Tag Archive | sports

How to Conquer Fear and Reach Your Goals

by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA

No fear.

Does fear hold you back? If you want to lose weight, gain muscle, increase your speed, or improve some areas of your life, then you must conquer fear. And you need a plan.

Whatever your goal may be, if you want to be successful you have to first believe in yourself and then follow a plan. Today I want to talk about letting go of fear.

Snow and ice athletes are a perfect example of people who overcome and channel their fear every day. My sister Jackie has won bobsled medals for her country. I have utmost respect for her love of the sport, and her ability to conquer fear. I’ve always supported her events, but standing in the crowd I could tangibly feel my fear coursing through my veins.

How to conquer fear in sports

Jackie believes that the fear of failure is the main thing that stops people from performing at their best. In her sport, there is a very real possibility of crashing at 80 mph, and the consequences could be dire. What makes my sister a champion is that she’s able to separate her fears into a concern for her safety and anxiety about failure. Jackie knows that she’s undertaken every safety precaution and has practiced, practiced, practiced.

Fear can promote a release of adrenaline into our bloodstream. To protect ourselves, the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism comes into play and our bodies prepare for action. In sports and other competitive environments, it’s not typically the fear of danger that creates this rush of adrenaline, but more a mix of anticipation and excitement.

Being prepared and having a plan of action will allow you to train your mind to overcome any negative emotions that are standing in your way. And you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from mental training techniques.

Jackie put aside her safety fears because she had a plan and she was committed. She was determined to use her fear to make her train and compete, rather than giving in to fear and saying goodbye to the triumph she felt each time she clocked a personal best.

How to use fear to get closer to your goals

We don’t all have to hurtle down hills to face our fears. In everyday life, there are things we might want to do but don’t because the fear of failure is too great.

Making lifestyle changes, especially those that involve weight loss and health goals, often make people feel anxious and fearful. The fear of failure or a fear of the unknown can often stop people from trying something new. Try using my three simple tips to help you conquer fear and overcome any negative emotions to turn them into success.

1: Fear assessment:
Write down a list of the worst things that could happen if you fail. This will often put things into perspective and make you realize that you should just get started on your journey. We can all be guilty of having an over-active imagination, so writing down your fears will help you assess if they are in fact valid.

2: Define your goal:
Ensure that your goals are written down and use a S.M.A R.T.1 goal-setting framework. Having a clear destination and time frame in mind will help you on days you want to quit. Clear goal setting will put you in full control of your success.

3:  Positivity training:
Write a positive affirmation and say it every day. The more you tell yourself that you can be successful, the more you will start to believe it’s true. An example from my old training diary from my athletic days is ‘I am strong, I am powerful I was born to compete at a world level.’ And from my days of trying to lose extra baby weight I wrote, ‘I will regain my pre-baby body, I am strong and focused.’

Many athletes will tell you that the mental side of sports is more important than the physical aspect. That constructed belief is one of the keys to making your dreams come true.

If you have found yourself starting and stopping over the years with your body composition goals, you may benefit from trying a new positive mental approach. Try not to let your fear of failure get in the way of your success. It’s better to try and fail than not try at all.

To end, here’s an inspirational quote from my sister in her new quest of getting back her pre-baby, athletic physique:

I’m going to think myself thin. I thought my way to two Olympic games, so I’m just going to believe I have a perfect body. Of course, I’m going to stop eating unhealthy snacks and get my butt to the gym, too.”

[1] Specific. Measured. Agreed upon. Realistic. Time-based.


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4 signs you’re ready to increase your workout intensity by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA

Once a #fitness routine feels easy, you need to up your challenge. Hit LIKE if it’s time to change it up!

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Is your body ready for more? Look out for these signs that it’s time to increase your workout intensity. If you start listening to your body and understand when it’s time to increase your physical challenge, it will help you avoid hitting the dreaded exercise plateau.

Exercise should be progressive in nature. As your body adapts to the demands of your exercise routine, you should respond by slowly increasing the workout intensity. Training in this way will help you to keep improving and building on your results over time.


Athletes have trained in cycles that involve increasing the intensity, duration or load in their training for years as it is proven to keep your body improving. As a personal trainer and group exercise coach, I believe everyone can benefit from adapting their exercise routine every few months.

Our bodies all respond to a new exercise routine differently. Most people start to notice changes after following a plan consistently for 6-8 weeks. When you first start exercising, the physical changes and indicators that you’re physically improving tend to be quite pronounced. As you become fitter, knowing when it’s time to switch up the challenge becomes a little harder to notice.

Look out for these signs that your workout may be in need of a boost, and some tips on how to increase its intensity.

It feels easy

If your routine used to provide you with a challenge but now seems easy, it’s time to increase the difficulty level.

