Image and Lifestyle

Fashion, Style, and Professional Impression in Hong Kong

She’s Got Legs

Even though it’s winter and your legs can hide behind opaque tights for a bit longer, it’s time to start thinking about your Spring wardrobe and fitness routine for the best pins around town.

  • Without a doubt, resistance workouts with weights will help tone and sculpt your legs.  The best exercises for great gams include squats, lunges, and dead-lifts.  However, without cardio to burn the fat on the surface, your tone will never show.  Running, jumping-rope, swimming, elliptical training, etc are all great fat-burners… just keep moving and get a good sweat going.
  • Aside from exercise, the right shoes will help create the illusion of longer and leaner legs with nude-toned high-heels (see pic above).  I recently added the two below Jimmy Choo darlings to my arsenal of shoes for Spring.  These will be perfect with shorts, dresses, and skirts for creating a clean line of color from hip to toe.

  • Know your hem-line.  Avoid letting your hem end at the widest part of your leg.  This means if you have heavier legs, don’t rock very short skirts and dresses… opt for knee-length or slightly above-the-knee and wear high-heels in a neutral shade such as nude, light silver, or light gold tone.  Below-the-knee hems are hard to pull-off without looking overly matronly.
  • Lotions and potions will help as well.  Before going out, put a lotion with a subtle shimmer on your legs to help reflect the light and add tone.
  • Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate.  Smooth thighs, knees, and bum are definitely always in style.  Aim toexfoliate in the shower 2x/week and follow with a body oil or lotion immediately after to moisturize and keep your skin youthful.
  • Pedicures.  I have a different opinion on pedicures from most women (I think).  I care much more about the softness and health of the skin on my feet than the color of the nails, although you cannot go wrong with a feminine pink.  Your feet need to be healthy and looked after.  I find that getting a quickie pedicure is pretty much all about the nail polish rather than the foot care, so go to a nicer salon or buy sanders and scrubbers to keep your tootsies looking great for those peep-toe shoes.
  • Shaving, waxing, etc all go without saying…. smooth and silky is the way to go.

Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Exercise, Fitness - Motivation, Grooming, Image advice, Legs, Losing Weight, Skin care, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A minute on the lips…

When I was a teenager, someone told me “remember, a minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips”.  I think of that now after the holidays when everyone (including myself) is trying to lose 5-10 pounds.  Ugh!  It’s not easy.

Losing just a few pounds requires effort.  You have to REALLY want it.  Fortunately, I’ve already shed 1 KG in 9 days from working out and eating right… feeling slightly hungry before bed, daily sweat sessions and cardio with the jump rope, reducing my intake of refined carbs and processed foods, and increasing my water consumption.  1KG is just 2.2 lbs, but it all adds up.

If you want to lose weight, you definitely can… but you need to be realistic and want it more than you want other lifestyle choices such as sugars, excess food, alcohol, laziness, and comfort.  YOU have control over what your body looks like, and you can choose to build your own body however you want and make a decision to live and eat well.  Maybe you’ve just skimmed over those last few sentences like “blah, blah, blah”… but it’s true that you really have complete control over the way you look.

Some of my tips for trimming up a bit:

  • Drink two large glasses of water after waking up and before meals.
  • Drink 1 large glass of water after each meal.
  • Make sure breakfast is 50% fruits; lunch & dinner are 50% vegetables.
  • Avoid eating and drinking foods that weren’t in existence in the 1800’s (this is a good one).
  • To curb cravings between meals, drink hot tea.
  • Limit fried foods and processed foods as much as possible.
  • Add psyllium husk to foods to increase bulk and aid digestion


Filed under: Belly, Belly and Core, Exercise, Fitness - Motivation, Health, Healthy Eating, Losing Weight, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jump!

Christian Bale from the movie "American Psycho"

Pop Quiz Hot-Shot: What you do when a ridiculously fit, focused, GQ, Christian Bale/American Psycho look-alike at the gym suggests you start jumping rope to burn more fat?  Here’s what you do – pick up a rope, and start skipping baby.  And so it begins….

