Your Stay-At-Home Workout

After a long invierno, you’re probably itching to get back to the fresh air for your exercise routine. But until the lingering cold weather comes to an end, get the same exercise results with these at-home tips from certified personal trainer Yarixa Ferrao (Coach Yari), who has been featured in numerous media outlets, including MTV’s “I Used to Be Fat.”

Exercise That Gets Results

“Exercise is the key to more energy in our day, de-stressing our lives, and shifting pent-up energy so we can be happier,” says Ferrao. Think of your body this way when choosing how often to exercise. For fit, toned and healthy bodies, Ferrao suggests exercising five times a week with a 30- to 45-minute workout that includes a warm-up, cool down and mobility exercises. Two days a week can be active rest such as going to the mall, the beach or on a hike with your family.

At-home Cardio

For weight loss and fat loss purposes, it’s important to challenge your body. Instead of traditional cardio, such as 30 minutes on the treadmill, try a two minute routine that can be repeated three times, with about one minute in-between. Increase intensity each time to build lean muscle. “The principle called P.A.C.E (progressively accelerating cardiopulmonary exertion) accelerates your heart and expands your lungs so you are really panting at the end of the two minutes, and especially the last set,” says Ferrao. “This will burn calories during and after.” To start:

1. 30 seconds of jogging in place

2. 30 seconds of punching in place with an open stance

3. 30 seconds of jumping jacks

4. 30 seconds of speed squats or squat jumps

5. Increase intensity with each set

At-home Strength Training                     

Ferrao shares an all-in-one back and cardio workout, which emphasizes the important back muscles that are often neglected.

1. Holding weights of five to 10 pounds in each hand, place your feet so they are aligned with your shoulders.

2. Bend over, and bring the weights up and in toward your hips, squeezing in the center of your back.

3. Set should be 10 to 15 reps.

4. Follow with high knee jump roping, 50 to 100 jumps.

For more strength training exercises, check out Ferrao’s how-to video.


Reach Your Career Goals in 2014

Julie Stav has persevered in the face of many obstacles throughout the course of her education and career. Now a financial expert, best-selling author and successful business owner, she dedicates her life to empowering mujeres by giving them the tools to take charge of their lives and finances. Las Fabulosas asks Julie for tips that lead to professional success.

So how can readers get ahead at work?

Make sure you know what you are trying to accomplish. Business owners need to establish what is called a mission statement, the reason for their existence. Employees need to do that too. Everything you do should bring you closer to achieving that purpose. A collective intention sets the tone for a fertile ground of innovative ideas. Don't be afraid to be the leader and take charge in getting your team focused on what really matters.

How do you know when it is acceptable to go beyond your role without overstepping superiors?

Establish a common goal with your superiors and shake hands on the fact that you are creating something bigger than either one of you. Your role should make use of your strengths and talents toward a common purpose. Once you focus on the horizon, it is easier to stay away from the petty distractions of egos along the way.

Should Latinas only pursue projects that they’re extremely passionate about? Or is it worth pursuing others as well?

The most successful and fulfilling projects are those where you aim for the stars while you keep your feet firmly planted on the ground. Make sure you are providing a service or product that is not only needed, but wanted. Focus on one thing and give it your all! If you get knocked down, find out why, learn from it, then get up and try a different way.

Did you ever feel like the steps you were taking weren't leading anywhere concrete in your career?

Oh yes, many times!

How did you keep yourself motivated to keep pushing ahead?

I asked myself: “Is this happening because I'm distracted, or because I should be looking somewhere else?” Your goals can change mid-game. Your path can take a different turn at the fork in the road.

Why are the risks worth the effort even when they don't succeed?

Success is not just reaching your goals. The mere fact that you are moving toward your present goal makes you successful already. It's like building a puzzle, where you pick up each piece with each experience, sometimes unaware that you will need it to complete your picture. Some puzzles have 100 pieces and take a short time to put together; others have 1,000 pieces and seem to take forever. These, however, are usually breathtaking.

