Exercise

5 minutes fixes for a more awesome you

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 5 minute fix

This is a very busy time of year. When you get really busy, you become overwhelmed and a lot of things start eroding. Your health is usually the first thing to go, but is more important than anything else.   So I came up with 5 things you can do, that take 5 minutes but can improve your life. It can even add years onto your life!   1. Foam rolling Yeah I said it again. One thousand times I've said it and I will say it one thousand more. By spending just 5 minutes rolling around on this tube you will feel so much better I promise.   2. Toasty pants These aren't all scientific, this is just what I do. When it's cold like it is now, this can really help get you going. Throw your pants, socks, and the shirt you are going to wear in the dryer for 5 minutes.   By the time they are done, you pull out the clothes, get dressed and you get a warm jump start on your day. Great for having an excuse for walking around the house in your boxers too. If you're into that sort of thing   3. Get up This one is pretty simple. Every hour, get up and walk around and stretch for 5 minutes. If you are the type that gets tied up in their work and doesn't know what time it is, set an alarm to remind you. Every hour, do it. Your back, hips, neck, eyes, and energy levels will thank you.   4. Floss Seriously! This doesn't even take 5 minutes, unless you have teeth like Gary Busey. Studies have shown that you can add 6 years onto your life by flossing. 6 years! Imagine the shuffle board domination you have to look forward to with all that extra time on the end of your life.   5. Quiet Let me ask you a question. When was the last time you had 5 solid minutes of complete silence? You probably can't even remember. Between TV's, radios, iPods, cell phones, and everything else silence is very rare. Take 5 minutes every day in complete silence. You will be amazed at what it can do for your stress levels.   Turn everything off, tune everything out, put the kids in their sound proof room, and just chill. You can plan out how you are going to attack a problem at work, pray, meditate, clear your mind of all the junk, or whatever you choose to do. Works wonders for improving thought clarity as well.   It probably only took you about 5 minutes to read this, so you have plenty of time to start putting these into your daily routine. You have the time for whatever you make a priority.

“The Get Happy Workout”. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

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ElfSmiling   This can be a tough time of year for a lot of people. For many of us, the stress of presents, family, and finances all come together for one Stress Ball Holiday.   It shouldn't be like that! This should be a joyous time of year. You need to be smiling and laughing. Somebody should do something!   That somebody is me. (just picture me standing with my hands on my hips and a cape flapping behind me)   I've come up with The Get Happy Workout (Trademark pending). One of my strong points as a fitness instructor is my ability to make people laugh and smile. It is part of my formula for making a happier and healthier person.   Sweat + Laughter= Magic Mood Lifter   Don't you just feel great after you exercise? And after you have a good laugh? Try this 10 minute workout to get into a better mood, while also breaking a sweat.   Warning-do not take yourself too seriously. If you are a very serious person, there is no need to read any further.   Bonus points if you make family members do this with you.   Each exercise is for 45 seconds, rest 15 seconds, then move onto the next exercise. Go through the whole list twice.   1. Wacky Jacks- hands behind your head, then try to make your knees and your elbows meet on the side of your body jumping jack style. Ridiculous.   2. Plank- the whole time I want you to think of something hilarious while you hold your plank. I find everything funny, but others might struggle here. Let me know if you need me.   When in doubt, flex and relax your butt cheeks as you hold your plank. You will get in some extra glute work and try not to at least smile while you do this.   3. Pushups- think about pushing through your armpits while you do these. This will make you stronger on your pushups.   But I also want you to make up benefits for pushing through your pits. For instance, did you know hair grows slower under your arms if you push hard enough while doing pushups? Less shaving=win. Feel free to make up your own.   4. Hip bridge talking- Lay on the ground, knees bent, feet near your butt. Push through your heels and make your hips go up in the air. I want you to contract and relax your butt without letting your hips drop down.   Also, I want you imagine that those contractions and relaxations are your bum muscles talking to you. What could they possibly be saying? I need to know, so pass it on.   Great, low impact exercise that will also teach you how to get your glute muscles activated if you sit down a lot.   5. Chicken Squats- Push your hips back, pin your elbows back so your shoulder blades pinch together, keep your knees out, and sit away from your knees on the way down. Push through your heels to stand back up. You will look like a chicken, while also strengthening your upper and lower body.   It's 10 minutes of your time and if you embrace the goofiness properly I guarantee it will make you feel better.  

