Cure for cellulite

My groundbreaking cellulite program

Back in 2013, I came up with my million dollar business idea — the ultimate cure for cellulite.

Compared to other sub-par cellulite programs on the market this one WOULD help women rid themselves of lumps and bumps forever, through a carefully curated, foolproof routine. It would be the ultimate cellulite solution.

The inspiration for this program came not long after I discovered my first derrière dimples at the tender age of 24. As I’ve written about before, this realization was soul crushing

However, as a pragmatic Taurean, I was buoyed in thinking that I could create a solution for millions of women around the world; this would no longer be a like it or lump it situation, I knew I could figure it out.

Fast forward three weeks: I was sitting at my dining room table, with hand-scrawled theories written on loose leaf paper strewn all around, and wondering why I hadn’t yet cracked the code for smooth, supple skin.

Following advice that I had found on the internet and read in books, I had:

  • Avoided crossing my legs for three weeks
  • Kept my feet elevated at night to reverse blood flow
  • Stopped eating chicken skin AND cottage cheese
  • Exercised my thighs with hundreds of teeny-tiny little pulses (thanks, but not really, Tracy Anderson)
  • Spent a medically unadvised amount of time in saunas and heated rooms to sweat out the toxins that contributed to my shameful cellulite
  • Dry body brushed on a daily basis: sweeping upwards on the thighs and downwards on the glutes
  • Popped collagen supplements and steered clear of any food that would further break down my skin’s apparently delicate structure
  • And I even spent $99 purchasing a “personalized cellulite removal schedule” that contained eight cellulite reversal exercises. You read that right, $99 for eight, one-move exercises.

But even with all of these interventions, one month later the little buggers were still there.

Ultimately, spending hours each day researching what I had to do to “look better” wasn’t a practical use of my time or my limited finances. As it turns out, weight loss trial and error is both time-consuming AND expensive.

So I archived my research and got back to real life. Eating chicken skin, crossing my legs and exercising in a way that made my entire body feel good.

As it turns out, while I’m still acquainted with my fair share of dimples (as is 90% of the female population), living a healthy, un-obsessed lifestyle did more for toning body than any “groundbreaking” cellulite program could.

Last week I invited you to join me in taking this year one day at a time.

Today I offer up another 2018 wellness proposal: be willing to follow through with sustainable, daily health and lifestyle practices, and stay committed to adopting an attitude of self-love. These two habits will do more for the look, feel and longevity of your body than any flash-in-the-pan fitness and diet plan ever could.

 

Have a beautiful day (and remember to not get bogged down in the details).

 

With love,

 

P.S. Just in case you’re wondering if I concocted this whole cellulite story…here’s a screenshot of my anti-cellulite research:

 

How to get rid of cellulite

 

joyous movement jennifer dene

Joyous Movement & My Surprise Athleticism

Athleticism has never been in my blood. If you throw a ball at me I’ll close my eyes and my running style has been likened to some form of interpretive dance. 

So you can imagine my surprise when, in 2008, I was asked to start teaching fitness classes at some of Sydney’s top gyms and health clubs.

(Me! The girl who spent school lunches hanging out in the library!)

At the time I was studying journalism at the University Of Technology, Sydney, and had joined a gym in Bondi Junction.

Even though I enjoyed taking classes I never imagined that I could be the one on stage. Yet there I was, mic’d up and ready to roll. I guess the fitness gods finally decided to cut me some slack.

My first gig was teaching a program called BodyBalance™. Visualize a dimly lit studio, a pre-choreographed flow of tai-chi, yoga and pilates, and a playlist that rotated between Seal, Sting and Sade. Oh how I loved it!

Teaching BodyBalance™ was the first time I realized that I was actually quite good at this whole physical activity thing  (as long as you didn’t throw a ball at me or ask me to run).

In fact, by the time I left for America, I had gathered quite a following in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and Lower North Shore, with my classes regularly holding 90-100 people.

