxes on.”

And it did. Being green to owning a business was a real eye opener. Some days it felt heavy. Other days I felt like I had no idea what I was doing; asking myself, “Do they even like me?” Before I knew it a month had gone by and I had not been on my mat once.

That was a long month. Since then I have found a way to balance giving yoga to others with giving yoga to myself. I have realized, on a whole other level, how important self practice is to me. But perhaps more importantly, I have learned that while the asanas are a powerful part of Yoga, the essence of the practice is in the way I talk to myself: Hushing the mind when it tries to shout with negativity. It is in the fullness of my breath – using frustrating situations as an opportunity to deepen and regulate my breathing. Which, of course, comes full circle and changes the minds perspective.

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My passion for yoga has grown immensely since starting this journey. It is a joy to share my knowledge and to connect with so many new people though the studio classes, monthly workshops, and community wide yoga events.

I am grateful for this opportunity to encourage people to create the life they’ve always imagined, to help people manifest their dreams, and share science of yoga, feng shui, and meditation.

When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot. Stay Green,
A

 

Now… let’s practice

 

As always, **It is always important to consult your physician before starting an exercise program. If you’re already a practicing yogi, jump into this. If not, we strongly recommend taking a yoga beginner course at your local studio so that you understand the basics, and most importantly, proper alignment.** In other words, this yoga sequence is recommended for this that already have an established yoga practice – you understand proper alignment and know your limits.

 

The Yoga Sequence that makes me feel alive!!! 

(If you need clarification on any of these poses, click here for references for a guide to yoga poses

3 Surya Namaskar A (Sun Salutation A): Salute the Sun
3 Surya Namaskar B (Sun Salutation B): Use your breath to slow your heart rate. End in Down Dog.
Plank: From Down Dog move into plank. Hold Plank Longer than you want to. Move into side plank on right side, lift your hips higher.
Warrior 1: Swing your left leg to the top of your mat and then rise into Warrior 1.
Warrior 2
Triangle: After triangle, flow into plank and repeat sequence on your other side.
Forward Fold: Move out of triangle and step to the stop of the mat. Hang a while in a forward fold. Exhale the heat. Reach for big toes and prepare for Hastapadangustasana on your right side (Or as we say in very eloquent English, Extended Hand To Big Toe)
Hastapadangustasana: Roll up into a standing balance.
Tree
Warrior 3
Half Moon: After Half Moon, move back into forward fold and repeat Hastapadangustasana, Tree, Warrior 3, and Half Moon on your left side.
Yogi squat
Crow: ARM BALANCES! (This is a more advanced move – know your limits and your practice, but don’t be afraid to try it out and fall on your face – we all had to start somewhere!)
Chaturanga: Float back from Crow to Chaturanga. (Again, this is a more advanced move – know your limits and your practice, but don’t be afraid to try it out and fall on your face – we all had to start somewhere!)
Child’s pose
Headstand: (This is another more advanced move. If you can not slowly flow into headstand, please DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT jump into headstand in order to get your legs up!!! You can injure yourself by doing so. Practice mindfulness and body awareness – if you can not go all the way up into headstand that is perfectly OK. Work on your core muscles and learning how to isolate them by staying in an inverted tuck position. If this hurts your knock at all, DO NOT go into headstand – rest in child’s pose.)
Child’s pose
Pigeon: Right Side. Practice the art of letting go.
3 legged Down Dog
Wild Thing
Pashimottanasana (seated forward fold) Repeat to Pigeon on left side.
Baddakonasana: Butterfly. Release. Let Go.
Shoulder Stand
Plow
Supine Twist
Savasana (corpse pose): Well deserved 10 minutes of meditation.

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Playlist that I Love right now:

Here’s a list of the tracks:

Vinyasa – Yoga
Florence + The Machine – St Jude
Låpsley – Station
First Aid Kit – Master Pretender
Stars – The Night Starts Here
Elephant Revival – Grace of a Woman
Trevor Hall – Te Amo
Trevor Hall – Where’s The Love
Ben Harper – Waiting On an Angel
Ben Harper – Forever
Alexi Murdoch – Breathe
Elephant Revival – The Obvious
Alexi Murdoch – All My Days
Claude Debussy – Suite bergamasque, L. 75: 3. Clair de lune

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September
25

Get Fit – Stay Fit Guide: Katie Westbrook

Our MI OLA Brand Ambassadors rock it and #GetOutThere everyday.  In the Florida Keys, Australia, Southern Cali, Norway, Tahiti,  Costa Rica, and the Canary Islands, they surf, hike, SUP, cannonball, kite surf, mountain bike, skate, and get sweaty in the gym.

With their local knowledge, we love catching up with them for our #GetOutThere Guides and Surf Guides.  Given how active our mermaids are, we are debuting a new feature in our MI OLA guide:  the Get Fit – Stay Fit Guides, compliments of our awesome Ambassadors. Launching the series is Katie Westbrook (@westbutt) from South Florida. Get ready to work up a sweat!

**”It is always important to consult your physician before starting an exercise program. If you’re already working out, jump into this. If not, move into it gradually and know your limits.**

 

 

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Get Fit – Stay Fit Guide: Katie Westbrook

What’s up MI OLA chicas? Your favorite fit freak Katie here live from sunny Southwest Florida ready to drop some knowledge bombs! I know I am beyond blessed to live in a state that very rarely drops below 60 degrees, but as a former northerner I have one very important message to give you: Winter weather does NOT mean winter weight!

