Ashleigh De Lello | Against the Odds

Ashleigh De Lello | Against the Odds

SWEAT by SlimClip Case yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7 Ashleigh De Lello | Against the Odds yoga women nutrition health fitness exercise

You probably can tell from afar that Ashleigh is a fitness aficionado. Her sporty, fit, and flexible frame tells it all, almost. Her unassuming and bright character very well conceals her exceptional accomplishments as a dancer, her life-impacting achievements at www.thenewthin.com, and the academic gig at Utah Valley University.

Between torn ligaments, tendons, muscles, severed knees and ankles, and hip surgeries; she’s stood high above life-threatening and career-marring strains as she educates women on how to win in fitness, diet, and life. In a bit, you’ll learn how Ashleigh’s gripping survivor story is propelling her to change other people’s lives for good.

Dancer, strength training expert, university teacher, writer, and founder of The New Thin, Ashleigh De Lello’s schedule is pretty fixed. When she’s not training clients, she’s in the classroom teaching Dance majors or outdoor hiking with her family and dog.

Usually, Ashleigh runs and engages The New Thin users online, takes sessions of fitness classes with her members and take Dance Conditioning classes for Dance major students of Utah Valley University as she shares from her wealth of experience and knowledge of strength training.

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From the beginning

That began back when I was 13 years old. I started dancing 5 hours a day when I was 7 years old and when I was 13, I woke up overnight and everything changed. I had pain in every joint and muscle. You could hardly touch me without me wanting to scream in pain. I had like a 104-105 degree temperature with sweating profusely but freezing. This was the first day of 4 and a half years that I’ll fight for my life.

And I was patient for 2 and half years I traveled all around the country to every top specialist in every field and no one could figure me out. If you’ve ever watched the TV show ‘House’, that was on Fox a few years ago, I was one of those types of patients where I was clearly dying but nobody could figure me out. All my tests came out perfect, all my blood tests scan …everything. I was essentially sent home to die, told I was a mystery, told I had some unknown virus nobody could figure it out.

Over the course of those years, I became so sick that I was practically bedridden, I’d lost most of my hair, gotten down to 90 pounds, didn’t have the strength to lift up my finger someday. My whole body was ravaged with pain.

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I finally got a diagnosis. 2 and half years of a very rare parasitic infection that actually…the parasite goes in and takes over the function of your organs. So literally I was starving and was dying and that combination with an unknown virus was what was so deadly for me.

So after that diagnosis, it took another 2 years to be able to function in my life again. And it was such a slow process of literally being able to move from my bedroom to the bathroom, to walking down a few houses from mine, to walking around the block and eventually being able to go school.

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And when I tried to go back to dancing I was so weak from everything I’ve gone through for those 4 and half years that I didn’t have the strength to dance, I didn’t have the energy and I didn’t have the actual strength which is what introduced me to Strength training. And I remember the first time of going in and barely able to lift a 1 pound weight. I understand the process of literally starting from ground zero. And that is when my love and passion for strength training began because it forced my pathway back to doing what I love most which was dancing but I saw how the body truly has no limit. Obviously, I had survived a life-threatening illness but also I saw the evolution of what my body could do strength-wise through consistency in the gym. Of doing this strength training exercises and slowly but surely, seeing my body gain strength and that was ultimately what allowed me to get back to dance again.

So that’s really when my fitness training began. It began about Age 18 when I survived my illness and had to strength-train to dance again. So 18 years old is when my fitness training started.

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On overcoming obstacles

Obviously surviving that illness was my biggest obstacle. And how did I do it?  Perseverance.  Being a fighter and not giving up. I was told at 13 years old that I’ll never dance again, that I’ll never have children that I’ll never live a normal active life and I was told that I should accept this.

And I told them that **giggles** shove that diagnosis because I wasn’t going accept that that would be my life and so I never gave up. I fought every day even when I felt like I was dying, I’d look myself in the mirror and say I’m getting better every day and I accepted that no expert was going to set the limit on my life. And we fought and we fought, we researched and we researched until they found answers and through all of it, I just envisioned myself dancing again, I envisioned myself being healthy even when the very thing I’ve just had energy was something I had completely forgotten.