I picked up a weighted jump-rope in the gym yesterday, turned on my i-pod shuffle, and hopped around for twenty minutes, I felt absolutely FANTASTIC!  Definitely better than walking at a level 7 on the treadmill watching Nigella Lawson’s baking show on TLC.  I was seriously sweating and it felt great… then I followed it up with one hour of weights.  It reminded me about the awesomeness which is jumping rope.

  • Reminds you of being a kid
  • You can move at various speeds
  • Burns insane fat and calories – the best cardio workout ever!!!!
  • You won’t get bored as easily as you might on stationary cardio equipment
  • Easy to travel with a jump rope
  • You look like a cool ninja-type person
  • You get seriously toned legs and a great tush

It isn’t exactly a revelation – I’ve done lots of skipping in the past one year – but not since Thanksgiving.  Plus, my brother actually gave me an amazing jump-rope for Christmas… so I’m starting to see the writing on the wall.  GQ-hottie couldn’t have reminded me about the benefits at a better time either… it’s just about time to start planning a beach & bikini getaway!

 

Filed under: Belly and Core, Exercise, Fitness - Motivation, Health, Legs, Losing Weight, Manage stress, , , , , , , , , , ,

Look and feel your best in 2011

Resolve to look and feel your best in 2011 with positive changes in your lifestyle, habits, and appearance.  See the below for my take on building a healthier and more attractive body.


1.  Create S.M.A.R.T goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound).  It’s easy to say “I want to lose weight in 2011″ but you need to consider the details.  For example, “I want to lose 4 pounds each month for 5 months so I will be 20 pounds slimmer by June 1st.  I will reduce my caloric intake by 500/day by cutting refined foods (alcohol, candy, white bread) and begin walking at least 20 minutes per day.”  S.M.A.R.T goals will help you achieve.

2.  People in great shape look and feel better.  Would you pay USD$5,000 right now for the body of your dreams?  Of course you would!  Ok, so use that money and purchase a gym membership, personal training, new workout gear/clothes, a kayak, hiking boots, etc.  Commit to your decision to look and feel better.

3. Book an appointment with a dermatologist to discuss products for your age and skin-type.  Maybe you want a few injections or fillers, scars/pigmentation/veins removed, or just need to drink more water and sleep better.  A dermatologist will tell you the truth and hook you up with the products and creams to suit you best.

4.  Find a wonderful salon/spa.  I rave about the Mandarin Oriental Salon (HK) because they are specialists with hair, face, feet, nails, etc.  Invest in a relationship with a wonderful stylist and technician and trust them on beauty and grooming advice.  Look after yourself.

5.  If possible, only buy fresh food.  It’s that simple.  Fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, cheese, dairy, nuts, eggs, tofu, whole grain breads… and even chocolates.  Consider buying chocolates from See’s Candies which expire relatively quickly vs. packaged chocolate that lasts 6-12+ months on the shelf.   Always go fresh and try to avoid needing to open a wrapper to consume your food.

6.  Take care of your wardrobe.  If it has a stain, a hole, reminds you of a bad experience, hasn’t been worn for 2 years, or you just don’t like it – it’s out.  Don’t rationalize or feel guilty for getting rid of it.  Use a dry-cleaning service to ensure your clothes look their best, purchase lint-rollers for home/work/car, take your shoes to the cobbler seasonally for care and upkeep, use jewelry cleaner regularly, and buy quality hangers so your garments hang properly.  www.imageandlifestyle.com for my personal shopping and style services.

7.  Smile and de-stress.  Take a holiday, get more sleep, book spa appointments, watch a movie with a glass of wine… do whatever it takes to chill out.  Make your happiness, goals, and health a top priority for the new year.

Filed under: Beauty, Dressing Style Tips, Exercise, Facial, Fitness - Motivation, Grooming, Hair, Health, Healthy Eating, Hong Kong, Losing Weight, Manage stress, Skin care, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 Back to Basics Health and Fitness Tips

With the holidays upon us, it is easy to over-eat and feel a bit guilty about all of the snacks and glasses of wine.  Instead of wasting time on guilt, consider the changes you can make to help kick-start your health and fitness.  The following is a list of tips and information from NYC personal trainer Diane Williams at http://www.kidsonlinestories.org/misc/nyc-personal-trainer-reveals-7-back-to-basics-health-and-fitness-tips.  While I generally write my own blogs, I thought the below info pretty much sums up the essentials for good health, which is key to looking and feel terrific:

1. Eat your green veggies. Can you hear your Mother in your head with this one? Rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, these leafy deals will help lessen your risk of cancer and strengthen your immune system. Think swiss chard, spinach, broccoli, and kale.