Tip: If you are only a few weeks into a new routine, add a balance challenge to work the small stabilising muscle groups in your body. Try using an upside down 1/2 ball for your squats to keep you focused.

Heart rate

If your workout on the treadmill or cardio equipment used to get you out of breath, but now allows you to talk easily throughout, it’s likely that your cardiovascular fitness has improved. To push yourself and burn additional calories, increase the challenge.

Tips: Increase the duration of your cardio workout to boost your endurance level. To improve strength and maximise calorie burn, increase the speed or incline.

Safety tip: Monitor your heart rate to ensure it stays within the safe guidelines for your age and fitness level (most cardio equipment has a chart to help you find this). Push yourself to improve; do not push yourself too hard too soon.

Weights are too light

If you’re lifting weights and they feel too light, you may need to increase the weight. In general, lifting very light weights for a high number of reps won’t provide your body with an effective challenge. Use your time more efficiently by increasing the weight.

Tip: Select a weight that you can use to perform 10-12 reps with good form. The last 3-4 reps should feel like a challenge. A good guide is a 10% weight increase every 3-4 weeks. Repetition is essential for mastery and muscular change, so when you first start out, spend time selecting the best starting weight. When it feels too easy, work on increasing intensity.


If your workout has you feeling uninspired or unmotivated, it’s time to change it!

Tip: Try a new class that challenges your mind and keeps you mentally engaged. Exercises that work two or more muscle groups simultaneously and those that require complex movement patterns are more likely to keep boredom at bay. Love to run? Incorporate a time challenge or find a picturesque trail to keep you stimulated.



Remember that an important part of any good fitness plan is a balanced nutrition plan. Make an effort to keep your results evolving by listening to your body and knowing when it’s time to change.

Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.


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Graceful Aging Exercises for Everyone by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA

Graceful Aging Exercises for Everyone

Graceful-aging Exercises

Aging may be a fact of life, but with a graceful-aging plan based on a healthy, active lifestyle, you can counteract Mother Nature.

Aging is a fact of life. Loss of muscle tone and bone density, increased fat stores, skin aging and poor posture are all part of the aging process. However, this doesn’t mean you should just sit around and watch your body deteriorate. You can’t prevent aging, but with a graceful aging plan based on a healthy, active lifestyle, you can counteract Mother Nature.

Related Article: Women, Hormonal Changes and Exercise

It’s never too late to get started with an exercise routine and even a small amount of activity can help you to improve the way you feel. Staying active will allow your joints to stay mobile and if you include resistance exercises as part of your plan, you can retain muscular control and stability as you age.

Everyone, regardless of their current age, can benefit from exercise, and reaping the rewards and health benefits of exercise doesn’t have to involve strenuous workouts or trips to the gym. It’s about adding more movement and activity to your life, even in small ways.

There are many easy ways to get your body moving and improve your health and outlook. However, older adults that have been inactive for a while should consider the following before getting started.

Get Medical Clearance

Consult your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you have a preexisting health condition. Your doctor can let you know if there are any activities you should avoid.

Consider Your Current Health Status

Keep in mind how your ongoing health problems affect your workouts. For example, diabetics may need to adjust the timing of medication and meal plans when setting an exercise schedule.

Progress Slowly

If you haven’t been active in a while, don’t do too much too soon. Instead, build up your exercise program little by little. Try working out in increments of 10 minutes, two to three times a day.

Listen to Your Body

Exercise and activity should be at least somewhat enjoyable and pain free. If something feels wrong, such as a sharp pain or unusual shortness of breath, stop exercising and inform your doctor so that you can try another activity that’s more comfortable/suitable. You may be able to avoid a lot of the discomfort associated with starting a new exercise routine by ensuring that you warm up prior to exercising and cool down with stretches afterwards.

Get started today with some exercise basics.

Walk More

Walking to enhance your cardiovascular fitness level is a simple activity to get started with. Aim to be active for 30 minutes at least five days a week. Understand, however, that walking alone is not sufficient so consider adding an element of resistance-based movements to your plan on 2 to 3 of your exercise days.

Get Stronger

Strength training helps prevent loss of bone mass, builds muscle and improves balance. Staying strong may also help you avoid falls that are caused by a lack of muscular strength. Ensuring that you do some form of resistance based activity each week may allow you to perform your daily activities, such as shopping, cooking and cleaning, with greater ease.

Be Flexible

Performing daily stretches can help you to become more limber and increase your range of movement. Stretches that are static or involve movement can be done standing. If your current mobility and stability is not ready for this challenge, you can stretch while sitting in a chair or lying down.

With these graceful aging exercises, you can improve your quality of life and make a commitment to getting healthy and active today.

Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Sr. Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.