Don’t wait, the time is now

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Don'tWait

  Are you at a point in your life when it seems like you will never get back in shape? You weigh too much, you’re too old, you’re too injured, you’re too whatever.   You may have adopted the attitude of, “Why even try?”   I mean you are so far gone, what’s the use?   I will tell you what the use is. It’s time to suck it up, get over yourself, and get to work! Feeling sorry for yourself only makes it worse. I know because I've been there myself.   Take a look at people who made incredible changes in their lives. The ones who have completely transformed themselves.   Whether it is someone on The Biggest Loser or the person at work who you barely recognize now. They have the same thing in common.   At one point in their lives they decided they were absolutely fed up and disgusted with how their bodies looked, how they felt, how depressed they were, etc… and did something about it other than worry.   Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to climb back up. I had a client once who had her wake up call when she realized she was ordering two drinks at the drive thru so the people wouldn’t think all that food she had ordered was just for her.   I had another client who was one year away from turning the age his dad was when he died of a heart attack. Like his dad, he was 50 pounds overweight, stressed out, and in terrible health. He refused to leave his own kids to grow up like a father like he did.   My own turning point came when I was 50 pounds overweight, football career was over, and my arm was going to be in a cast for 6 months. It was time to either give into the depression and do nothing. Or change the way I lived and get myself right.   When are you going to get fed up?   When are you going to say “No more!”   It doesn't have to be like that though. You can start today and not go through the painful experiences.   Don’t wait until after the heart attack. Don’t wait until your spouse leaves you. Don’t wait for something terrible to happen.   You won’t fix it over night, you may not even fix it in a year. But you have to keep going. Do you worry about your weight or your body every day, but do nothing about it?   That makes it worse! It eats you alive. Remember this simple phrase.   Action. Alleviates. Anxiety.   You will feel so much better if you just do something about the problem!   Start with a short walk, 5 pushups, 1 healthy meal. Just start. And once you start, refuse to ever go back. Never again will you be that person. The new you starts now.   No matter how small, take some action today to get better.  

5 ways to defeat desk job posture

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deskjob

  Does that look familiar? It should because most of us look like that at work. What do we do about it? One of my clients, Lori, sent me a video of fancy move called the Thoracic Bridge. It's a great way to correct imbalances and tight muscles. You can check out the video here Thoracic Bridge Video   It got me thinking of a few other ways to help undo all the desk job posture that is so common.   1. Sound the alarm    Set an alarm so that you have a reminder to stand up at a minimum once an hour. Preferably every 15 minutes if possible. Or you could always rock the stand up desk.   2. Squeeze the Charmin   A side effect of too much sitting is your glut muscles going to waste. While you are standing up any way when the alarm goes off, why not add a little something to it? Put your feet shoulder width apart, feet pointed out at 45 degree angles, and pinch your butt cheeks together. Sounds weird (because it is), but it will really help you.   3. Pull it apart   You need a band for this one. Hold a band directly out in front of you, arms straight, wrists straight, knuckles up, and then extend your arms all the way out like you are demonstrating your awesome wing span. Make sure to pinch your shoulder blades together in the back. This one will you will feel a difference in by doing them for just a few days.   4. Tight hips don't lie   Sitting too much causes your hip flexors to tighten up. If you have trouble getting into a deep squat, the culprit can be tight hips. Try the 90/90 hip flexor stretch. Go into a kneeling position, with your right knee up and your left knee on the ground. Keeping your back straight, push your hips forward, and think about sinking your hips into the ground. Hold that for 15-20 seconds and then do the same on the other side.  

The Iron Bowl Workout

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Iron-Bowl-2013   Happy Iron Bowl Eve to you! This game is always a big deal in Alabama, but there year it is even bigger. The #1 team in the nation versus the #4 team in the nation, championships on the line.   People will be no longer speaking to several friends and family members after this. If you are unfamiliar with this rivalry, I'm not exaggerating.   The game is so nerve racking for some people they can hardly stand it. Why not put all the pent up aggression, nervous energy, and anger towards something else?   Introducing the Official Iron Bowl Exercise Game! Clay Travis is a well known sports write who has a CBS football drinking game. I can't really sponsor that, so I'm totally stealing his idea and just using exercise instead.   Every time something from the following list happens, you will have an exercise to go with it. Since these games last 3.5 hours you could accumulate a serious workout here.   1. Every time the announcers mention "divided houses" (Auburn and Alabama fans who are married) do 5 pushups. iron_bowl_house_divided 2. Every time they mention AJ McCarron's girlfriend Katherine Webb do 5 pushups. If they also mention she is an Auburn grad, add 5 more on to that.

