Saturday, January 28, 2012

Slimming Secrets

  1. Set a date!  SMART goals get results.  Such as, "I want to loose 10 lbs in 12 weeks by the time I run a half marathon" work best.  Bonus: write it down and put it in a place like your fridge where you will see it daily as motivation when you need it most
  2. Plan your reward(s).  When you reach your small or large goals make sure there is a prize to keep your eye on.  Such as: new jeans, pedicure, massage, new nail polish, fun date night
  3. Lean out your meals.  Eat soup before a meal to make you feel fuller.  Exercise portion control.  Opt for an open-face sandwich to cut out 100 calories.  Consume breakfast to help jump start your metabolism.  Drink more water throughout the day. Click here for more ideas on healthy food.
  4. Make exercise more like "playtime".  Try something new.  Get on a schedule.  Do activities with friends or families (ice skate, play at the park, join a sport team, go for a swim).  Plan out a race day to hold you accountable.  Take the stairs (10.7 cal/min) or shovel snow (7.6 cal/min). 
  5. Mobile apps hold you accountable (they're your new fitness coach & friend).  Jot down everything you eat to stay on budget toward your goal.  Log in workouts and keep in touch with others.  Examples:


Thursday, January 19, 2012

How to Fight Back Pain

Your head alignment is important to avoid back pain.  Looking at the picture below, your head when in correct alignment should weigh no more than 12lbs.  However, when in the wrong place it puts a 42lb strain on your spine.  Overtime this strain on the back can cause injury.  It can also lead to tight chest muscles and weak back muscles.

Learn to sit and stand in proper alignment to keep your blood flowing efficiently and live a long, happy life.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Parenting Fitness

How do you squeeze in time to workout as a parent?  You are busy with your job, family life, making meals, driving your little ones around, helping with homework and struggling to find time to sleep.  However, adding in small workouts (10-20 minutes) daily can improve your mood and make you a healthy role model for your kids.

With a little one you are the caretaker.  Even if you have family and friends who live nearby to assist there will be days when you are unable to make it to the gym or your fitness class.  When times like this happen go to plan B.  Take the stroller/family pet out for a walk, play tag with the kids, go for a bike ride, swim at the pool, shoot some hoops, dance to some music or do some household chores.

As your kids get older and enter school try to commit to at least one hour away a week to workout.  This gives you time to focus on your goals or try something new.  You may feel guilty at first, but when workouts are schedule and pre-paid you are going to be more successful.  This may mean getting up early, fitting in a walk on your lunch hour or stopping in after work.  Most gyms or studios now have showers which is an added bonus for those parents who are on the go.

Still not able to get time away?  Try to reach 10,000 steps a day (about 5 miles; 100 calories burned on average per mile).  Wear a pedometer and if by the end of the day when the kids are in bed and you need those extra steps you can jump on your treadmill or take the stairs to get to your goal. 

Here are some sample workouts you can fit in on those days you are pressed for time:

  • Full Body: Plank + side plank holds (30secs-2mins each), Push Ups or Burpees
  • Lower Body: Walking Lunges or Squats (add hand weights for resistance), Bridges (single leg version for a challenge)
  • Upper Body: Arm weights (can use soup cans): chest press, biceps, front/side raises, triceps
  • Cardio Circuit: Jumping jacks, jump rope, march in place, grapevine, stairs (30secs-2mins each)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Health Advice: Sports Drinks

Q: I'm no pro athlete, but I do workout on a regular basis.  When I have an especially hard cardio session which sports dink should I choose?

A: Sports drinks can be loaded in empty calories.  Marketing makes them sound healthy, but a 20-oz bottle can exceed your daily sugar allowance.  Dilute a serving size of Gatorade with equal amount plain water provides you with a healthier option.  Also you can learn to make your own flavored water by adding in sliced cucumber, oranges, berries, lemon or lime.

Good choices: Gatorade's G2 series or Vitamin Water's zero-sugar line

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Break It Down: Saw

The Saw is a way to combine Twist and Spine Stretch to help students advance during matwork.  

Purpose- wring out the lungs, work on hip stability, rotation of spine

Preps- One Lung Breathing, Feel Good Arm Circles, Spine Stretch Forward, Seated Twist, Curl Up

Form- flex feet, scoop abs, sit bones stay on the floor, lift then twist, back palm flips up, gaze at back arm, ear lowers toward the thigh, reach out fingertips, 2-4 breaths

*May not be appropriate for those with back problems such as disc injury.

Modifications- sit on a pad/stool, perform only the twist to make sure hips don't shift, bend knees if hamstrings/back is tight, bend elbows or hands on shoulders 

How to Advance- add in pulse when reaching, hold onto band behind back for resistance

Challenges- Roll Up + Saw combo