So overcoming, it helped struggle that severe is just as much as mental and emotional as it is physical because your body literally…it’s easier to give up. Because I was so sick, every day was so hard. The mountain ahead of me getting well just felt insurmountable. It was everyday small efforts and I did everything I could.

I went on an extremely healthy diet just to not take anything away from my immune system. Every food that I gave my body I wanted it adding to my immune system, adding to my chances of survival. That was what food became for me, it was life and death. I will literally look at food and ask “does this add to my immune system or take away?”. And I wanted to get better more than anything else. So here I was, a teenager going off sugar for four years because I wanted my immune system to have every fighting chance. So I did it through healthy nutrition, I did it through a positive mindset that would not accept any limit. I was determined to conquer and I did.

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Fitness Philosophy and research

A lot of it came through personal experience obviously through research and studying as well but it came through my experience because I went through a lot of injuries after I had gone through that illness I just had a lot of scars just because my body had endured so much.  So when I got back to dancing I suffered through a lot of injuries through my professional career.  I’ve pretty much have injured every part in my body- torn ligaments, tendons, muscles, my knees, both ankles, I’ve had two hip surgeries, I’ve gone through that process of literally learning how to walk again, tears in my shoulders.. you name it, spinal injuries

Not something that I’m proud of or grateful for but it did give me an incredible understanding and knowledge of the human body because, through all that, I had to rehabilitate all these injuries, and I really intricately, personally, learn the mechanics of the body and what everything does and how important every part is, and that, of course, was the best knowledge you could get. I t’s that firsthand experience and working with a lot of experts all across the country and learning their expertise as I was blessed to rehabilitate with them. As I was in different places in my dancing career.

And so research and science behind it come through working with these people, through working with my body, through understanding what was super effective at building progress strength but in a way that didn’t tear down my body.

So many workouts nowadays are hardcore- it’s about burnout, it’s about total exhaustion. I have a professional dancing career so I don’t want to be doing tons of tuck jumps and box jumps and all these really aggressive things that were also hard on my joints, tendons, and ligaments, and muscles because I wanted to be strong for dance and not tear myself down in training. So it was researching study of how to effectively build progressive strength in a way that wasn’t also destructive and that was such an amazing learning experience.

I had to learn that way because I did have all these injuries that I was always rehabilitating. So the incredible thing that came out through years of research with all these amazing people that I got to learn under, but also application to my own body and seeing specific exercises that targeted all those areas that women really struggle with and was able to in a way, build the body that I want in a super efficient way without increasing my risks of injury by doing really explosive movements and repeated plyometric but being smart about it.

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Why the philosophy is unique

Working-out smarter and not harder.  That’s really where my philosophy became and what makes it so unique because also I always wanted to maintain the aesthetics of a dancer and a lot of people want that quote “dancer body” without dancing, right?

So I was able to develop workouts that specifically added and supported my body as a dancer and didn’t take away from it. The workouts also made me progressively strong and functionally fit because that was so important to me. I value health more than anything else because of my experiences and that has always been my driving force.

What also makes this different because I saw a missing gap in the fitness industry.  No one was really addressing women’s relationship with their body and with food and with exercise. Because you can you can tell someone do this workout or eat this way but that doesn’t last. It’s not long enough and that’s we have some women looking for new exercise program because they haven’t addressed the internal relationship with themselves.

And the internal relationship is what drives the decision-making process.

So you have to address that first. I knew when I wanted to develop my program the New Thin I wanted it to be a total transformation program- mind, body, spirit. So I have an entire mind section in the app from the videos addressing the relationship with their body, how to heal their relationship with their body, how to heal their relationship with food so they get off their diet cycle forever. It’s not just about eating healthy following this plan but actually heal our relationship with food so that we stop dieting- we no longer have the destructive relationship with food that so many women suffer with.

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The whole idea was to start approaching fitness from a place of self-love. Especially growing up in a daunting world where we live our lives in front of mirrors. There’s a lot of destructive patterns with people’s body, with dancers, with eating, or with their self-image. And that just comes because of what we do. Our bodies are a tool and we spend every day in front of a mirror. So many women are driven to exercise or eat healthy because they are unhappy with their body and of course, I think we should always try to improve ourselves in every way.

