10 exercises to strengthen legs & butt

These ten lunge exercises are phenomenal in getting your legs toned (strong) and your butt lifted (goodbye saggy behind).

1. pendulum lunges

2. curtsy lunges

3. reverse lunges

4. alternating forward lunges

5. half-skater squats

6. Bulgarian Split Squats

7. deficit static lunges

8. deficit static reverse lunges

9. lateral lunges

10. alternating jumping lunges

If you follow along with me in this workout, you’ll have completed 261 lunges.

Don’t add weights the first time you do this workout, to see how you do with body weight alone. I think you’ll be glad you skipped the dumbbells, it’s intense!

Let me know which lunges were your favorites.

Chickenpox caused my Type-1 diabetes


varicella questions and answers, chickenpox questions and answers, all you need to know about chickenpox, varicella information for the public, varicella information about the disease and vaccines, chickenpox information about the disease and vaccines, p4 16.00

When I was in college, I caught the chickenpox virus. I was working the front office, in a medical building at an orthodontic office, where children came in for braces, daily. One of the young children, in the waiting room, had a rash all over her little body, so I asked her mom if her daughter had hives (hoping it was hives). The mom replied, “she has the chickenpox. I couldn’t bring a sitter, so I had to bring her to today’s appointment because her older brother had his adjustment today, and I couldn’t reschedule, because your office is so busy.”

Chickenpox is extremely contagious; you can catch chickenpox by breathing in the air (just like COVID-19) or even touching the same doorknob (like COVID-19). “Many cases of chickenpox are mild, but deaths from this disease can occur. Before vaccine became available, about 100 people died every year in the United States from chickenpox. Most of these people were previously healthy. Chickenpox also accounted for about 11,000 hospitalizations each year.” (source: https://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4202.pdf)

I never contracted chickenpox as a child, and even considered getting the Varicella vaccine, but I read that the vaccine can cause a chickenpox outbreak, which is true, but what my general doctor didn’t tell me, maybe because the vaccine was new at that time, that the benefits of the vaccine outweighs the risk. If I did contract chickenpox from the vaccine, the side effects would be much milder.

A few weeks after that conversation with the mother of the child with chickenpox, I had very little energy and became exhausted easily. Then I started getting red bumps on my body, which I thought were bug bites because we were on vacation, hiking in the woods. The bites grew and multiplied. They itched and burned. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with chickenpox. I go into all the details in my book, The High-Five Diet, about how sick I got (one night I was screaming, throwing up, and the capillaries in my eyes burst blood). A few months later, I started losing weight and muscle, my eyes would burn, and I was constantly thirsty. I went to a new general doctor, and was diagnosed as a Type-1 diabetic, required to take insulin injections for the rest of my life. A
nurse in endocrinology, quizzed me, and asked me to remember if I was really sick recently. Then, I remembered, and told her I had a bad case of the chickenpox. The nurse explained what probably caused my pancreas to malfunction, was the chickenpox virus, which attacked my pancreas and damaged it permanently.

While no one knows for certain what causes Type-1 diabetes, it is theorized that viruses are the culprit. If I could go back in time to get the Varicella chickenpox vaccine, I would; I might not be an insulin-dependent diabetic
today.

I’ve had people argue with me that the chickenpox virus didn’t damage my pancreas, but neither they, nor I, know for a fact, if this is, or, isn’t the case. What I do know, is that I had a fully-functioning pancreas before I became deadly sick with the chickenpox, and then, months later, my pancreas was damaged, so, that’s enough of a cause and effect, in my opinion, for my specific case. While I recommend people get vaccinated, I am well-aware that
certain individuals should not get certain vaccines.

In conclusion, everyone should do everything they can to prevent themselves from catching any virus. Even the best doctors in the world don’t where many diseases originate, but numerous diseases are theorized to be caused by viruses. In this current COVID-19 nightmare we are all living through, wear your mask every time you leave the house (it’s mostly transmitted in the air), keep 6-feet away (26-feet is even better) from other people, stay home as much as possible, and clean everything as if you were a germaphobe (you can even catch it by touching a contaminated object). Coronavirus is so new, that no one knows much about it. We don’t know how badly it will affect us now, or if it will harm us again later; that’s why it’s so important not to catch any virus in the first place.

If you’re interested in reading my story about how sick I got from contracting the chickenpox virus as an adult, how I had to adjust to life as a type-1 diabetic, and how I regained my health, and even figured out how to lose the stubborn fat I had to much difficulty losing with all my medical complications, you can order my book from my website https://thehighfivediet.com/ or just contact me directly.

Additional sources: https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/chickenpox/fact_sheet.htm

https://www.webmd.com/children/vaccines/chickenpox-varicella-vaccine

https://www.healthline.com/diabetesmine/type_i_diabetes#1  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2570378/

How to lift, tone & strengthen the butt

If you’re looking for a stronger (toned), rounded, lifted, cute butt, this 25-minute workout is for you (and it’s not just for women. Men need a strong backside too). All you need is a glute band and a mat.

Let me know which exercise was your favorite in the comments sections.