I’m telling you this because yesterday, seven years hence, I decided to put on one of my old BodyBalance™ workout DVDs. It was going to be great!

Right?!

15 minutes in and I was giggling so hard that I had to I hit the pause button.  As it turns out, BodyBalance™ was extremely easy (and I may not have been the total badass trainer that I thought I was)!

One quarter-way into the workout and all we had done was some deep breathing, a basic yoga salutation and the modified Pilates Hundred.

The L.A fitness crowd would have died of boredom.

Personally, I kind of loved it.

Breathe. Move. Flow. Be gentle to your joints and kind to yourself. That’s the kind of fitness that I can get behind.

Its simplicity allowed the hour to be spent in a state of movement meditation and, as previously crowed, it made me feel like I was good at something physical, which counts for a lot.

I wanted to share that story to remind you of one of my healthy living truths: you should exercise to feel good, not to prove a point.

A lot of women I know think that exercise has to be grueling to be effective. This is absolutely not the case. Your motivation to exercise comes from doing something that makes you feel great, in body, mind and spirit.

Exercise shouldn’t feel like just another chore, and daily joyous movement can become something that you crave.

Plus willpower is finite, which means that you need to find a form of fitness that inspires you to do it on a regular basis.

With that in mind, I give you permission to do the following:

  • Stop any form of exercise that doesn’t make you feel good
  • Ignore the latest fitness advice from glossy magazines
  • Don’t worry about how your expression of movement ranks on the hot-right-now scale
  • Find your own interpretation of athleticism
  • Exercise to feel good, not to prove a point

Let me know how it goes.

With love,

How To Make Healthy Decisions - Jennifer Dene

How To Make Healthy Decisions (And Why We Don’t Like To)

I was at the supermarket the other day and I wanted to buy a bag of chips. I headed into the snack aisle, my eyes scanning the shelves, my hands not knowing whether to reach for potato or corn. (I adore them all.)

“Are we getting chips?” my husband asked.

“Ummm, maybe. I was thinking about it. Do YOU want some?” came my response.

Our conversation continued…

Him: “Sure, if you want them.”

Me: “I don’t really mind.” (I did.) “We’ll only get them if you feel like them.”

And continued…

Him: “Let’s not worry then, I don’t really feel like chips tonight.”

Me: “Are you sure? You might want some later. Maybe we should get them just in case…but only if YOU want.”

Can you see what was happening here? Despite the fact that I wanted chips I wasn’t willing to say the simple words “I’m going to buy myself a bag.”

Why?

Because I didn’t want to be responsible for making that decision.

I catch myself doing this from time-to-time, outsourcing my decisions so that it’s not my fault if things don’t pan out.

It’s a habit I don’t like and one that I’m changing, but it still catches me out every now and again.

Home cooking is a simple decision: you either cook or you don’t.

Exercising is a simple decision: you either do it or you don’t.

Drinking wine on a Tuesday night is a simple decision: you either drink it or you don’t.

These are some of the decisions that I battle with, and that I might pass off to someone else, even though the “right” choice is both personal and situational. Some days exercising is the best decision, other days it’s not. Sometimes getting take-out is great, other times it’s not.

You might not always make the right decision, but you do have to be willing to make a decision, especially if taking control of your health is important to you.

This month I’m committed to making my own healthy living decisions, with authority and without guilt, to see how the choices that I’m making affect my health, my happiness and the quality of my life.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

With love,

JDW Signature

exercise hacks

Exercise Hacks & Workouts For Weight Loss

Is it just me or has our culture become obsessed with speed? You only need to read a magazine or browse the internet to be bombarded with “hacks” for getting more done in less time. Eating, working, exercising, socializing, bathing, relaxing, sleeping. Every area of our lives has been touched by the wand of time-management. Yet somehow, even with these time-saving strategies, we still lack time. 

We work harder and faster, and get more done in less time, just to have more time to be MORE productive. It seems counterintuitive, no?