My whole goal was to really teach women how to approach fitness from a place of self-love, not self hate because of what I’ve gone through I truly understand that the greatest gift we have in life is our bodies because they make everything in our lives possible. Because I’ve been so sick, I’ve been on my deathbed, because I’ve gone through so many severe injuries.   I want to teach women, it’s not a matter of “ah, I have to work out because I hate how I look, I hate my legs”. Rather, “I have a healthy body that allows me. It’s a gift to move my body and to get fitter and stronger. This is a gift, this is something I get to do not a punishment for how I look and eating healthy is the same way I wanted to truly teach women that food is the fuel for the life, that food is not something negative, it’s a gift.

Every time we get to eat, it’s what allows our body to function and to live”.  That has been the biggest difference that I’ve really seen with the women that I’ve worked with is that mindset shift that really leads to life-long changes, that gets them out of that diet mindset, it gets them out of that diet cycle.  It heals the relationship with food, it heals the relationship with themselves so they actually can look in the mirror and feel self love.  They start exercising from a positive place, a place of gratitude.

The reason I called my program the new thin is because for so long women were pushed to be thin through excessive exercising and deprivation diet and I called it the new thing because it’s redefining what it means to be strong, fit, and healthy which is, of course, is my passion with everything I’ve been through. And the New Thin is about approaching fitness from the place of self-love.

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Major responders

Every woman responds to my method because I really spend so many hundreds of hours of research really figuring out what was most effective in the least amount of time to target women-trouble areas. Not all workout programs are created equal. These are specific to target women’s body in a way that she wants it targeted. And it takes specific exercises to do that. So I’ve men do my program and they love it but I strategically designed it for a woman’s body and mind. 

Fulfillment

What’s been rewarding is seeing women change from the inside out and getting lasting physical changes because of that internal transformation and seeing the self-love that enthuses their life and how it affects their everyday gratitude, their everyday happiness, the relationships with their spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, children. Their lives truly change because it’s an internal transformation that leads to an external one. So being able to use all my experiences and all the hardships that I’ve had with my body have really been rewarding and I’ve been able to help all the women in the program.

Advice to fitness and health enthusiasts

I’d say it starts with gratitude of understanding what it is to have legs that walk, to have eyes that see, to have arms that work to be able to move your body. And when you start appreciating that, you understand that you want to move it. If you can approach it from the place of gratitude, then you’ll be more active. It’ll last.

Working smarter

You find something that you enjoy that is strategically designed to give you the result.  Don’t just exercise because it gives you the result.  Follow a science-based system.  My workouts are only 25 minutes long and honestly, I got in better shape following my workouts in these 25 minutes workouts than I was dancing 5+ hours a day.  Because they are designed to be strong and effective.  We all have super busy lives and more of that tends to be one of people’s greatest excuse not to workout.

Everybody has 25 minutes, right?

Easily even just putting social media away for 25 minutes.   So you need to find a system that is scientifically designed to give your most bang for the buck. And to be careful that it’s a system that it’s going to give you the result you want for your body without tearing your body down. It’s really important to me because I’ve seen so many people that start really intense programs and they get injured and that’s not the point of working out, to destroy your body. Yes, it is to push it to its limits and to get stronger and fitter and have great endurance and be healthier. It’s not to be incredibly hard just for the sake of being hard that you get injured.

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Body empowerment = life empowerment

When you do that you’re going to make healthier choices and you’ll be more active because of your mindset towards it. A lot of people don’t succeed in fitness because they have a negative mindset towards it. It’s a negative thing because they don’t like how they look or they have to eat healthy because they hate how they look instead of all of it been approached from a positive thing in their lives. One of the things I actually believe is that body empowerment will lead to life empowerment. We all feel better when we take care of ourselves. When we exercise that discipline it pours over to other places of our lives. So if we can approach it from the right mindset that is the most important thing you can do to make it- something that actually lasts because it’s a positive thing in our life.