You’ve heard it before, “Summer bodies are made in the winter”, but I mean, come on…have you TASTED those peppermint mocha lattes and pumpkin spice cookies? And getting some exercise in outside when the thermometer reads anything below 60? Forgetta bout it.

If running on the treadmill sounds about as appealing as jellyfish sting, I have some great news for you.  You can still get your sweat on and stay active when the outside chills have you longing for your covers.  All you need is some open space, a little bit of time and a mindset for success. Whether you can get to a gym, or you’re stuck in your living room, try some of these moves to get a workout in without getting frostbite!

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Indoor Movements: Feel free to mix and match these moves to create your own personalized sweat sesh!

Hamstring Curls:

This is a simple, yet brutal movement that will leave your legs shaking!

  • Start by lying flat on your back with your feet either on a yoga ball (or if not available have two washcloths or socks on so you can slide your feet).
  • Tighten your core, glutes and hamstrings as you slowly bring your heels towards you, pushing your hips upwards simultaneously.
  • Once you have reached the top be sure to pause and squeeze your glutes and hammies.
  • Slowly roll your feet outwards to the start position.

If this is too difficult you can begin with your feel planted firmly on the floor so your knees make a 40 degree angle with your bottom on the floor and slowly raise your hips towards the ceiling, pausing and squeezing at the top.

Repeat 10-15x for 3 sets

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Planks

An oldie, but goodie with some variations to spice it up.

This time tested classic doesn’t have to be like watching paint dry, spice it up!

  • Start in the basic plank position with your hands planted on the ground directly below your shoulders, or if you’re more advanced put your elbows on the ground.
  • Begin by attempting to hold your plank in a perfect position for 30 seconds. If this proves easy, go for a minute.
  • If you’re looking for an added challenge put a weight (or maybe your cat) on your back! Keep that position for 30 seconds to a minute, rest 30 seconds then repeat!
  • If that’s still too easy, take a limb out of the equation! Side planks are a great oblique strengthener and you’ll feel that tingle in your arms.
  • Simply turn your body until your front side is completely facing the wall. One arm should be holding your body (either hand or elbow still grounded under your shoulder) and hold! You can have one foot or both feet on the ground depending on skill level.
  • Or raise one leg for added full abdominal obliteration!

Repeat each variation for 30 seconds-1 minute 5x

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Pushups

The most basic of exercises with the most complex benefits!

 That’s right, it’s back to middle school with everyone’s favorite! Pushups!

  • Test yourself: How many pushups can you do in a minute? Find out!
  • Rest 2 minutes then seen if you can beat your time! GO GO GO!

Now for the fun part: Variations!

  • Elevate your feet; either on a chair, a couch or even a table! Get your feet up and try those pushups again. Little bit harder right?
  • Aim for anywhere from 5-10 perfect pushups! Keep your back flat and core tight, don’t let yourself ‘snake’ upwards.

Repeat 3x

  • Slow it down! Hold your pushup position at the top for 10 seconds.
  • Slowly lower yourself until you are half way to the floor and HOLD for 10 seconds!
  • Sink lower until your nose is almost on the ground and HOLD again for 10 seconds!
  • Return to the top, rest if necessary (no more than 30 seconds) and go again!

Repeat 8x

If you’re looking for cardio my go to moves are:

  • Running in place with HIGH knees
  • Burpees
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Air Squats
  • Running in place- hitting your bottom with your feet (Butt Kickers)
  • Squat Jumps

For a full HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout run though 30 seconds of each movement in succession.

Repeat 4-8x

 

Handstands and hollow backs:

Shoulder and arm zinger that doubles as a back toner! 

**This is a more advanced move -please make sure that your wrists can handle this type of pressure before beginning this one! AND if this is your first time inverting yourself, grab a friend to spot you!**

  • Have your phone or a stopwatch ready! Depending on upper body strength you can hold these position for anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes (or beyond if you’re very comfortable!)
  • Begin with a basic handstand against the wall, if you can lift one hand to tap your shoulder go through a set of 5 shoulder taps each arm. If not, hold for your selected time frame
  • When you have become more comfortable being upside down start your handstand farther from the wall so that you must engage your core to get your legs against the wall. Hold for your selected time.
  • Continue to back farther away from the wall. Make sure that your movements are controlled and slow, you really don’t want to rush this type of position!

Repeat 5x

Want more handstand fun? Try a scorpion progression!

  • Come to a handstand with your hands about 1-2 feet from the wall. Slowly, slide your feet towards your head, redirecting them so your toes point downwards.
  • See how far you can get them! I’m almost to my head now, but not quite!

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You can workout as much as you want, but if you eat too much junk, you won’t get to show off the results!  Fall provides TONS of beautiful, nutritious fruits and veggies that are more than enough to fuel you through one of these circuits.  Peaches, which are my favorite fruit, are just going out of season, but apples, broccoli, pumpkins, pears and sweet potatoes are just some of the DELICIOUS food options you have to eat sustainably and healthfully throughout the autumn months.

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My personal favorite snack/meal?

Baked sweet potatoes (350 degrees Farenheit in the oven for about an hour) with a drizzle of honey and sprinkle of cinnamon, 4oz of lean ground turkey (seasoned with low sodium chipotle and herbs) and a cup of steamed or raw broccoli!

Keep Hydrated

Also, yes it’s getting colder, but you still NEED to stay hydrated! Aim for at least half a gallon a day. More if you start to sweat! Of course you can have that cookie, heck have two, but remember to eat for what your body NEEDS, not what you WANT.