Peso por Peso: Invest & Build Your Wealth

Making a resolution to invest this year, but don’t know where to begin? Las Fabulosas sits down with financial planning expert, Louis Barajas, to find the best financial strategies. According to Barajas, it is important to look at your life in defining milestones. “Look at goals beyond today -- wedding, home, kids, college -- then it becomes clear how important it is to start saving,” says Barajas. Here he shares three tips for building wealth through investments.

Build a Cash Foundation

Before you can begin investing it is important to build a liquid foundation for everyday emergencies. A common misconception is how large this fund needs to be. Barajas suggests a healthy base is around $2,000, or a similar amount that could cover a health issue or car problem that may arise unexpectedly.

Invest in Retirement

Once you have a cash foundation, it is time to start investing. Where is the first place to put your money? “Retirement,” says Barajas. “Work to achieve a well-diversified portfolio with different asset classes.” He also notes that if you are investing in real estate, it is extremely important to have your accountant look at the deal first. “You want to make sure it cashes out before you end up losing money sustaining the property,” says Barajas.

Automate Savings

Barajas stresses how crucial it is to get started right away. “Don’t just make a resolution, go right to the bank and start a system for saving.” Automate your savings and investments by having them taken right out of your paycheck before you even see it. “To make something powerful, you need to make it practical. Keep it simple,” says Barajas.

Financial Resolutions for the New Year 2014

Now that we've rung in the New Year 2014, it’s time to start making promises, the financial kind, which are among the most common ones made each year and the hardest to keep.

Almost half of all Americans make a New Year’s resolution, but only about eight percent of us achieve our goals. The New Year, however, is a great time to start reviewing finances and assessing what happened during the past year. For many, their will power is at its strongest. Former FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) securities attorney Debra G. Speyer gives her three financial tips to live by to help you keep your money-smart resolutions going strong:

Financial resolution No. 1: Check your past investments…

And then re-check them! Speyer recommends getting started by reviewing your accounts and investments with a fine-tooth comb. “Focus on them to see if there were any problems in the past year,” she says. “Were there investments you didn’t authorize? How did your investments do last year?” This will help you determine how well your money moves are currently working and if they’re worth reconfiguring.

Financial resolution No. 2: Read your statements as they come…

That’s right, log on or check your mailbox regularly! Many people do not even open the envelopes containing their financial statements that arrive in the mail. Speyer suggests making a resolution to take an active watch over your finances. “You have to read the statements, track what is going on and see what your money is doing,” she says.

Financial resolution No. 3: Have a monthly review…

In 30 minutes or less! A great way to keep this resolution going all year long is to sit down at the end of every month with your bank or stock brokerage statement and review it. Try to make it fun by putting on your favorite music and keeping the review to 30 minutes or less.

Your financial future relies on what you do now. So while you're hopeful about the coming months, ask the necessary questions to ensure savings are taken care of properly. “People need to make a resolution to watch their finances just like they watch their health,” she says. “It is just as important.”

The Artist Whisperer: E. Carmen Ramos

E. Carmen Ramos, the Smithsonian’s first curator of Latino art since 2010, has a must-see exhibition on display: Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, at the American Art Museum through March 2014. The exhibition celebrates the creative vision of Latino artists and explores how their works reflect nuestra identidad as it has developed in the U.S. over the last half-century.

Here, three ways to encourage your own kids’ creativity taking a cue from Latina trailblazer, E. Carmen Ramos:

Cultivate creativity tip No. 1: Explore

For kids, art can provide a way to express unarticulated emotions and help make sense of the world around them. Madres can nurture their own budding artists by regularly exploring local museums and art centers, exposing them to influences outside of their everyday norm.

Cultivate creativity tip No. 2: Communicate

A common thread among the artists featured in Our America is their ability to portray their own cultural references or political views in innovative ways. Having a message is a great starting point when it comes to creating. Help your child decide what they want to convey with their art and the significance it can represent to others.

Cultivate creativity tip No. 3: Experiment

Encourage your kids to be fearless and experiment with materials and different ways of portraying their artistic instincts. Great art is not just about technical skill, but also ingenuity. Whether materials are recycled or store-bought let them know that art -- as well as their imagination -- is limitless.