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2 reasons why you need to make time for yoga by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA

2 reasons why you need to make time for yoga

2 reasons why you need yoga in your life | DiscoverGoodFitness.com | Samantha ClaytonLet’s talk about yoga. Do you think it’s a calming and low impact form of exercise? While it can be, yoga also offers challenges that are suitable for exercise newbies and professional athletes alike.

Although mastering the form and spending time showing off a perfect yoga pose on an empty beach or atop a scenic mountain looks good, yoga is about building strength. No matter how much I can bench press, there will always be a need for yoga in my life but for many years, I viewed yoga as simply gentle stretching in peaceful surroundings. Pretty much something I would do on my rest day from what I considered to be ‘real exercise’. I loved the calm but at about the 30 minute mark I’d be desperate to leave any yoga class because my mind would start to get busy thinking about all of the errands I needed to do … Watching the clock, I’d be thinking to myself ‘when is this going to be over?’

I knew there were many disciplines of yoga, all with unique benefits and challenges but I admit that I had no idea you could get so strong from practicing yoga.

Finding the right yoga style for you

As a group fitness instructor, I have always felt the need to be well rounded and certified in several areas of fitness. Becoming a dynamic instructor with skills that relate to people with all types of interests has always been my top priority. I wanted to add yoga to my skill set, so I looked for a style that would suit my personality. It won’t come as a surprise when I tell you that I signed up for a ‘power yoga’ weekend. It may make you laugh that my ‘power’ trip made me realize I need yoga in my life to help me focus on myself and be present in the moment for more than 30 minutes at a time, It turns out that, for me, the physical strength benefits were outweighed by the mental strength I needed to develop! I came to the realization that yoga makes you strong in ways beyond the physical.

If you are like me and have a busy mind, always thinking about your next task, maybe you need yoga to help you develop mental strength too. Do you want to get a strong and flexible body? Or, do you need to spend time following a set and flowing routine to help you develop some co-ordination? Whatever your needs or fitness goals; let me share with you my three favorite yoga styles and show you how yoga can make you strong.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is a style that truly encourages the mind-body connection, it is a very traditional practice focused on truly controlling the breath and calming the mind through meditation. I find this style of yoga practice great for slow, controlled and focused movements and it is my favorite for a full mental workout. This style is great for anyone new to exercise because a lot of emphasis is placed on being in perfect alignment.

Ashtanga Yoga

There are many variations of this dynamic style of yoga, but traditional ashtanga yoga it is based on a set of flowing movements. Each movement is directly connected to your breath, one movement on your inhale and the next movement on your exhale. If you like to follow a set routine without much variation this style of yoga is for you. No matter which studio you go to, the flow will be the same making it a perfect choice for people who travel and love keep some consistency in their routine.
Once you have the basic movements mastered, the breathing can truly become the focus of your practice. Ashtanga yoga is calming and stress relieving and I think that ashtanga yoga provides participants with a true physical challenge that will strengthen your muscles and help you to stay focused.

Bikram or Hot Yoga

Bikram yoga is a mind-body-physical challenge like no other. This style is based very closely on the traditional ashtanga flow yoga but with an added element of difficulty; the room is kept at a temperature of about 100-105 degrees. The heat makes you sweat profusely and creates an environment that is believed to help the body de-toxify and also to improve your ability to stretch further with each pose.

Bikram yoga can help you to get strong toned sexy arms, flat lean abs and killer leg definition because the flow of movements in the heat challenges your entire body. I love it because I can’t think about running errands or anything other than breathing and moving in an attempt to stay alive and survive! I believe I gain true mental strength and willpower from practicing bikram yoga because just staying in the room is a challenge for me. Many studios use great music to help keep you motivated but let me warn you that this practice is not those people new to exercise.

There are dangers associated with working out in the heat so use caution and be aware of the dangers before you take a class. A typical class lasts for about 75 minutes. My husband goes to our local studio every day armed with water and Herbalife24 Hydrate dietary supplement and I try to brave the bikram studio at least twice a week even if I’m traveling.

Allow yoga to make you strong

I can’t think of anybody who wouldn’t benefit from developing mental strength while also improving their physical strength.  I hope I have sparked your curiosity enough for you to give yoga a try so that you can discover for yourself that yoga is not just for relaxing on your off day from running or going to the gym. Yoga can give you a challenging workout that will build your strength in ways you never imagined.

Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.


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VIDEO: Triathletes Heather Jackson & Lukas Verzbicas Are “Driven to Perfection” | Herbalife24

Triathletes Heather Jackson & Lukas Verzbicas Are “Driven to Perfection” | Herbalife24

Whether training, running, or cycling, professional triathletes Heather Jackson and Lukas Verzbicas know what it means to be driven to perfection. Sponsored by Herbalife, Heather and Lukas are constantly setting new goals to help strengthen their performance. Herbalife provides them with the nutrition they need to continue to strive for perfection and helps them get to that next level.