The body as the greatest gift

It’s everything. If you’re going to approach fitness from a negative place and negative place for your body it’ll work out to be super effective if the whole time you’re focusing on what you hate instead of what you’re grateful for- an opportunity to work out. I say that a lot but I mean it, I’ve lived it and your body is truly your greatest gift and you need to take care of it. It’s a blessing in this life that a lot of people take for granted and like I said your body makes your whole life possible.

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On workout programs for dancers

Yes, I’m a dancer.  And No, dancers do not need a workout program aside from their dancing program. mI was a professional dancer to teach dancers.  I’m a professional ballroom dancer which is called dance ball, we compete.  We call ourselves athletes because we are and any athlete, to be super successful, they outside of their sport in the gym to be better for their sport to prevent injury to be stronger, faster, have greater balance and agility.  Dancers need the same thing but it’s really lacking in the dancing world.

I actually teach a course at the local university, Utah Valley University that is called Dance Conditioning. It’s required by Dance majors and it’s a whole class that we go over the importance. We go through muscular, physiology, anatomy and we go through the whole body about correcting misalignments, and strengthen, and how we need to strengthen better so we can dance.

That was pivotal in my dance career not only for injury prevention but to be able to move faster, have greater agility, balance, speed- all of that didn’t just come from dancing but came in my time from the gym.          

It’s a goal of mine to educate more dancers and I’d love to have taught this course at the university for several years and it’s just been incredible to see that mindsets shift dancers. It’s absolutely necessary, especially for dancers to be serious about it and want to make it a professional career. Dancing is a strength to the body but also tears it down. It’s very hard on the body and so we need that foundational training to help support dancing. A lot of dancers still don’t know that. It’s definitely a goal of mine to help spread that message to educate and I’ve been blessed to do that through the university.

“So absolutely dancers need training outside of the gym.”

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Overrated and underrated exercises

Ok, wait. I have two folds about the most overrated exercises.   A lot of movements done with machines is overrated because, for the most part, is push and pull and you’re not building functional strength and total body strength. That’s why one of my favorite equipment in the gym is the cable machine because it allows you to move through four ranges of motion and it just makes so much sense in your functional life.

This is especially if you need that type of power and explosion in your sport or what you do in your life.  But they are not necessarily for getting a desirable shape and I think that mindset has been put out there by a lot of fitness people because that is what they do and that’s what is in a lot of programs.  And people have been bitten by the intensity-bug but I’ve seen so many people get hurt.  So many people mess up their back, their knees, have hip issues, and it’s totally unnecessary. In those type of explosive movements, you need to have perfect form and lots of people just starting out are not going to have that. And so you’re not even working the muscles you think you are.  You’re just putting a lot wear and tear on your joints and tendons and ligaments.  And I’ve just seen way too many people destroy their body trying to get into shape and it just not the point and not necessarily.

Underrated exercises are some of your simple exercises that target specific muscles that look simple in their form but are the most effective. So sometimes simplicity gets overlook because it is simple and people want to do more exciting things. But you know, some things never change, that foundational stuff is always, always importance especially functional type movement that requires your entire body to work together. 

So sometimes we can get into too much isolated, or we go too extreme and do explosive movements. Anything that challenges your body and your balance and requires your whole body to work together and your muscle recruitment to be maximized, throughout your body, that’s going to give you total strength and body functionality and allow you to function better in your life or sport or dancing or recreation. 

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Diet philosophy

I hate the word ‘diet’. I know it’s easier to say when we’re referring to how we eat, I just hate the diet mindset.  Because it just doesn’t last for people.  90 million women are looking for a new diet every 3 months and the reason why is because most diets we enter into this restrictive mentality and most people can’t maintain that. That’s why most people fall on and off the diet and that diet cycle goes round and round and round. That’s why I don’t prescribe to one particular diet paleo or the fully ketogenic or the fully intermittent fasting or whatever it may be because it has an end date.  Because it feels too restrictive for them.