I don’t want to get more done. If anything I feel the need to do less, but to do those things properly.

Efficiency has its limitations, and extreme productivity isn’t a roadmap to leading a content and healthy life.

And yep, that includes your fitness routine…

Over the past five years the fitness world has exploded with exercise hacks. Trainers and novices alike boast how they can compress their 60 minute workout into 15 minutes (and still get the same results).

Gah.

But what does that say about the state of our lives? That we don’t have time to give our body — our physical home and temple — 45 minutes of gentle, unhurried movement in a 24 hour day.

Why are we more concerned about wasting time than safe-guarding our health? Why are we hacking our lives away?

Clients often ask me for the quick fixes, the shortcuts. They want to know what exercises they need to do to lose weight fast. What hack is there for quickly getting back into those skinny jeans?

Sometimes I think my answer disappoints them. The only “hack” is consistency.

To lose weight and keep it off, to get fit and stay fit, to feel as good in your body in 10 years as you do now, remember this: fitness needs to be simple, gentle and consistent.

And that’s why my workouts here on the blog take a back-to-basics approach to fitness. And that’s why I’m never going to yell at you to move faster, or push harder. And that’s why this week I encourage you to slow down, connect with your body, and un-hack your workout routine.

Let me know how it goes!

With love,

JDW Signature

~~~

Hack-less Workout Routines You Might Like:

Learn The Jump Lunge

Crunch Free Ab Workout

Stretches For A Tight Upper Back

Pilates resistance band workout

18 Minute Pilates Resistance Band Workout | Intermediate Level

Today’s Pilates resistance band workout will  strengthen your muscles, improve your posture, and increase your flexibility. All you need is a resistance band (a.k.a exercise band or Theraband) and your workout mat.

Pilates emphasizes core strength, postural alignment, mobility and breath, making it a really important component of your overall workout routine.

But to fully reap these benefits, your flow should be focused around the six Pilates principles: breathing, concentration & control, centering, balanced muscle development, flow, and relaxation.

Before we unroll our mats for today’s video, let’s take a quick peek at each of these principles.

Breathing

In the words of my old mate Joe Pilates: “Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Our very life depends on it.” Breathing calms our wandering mind and allows us to focus on our physical body. In Pilates we INHALE through the nose and EXHALE through the mouth; a strong exhale activates the deep abdominal muscles. If you get confused with the breathing just remember to exhale on the most challenging phase of each movement.

Concentration & Control

Intentional movement focuses on form and alignment, rather than speed and repetition — it is better to do five perfect reps of an exercise, than 20 without paying attention. I encourage you to listen to your body, maintain your alignment, and modify any exercises that feel too challenging.

Centering

The core is the center of the body and acts as both your anchor and your compass. In Pilates we initiate the core before every movement, even for something as simple as lifting an arm or a leg. To activate your abdominals, exhale through your mouth while drawing the belly button towards your spine. If you notice your belly push out during an exercise, stop what you’re doing and reconnect your abs.

Balanced Muscle Development

Our body is designed to move in multiple directions, and we can use our Pilates workout to honor that. In today’s video we are tapping into EVERYTHING: front and back, side to side, bend and flex, and stretch and strengthen… it’s going to feel great!

Flow

Rhythm and flow is my favorite aspect of Pilates. It feels so natural for my body to move in a way that is fluid and functional, while also creating a calm sense of balance for body, mind and spirit. At first you may feel a little clunky trying today’s routine, but after repeating it once you will be able to flow with ease.

Relaxation

Remember, Jennifer Dene Wellness is about feeling fit, feminine and fabulous in the simplest way possible. Don’t make exercise harder than it has to be, and don’t believe the hype that workouts need to be exhausting to be effective. Use as much effort as you need to in order to perform each exercise correctly, but then no more. Relax your shoulders, relax your jaw, and at the end of the session take a few moments to simply lie on your mat and enjoy the stillness.