Fueled by Herbalife nutrition, watch how Heather and Lukas prepare and train for triathlons. Herbalife is there to help them prepare, train, and recover from the demanding activities of a triathlete.

Heather Jackson

American professional triathlete Heather Jackson’s accolades include a runner-up finish in the 2013 Ironman 70.3 World Championship, three-time Wildflower Triathlon Champion, two-time Ironman 70.3 Oceanside Champion and 2013 Escape from Alcatraz Champion to name a few.

Before becoming an amazing triathlete, Heather was an avid hockey player. She was an English teacher in Thailand and a world history teacher in California. It was in 2009 she decided to become a professional athlete and her triathlon career has been unstoppable ever since.

“When it comes to training and competing, hitting a plateau is inevitable. It’s my job to work that much harder and go beyond it.”

Herbalife proudly sponsors Heather because Herbalife products provide her what she needs before, during and post training sessions and races. Heather calls Herbalife’s support “an absolute game-changer” to her career as an athlete.

Lukas Verzbicas

Professional triathlete Lukas Vezbicas, who still holds the US high school record for 2 miles in 8:29.46, shows the rigorous training sessions that help him continue to strive for excellence in his sport.

Lukas is always ready to take on any challenge that life throws his way. His dedication and passion for running on the track has been a part of his entire life. Why is that? Because his parents were also endurance athletes and he ran in their footsteps. His amazing performance has led him to be the youngest man to win a World Cup in a triathlon.

Lukas’ amazing story goes beyond the sport of triathlon. Listen to his incredible road to recovery after a nearly fatal accident. It’s inspiring and a testament to the dedicated nature of this extraordinary individual.


John Heiss, Ph.D., is the Senior Director of Sports and Fitness at Herbalife, and one of the scientists behind Herbalife24, a line of high-end sports nutrition products. During his initial quest to find an endurance sports nutrition product, he “started to think about what kind of nutrition might improve performance.” And he created a type of product formulation that other nutrition companies didn’t have.

Herbalife24 is performance nutrition designed to empower athletes 24-hours a day. It’s nutritional support to provide what they need as they train, recover and perform in their sport. Herbalife goes beyond providing nutrition for athletes and works with athletes and teams to help them get even better.

Lukas and Heather are only two of the many athletes Herbalife proudly sponsors. From soccer players to rally car drivers to extreme adventurers, Herbalife stands behind excellent and strong athletes who are always up for the next challenge their sport has to offer.

To find out more about Herbalife24 products, go to: https://www.goherbalife.com/goherb

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Video: Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Healthy breakfast ideas. If you’re stuck in a food rut then get inspired with these healthy breakfast options from Susan Bowerman. Sure, a convenient Herbalife Shake in the morning meets your nutrition needs but you could swap out your lunch and or dinner with a shake instead. These healthy breakfast ideas are perfect for when you’re on the go or have the time to plan a special breakfast.

Are you looking for healthy breakfast alternatives to your Herbalife Formula 1 shake? In this video, Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, FAND, shows you some light and nutritious breakfast options.

A Herbalife Formula 1 shake is an excellent breakfast, but every now and then you might want to change things up by having your shake for lunch or dinner. That means you’ll need some healthy breakfast options. Whatever you decide to eat, make sure it’s a balanced meal that includes protein and healthy carbohydrates.

Healthy Breakfast Option #1: eggs.
Peaople all around the world associate eggs with breakfast. Whether you like hard boiled, scrambled or poached, an egg or two can help meet your protein needs.
Try mixing a few veggies into an omelet or serve a softboiled egg alongside toast soldiers and add a bowl of fresh fruit on the side.

Healthy Breakfast Option #2: plain non-fat Greek yogurt.
Prepare a healthy bowl of Greek yoghurt and round out a meal by adding fruit and a few nuts.

Healthy Breakfast Option #3: Start your day with hot cereal.
Hot cereal is a major comfort food but instead of reaching for cream and sugar try adding Herbalife Personalized Protein Powder to your oats once they’ve finished cooking. The extra protein may help you feel fuller for longer.

Healthy Breakfast Option #4: Consider foods that you wouldn’t normally associate with breakfast.
For some reason many people see only a small category of foods as suitable for breakfast but next time you’re in the kitchen try these healthy breakfast alternatives: whole grain corn tortillas, spread with avocado and topped with a few slices of turkey or a salmon patty on a whole wheat English muffin. Both of these helpings can be paired with a side of fruit to create a balanced meal.

Healthy Breakfast Option #5: leftovers.
If your leftovers made a perfectly healthy and balanced meal for dinner, it’ll make a perfectly balanced and nutritious breakfast option too.

So what did you have for breakfast today? Share you’re favorite breakfast options in the comments below!


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