Monday, July 27, 2009

Additional Central Park classes added this thursday 7/30

So how good were you over the weekend? Did you drink too much, eat too much, or overindulge all two days? EVERYTHING adds up! How many calories do you think you consumed in one day?? Remember all that hard work you put in during the week, you don't want to ruin it one day! Again, it's all about balance. Just because you had a few drinks or a piece of cake does not mean you need to add fries, pizza, soda, or candy on top of it! Try to be at least 60% good as opposed to being 100% bad! Yes, you need to cut yourself some slack but having a cheat meal every day or eating those small pieces of chocolate or even having 3 drinks a night will ALL ADD up!

If for any reason, you don't have the chance to work out, then take a long walk or a bike ride. There's no reason for you to sit on you butt for hours! Back to business, eat your smaller meals throughout the day, have you fiber and veggies, good complex carbs, lean protein, drink plenty of water and you're set!

Also, due to a huge demand, I am adding 2 more class this thursday only 7/30 at
Central Park South and Columbus Circle:


Please reserve in advance.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cindy Lai Fitness Central Park Tuesday and Kettlebell Saturday Bootcamp Update

When was the last time you exercised?
Are you ready for summer?
Are you challenging yourself? Stop doing the same old routines!!!
Hit a plateau...Why not take your workout outdoors and have a blast!

1. You'll Push Harder Than a Regular Gym Workout
2. Get Outdoors for a Change
3. Meet Other People
4. Burn More Calories
5. Get Stronger and Leaner
6. Lose Unwanted Pounds
7. Be More Confident
8. Awesome Stress Relief
9. Sleep Better
10. Prevent and Heal Injuries

As a NASM certified Personal Trainer with experience in Strength and Conditioning, Kettlebells, pilates, kickboxing, boxing, Muay Thai,Capoeira, Functional Training, Injury prevention and rehab, Weight loss, I get just as bored working out of a gym. I love the outdoors and understand how important it is to change things up for my clients so they don't become bored with their current exercise programs. It's great to get a breath of fresh air while working to your full potential in a group setting.

Get out of your slump and get ready to KICK ASS! Take advantage of the weather and jumpstart your program with a fun filled hour workout which will include a total body workout, cardio and resistance training, KETTLEBELLS, core strengthening, intervals, running, calisthenics, plyometrics, agility, stretching and most of all, FUN!!!

FIRST intro class SPECIAL at $25, so please reserve now.

Each class will be 10-14 people max for a more personalized experience.

ALL levels are welcomed and exercises will be modified accordingly.

You must reserve with me to guarantee a spot in the class.

Please also advise your current level of fitness, exercise history and any injuries or medical conditions.
West Side highway bootcamp on Saturdays and Tuesdays in Central Park designed to challenge yourself to the best of your abilities! Combination of cardio, plyometrics, calisthenics, core and muscular endurance outdoors to keep it lively and FUN! Workout changes every time so you don't get bored!

Tuesdays in Central Park:

Meet at Entrance to Central Park South Fountain (Maine Monument gold statue) on 59th Street and Columbus Circle. Take the 1, A,C,B,D to 59th Street Columbus Circle or R,Q,W train to 57th & 7th Street.

Saturdays off the West Side Highway by 14th street, email for location:

9am (Beginners)
10am (Intermediate/Advanced)

What to Bring: Water Bottle
Wear a good Pair of Sneakers
Wear comfortable Clothing
Do not bring valuables
**Make sure you EAT 1-2 hours beforehand, no passing out!**


After your intro class, pricing will be as follows:
Single = $45/class
5 Package = $39/class = $195
10 Package = $34/class = $340

Any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best Regards,

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sleep is a forgotten Component of Fitness....

What is sleep? Our society is so busy catching up on life, career and personal things that we forget to sleep! The quality of our days is often heavily influenced by the quality of our nights. I am certainly guilty of it myself at times but at the same time realize how crucial sleep is in terms of a good fitness program and better way of life.

When we sleep well, we are more inclined to live well. Healthy sleep finds us more alert, more refreshed, more productive and most certainly more responsive. When we don't get enough sleep, we become more vulnerable to illness, have more chances of developing diseases,decreasing heart health, increasing accidents, irritability, conflict, and depression. We have less energy and are unable to focus clearly when we constantly get less sleep than needed. So why don't we sleep??