Choosing The Right Resistance Band

In the video I chat about choosing a the right resistance band for Pilates workouts. The bands that you can buy in a set of three, with three different weight tensions, tend to be too heavy and short for Pilates. Instead, I buy a long roll of Theraband and cut it into three generous lengths; blue is a nice weight for intermediate fitness levels. (Purchase your exercise band here.)

Now let’s do it to it!

Pilates Resistance Band Workout

This is an intermediate Pilates mat workout. If you are a beginner, move more slowly and take the most basic option in each exercise. I wanted to get as much done in 18 minutes as possible so I’m moving at quite a clip, you can always pause the video if you need a little more time. I recommend repeating today’s workout three times this week.

 

Now I’d Love To Hear From You

Did you enjoy today’s Pilates workout? I hope so! Which of the six Pilates principles do you find most challenging, and which comes most naturally to you? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

With love,

JDW Signature

JUMPING LUNGE TUTORIAL Jennifer Dene Wellness

3 Lunge Variations To Add To Your Routine

In today’s video workout I’m sharing three lunge variations that you could add to your workout routine. Beginning with the simplest regression (a back lunge) and finishing with the most advanced variation (a jumping lunge) this video will have all your lunging needs sorted!

For some of you, any kind of jumping/plyometric movement might be off-limits – and that’s ok. But if your knees are up for a little more impact, then adding a jumping lunge into your routine can add a real boost to your fitness.

But the problem is that many people — trainers included — go about doing jump lunges (or split lunges as they’re also called) totally wrong. The goal of the movement is to simply switch the lunge from one side to the other, which doesn’t actually require a large range of motion.

Perfecting your jump lunge makes things easy on the joints & challenging for the muscles…Oh yes, I can feel your excitement from here!

When To Do Jump Lunges

Bodyweight workouts are the perfect place to add plyometric movements, like the jump lunge. Take 6 – 24 repetitions, and place the movement in between two low impact exercises.

You could also try adding them to either this low impact cardio workout or these three moves from the “Killer Legs” series.

Pay Attention To …

  1. Start with the back lunge. Perfect it.
  2. Move on to the front lunge. Get really comfortable there.
  3. Add the split jump, only if it feels ok for your body to advance.

Tip: To increase the challenge without the jump, simply hold a pair of medium weights during the first two regressions.

Safety Tips

  • Keep your bodyweight in the heel of your front foot during each lunge.
  • Draw your navel to your spine and keep the back straight.
  • Only jump on a floor that is in good condition —wood or carpet is best, concrete is never ok.
  • Wear proper shoes.
  • Keep it low and slow.

 

 

Now I’d Love To Hear From You

What kind of workouts would you like to see more of on Jennifer Dene Wellness? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

With love,

JDW Signature

Low Impact Arm Exercises

3 Fun & Effective Arm Exercises (Using The Wall)

Today’s upper body workout will target your chest, shoulders and mid-back, without putting too much strain on your wrists. You can do these three moves back-to-back as a mini-workout, sprinkle them individually into your normal exercise routine, or add it to last week’s low impact leg workout for a full body strength series.

I used to hate upper body work. I couldn’t do a pushup to save my life and planks were the bane of my existence … naughty Pilates instructor.

But one day I grit my teeth and set my mind to getting stronger, and that’s when I began to see real changes.

O.K, so I’m by no means “jacked”.

Obviously!

And I don’t think that anyone will ever call me The Jenninator — which is probably a good thing, come to think of it — but I am satisfied and a little proud of myself to have gotten to where I am.

These days, if you’ll allow me to brag just a little, I can do full pushups, lift some fairly heavy weights, and rock out a 5 minute+ plank. That’s nothing to be sneezed at.

But it took time. A couple of years in fact. Which is a nice reminder that yes, slow and steady does win the race when it comes to fitness.