 reg_634.AjMcCarron.KatherineWebb.jlc.1713

3. Every time Verne Lundquist says "Oh. My." do 15 jumping jacks. This alone could kill you. Verne_Lundquist 4. Every time an old coach for either team is talked about (The Bear, Chizik, etc…) do 20 squats.
Sorry, this picture gets me every time

Sorry, this picture gets me every time

  5. Every time Aubie is shown do 5 pushups. Sorry, this will cost you probably 80 pushups. 220px-Aubie_Flag 6. Any time there is a turnover (by either team), do 10 burpees.   7. When Nick Saban is interviewed, do 5 squats every time he shrugs his shoulders.   8. Any time Gus Malzhan's high school coaching career is mentioned, do 30 mountain climbers.   9. Any time a fan is shown looking dejected/with his or her hands on their head, do 20 pushups. dejected fan 10. Every time they reference Tre Mason's dad being in De La Soul, hold a plank for 30 seconds. De-La-Soul-3-Feet-High-And-Rising 11. If your team is losing at half time, go for a long soul searching walk. Regroup.   12. If they mention an infamous interview with Gus Malzhan's wife, do 20 sprints in your yard if you are a Bama fan. If you are an Auburn fan, turn your TV off. 1322399231-malzahn 13. Every mention of Saban going to Texas will get you Auburn fans 5 sprints. Bama fans can angrily tweet at whichever announcer keeps mentioning it.

 SabanInTexas

13. Any time Gary Danielson arrogantly talks about a bad decision by the quarterback on your team, do 10 pushups. images 14. Every time Verne seems like he is having way too much fun pronouncing names like CJ Uzomah or Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, do 5 burpees.   15. If your team wins, sprint around the block as fast as you can. If your team loses, angrily chase the winning fans in your neighborhood.   Best of luck to your team today! Either way, it's just a game being played by giant teenagers. Enjoy it for what it is and have fun.  
Football capital of the United States

Football capital of the United States

How Facebook can help you sleep better, exercise more, and get rid of your depression

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facebook-gym  

If you are on Facebook, you have probably noticed that a lot of people are talking about the things they are thankful for. I love it! Too often Facebook is a place where people go to do two things.

Brag or complain.

 

Humblebrag-Header

 

Especially the dreaded humble brag. "My Ferrari hasn't been washed since I got back from skiing with Lady Gaga in Vail. LOL!"

This all sounds nice, but what does being grateful have to do with your health? As it turns out, it has a lot to do with your health.

Studies have shown that people who show an appreciation for the things they are grateful in life experience the following benefits:

-less depression

-more optimistic

-less aches and pains

-better sleep

-less anxiety

-exercised more often

Another great thing about having an attitude of gratitude is the effect is has on your brain. When you are grateful it effects the part of that releases dopamine. It feels good to release dopamine, so this helps you continue to have that positive attitude so you can experience that feeling again.

Another benefit is that your brain is not a multitasker. When you are focused on the positive things in your life, you won't be focused on the bad things in your life.

All of you doing the Facebook gratitude thing, keep it up! Or you can keep a gratitude journal if you are a more private type. Write a letter to someone who made a difference in your life.

I recently wrote a letter (by hand!) to a coach I had in high school who helped me. It really did feel good to picture hime reading the how he positively effected my life. It was 20 years ago, but I still benefit from the things he taught me.

Think of ways you can be more grateful and you will feel better. It's science.

Never let your butt go over your head and other tips for safer and more effective pushups

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butt over head My clients probably don't appreciate my love of the humble pushup, but there is a reason I love this exercise. Most people know it as an upper body exercise (chest, shoulders, and triceps), but it also works the lower back, abs, back legs, and butt.

what-muscles-do-push-ups-work

  Whether you are doing pushups on your toes, your knees, an incline, or a wall these tips can help you get more out of your pushups.   1. Don't let your elbows flare out It all starts with proper hand placement. Your hands should be directly underneath your shoulders at the top of the pushup. As you lower yourself down, keep your elbows in close to your body. Think about keeping your elbows lined up with the middle finger on your hand. When the elbows flare out, you place more stress on the shoulders.   2. Push through your pits Focus on pushing with your armpits. This sounds weird, but will help you better recruit the muscles in your chest and triceps, gets the lats (the muscles on the side of your back) involved, and helps to protect your shoulders.   3. Never let your butt go over your head This is just good life advice in general, so there's that. It will also help you avoid a common problem of "piking" your hips up. Keep your butt muscles tight, your chin off your chest, and lower yourself down chest first.  This will give you a better range of motion and a more effective pushup.    