When it comes to time or sleep, time seems to win. Americans have ample reasons to cheat at sleep. We are a time-starved, do-more society! We cheat sleep to give us more time...Time to do more at work, time to do more for others, time to have more fun, or just a little time to be alone. Sometimes we cheat sleep so we can lay awake and worry for an hour or two in the middle of the night.

For nearly 30 million Americans and many more around the globe sleep disorder is an unfortunate reality. Everyone needs to get enough sleep to feel rested and energetic throughout the day. For most this means at least six hours a night and at least 8 or more for teenagers and children. Sleep is a very important behavior that is supersensitive to many things that can disrupt it. Pain, rumination, anxiety, mood disorder, new surroundings, uncomfortable temperature, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and medication side effects can all disrupt a normal night sleep.

-A study conducted at the University of British Columbia suggests that people who sleep less than 5 hours per night are 39% more likely to develop heart disease than those who register a full seven to eight hours per night.

- Inadequate sleep affects the way we make decisions. According to a report from the National Sleep Foundation, at least 2/3 of adults say sleepiness interferes with their concentration and ability to handle stress. That means that we may be more likely to eat in an effort to increase energy or cope with stress. When we are not well rested, we may not exercise at all or exercise at a lower intensity.
A new study has begun to test whether obese adults who get too little sleep will lose weight if they sleep more. Meanwhile, if you feel that you've been fighting an uphill battle trying to manage your weight, test yourself! Find something that relaxes you before bed, and make seven to eight hours of sleep nightly a priority. You’ve got nothing to lose by increasing the amount you sleep as part of an overall healthy lifestyle!

- Several studies show that lack of sleep seems to change the levels of two appetite-related hormones. A hormone called ghrelin that stimulates appetite may increase, and the hormone leptin that tells our body we have had enough food may decrease. Together these changes would lead us to feel we need to eat more, even when we may have consumed all the calories we need. Some research suggests that other hormones, including those affecting blood sugar, may also be affected by lack of sleep.

- Before quickly blaming our bathroom scales for unexplained weight gain, it's important to make sure that we're spending enough time lost in peaceful dreams. Researchers at the University of Chicago have determined that sleep deprivation (even in the most modest amounts) can interfere with how efficiently the body regulates the release of cortisol.

This stress-related hormone is produced by the adrenal gland, and plays a significant role in hunger, stress and appetite. What's worse, excessive cortisol levels can interfere with the production of serotonin. As a result, we may feel depressed and hungry - even in situations when we've eaten to the point of being full.

- Sleep May Prevent Cancer: People working the late shift have a higher risk for breast and colon cancer. Researchers believe this link is caused by differing levels of melatonin in people who are exposed to light at night. Light exposure reduces the level of melatonin, a hormone that both makes us sleepy and is thought to protect against cancer. Melatonin appears to suppress the growth of tumors. Be sure that your bedroom is dark to help your body produce the melatonin it needs.

- Sleep Reduces Stress: When your body is sleep deficient, it goes into a state of stress. The body's functions are put on high alert which causes an increase in blood pressure and a production of stress hormones. Higher blood pressure increases your risk for heart attacks and strokes. The stress hormones also, unfortunately, make it harder for you to sleep. Learn relaxation techniques to counter the effects of stress.


• Accept the limits of your energy. You can only produce so much.
• STOP being a makes you boring anyway!
• Establish boundaries with friends, relatives, co-workers, and bosses.
• Learn to say "no."
• Give yourself the same slack you allow others

Sleep habits are the key to getting a good night’s sleep. We can either train ourselves to fall asleep quickly every night, or we can train ourselves to lie awake in bed through bad habits. Exercise, caffeine, alcohol, stress and other factors can influence the quantity and quality of our sleep. Changing your sleep habits can lead to greatly improve sleep quality and quantity.

If changing your sleep habits doesn’t help, you may have a sleep disorder. The most common sleep disorders include the following(for which you would need to go to a sleep center):
• Insomnia
• Sleep apnea
• Restless Legs Syndrome
• Narcolepsy

There is a myth that people need less sleep as they age. This is simply not true: Older adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. However, good sleep is harder to get as we age because of health conditions, medications and other reasons. Protecting your sleep as you age will give you more energy and better health.

Napping can be a great way to increase your sleep and improve your energy. Napping has been shown to increase productivity and even protect against heart disease. Napping strategies will help you take effective, short naps and then go back to your day recharged.