2. Avoid certain foods. This will help in a gradual and steady change. What are the things to avoid? Anything fried, salty, sugary, and processed.

3. Build some muscle. I’m sure you’ve heard this for quite some time but it’s never too often. Resistance training is miraculous. It will increase your metabolism, burn fat, increase bone density, and help correct postural distortions.

4. Get your heart pumping! Walking, biking, jogging, and dancing are just a few cardiovascular activities that will not only keep your heart healthy, but will increase circulation, burn fat, and help manage stress.

5. Stay Hydrated. Many of us go throughout our day in a state of dehydration. Staying dehydrated will decrease energy, may increase likelihood of kidney stones, affect critical thinking abilities and worst case scenario cause kidney failure. So drink up!

6. Get some rest. Stress can kill you girls and boys. It has cost Americans roughly $300 billion dollars a year because of the adverse effects such as depression, acute anxiety, heart disease and obesity. Learn meditation or yoga to help train our brain and body to relax. Don’t forget your 7-8 hours of sleep a day.

7. Get some support. You are influenced by your environment so it’s wise to choose people close to you who are focused on health and fitness. Hire a personal trainer. Join a fitness club with a friend; anything that will help you with your shift to a healthy lifestyle.

Diane WilliamsNYC Personal Trainer is a dreamer, a boxer who could knock out a grown man, and an always evolving Curvy Goddess. She was a former plus-size model for the Wilhelmina Modeling Agency and now a fitness expert and advocate for women who wear sizes 10s and up. For more information on health, fitness, and fat loss visit http://www.CurvyGoddessWorkout.com.

 

Filed under: Exercise, Fitness - Motivation, Health, Healthy Eating, Losing Weight, Manage stress, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Training for an Ultra-Marathon: Fitness Plan

Hello Friends,

With just under one month to go, I need to get some serious conditioning under my belt if I hope to do well (err, I mean finish) The Sahara Race, part of the “4 Deserts”, named by TIME magazine, as one of the top 10 Endurance Competitions in the world.

In general, I stay in shape by working out no fewer than 4 days/week; keeping active 7 days/week.  However, my adventure last weekend into the mountains of Sai Kung with a loaded pack (previous post) indicated I need to train much harder in the next three weeks to be fit enough to enjoy the beautiful Sahara Desert rather than crawling on all fours to the finish line.  Therefore, I created the following fitness plan for the next three weeks:

  • Run 10 Kilometers six days/week.  So far, this takes me almost exactly 1 hour.
  • Intense circuit conditioning at PURE, IFC with my long-term personal trainer Fred Wong 2 days/week with a 10 Kilogram weight in my racing backpack: lunges, one-legged squats, stepping, running in place, etc.  Fred designs amazing workouts… I practice what I preach and workout with a personal trainer 2-3x/week.
  • Heavy weight-resistance training at least 1 day/week for bench press, squat, and dead lift for major muscle groups with Fred.
  • Pilates 1-2 x/week independently and at OPS in Central.

I’ve been following the weight training for several weeks, but this is only Day 2 of the 10K running.  I’m feeling very good, although my legs are a bit tender due to my tight iliotibial (IT) bands on my outer thighs. Hope to resolve this IT band issue in the coming few weeks with lots of foam rolling, gentle stretching, arch supports, etc.

Stay tuned for my next post about my dietary changes and “detox” leading up to the race.

I am running to help raise funds for HOPE for Charity.  If you care to donate, kindly refer to the below donation details.  Thank you!