My whole philosophy is to eat real food. Real food fuel your body, achieve a lifestyle of eating that’s sustainable. I can be super strict for 30 days and totally fall off the wagon. I’ve seen too many people do that with the paleo with the ketogenic, and the more they do more metabolic damage they gain, more weight back because they’ve been on this restrictive cycle. So my philosophy is to eat real food I also approach from a place of balancing your hormones and not just calories and calories like that is an old mentality. 

Yes, you’ll lose weight over time if you eat fewer calories than you’re exerting but it’s not going to achieve with lean muscle gains and burning fats. That’s about stabilizing your blood sugar so that’s why I was encouraging women- ‘if you can do one thing…’ I’ve 3 different [principles in my nutrition plan that’s so easy to follow.

They are long-term sustainable and that’s why they work and that’s why it’s easy to get off the diet cycle because it’s not this restrictive mentality that most diets have but one thing that I’ve really pushed and tell people to do here is-  if you can do anything, stabilize your blood sugar when you eat. And that means you eat very simply a combination as I talked about on my snacks, about protein, fats, and Carbohydrates- PFC.

So when you put food in your mouth, it’s very simple.  Make sure you have a protein source, a healthy fat source, and a carbohydrate source.  That combination will help to stabilize your blood sugar. So that’ what we want to operate on if you can do one thing, is eat PFC.   

Most people eat way too much carbohydrate and not enough protein and definitely not enough healthy fats. That’s one simple thing that I follow and tell everyone to do that is super effective and is going to go a long way towards making it a part of your lifestyle. And for helping you with narrowing your fitness course but also your health course. The reality is, diets don’t work. It’s why we have new diets all the time and that’s why we’re more active than ever and yet we are more obese and unhealthier than ever because diets don’t work. People need to find a way to eat balanced portions on their plates and stabilize their blood sugar.

We’re going to be healthier, fitter, and happier if we can keep that basic thing-PFC.

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Self-love

I’ve learned so much and I’m also, of course, a certified personal trainer but I’ve learned so much for myself from my own experiencing with battling life-threatening illness with overcoming so many injuries that I know what it feels like  to process, I knew what it feels like to start  from ground zero, I know how it can seem impossible to get from point from A to Z. But what I know is that the human body and the human spirit has no limits. But it can overcome even the most insurmountable odds and that it starts with us believing in ourselves knowing that we are capable of all things, our bodies are capable of all things no matter where our starting point is.

I’ve started over time and time again and I know scary the human body can be and I know how incredible it can be and that is what drives me. Like I said before, our bodies are our greatest gifts. And what drives me is helping people to have that internal transformation, of healing their relationships with their body, and food and exercise and coming to approach a healthy life from a place of self-love and that is where the real changes happen, that is when the lasting changes happen. It is when greater peace and happiness and joy and gratitude enter their lives.

That is my greatest passion, it’s not only just helping women to get fitter and healthier but helping them to truly achieve self-love towards themselves their body in removing stress and ending the diet cycle forever.  That’s all that drives my passion behind developing the New Thin.  And we are a part of a Facebook group The New Thin Nation which is for all the women in the program and it’s so incredible to see them every day interacting with each other, show their frustrations, share what they’re struggling with but also share their successes and support each other.   I’m in that group every day supporting them, motivating them, giving them tips and tricks. I don’t want to just create a program about women that I had nothing to do with.  I want to be part of their journey because it is something so much bigger than just working out and eating healthy.

And that’s why also with my program I wrote The Food Freedom Playbook which is completely devoted to helping women cure their relationships with food and ending the diet cycle forever and that has been such an incredible journey to really see women finally cure their relationship with food address the role food plays in their lives so that they can heal it and they can fix it and they can get off from the diet cycle. This is a transformation program and it’s been so many ways my life’s work and my greatest passion and I feel privileged every day to be alive and to move my body and to have a chance no matter how many times I have to start over. And I hope to show people how incredible they are and how incredible their bodies can be and to start seeing it as their greatest gift.

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Ashleigh De Lello

@ashleighdilello

RyanandAshleigh.com

Alex Wong | Obsession for Perfection

A dancer-cum-fitness expert has a simple yet effective formula to attain a rewarding fitness lifestyle.