Getting the rest we need keeps our eyes bright and our energy levels high. Moreover, sleep is an integral element of training. Without enough, your body simply won't have the time or biological resources to reach its full potential.

"Believe it or not, that groggy feeling you experience after a night of tossing and turning all night has a physiological explanation. Somewhere between the time our head hits the pillow to the time we hurl blunt objects at our alarm clocks, our brain's third shift goes to work.

Their job, in a nutshell, is to repair damaged cells, replenish neurotransmitters, restore our immune system and recharge us for the following day. Not getting the sleep you need prevents these absolutely imperative processes from taking place. This can ultimately leaves you dazed, down, and uninspired.

Instinctively, millions of people turn to OTC (over-the-counter) sleep aids and alcohol to quickly eliminate the problem. Not only does this discourage one's ability to establish natural sleeping patters, it can also leave you feeling more tired and sluggish throughout the day. And while there's no magic formula to winning the insomnia battle, there are alternatives."

Use Aromatherapy

Dozing off after a grueling workout can be a tall order. One of the most tucked away secrets among many elite athletes is the use of essential oils such as Lavender, Chamomile, Sandalwood, Oregano and others with natural "calming" properties that can help induce peaceful sleep.

There are a number of ways to incorporate essential oils into your sleep routine, though the most popular are through mist and diffusion. Adding a few drops to a muscle soak is also popular. You can try adding Lavender to your pillows 2-3x times a week. It's surprisingly effective.

Try Sedative Herbs

Sedative herbs and extracts such as valerian, kava, skullcap, and passionflower are safe, natural, and have been successful in helping many find rest without resorting to potentially habit forming OTC sleep aids, prescription medications and alcohol.

Develop A Sleep Ritual

Lack of preparation is honestly one of the most common pre-sleep mistakes a person can make. Trying to accomplish everything on our daily to-do list can leave us scrambling around at hours that should be spent preparing mind and body for slumber. And while there's no definitive formula that defines a good "nighttime" ritual, the most important things to consider are the amount of noise, light and stress you're exposed to.

All in all, find the time to sleep and take better care of yourselves. This will make a huge difference in your lifestyle!

Cindy Lai Fitness


"Benefits of a good night's sleep" By: Jayson Kroner,
"Sleep is a forgotten component of Fitness" By: BJ Johnson,
"Why Sleep Matters to you" By: Mark Stibich, PH.D, May 8,2009,
"More Studies Link Lack of Sleep to Overweight", By: Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDN
October 23, 2006, American Institute for Cancer Research
Archives of Internal Medicine

Monday, July 13, 2009

Why Diets Don't work?

Diets can be very dangerous. If you're looking for a quick-fix, can starve yourself or limit certain elements in your diet. Who doesn't lose weight that way? But can you keep it off?? Everyone always wants to follow the next fad not taking into consideration the consequences that may follow. It's easier to take a pill or starve ourselves psychologically but what happened to living a healthier lifestyle??

It's really quite simple. We as human beings like to make everything complex. If you want to lose weight, stay toned and maintain your lean body mass, you need to incorporate a balanced lifestyle. Going on a "diet" may temporarily give you results but majority of the statistics show you end up gaining more weight than when you originally started!

Keep everything simple, here are a few tips:

- Start off with a good balanced breakfast. Your most important meal of the day should contain lean protein, complex carbs (good carbs with fiber to keep blood sugar low), and veggies or fruit

- eat several meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism steady and KEEP burning calories! the moment you starve yourself, your metabolism drops and your body goes after muscle for fuel. Your body eats away at itself so the more it takes away from muscle, the less calories you are burning!

- Eat dark leafy greens as much as possible throughout the day for fiber intake

- Eat good fats in the form of extra virgin olive oil, unsalted nuts, peanut, almond or soy butter, avocado all in moderation

- Do NOT skimp on carbs!!! There is a huge downfall for many people. If you don't have anough carbs (40%) with your meals, you will still remain hungry and binge later on. Stick with fibrous carbs, whole wheat bread, pasta, beans, sweet potato, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, barley, buckwheat noodles....the good stuff! Eat with your lean protein at least 3 x during the day depending on your level of activity

- you MUST eat lean protein! How else are you going to build the sexy lean muscles? It can come in the form of eggs, egg whites, fish, tofu, veggie products, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, soy products, grilled chicken, turkey, lean red meat,beans, tempeh, seitan, nuts, etc.

