Saturday, September 21, 2013

Exercise of the Day: Butt-Ups

My clients make me laugh. Really laugh. And I appreciate when they say exactly what they're thinking (and what everyone else is too shy to say out loud). This is why one of my favorite moments of the day was when I asked one of my clients to do sets of Butt-Ups. During her rest, she turned to me and, with a very serious face and tone, said "If I ever sex again before I die, this exercise is going to come in handy." YES!

In all seriousness, Butt-Ups are very effective in strengthening and toning your abs. One of the best parts is all you need is your body, no equipment required. Additionally, you receive the benefit of strengthening your upper body and stretching the back of your legs.

1-Begin in the forearm/elbow plank position. Make sure that your elbows are directly under your shoulders and you are reaching through your heels in order to create length in your spine. Engage your abs and your glutes, imagining that you are bringing your belly button to your spine. This will minimize the arch in your back.

2. Begin raising your glutes to the ceiling, further engaging your abs in order to minimize the distance between your ribs and your hips. Continue to maintain length in your spine and activation in the back of your legs.

3. Now, slowly and with complete activation of your abs, bring your glutes back down to the beginning elbow plank position described in Step 1. This is 1 repetition.

4. Do 3 sets of 20 reps.



Friday, September 20, 2013

Inspiration of the Day: The Morning Crew at Rhino

It's so easy to let the good things in a day slip by when we start the day getting out of bed, already with a massive list of tasks to accomplish. The early drive to work is clouded by scheduling out the day: When will I be able to work on my dissertation? How much time can I allow for this? Where can I fit in this meeting? Do I have enough time to prepare? Why did I set my alarm to go off at 4?? Where am I going to find the motivation to get through all of this??????

That's when I pull into the parking lot at Rhino Fitness. Slammed parking lot and a gym full of determined people who are working their hardest to better their health, their selves, and all the while are encouraging the people around them. Whether it's the 5AM Boot Camp crew, the 4:30 AM spinners, my clients, or all of the others pushing themselves through  their workouts before they head to work and tackle their own tasks of the all inspire me. I see you all and I instantly want to make this day the best day possible and I can't help but smile and love my job.

Now, everything I have to accomplish today I will accomplish with a smile and a sense of motivation inspired by you.

See you tomorrow at 5. Here's a little Allyson Felix for some inspiration:


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Healthy Drink of the Day: Kale and Chia Seed Juice

What a gorgeous Sunday morning here in St. Louis!! Today is definitely a good day.....the weather is perfect, there's a great vibe at Rhino Fitness this morning, Iowa beat Iowa State (in Ames, too) yesterday, and there is NFL to be watched!

An energizing, yet healthy, drink to help keep us all on track on such a great day makes it even better.

This juice drink is in part a solution to my mother's impeccable kale garden (she seriously had some major success with it) which she has no idea what to do with, and also a way to sneak in some chia seeds.

Why chia? Here are seven reasons:
1-Chia seeds help reduce food cravings because it blocks food from being absorbed as quickly.
2-Along the same lines as above, chia seeds help you feel fuller faster.

These first two are caused by the gel affect created when chia seeds absorb water. They absorb about 10 times their weight in water and expand as a gel like substance.

3-The chia gel is hydrates the body. Everyone needs to be hydrated. No brainer.
4-Chia seeds are rich in Omega-3, which fights inflammation and heart disease. There is more Omega-3 in chia than there is in salmon.
5-Chia seeds slow down the rate that our body converts carbohydrates into simple sugars, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.
6-Chia seeds are easier to digest than flax seeds and don't need to be ground up. Low maintenance food!
7-Some reports believe that chia seeds help lower blood pressure.

Okay, enough of that, now for the simple juice drink which solves the problem of what to do with kale (besides make chips) and how to include chia seeds into your diet:

Combine a handful of kale, 2 to 3 stalks of celery, a pear, and the juice of a lemon into a blender or juicer. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of chia seeds. Blend until liquid in form. Drink. Enjoy!

Super simple, right?

Have a great Sunday!!


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