Alex Wong | Obsession for Perfection

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Alex Wong is a dancer and fitness expert who started dancing since 7-years-old. Snapping both Achilles’ tendons did not deter him from chasing his dream and finding satisfaction in what he holds dear as purpose. At thealexwong.com he shares with his teeming visitors a variety of fitness information to help them get through their challenges.  

You might have caught the NYC/LA resident in some TV and film dance flicks. When he is not doing that, you might find Mr. Wong in a gym exercising or taking dance classes. Despite his fixed schedule, he has time to engage his following at @alexdwong on the major social media platforms where he also shares inspired fitness contents.

Fitness, training, and influence

Currently, I usually work mostly in dance for TV and film, and then on the weekends, I fly around the country to teach at conventions. I also created content for my social media with fitness and dance inspired clips – to me that ends up almost being like a live business card.

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Why this fitness journey?

I started dancing when I was 7 and I have never stopped since. I wouldn’t even really consider it a journey but I just consider it life. However, in the early part of my career, I only danced and didn’t cross-train much. I started lifting when I was 24 after I started working on TV just because I felt like it would look better. Then a few years ago I was introduced to group fitness classes because of ClassPass. Currently, I mix all of it together- dance, gym, and classes.

Fitness methods

Because dance is a visual and aesthetic art/sport, sometimes you are not doing things that are anatomically healthy. I make sure when lift or when I’m in fitness classes, however, that I train with good form. I find that I am in the best shape when I am taking a lot of ballet class and then lifting at the gym. Ballet is like a lower body and stamina workout whereas when I’m lifting at the gym I mostly focus on the upper body. Ballet really targets muscles you would not regularly use.

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Dancers, workouts, and satisfaction

Most dancers do train outside of dance. There are a few reasons for that. I think one thing is that our bodies get used to doing the same things over and over again and so cross training will help even out those body imbalances and help prevent injuries. Another reason that speaks to me as well is I genuinely just like to stay active and I find fitness quite fun, so I do it as a “hobby” outside of the whole “dance cross training” thing. A lot of dancers also do pilates or yoga, which most people feel like it compliments their bodies quite well. I don’t enjoy those as much as I like more intense high energy workouts.

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Effective planning

It’s never too late to start, and the first step towards living a healthier lifestyle. Definitely set an initial goal and plenty of small steps. I also find documenting so you can not only feel but also see the difference is an amazing motivator.

Working smarter

I think focusing energy on small incremental fitness goals is the most rewarding. I like having a fitness tracker (like an apple watch) that helps me hit goals. It can be quite fun and also working out with friends definitely makes it more fun and there is someone there with you on the journey.

The 80/20 Rule

A bit part of that 20% is just the effort to get going. There have been multiple times where I have been tired and not wanted to work out and then I forced myself to do it, and not once have I regretted it. In all my years I can only think of ONE time where I really didn’t want to go to the gym, I made myself go and when I sat on the equipment I said to myself, “I really can’t today”. That only happened ONCE. All the other times once I got myself there I eventually started.

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Power of the Mind

I think it’s almost the most important thing! Especially for fitness where you’re pushing your body a little more than what you think it can do every time. It really is mind over matter though. You will surprise yourself over and over again.

Perseverance

If you set your mind to it you truly can achieve almost anything. I had a lot of physical struggles which includes me snapping both of my Achilles’ tendons. I am back from it and stronger than ever before!

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Alex Wong

theAlexWong.com

@alexdwong

Why Your Breathing Plays One Of The Biggest Roles in Your Fitness

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When you’re sitting at your desk working, breathing is probably one of the last things that you’re thinking of. Often we’re so occupied with other thoughts, that we don’t want to take time thinking about things that we think we don’t absolutely need to work on. Besides, it looks like we’ve made it pretty far breathing the way we’re breathing now, right?  I mean, you’re alive – I’m alive…. Although, that’s no reason to neglect proper breathing. According to most studies we’re doing it wrong. We often don’t think that breathing is the most direct way to nurture our body, and that with each breath we are sending oxygen to different parts of our body – and of course, our brain to be able to function. Isn’t our body amazing?? So, why don’t we always treat it like that? Yes – neglecting proper breathing techniques can actually be harmful to your health and especially your workouts. It can create your body to work overtime and can restrict your ability to relax, thus stopping neurological signals being sent from your brain to preform specific tasks, such as healing a part of your body with oxygen or relaxing your muscles when practicing an intensified stretch or heavy lifting. So the question is now – how do you know when you’re breathing wrong? Well, we cover that and how to optimize your breathing in your workouts to preform at your fullest potential – so keep on reading.

