Thursday, April 12, 2012

Yoga Pose of the Day: Plow Pose

I really enjoy the website http://www.mindbodygreen.com/ and recommend it to people who are beginners to yoga who want to learn basic moves.

Today's Yoga Pose of the Day is Plow Pose, which helps stretch and strengthen your lower back, releases strain in your neck, and helps improve circulation as you are lifting your body over your head.



1-Begin laying down, face up, focusing on creating length in your spine by extending through your feet and your head.

2-With your arms extended at your sides (palms facing up), bring your knees to your chest. You may keep your legs straight, or bend at the knee.

3-Engage your core, particularly your lower abs, and raise your hips straight upwards and begin to extend your feet past your head.

4-Begin to engage your shoulders, pressing them into the ground and extending through your arms (for added assistance interlace your fingers together as you extend your arms), and continue to extend your legs past your head until your hips are directly over your shoulders.

5-Rest in this position, your toes anchoring your legs to the ground. For added support in your back, bring your palms to your lower back to hold your back in place. Remember to keep your neck completely relaxed and DO NOT rotate your neck. Take 5 deep breaths.

6-To come out of this position, take a deep exhalation as you roll your spine, very slowly and one vertebrae at a time, back to the floor until you are laying down in the starting position. Rest here for about five breaths to counteract the Plow Pose.

Namaste.

Exercise of the Day: Push-up Jacks

Time for explosive movements that will really have your core and your arms on fire! Push-up jacks are a great way to add fast, powerful movements into your workouts and improve the speed, power, and athleticism in your upper body.





1-Start in a plank position. Your wrists, elbows, and shoulders are in one line and your core is activated so that you have a flat back, pushing through your heels to create length in your body.


2-As you take an inhalation, lower your chest towards the floor and jump your feet away from each other about two feet, like you are doing a jumping jack.


3-On your next exhalation, push your chest back up to the starting position as you engage your lower abs to hop your feet back together.

This is one repetition. Do as many as you can for 1 minute!!

A little spin on the Push-up Jack that I like is to do them using a G-Slide. Instead of hopping your feet out and back, slide your feet back and forth. This takes A LOT of core control!!! No G-Slide? Use towels under your toes to allow your feet to slide.

ENJOY!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Healthy Tip of the Day: Running in the Rain

The Go! St. Louis Health and Fitness Weekend is fast approaching this weekend, and sure enough there is a possibility of rain ALL WEEKEND!! No worries all you runners!

Here's a link to the NYDailyNews, providing expert tips on how to run in the rain without the problems associated with it:
<http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/running_dialogue/2010/09/expert-tips-for-running-in-the.html>

Enjoy!!!

Exercise of the Day: Kettlebell Turkish Get-Up

Many people become lost in only exercising isolated muscle groups. The body is one unit, fitted with multiple joints, that we need to exercise together in order to keep the body in peak shape. One of the best exercises to work the entire body is the Turkish Get-Up.

The Turkish Get-Up trains your coordination, strength, posture, core, and stability all at once. Because there are so many aspects to this exercise, it is important to pay attention that you do the entire exercise properly, or you will improperly train your body!



1-Begin lying on the ground, face up, one kettlebell in your right hand, extended directly over your right shoulder.

2-Bend your right knee and bring your right foot back near your hip and press your left hand into the ground. Use your right foot and left hand to start lifting your torso off the ground.

3-Bring your left leg back behind you, coming into a lunge. Be sure that you are keeping the kettlebell extended directly over your right shoulder.

4-Come out of the lunge, standing straight up, the kettlebell still extended over your right shoulder.

5-Return back into the lunge, and then place your left hand on the ground as you bring your left leg back forward in front of you.

6-Return to the ground, laying face up, the kettlebell extended over your right shoulder.

Do 10 repetitions with the kettlebell in your right hand, then switch sides, doing the same action with the kettlebell in your left hand.

If a kettlebell is unavailable to you, try the exercise with a dumbbell. You can challenge your stability and coordination without any weight at all, so try the Turkish Get-Up today!

ENJOY!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Healthy Snack of the Day: Apricot Cranberry Muffins

I made these muffins this weekend for Easter and they were a HUGE hit with the family. I had seen a recipe for ricotta muffins and changed the ingredients around so I could use ingredients I already had at the house and be finished quickly. I was hoping to have left-overs, but everyone devoured them!!

Heat the oven to 375 degrees and coat the muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray and a little flour.

Blend 2 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour, and 2 teaspoons of baking powder in a bowl (you can add a pinch of salt, but I did not). Stir in 4 oz of chopped dried apricots and 3/4 cup of dried cranberries and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup of non-fat cottage cheese, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 egg, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of water. Make sure the mixture is well-blended.

Add the flour mixture 1/3 at a time to the wet ingredients until well-combined.

Scoop the mixture evenly into all the muffin cups (12 muffins) and then bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

ENJOY!



This is really similar to what they look like....,my camera isn't working right now :(

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