Pumpkin Circuit and Pumpkin Pie With Nut Crust Recipe

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PumpkinWorkout

  Did you know that pumpkin is very high in alpha- and beta-carotene? Taking in these two carotenes has been shown to increase your life span. And what better way to eat pumpkin, than in pie form? This recipe from Healthy Living How To is a great one to try.   Pumpkin Pie with Nut Crust  
Nut Crust 
Prep Time:  5 minutes Cook Time:  15 minutes   Ingredients1 cup Almond Flour/Meal ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Hazelnut Meal/Flour ¼ cup Extra Light Olive Oil or Coconut Oil Pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt   Directions
1.     With a fork, mix oil with nut flour and salt until you have a “crumble-like” texture.
2.     With fingers, pat curst into bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9 inch pie plate.
3.     Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until lightly brown.
4.     Much be completely cool before filling.
 
Pumpkin PiePrep Time:  3 minutes Cook Time:  50 minutes   Ingredients15 oz. Can Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin 13. 5 oz. Can Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk ¾ tsp. Ground Cinnamon ½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg ¼ tsp. Ground Ginger ¼ tsp. Ground Cloves ½ tsp. Himalayan Sea Salt 1/8 tsp. Stevia Extract Powder 2 Large Organic Eggs 1 Nut Crust   Directions
1.     Mix pumpkin, coconut milk, spices and stevia together.
2.     Add eggs and mix slowly just until thoroughly mixed.
3.     Pour pie filling into nut crust.
4.     Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees F for an additional 35 minutes.
5.     Thoroughly cool and chill before serving.  What's your favorite way to prepare pumpkin? I would love to hear it.

How to get Revenge

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Revenge
  Have you ever heard the quote, "The best revenge is a life well lived."?   It really makes sense to me, but I see too many people going the complete opposite direction. I see more and more people who get hurt and then take it out on themselves.   It could be a spouse, family member, an employer, or any number of people that hurts them and it leads to self defeating behaviors and an overall negative attitude about life. They take solace in food, alcohol, solitude, anger, and many other destructive things.   They let themselves go completely and their health suffers tremendously.   Is that you? If you have gained more weight than you ever thought you would, what happened? Look back.   Do you remember a turning point? Chances are it leads back to some point where you were hurt.   Find that hurt and use it as fuel for success, rather than an anchor to hold you back.   Don't let that person continue to win!    The best way to get back at the person that hurt you is to forget them. You're worth the effort, so work on you and forget that hurt.    

10 Reasons You Should Be Exercising Outside

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OutdoorExercise
Fall is my favorite time of the year to exercise because I do 99% of my workouts outside. It is beautiful right now!
I actually feel weird when I exercise indoors. Even though the temperature is always nice and I don't have to worry about this weird neighbor I have who pulls out a chair and watches me exercise, I don't like it as much.
That is a weird twist because I used to do nothing but gym workouts. I started to wonder why that is, so I did some research. Turns out researchers have proven that there are some awesome benefits to exercising in the great outdoors.
Top Ten Reasons You Need To Exercise Outside
1. 50% greater improvement in mental health over gym workouts.
2. It decreases tension, anger, confusion, and depression (know anyone who could use less of those beauties?).
3. Increased rates of exercise compliance (easier to stick to your workout routine).
quote_outdoor_exercises
4. Vigorous, outdoor exercise increases energy and alertness better than a cup of coffee.
5. Much higher Vitamin D levels. In a related note, people with low Vitamin D levels are twice as likely to be overweight than people with normal to high levels if Vitamin D.
6. Helps you sleep better at night.
7. Test subjects scored 50% better on a creativity study after exercising. Side note, you have to go phone/MP3 free for this one to work.
8. No need to worry about germs on the equipment or waiting on the guy who is reading a novel while camped out on the piece of equipment you need.
9. Better way to increase your fitness level, especially for runners. Dealing with wind, temperature changes, different terrain, etc... makes your body work harder, expend more energy, and become more resilient.
10. Adventure Boot Camp is outside. This has been scientifically proven by the way.
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