 

How Am I Breathing Wrong?

Studies find that there are actually many ways that you could be breathing completely wrong. It seems a little thinking that you could be doing something completely normal, and something we do naturally – completely wrong, but there’s a reason behind that. We are beings of habit, meaning that when something we feel comfortable doing, we actually preform this habit more and more until it becomes accustom to our routine – or until our body doesn’t know any better. Our body will always make sure it’s doing the best of it’s ability to take care of ourselves, but it does not always imply that our emotions don’t overtake the best practises for our body. What I mean by this is that if we adapt an abnormal breathing pattern, such as shallow breathing – than our bodies will automatically get accustom to this, since our brain is sending neurological signals to our body to breath about 20,000 times a day. If we are sending signals to breath shallowly, our body will not know the difference and preform this action. Here are the ways that your mind might be telling your body to breath “wrong”

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  1. Shallow breathing

When we are unable to take deep breaths, due to our posture, we cannot breathe properly. Deep breathing consists of breathing through our diaphragm, which means you need to be able to maximum the amount of air going in and out at a slow pace through your diaphragm to your lungs and out through your mouth. Things such as bad posture, stress in our neck, shoulders or upper back cause us to tense up around our chests, and therefore hunch over. When we’re hunched over we are not optimizing the amount of air that enter our diaphragm, therefore probably preforming shallow breathing.

  1. Short Breathing

Short breathing, similar to shallow breathing limits the ability of air transferring to our lungs. This typically causes shortness of breath and if you have problems with your lungs or heart it is more likely to occur. Although, if you have no health problems and this is still occurring for you, it is because you are simply not breathing from your diaphragm.

  1. Mouth Breathing

This type of breathing occurs when breathing in is orchestrated through the month rather than the noise. It is definitely important to have the ability to breath through both your nose and mouth, but typically you will be able to inhale more deeply when breath is inhaled through the noise, and exhaled through the mouth. By doing this, it is likely that you’ll be able to get deeper breaths that reach down to your diaphragm, rather than stay in your lungs.

 

How To Optimize Your Workouts With Breathing        

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Now that we’ve stated the wrong types of breathing, it is important to adapt a way that is likely to fit in your regular routine, in addition to avoiding shallow or short breathing. The first concept to overcome when changing your breathing is your awareness. It’s quite easy to focus on your breathing for 5 minutes, 10 minutes or even a 30 minute window. But, as your day goes on, tasks pile up on your to-do list, it’s very likely breathing is not going to be at the top. So, to overcome this, giving attention and daily awareness to your breath will improve your overall breathing. What dose this mean for your workout? Less huffing and puffing as your lifting weights or doing HITT. This is because we as humans, ironically enough, have a tendency to stop breathing when put under pressure or tension. So, when you’re lifting your weights or trying to finish the set, it’s possible that your body automatically tenses, thus diminishing your breathing.

 

If you have awareness of your breath during your workouts, then you’re likely to breath properly, and circulate airflow when stretching or building muscle – i.e. something that is extremely critical for muscle growth or healing via stretching. Once you are aware of your breath, it becomes easier for you to account for it in your workout routine. For example, if you notice yourself short breathing, then you can take a deep breath, adjust and continue with your routine. If you notice that you are breathing properly, you can even draw more attention to your breath as a focus when your workout really starts to tire you out.

 

Although it seems quite simple “pay attention to your breath,” doing this, in junction with the 4-7-8 breathing technique can actually elevate your workout to new extremes! Firstly – what is the 4-7-8 breathing technique? Basically, you inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds and repeat directly after. This technique is known to improve your stress levels because it balances your neuro-transmitter essential for brain function and the central nervous system. Why does this make a difference in your workout routine? When you go into a workout with a neutral level of stress and no tensions in your muscles and joints, you’ll be able to preform much better considering your body will physically move easier, and with a less likely probability for injury. In addition to performance, you’ll be able to overcome the mental aspect of going into yet another workout session on a cold winter day. Just practise this technique for 5 minutes and you’ll be right there, ready to go – mentally and physically.