The three moves that I’m sharing with you today are the kind of low impact arm exercises that helped me build that strength. While they’re not overly complicated, they are surprisingly challenging, and are a perfect addition to your current routine no matter what level of fitness you are.

These are the kind of exercises that might not look like much, but after 10 reps…phew! Just remember:

Moving slowly, and maintaining excellent form, will get you stronger faster than smashing out dozens of reps incorrectly (which will just lead to injury).

Below the video I’ve added a few tips about each move, so be sure to read them before you get started.

Then I would love to hear from you, so please join in the discussion at the bottom of the page!

Cactus Glides

This is exercise is terrific and surprisingly challenging, especially if you do a lot of work that keeps your arms in front of your body (hello computer time, driving, ironing…).

The constant forward position that we adopt during our daily activities tightens the chest and weakens the mid back, which is why cactus glides should be a part of your daily routine.

Tips:

  • Keep your ribs pulled in and press the mid back (i.e. the section in between your shoulder blades and around the bra line) firmly against the wall.
  • Your hands may not be able to touch the wall at the beginning. That’s ok and it gives you something to work towards.
  • If you need a little elevation you can sit on a few cushions. This will help you lengthen your spine.

Spinal Balance Push Up

The primary focus here is on lengthening the spine and maintaining a neutral pelvis. To do this:

  • Push the heel of the extended leg firmly in to the wall with all 5 toes pointing straight down.
  • Both hip points are also pointing directly down to the ground.
  • Lengthen the crown of the head away from the foot, maintaining a flat back.
  • Firmly press into the hand that’s on the floor, and spiral the inner elbow forwards, keeping a little bend in that arm.
  • To advance, lift the arm, without changing anything else in the body.
  • To advance even more, bend both elbows, tucking them in towards the ribs, for a narrow pushup. The leg lifts in opposition so the spine shape has not changed, it has simply hinged.

Wall Push Ups (Clap)

These may not seem challenging at first, especially if you tend to do regular push ups, but it’s all about the technique.

  • Maintain the long spine that you created in the previous exercise.
  • The only thing moving is the bend and straighten of the elbow joint.
  • As you power away from the wall and take that clap think about your abdominals doing the work, and draw the belly button in even more deeply.
  • Need a little extra? Lift one leg a couple of inches, but don’t change the hip position.

Now I’d Love To Hear From You

Is upper body training part of your current workout routine? What upper body exercise have you struggled the most with in the past? And what has been your favorite?

Let me know by leaving a comment below!

With love,

JDW Signature

P.S. Want full-length workout routines delivered to your inbox each week? Check out the Healthy Living Made Easy Program.
3 Low Impact Leg Exercises | Jennifer Dene Wellness

3 Joint Friendly Exercises For Killer Legs

Mixing things up in the gym is important for your fitness AND your motivation. Today’s low impact leg exercises will be sure to catch your attention!

Having pin-up worthy pins is not only good for your confidence. Strong legs support your spine, increase your agility and condition your body to burn more calories (even during sleep).

Unfortunately many leg exercises rely on large ranges of motion, heavy resistance and high intensity, in order to be effective…which is not so hot if you’ve got wonky knees or a weak pelvic floor.

The three moves that I’m sharing with you today can be done back-to-back as a short workout, or included in your regular exercise routine.

TIP: Learn the moves now and then add them into your daily walk.

  • Walk three blocks and repeat three rounds of horrible lunges
  • Walk another block and do three rounds of crab walks
  • Walk another block and finish up with three rounds of pliés
  • Walk home (or, should I say, strut your stuff)

Yes, your neighbors will look at you quizzically — I suggest asking them to join you.

These leg exercises are terrifically effective and you don’t need any equipment. Here’s some things to keep in mind:

Pick Your Own Pace

You can do these moves as quickly or slowly as you like. I prefer to take things low and slow to keep the muscles under tension, but whatever gives you that burn, baby, burn kind of feeling.