The charity’s account details (Hong Kong):

HSBC Account no: 813-284411-001; Hope for Children

Reference mentioned “Jennie Running The Sahara”

Cheque payable to “Hope for Children (Hong Kong) limited”

GPO Box 947, Hong Kong

Please reference “Jennie Running The Sahara” on the back of the cheque

Filed under: 4 Deserts, Exercise, Fitness - Motivation, Hong Kong, Racing, Racing The Planet, Ultra Marathon, , , , , , , ,

Training for an Ultra-Marathon: Racing The Planet Training Camp

I have just one more month to prepare for my first ultra-marathon.  The SAHARA ULTRA MARATHON RACE is part of the “4 Deserts”, named by TIME magazine, as one of the top 10 Endurance Competitions in the world.  On October 3rd, I will be joining this year’s race along with 150 other competitors from 35 countries, who are running 250 kilometers through The Valley of the Whales in Egypt.  The 6-day Marathon finishes at the Pyramids of Giza.

So, how does one even begin to physically prepare for something like this?  The truth is, I had no idea until last weekend’s adventure with Racing the Planet’s Training Camp http://www.racingtheplanet.com/store/expert-advice.html, hosted and created by endurance champion Eric LaHaie.  Details as follows:

Day 1 – A morning discussion about the logistics of a 250K race: packing, training, gear, nutrition, etc.  Later in the afternoon, we arrived at Sai Kung Country Park and quickly split into 2 groups: runners and fast-walkers.  The scenic and moderately intense Luk Wu Country Trail led us to Sai Wan Beach where we set up camp as the sun set and stars revealed themselves.   The ambitious runners donned their headlamps and hit the trails again while the rest of us heated water and enjoyed freeze-dried Expedition Food for dinner.  Following dinner, we all chilled out under the moonlight – a perfect ending to the day, as the beach was stunning, quiet, and presented a remarkably special side of Hong Kong… complete with cuttlefishing boats in the distance.  Unfortunately, the once soft sandy beach soon felt hard and unforgiving, and sleeping was a restless challenge.  A priceless indication of what desert sleeping may be like!

Day 2 – I watched the sun rise pink over the sea and we were all up at 6am.  Expedition Food breakfast and we hit the trails by 7am for a glorious morning of training before the heat of the day.  The air was cool and fresh as we climbed.  I split from the group before they made it to Sharp’s Peak and looped around the NorthEast trails which brought them back to our Sai Wan Beach starting point.  Meanwhile, I jogged on with my backpack for another 2 hours, then ultimately walked …until I caught a ride home.  Arriving home, I felt extremely positive about the entire 2-day event, but also exhausted, incredibly sandy, and realizing I needed to make serious modifications to my racing wardrobe before hitting the desert.  And… I noticed a place on my foot where a blister is likely to form during the race, despite wearing Injinji socks, SmartWool, and trail running shoes which are 1.5 size too large.  Good to know these things now rather than later.

The verdict: this training camp was a fun, well-organized dress rehearsal for the Sahara, and I know what I need to do for the next one month.  The next post will highlight my training plan for the coming three weeks.

I am running to help raise funds for HOPE for Charity.  If you care to donate, kindly refer to the below donation details.  Thank you!

The charity’s account details (Hong Kong):

HSBC Account no: 813-284411-001; Hope for Children

Reference mentioned “Jennie Running The Sahara”

OR

Cheque payable to “Hope for Children (Hong Kong) limited”

GPO Box 947, Hong Kong

Please reference “Jennie Running The Sahara” on the back of the cheque

Cheers Friends,

Jennie

Filed under: 4 Deserts, Classes, Exercise, Hong Kong, Racing, Racing The Planet, Ultra Marathon, , , , , ,

Interview with Dr. Raymond Chan, Medical Director of Fit Health Physiotherapy Centre

Interview with Dr. Raymond Chan, Medical Director of Fit Health Physiotherapy Centre

Doctor Raymond Chan is the Medical Director of Fit Health Physiotherapy Centre in Causeway Bay.  The Centre specializes in physiotherapy for injury management and rehabilitation, personal training services, and a variety of classes for prenatal women and couples.

Do you offer workshops and/or classes for women and couples expecting a baby?

Dr. Chan: We offer workshop on breathing exercises and massage therapy.  This is a one-and-a-half hour workshop for couples to take during which the mother would learn the breathing techniques, her partner would also learn how to give clues to the breathing.  The partner will also learn the massage techniques for relieving common problems in pregnancy, such as neck and back pain, legs cramp etc.