 

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Yoga Revamped| Dean Pohlman

Yoga Revamped| Dean Pohlman

A new take on the yoga movement.
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“My first time was completely on accident,” says Dean Pohlman, founder of ‘Body by Yoga,’. Dean was referring to his first time trying yoga. Imagine. One minute you’re walking down the street looking for a tailor; the next you’re drenched in sweat from the hardest workout of your life. That’s saying alot coming from a former lacrosse player. “Like most people, I was skeptical of yoga [at first]. I had always been interested, but had never taken a yoga class before that day. Two hours later, drenched in sweat from head to toe, feeling like I had just exited the pool, and utterly exhausted……. I had just completed my first yoga class. From that point on, I was sold.”

Yoga Revival

Dean’s first adventure with yoga lead him to an unexpected change in career path. He along with his partner, Paul Bolotovsky, set out to give yoga a little revival and give a new spin to it. “I saw a total void in yoga. Nobody was teaching yoga as a form of fitness; everyone was doing it as a lifestyle,” Dean says. More specifically, they set out to create a form of yoga tailored to men. Dean and Paul show us that yoga doesn’t have to be a big lifestyle change with spiritual connections. Yoga can be strictly for the benefit of your health and body. “We talk about yoga in terms that people interested in their fitness would want to hear. This is a workout that will make you better at anything you do. Whether you’re into functional fitness, lifting, or a runner, yoga will help with that. We break down the anatomy of every exercise to help you understand why it’s good for you. Our program helps you understand how it can help you achieve your fitness goals.”

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Beyond that, the two dropped some of the more uncomfortable yoga positions that men may find in local mixed gender yoga classes. “Men and women have traditionally focused on different aspects of fitness. We also have different anatomies. This creates a situation in which some of the poses men encounter in class can be intimidating, if not outright dangerous. We provide explanations and modifications so that men can experience the intended benefit out of every pose.”

The Message

Dean and Paul use their yoga workout program to send the message that; Yes, yoga can be a workout and a highly beneficial one at that. “We created Body by Yoga because nobody was making yoga accessible to people who wanted the workout without the frills.” And that’s exactly what Dean and Paul has provided. In comparison to other workouts, yoga can be far more challenging. Not only that but it can further extend the results of any other workout you put it in combination with. “Most forms of fitness emphasize strength and faster movements. Yoga actually slows you down so you can work on the other stuff and pay attention to what you’re doing, instead of rushing through the movement.” This leaves you really feeling the burn.

Dean and Paul also sends the message that yoga is no longer just for the spiritual person who has turned over a new life. A regular yoga practice can be such a useful aid for so many different types of people, fitness levels, and goals.” Thus so, Dean and Paul created ‘Body by Yoga’ to be for a variety of people. The athlete that wants to be nimble and quick will find benefits in yoga. So will the dancer that wants to increase flexibility and the body builder that wants to increase definition in their muscles. Most importantly, the average person that wants to increase their health will also find great benefit in the ‘Body by Yoga’ fitness plan. “We try to explain the anatomy and purpose for every exercise and explain how it can benefit the rest of your fitness goals.”

Where do you see yourself & your brand in 10 years?

Body by Yoga is going to be the way that most people get started with fitness-centric yoga. We will have instructors trained in body by yoga, lots of diverse workouts to cater to many audiences, and a strong commitment to doing what we started out doing – yoga for fitness.

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What’s the next frontier in building your tribe?

Releasing our DVDs. 🙂 From there, establishing ourselves as the non-weird yoga that most people won’t be afraid of trying.

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What’s next? & why?

After Guyoga, we’re releasing more difficult and more specific workout programs. Guyoga is all about teaching people the basics. After that, we are releasing DVDs focused on yoga for athletes, yoga for back care, and yoga extreme workouts.

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