How to strengthen the shoulders (best shoulder exercises)

In this follow-along workout, we are hitting all sides of the delts: front, side and back, to strengthen the shoulders. If you are a beginner, start with 3-lbs and 5-lb weights. Ideally, you’ll want three sets of hand weights: 1-light, and 2-moderate. Don’t go too heavy. I’m using 5, 8, 10, and 15 lbs weights in this workout. Let me know which shoulder exercise was your favorite.

step workout (for strong and slender legs)

Try using a step to build strong and slender (lean) legs. This isn’t your 90’s step workout, no jumping, fluorescent clothes, or teased hair. It’s a heart-pumping, leg toning, follow-along workout, that’s fun and has variations you probably haven’t seen before.

Don’t feel intimidated, you can do the entire workout without a step. Let me know which step exercise was your favorite.

Got dumbbells? (Do this for toned legs)

This lower body workout hits the quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves. You can make this workout easier by using light weights, or just by using your body weight. To make it a bigger calorie burn, use heavier weights. This 35-minute workout burns more calories because it’s intense, and builds muscle.

If you’re a beginner, only use 3-5 lb weights, or don’t use any weights at all. Have a sturdy chair available for balance, and cool water nearby, and drink it throughout the workout because you’re going to be sweating.

Since a lot of us are working from home and are moving less, this follow-along routine will help build back lost muscle and burn those calories that you’ve put on.

Healthy Slimming Sugars (do exist)

Nina ShantelWe are all well-aware of the “bad” sugars that cause inflammation and weight gain, like table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, lactose (from milk), and sugar substitutes. But there are good sugars that contribute to improved gut bacteria, weight loss, and better health. These good sugars are glucose and fructose, found naturally in fruits and vegetables. I’ve never heard of anyone who got fat from eating too many berries or zucchini. Who binges on mangos or kiwis?

While you may see fructose or glucose on an ingredient list, that’s not quite the same. You don’t want to eat foods that have been tampered with to make a food sweeter. In other words, you don’t want to consume juice, since the fiber has been stripped out. The goal is to eat the food in its whole natural form.

So, when your sweet tooth is craving chocolate, it may be a magnesium deficiency. Make yourself a frozen banana sorbet, whipped with unsweetened almond milk, and topped with walnuts and cacao nibs. Healthy, carbohydrate-friendly, whole plant foods, don’t make us fat, they feed us nutrients and give us energy. Don’t just eat them, embrace them.

Photo: Me, doing lat pull-downs at the gym, before COVID-19.

Additional sources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/are-certain-types-of-sugars-healthier-than-others-2019052916699

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/is-your-chocolate-craving-a-sign-youre-magnesium-deficient_b_590a07c4e4b03b105b44be54

slide (to burn calories & get stronger)

If you don’t have floor sliders, but you have a smooth floor, such as wood flooring, you just need socks. This fun, calorie-burning workout targets the lower body, core and abs (I even threw in some cardio and a triceps exercise for you). Go at your own pace, and work at your level. Some of these moves are advanced, so keep practicing.

P.S. If you were wondering what my shirt says, it’s a drawing of a cat 🐱, with the words: “check meowt.” Let me know which exercise was your favorite, and which one was the most challenging

Youtube mistakes (why you don’t have views, subscribers, and longer watch time)

Even though my blog is about health and fitness, I figured that some of you post YouTube videos, and would be interested in increasing your engagement. Below is my list of the 13 biggest mistakes that YouTubers make to explain why they aren’t getting enough views, subscribers or longer watch times. (Play the video above for all the details)

13 mistakes YouTubers make

#1. Thumbnails that are unprofessional, or don’t represent what’s in the video

#2. Demanding likes and subscriptions at the beginning of the video

#3. Not having an appropriate background

#4. Wearing offensive or distracting clothing

#5. Leaving in distractions, such as outside sounds, people, or pets

#6. Poor quality lighting

#7. Poor audio quality

#8. Speaking too quickly, or too slowly, or the pace of the video is off

#9. Not showing off your personality

#10. Not making the video entertaining

#11. Rambling

#12. Not providing enough information

#13. Neglecting to add a video, or a playlist, on the end-screen

Let me know if you agree, and if there are other YouTube mistakes you think I should have added to this list.

You can find my YouTube channel by searching for “Nina’s Nutrition and Exercise Videos” on YouTube, or click the YouTube icon, under Social, towards the bottom of the page, on my website theHighFiveDiet.com

Or, just click this direct link to YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5TKWxKKl1IRfTZsVgS0ziA?sub_confirmation=1

If you enjoy my videos, make sure to subscribe, and tap the bell to receive notifications when I publish a YouTube video.

Want to get your advice real quick

I want to get your advice. The videos from my blogs are getting very few views, so I wasn’t sure why. Let me know the reason, so I can fix the problem. Please write to me right away so I can start working on it. I appreciate your help!

Nina Shantel, certified trainer & strength & conditioning coach, blogger, author of the High-Five Diet, Slimming Dairy-Free Smoothies & Dessert, Food Tracker for Healthy Weight Loss, and Weightlifting Record Book

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