- Fruits have simple sugar so better to eat them during the day or right after strength training for recovery

- Limit alcohol consumption. I appreciate a good drink but I won't drink every night, it ALL adds up!

- Same with desserts or your indulgences...we are human and need to live life, but a piece of red velvet cake or nachos every day will not bring you closer to your goals! As my clients have heard many many times...Earn your cheat meal!! You don't need to go crazy. So long as you have been consistent during the week, enjoy your brunch or dinner during the weekend! Or if you know ahead of time you have the wedding, shower or big function to go to, no use eating bad all day long. Work out, eat healthy and you won't feel so guilty afterwards!

- Most importantly..Exercise!!! It's all about balance. If you want to eat something, do so. I love food and I do drink but I will always make sure I put in my work for the week. When you get older, your metabolism doesn't work the way it used to so you have to know how to work within your limitations. Of course, if you want to lose or tone up a few extra pounds, you can certainly do so by being more restrictive and cut out all the bad stuff temporarily.

Never do anything extreme (like a diet). It'll never last. You're better off making healthier choices in life. You will feel a lot better and much more in control. I had my delicious burger and fries yesterday along with some really delicious sangria. Today, I an back on track and doing my kettlebell and cardio training first thing in the morning to burn off all those calories! Don't let it sit in your system. Be good for the rest of the week. This will go a long way rather than a quick-fix.

Cindy Lai Fitness

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thoughts on Kettlebell Bootcamp and Central Park Tuesdays

Wow, we had a superfull class last week! Everyone came to get in their last workout before the long weekend...very impressive! Although the kettlebell bootcamp is fairly new, it's been going very well and everyone totally kicks butt! As the weeks go by and the improvements are made on techniques, everyone is getting stronger, fitter and tougher!!! It's awesome to see such inspiration from those who not only care about their fitness but can also have fun doing so!! This bootcamp is not about punishing or torturing people. The purpose is to push each other to their limits and promote team effort. You're not allowed to join my bootcamp unless you include the "fun factor"! You need to have fun when you work out, otherwise it's BORING!!! There is no militant style in these classes. It's all about challenging yourself to the next level while you're working on your strength, endurance, balance, coordination, speed all in one workout.

I love the change of scenery, especially the outdoors for my classes. It was a gorgeous day yesterday in Central Park and boy did everyone work! Rest is NOT an option while you're exhausting and tightening those muscles! Huff and puff away but you must continue! Between running, lunging, bear crawling, squats, pushups and abs, everyone pushed their limits! It's great to see everyone toning up and their sexy muscles come out. You guys rock!!! No negativity here! I don't scream like a drill sergeant, just push you to do your best.

In general, I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to work with such inspiring individuals. I cannot begin to express how proud I am of everyone and their dedication to living a better lifestyle. Keep up the good work! You are what makes my job so gratifying. Thank you for being part of Cindy Lai Fitness Bootcamp. Rock on!!! xoxo

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Independence Wknd Kettlebell Bootcamp 7/3

Are you prepared for the 4th? How hard have you been working this week? Many of you will be having bbq's or will be consuming a ton of food and alcohol...If you haven't gotten a head start, you need to put in your time! You have 3 more days and plenty of work to do! Be Strict with yourself this week, EARN your July 4th meal!! It's all about balance! If you don't want to feel guilty adding all those calories this weekend, get your cardio and weights in at least 3x, eat healthier and cleaner meals throughout the week. On the day of your foodfest, do your cardio or a combination of weights, bodyweight exercises that morning! If you happen to overeat or overdrink, the next day...cardio first thing within the hour you wake up in order to burn the most calories! Reward yourself, but make sure you work to get there!

Otherwise, you can come to my Kettlebell bootcamp which will be held this Friday July 3rd @11a instead of Saturday for some extra calorie burning, sweat-dripping, heart-pumping, super intense workout!! Time to Burn! It will be held at our usual Saturday location on West Side Highway and Charles Street Pier 46. Take the 1 or Path to Christopher St, walk West to West Side Hway and South to Charles St-grassy area to left, or Take the A,C,E,L to 14th St&8th.Walk West tp Hgwy,North to Charles, *SPACE IS LIMITED SO YOU MUST reserve ahead*

We had a great Kettlebell class last Saturday. Everyone rocked!!! Between the heat and the workout, everyone kept up! Good job guys!