Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Seasonal Meals

Attend your local farmer's market, grow your own, or know what's in season before you shop for the best selection.  Purchase extras to freeze or can for winter use.  Plan your meals around produce that is in season to get the best nutrition and taste throughout the year.   

Here are some recipes to help you and your family eat more healthy:
·                     Avocado-Spinach Salad w/Honey Lime Vinaigrette
·                     Wagon Wheels w/Summer Squash and Mint
·                     Mozzarella Tomato Salad w/Balsamic Drizzle
·                     Red Cabbage, Cranberry & Apple Slaw
·                     Oriental Chicken Salad
·                     Avocado Feta Salsa
·                     Spinach & Artichoke Pasta

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pilates Principles: Flow

Pilates, when done correctly should look like a graceful performance.  It takes a great amount of energy to ensure the exercises look effortless.  Other basic principles such as breath and concentration need to first be in place before flow can occur.  Flow also relates to smooth transitions.  Each exercise should flow into the next without taking breaks in between.  The tempo of each exercise can fluctuate, however it needs to be done with purpose.  

The equipment will tell you if you are using flow correctly.  Ideally the machine will be quite when you are in control, otherwise springs will bang or clank.  It takes a high level of focus to make sure each exercise is done in this manner.  This can take years of practice to perfect.  It is also one of the most rewarding of the principles.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Barefoot Running

After completing my second half marathon (in 20 minutes less than my first one 12 weeks ago) I am proud.  Proud to have completed all my training and finished strong with my parents standing by to witness my hard work.  My dad even came to help coach me through my last mile which meant a lot to me (he had previously done a 5K earlier and ran his best time).  I'll admit, I started at an 11 minute mile pace and ended at about a 13 minute mile pace.  It is to be expected when running distance races.  As part of my training I purchased New Balance minimus shoes to wear at work to help strengthen my ankles when I wasn't training.  I love them because they actually look and feel like shoes compared to those "webbed" versions out there.

Today, barefoot running is all the craze.  If you don't have the shoes no need to worry.  Here are some exercises to make your feet and calves strong enough to make it through that last mile:
  • Squat Jumps (can add in weights for more resistance)
  • Single Leg TRX Squats/Lunges
  • Balance 
    • Yoga poses, Bosu, Walk/Run on grass/sand
  • Dynamic walking:
    • Toes only, Heels only, Skipping, Side shuffling
  • Calf raises: lift on your toes and lower back to the heels
    • Parallel, Heels together toes apart, Big toes together heels apart 
    • Add pulses while keeping your heels raised

I'm helping host another C25K workshop at Core Sport this year to prep you for theWicked Halloween Run in Plymouth, MI (costume contest included!).  Join us by registering today to learn more tricks to make your next run the fastest yet!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Field Trip: ROM Fitness

Want a full body workout in 4 minutes a day?  Try ROM Fitness to get the benefits of cardio and strength in only a few short minutes!

This Range of Motion Machine (ROM Machine) is used for upper/lower body workouts.  It provides a low impact way of doing H.I.I.T. (High-intensity interval training).  You will use all your muscles (especially your core) and burn fat more efficiently.  Over time you will increase endurance and gain strength. 

  • Simple workout
  • Any fitness level 
  • Increase flexibility
  • Decrease aches/pains
  • No impact on joints

The best part is this machine will teach your body how to "fire" your muscles in the proper sequence.  I did both upper and lower body on my first try and was amazed.  I was sweating at the end and slightly out of breath.  However, I had excess energy so I went for a few mile run afterwards and felt very strong.  This is a type of workout that is a wonderful addition to any fitness program; especially those of us crunched for time.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

TRX Basics

What is the TRX?  Let's break down the basics of TRX:

What is it?  A form of Suspension Training that uses your own body weight as resistance.  It allows you to adjust the intensity during each exercise incorporating strength, balance and flexibility.

Who made it?  U.S. Navy SEALS, founder Randy Hetrick

Who should use it?  Everyone!  It can assist with squats/lunges or challenge an elite athlete at a one legged push up.  Other elements such as golf swing rotation, Pilates ab series, or yoga stretches can also be performed using the TRX.  You can workout at your own pace during a group class and is great for rehab clients.

Some famous names who use the TRX: Mary J. Blige, Drew Brees (NFL), Bob Harper (Biggest Loser), Jennifer Lopez

What are some advantages?  This type of workout is one you can take with you (hence the company name of Fitness Anywhere).  The TRX itself weights less than 2lbs which makes it portable and can be setup in seconds (to an overhead beam, door frame, tree, ect).  The best part is that its a full body workout no matter which one of the 100s of exercises you do!  

You can also include other pieces of fitness such as standing on a Bosu while doing upper body work with the TRX or holding onto a weighted ball while performing single leg lunges.  This makes it highly functional and great for Bootcamp sessions.

In addition the company has recently come out with the TRX Rip Trainer meant for those who wish to specialize more in power and rotation movements.

Ready to check it out?  Watch this video to see the TRX in action!