Dr. Piazza’s Summer Body Toolkit

Are you counting down to summer?  If so, you know it is only 35 days away.  And for those of you who have been spending this recent cold winter hiding under layers of clothing, that date may be bit of an unwelcome wake-up call that swimsuit weather is right around the corner.

If you would like to get in shape for summer — and stay in shape — I encourage you to think not about drastic measures but about adopting a healthier lifestyle and utilizing the best tools and resources available.  I believe that everyone is capable of transforming his or her physical body, regardless of genetic makeup or pre-disposition.  However, in order to truly transform your body, you must approach it scientifically.

For the past two decades, I have devoted much of my time to researching and identifying the most advanced and scientifically-backed equipment, exercises and nutrition regime to achieve health and optimal physical fitness.  As both a doctor and a health and fitness enthusiast, my medical background and thorough understanding of the human anatomy and physiology allows me to approach it quite differently than a conventional fitness trainer.  I believe that this experience is also the reason my patients and clients have succeeded in reaching their fitness and wellness goals after many years of failed attempts with the latest diet or fitness craze.

I encourage you to start your makeover by using the tools and tips recommended below in my Summer Body Toolkit, some of which are offered exclusively at NYCPT’s Wellness Center.  It is also part of the same regime I prescribe to my patients and clients who want to look and feel their personal best, to increase their vitality and to take years off their chronological age.  If you incorporate even some of these tips for the next 35 days, it will give you a jump-start on your physical and health makeover for the upcoming season — and beyond.

Image via healthmakeover.org

1. Replace Aerobic Activity With Anaerobic Activities Like TRX and Power Plate

The key to building a lean, toned physique is by switching between periods of high and low intensity during your training, which is the ideal method for burning calories and building lean muscle mass. While any aerobic activity, such as walking or running on a treadmill or pedaling on a stationary bike, is helpful, it is not going to get you the sculpted body you want.

In order to build muscle, you need to trigger hypertrophy, a process during which your body re-builds damaged muscle cells. Intense anaerobic exercises stimulate more of this process than aerobic training. Developed by a former Navy SEAL, TRX suspension exercises leverages gravity and your bodyweight, developing strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously.

Interestingly enough, NYCPT’s conditioning experts actually prefer training our clients using the TRX in conjunction with other equipment, such as the Power Plate, Orbit and Wunda chair to help continually challenge the body.  When the TRX is paired with the Power Plate, for example, you not only intensify your workout, but due to its ability to accelerate your body up to eight times the acceleration of gravity, coupled with the fact that more than 90 percent of your core and balance muscles are used while you are on the Power Plate, you will achieve amazing results in a short period of time. In fact, you can spend about 15 minutes on the Power Plate to get the same results as one hour at the gym doing standard weight training exercises.

Image via Vogue Korea 

2.  Start Juicing and Add Smoothies to your Diet

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “a six-pack is made in the kitchen, not the gym.”  While exercise is a critical component of my toolkit, failure to reform your nutrition will yield less than stellar results, regardless of how much you exercise. True nutrition reform begins with eating a plant-based diet and substituting healthier foods for the things you enjoy, while putting an equal emphasis on expelling toxins from your body.

By drinking fresh organic vegetable and fruit juice and smoothies, you are able to retain most of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) found in the whole plants. Juices and smoothies not only add valuable nutrition to your diet, they also help to transport fat and toxins out of the body, reducing cellulite, preventing bloating and constipation and hydrating the cells.  The result? Your body will benefit with better health, and you will be better able to achieve your ideal summer physique.

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3. Build Lean Muscle and a Six-Pack with the Orbit

A recent addition to our wellness and fitness regime that my patients and clients have been raving about is the Orbit, which is a multi-functional piece of equipment that provides a full-body workout that strengthens, stretches and challenges the body on multiple planes.  Exercises performed on the Orbit work to elongate the body and create lean muscles by using both circular and linear movements; the Orbit is fully scalable from mild to complex intensity levels to continually challenge the body.

The Orbit provides a thorough core workout because it continually engages your abdominal muscles.  The versatility of the Orbit also allows you to increase upper body and lower body strength, adding definition to the shoulder and bicep muscles.

To be used only under the guidance of a licensed Clinical Pilates instructor, the Orbit can also be used by professional or amateur athletes on all feet and arms simultaneously for intensive athletic training and to improve agility, balance and strength.

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4.  Add Mag07 to your Daily Supplement Regime

As I’ve mentioned before, detoxification and removal of toxins and excess waste accumulated from a poor diet or sluggish digestive system is just as important as your diet and what you put in your body. Mag 07 is a magnesium-based compound that has been ozonized and stabilized to release nascent oxygen when used as directed. The non-habit forming compound assists the body’s digestive process by slowly releasing nascent oxygen which helps “good” bacteria utilize nutrients more efficiently and by eliminating the digestive tract of unwanted debris.

Image via theivycoach.com

5.  Build a Lean Surfer’s Body

There’s a reason why most surfers have great physiques. Surfers do not isolate their muscles while performing their sport; they use their entire bodies. In fact, the act of surfing blends balance, stability, power and core training.

Available exclusively at NYCPT in the local area, Surf Fitness Boards are specially designed to simulate the physical demands of surfing. Adjustable for all fitness levels, the boards work to burn fat and to build lean body muscle.  Unique, challenging and fun, a workout on the Surf Fitness Boards mimics the powerful feeling of surfing. You will experience the side-to-side motion of the board, and you will be able to train the same muscles a surfer uses. All that’s missing is the ocean!

Image via arlanafit.com

6. Celebrities and Models Swear By Lymphatic Dry Brushing

When most women worry about swimsuit season, it is because they are self-conscious of cellulite, the dimpled appearance of the skin that is caused by fat deposits just below the skin’s surface. Lymphatic Dry Brushing is a simple and inexpensive, yet very effective, technique that will make a profound difference when combined with the other recommendations in my summer body toolkit.

My female clients who use the technique are often surprised at how beautiful and smooth their skin feels and looks after just a few short weeks. Lymphatic Dry Brushing stimulates skin, gut, kidneys, liver, lungs and mucous membranes. It also stimulates the lymphatic system, decreasing cellulite in women and promoting cellular turnover in both men and women.

Actress and model Stacy Keibler, for instance, credits her incredible physique with daily strenuous exercise and the benefits of skin brushing. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Keibler, 33, said she vigorously scrub her legs with a body brush every day, adding that the technique removes dead skin, improves circulation and promotes cell renewal.

7. Burn Excess Fat While Detoxifying the Body with a State-of-Art Infrared Cardio Bike

An important scientific fact about weight loss is that body fat becomes water soluble at 110°F or 43ºC. When this process occurs — as it does while using NYCPT’s PhysioRED Infrared Cardio Bikethe fat dissolves, enters the bloodstream and can be eliminated from the body. Infrared heat penetrates the body up to two inches and works to remove fat and toxins from the body through perspiration.

During a session on the infrared cardio bike, your body’s core temperature increase. As your body works to cool itself, you sweat. In addition, your heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate increase. As a result, you burn more calories.  By following an exercise regimen on our infrared cardio machine you also will notice a reduction in the appearance of cellulite.

The unique power of infrared light helps you to gain and retain lean muscle mass. Since less exertion is required on the PhysioRED Infrared Cardio Bike than on a regular exercise bike, you lose less muscle mass while burning more calories.