Thursday, February 23, 2012

Break It Down: Climb a Tree

Nothing says grace quite like Climb a Tree.  A supple spine will allow for the full extension to an elegant exercise that opens up the entire body.  

Purpose- hamstring/back flexibility, core strength, pelvic stability, extension

Preps- Roll Up, Short Box series, Leg Circles, Feet in Loops, Rolling

Form- Roll back with pelvis (do not hinge), top leg is perpendicular before you walk down thigh, keep abdominal support throughout

 *May not be appropriate or those with low back problems such as disc injury or stenosis.

Modification- practice on the mat 1st, hamstring/hip leg stretches only, roll back just halfway 

How to advance- do the full backbend into the well, add in twist of tree at top, 3-4 reps

Challenges- add in leg circles while head is in well

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Back on Resolution Track

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other."
-Abraham Lincoln

How are you doing on your New Year's resolutions?  Let's be honest.  Good will only get you so far.  After the 30 day hump a new habit or change is not becoming second nature?  Here are some tips to make them stick:

  1. Goal: Weight Loss...Are you on a training program?  Do you have others (personal trainer, friends/family, co-workers) whom hold you accountable?  Are you physically active 3-5x/week?  Chances are if there was one question you didn't answer a solid "yes" to then that's where we need to start.  The basics are there for a reason.  We encourage a Couch to 5K program because walking helps us put in the miles just as well as running.  It provides a mental accomplishment each time we finish the plan.  Journal your workouts to keep you on track.  Laminate your training program to post on your fridge or calendar.  Not everyday day at the gym will be fun.  Focus on your larger goal everyday (fitting into that bikini, role model for kids, running a race).  Make it your mission statement!    
  2. Goal: Improved Nutrition...Take your supplements (put them by your toothbrush or coffee).  Raw food is best.  Bring healthy snacks when you travel.  Log your food into a journal.  Stay hydrated!  Fuel before and right after all workouts.  Nutrition is all about numbers (calories), variety (food groups), and color (vitamins and minerals).  When you put positive, natural foods into your body you get the best results.  Always!  
  3. Goal: De-stress...Schedule a monthly massage, facial, counseling session, girls night out, vacation day or date night.  Make your days off involve more family, friends and pet time.  Play games, go see a musical, read a book, knit, or volunteer.  Create a no email or phone day to break away from the demand of technology.  Prep food, workout clothes and work documents.  Taking a few hours a week to re-organize helps to make the rest of the week flow better.     

Monday, February 13, 2012

Health Advice: Snacks

Q: Sometimes I have to eat dinner later then intended.  What are some good snack foods to tide me over?

A: Be careful what counts as a snack and as a treat.  Avoid pudding cups, baked chips, certain energy bars and even those 100-calorie snack packs.  Those are "treats".  You should eat something that will sustain you until your next meal such as a piece of fruit or veggie, string cheese, raw almonds, or low-fat yogurt.  Those have more nutrients and will keep you feeling satisfied longer.