June Fitness

Physical Challenge for April

***Go for Cardio & Core ***

Let’s get ourselves ready for swimming, shorts & short sleeves by burning lots of calories & getting our abs into shape. I did a 1 hour Pilates workout today & was very depressed at how much strength I have lost in more core since I have been focusing on adding strength to my arms.

Here is a cardio circuit that can be done in 15 minutes. You can add it to any workout before you cool down/stretch, or you can do it the first thing in the morning or any other time of the day if you want to get your heart going!
1) Start with jumping jacks for 1 minute. You will probably do around 30.
2) Do some “squat thrusts”: squat down & touch your hands to the floor. Jump your legs back behind you & get into a push-up position. Jump the legs back in. Then stand up or hop up. Do 8 of these.
3) Power walk. Walk around your house, your office building, wherever you are, for about 5 minutes.
4) “Jump rope” for about 2 minutes. Hop with both feet, make it a skip, a little heel shuffle, whatever you want. You can even use an actual jumprope if you have one.
5) Alternate marching for 30 seconds & 4 plyo jumps for about 5 minutes.
6) Do squat thrusts again. On the last time down, stay down & do 8 push-ups.
Come up & march until you are either cool enough to stop or ready to finish the rest of whatever workout you were doing already. Have fun.

June 2007 Monthly Challenge

Can you believe it is June already!?! Are you up for this months challenges? I hope so. How are you doing on your raw & cooked vegetables? This week I didn’t do as good with my raw veggies. I do get almost a ¼ lb in the morning in my breakfast smoothie (add spinach to your smoothies, you can’t taste it & it gives you a big veggies boost for the day. It does turn your smoothie green, but if you add blueberries or blackberries, it will counteract it a little.)

Nutritional Challenge for June: We are still eating our 1 pound of raw vegetables daily as well as our 1 pound of cooked veggies. Here we go:

June: *** At least 1 cup of Beans or Legumes daily ***

Continue reading June 2007 Monthly Challenge

Question for you

How is everyone doing with their veggies? Getting 1 pound of cooked vegetables is pretty easy. I have a question for everyone, What is your favorite breakfast food? Do you like pancakes, scrambled eggs, cereal, oatmeal, etc? Do you like your breakfast to be sweet, savory, or neutral (like oatmeal)?

Stretch to try

Here are 4 hip stretches for you: These stretches encourage flexion, extension, abduction, & adduction.  If you are on your feet all day, spinal twists can relieve whole body strain.  Hold each stretch for 1 minute and work your way up to 5 minutes.  The eventual goal would be to hold each stretch for 20 minutes, but I know how busy all of our schedules are, so if you can start with just a few minutes for each stretch, its a good start.  If one of the poses starts to feel painful, ease yourself out of it until you are at a comfortable stretch again.

#1. OPEN HORSE STANCE – While standing, turn your feet out in a wide stance (think plie).  Open your legs about a width of 3 feet.  Bend your knees deeply until you are in a wide squat.  Drop your butt back & rest your forearms on your thighs.  Bring your weight off your thighs & onto your arms.   

#2. FOLDED POSE – Lying flat on your back, draw your right knee into your chest, clasping both hands at the knee.  Switch sides & repeat.  Then bring both knees into the chest. 

#3. DRAGONFLY – Sit with your legs at least 90 degrees apart.  Lean forward, trying to touch your hands on the floor in front of you.  Gradually allow your elbows to rest on the floor.  Only go as far down as is comfortable, this is all about stretching your muscles, not pulling them! 

#4. SPINAL TWIST (my favorite) – Lie on your back & squeeze both of your knees to your chest with your ankles together.  Cross your right leg over your left leg & drop both legs to the left, holding the top of your right thigh with your left hand.  Draw your knees up as close to your chest as your hip bones will allow.  Turn your head & look to the right.  Repeat on the other side. 

I hope you will feel relaxed after this & a little more limber.  Try some stir-fry or a yummy vegetable soup for dinner this week & have fun!  Debyi

How is your stretching going?

How are you doing with your stretching? I have been doing good by getting in my 3 days a week of yoga/stretching. I have included a couple more recipes to get in your veggies & another stretch, my second favorite stretch called Eagles Pose. For those of you who suffer from back pain: Yoga reduces back pain better than conventional exercises. “Yoga combines postures for strengthening & stretching with breathing techniques that help you relax, which can have pain-relieving benefits,” says Karen Sherman, Ph.D., author of the Annals of Internal Medicine study of 101 men & women. She says “To ease aches try doing a gently style of yoga, like lyengar or hatha, 3 or 4 times a week.”

Modified Eagle Stretch – strengthens your jaw & neck; stretches your shoulders & upper back.

Start sitting on your knees, then wrap your arms around your torso, left arm under your right, hugging yourself. Keeping your arms close to your body, bring your hands up, your right elbow resting in your left in front of your chest, with your palms touching each other. Relax your jaw & shoulder blades.

Hold for 10 seconds, breathing evenly through your nose. Release & repeat with your right arm under your left.

To make this harder, from a standing position, you can cross your right leg over your left & place your right foot behind your left calf. Squat slightly. Make sure you do both sides.


How is May going?

Well, I was able to get a 1/2 hour of yoga in 3 times this week.  I also did at least 5 minutes of stretching the other 3 days that I worked out.  I’ve been doing good on my cooked vegetables, not too bad on my raw veggies.  .