Repetition Guide

Repeat each of these exercises for three sets. Beginners — aim for 10 repetitions per set; intermediate — 15-20 repetitions; advanced — 30 repetitions. Rest for 10-20 seconds between sets. Rest for 45 seconds between exercises. 

Need More Challenge?

Hold a heavy weight at your chest for each of these moves, I recommend 10 – 30 pounds.

Think You Don’t Have Time For Today’s Workout?

Think again! Join my free audio training Take Back Your Time To Create A Healthy Body & Life That You Love!

See you again soon!

With love,

JDW Signature

P.S. When the burn begins don’t stop! You can absolutely do this!
How To Strengthen The Pelvic Floor | Jennifer Dene Wellness

How To Strengthen The Pelvic Floor & Reduce The Urge To Pee

I am having a chuckle to myself as I write this post.

I was at the gym this morning, sitting on a physioball doing my kegel exercises, eyes closed and deeply concentrating.

I was using my breath to contract my abdominals, and tapping my toes in a rhythmic beat that matched the lift and lower of my pelvic floor muscles.

That’s when I started to giggle.

You can imagine how strange it must have looked, this girl sitting, tapping, and huffing and puffing with her eyes closed.

Pretty weird!

Remember when I told you that we all feel awkward and out of place at the gym sometimes? Well, this was a prime example!

Want to know what I did? I started lifting and lowering my arms, just to make it look like I was exercising.

Talk about dorky.

But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Here’s why these exercises (and knowing how to strengthen the pelvic floor) is so important:

  • The pelvic floor muscles act like a hammock that supports the internal organs. A weak or damaged pelvic floor can lead to prolapse, where the pelvic organs actually fall out of the vagina.
  • Regularly doing kegels can reduce or even prevent incontinence, which is super important when you’re out-and-about and trying not to pee.
  • These muscles play an important role during intercourse and orgasm.
  • And they are one of the primary core muscles, meaning that they help to stabilize the pelvic girdle, strengthen the abdominals, and support the back.

Today’s video is important for everyone to watch (yep, men should know how to strengthen the pelvic floor too), and the exercise that I’m teaching you should be done every day.

With that in mind, here’s a tip to remember:

Choose specific daily activities that you associate with practicing your kegels. This will make it easier to remember to do them. Tweet this. 

Here are some of the activities that I use:

1. At traffic stoplights
2. When I make a cup of tea
3. And when going to the loo … you might as well feel them in action. (Too much information?)

Watch the video below to learn how to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles with kegel exercises, to support your internal organs, improve your sex life and reduce the urge to pee!

Questions, Comments, Insights?

This isn’t a topic to be embarrassed about, and the more we share the more we learn. If you’re finding it hard to engage your pelvic floor muscles, or have any questions about doing kegels or preventing leakage, I would love for you to leave a comment below so that I can help.

And, if you’re open to sharing, I would love to know what is your go-to activity to remind yourself to do these exercises each day!

Pelvic Floor Exercise: Lift, Hold + Release

  • Sit comfortably on a chair, with your legs apart and your spine straight up and down.
  • Keep your bum and abdominals relaxed, and then inhale through your nose.
  • As you exhale you will contract the pelvic floor muscles (imagine the feeling when you’re trying not to pee).
  • Hold on to that contraction for a full inhale, exhale, inhale and then slowly release the muscles on the next exhale.

Hint: As you’re contracting visualize a helium ballon, rising internally from the vagina to the naval, where it hovers as your cycle the breath.

Repeat this exercise twice a day, for 10 repetitions each time. As you get stronger your goal is to keep that contraction for a greater number of breath cycles, ultimately working up to 10 full total breaths (inhale-exhale) per lift.

It’s been such fun chatting with you today and I can’t wait to do it again soon!

Make sure that you’ve signed up for Jennifer Dene Wellness updates so that every new workout is delivered straight to your inbox. You can do that by clicking here.

With Love,

JDW Signature

P.S. Don’t forget, you need to treat your P.F. like your B.F.