What health services does your clinic provide for prenatal women?

  • Dr. Chan: We offer Pre-Natal physiotherapy for pregnant women with neck and back ache, legs pain, etc.  Our treatment will emphasize manual therapy, so that expectant mothers can be treated without the risk of side effects from medication.

Do you have classes for postnatal women as well?

  • Dr. Chan: Yes, we offer treatment for post-natal urinary incontinence.  This is done by female physiotherapist, using pelvic floor muscle exercises, biofeedback, and electrotherapy to stimulate the pelvic floor muscles.  We also have classes for baby massage techniques for any member of the family to join.

Do you offer OB/GYN services at your clinic?

  • Dr. Chan: We offer Musculo-Skeletal, Sports medicine, and Physiotherapy service at our clinic.  We are not specialists in Obs & Gynae.  We would like to keep our roles separate, and co-operate with Hong Kong Obs & Gynae doctors, rather than be their competitor.

How does your clinic differ from the Hong Kong hospitals who offer antenatal classes?

  • Dr. Chan: We are conveniently located in Causeway Bay, right above MTR exit.  Our pre- and post-natal exercise classes are available every day.  There is no joining fee or membership fee – you simply pay for the classes you take, and there is no restriction on which day you take it. (unlike some places, which only offer classes e.g. every Wednesday evenings, and you pay for each month, if you miss a class then you miss it)  Also our exercise classes are all led by registered physiotherapists with additional qualifications in fitness training.  The class size is kept small to maximum 10 so that the teacher can give individual attention.

Our pre- and post-natal classes are function orientated: pre-natal exercise class will focus on relieving the discomforts and preventing health problems, and breathing control to prepare for giving birth.  Our post-natal exercise will focus on “tuning” the muscles weakened during child-bearing and giving birth, and functional strength for taking care of babies; unlike many other places where they emphasize post-natal exercise as post-natal “slimming”

As a medical doctor, what recommendations do you have for pregnant women who want to begin an exercise routine or continue exercising?

  • Dr. Chan: I would recommend pregnant women to stay active throughout pregnancy.  If you are not used to exercise, the best time to start is after the first trimester – when then fetus is more stable and not yet too big.  The aim of exercise should be to maintain reasonable cardio and muscular fitness, rather than for peak sports performance.  It is always a good idea consult your medical doctor regarding any concerns and make sure you are medically fit to exercise before you begin.

Dr. Raymond Chan

FitHealth

SPORTS MEDICINE · PHYSIOTHERAPY ·  FITNESS

Rm 1401, Causeway Bay Plaza 1, 489 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay

Tel: 3904 3388

Fax: 3904 3389

www.fithealth.com.hk

http://hk.myblog.yahoo.com/fit-health

Filed under: Baby Care, Classes, Dads-to-be, Education, Exercise, Expectant Parents, Health pregnancy, Healthy Eating, maternity, pregnant, Prenatal Health, Prenatal tools, , , , , ,

Fitness Studio Photographs – Be.

Photographs of “Be” fitness studio, approximately 1,000 sq. feet, located in-between Clear Water Bay and Sai Kung.

This private studio is complete with a washroom, garden patio, air conditioning, and new fitness/pilates equipment.  The location has plenty of off-street parking in a scenic mountain environment.

Filed under: Exercise, , , , , ,

International and Asian Races and Adventures

Hello Friend,

It’s time to consider entering a local or international event, race, or challenge.  These positive activities are perfect for meeting new people, getting inspired and fit, and discovering new areas.  Options are endless but include a walk for cancer awareness, a 5K run, a triathlon, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, hiking the Appalachian Trail, or even a Muddy Buddy race (pictured above my awesome BFF Emily in her recent Muddy Buddy race).   Check out different races and activities available in your area, or consider joining a competition in another country or state.  Below with links to websites with details of exciting competitions all around the world and in Asia:

Asia Races

Other International Races

Good luck on your next race!

Filed under: Exercise, Fitness - Motivation, Health, Losing Weight, Racing, Stress, , , , , , , , ,