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Make Running a Habit

There is nothing like a good run on an early Monday morning to get your juices flowing so you can kick-start a productive day. The refreshing feel of cool morning wind on your face, the sound of motivating music in your ears through your earphones and a gorgeous scenery to keep you in awe: all but a few of the bountiful rewards that come with a morning run. It is the perfect way to start your day and fill your day with positive energy.

The benefits of running are numerous. From weight loss to stress relief to overall fitness to disease prevention – the list is infinite. However, realizing these benefits is no walk in the park. Though running is no rocket science, it will take you a whole lot more than just an alarm clock to pry you out of bed in the morning. Yes, you may pull it off once or twice. But without changing your paradigms and values, that snooze button will continue to feel like a plague your very existence.

So, here’s are five quick no-brainers to make running your number one habit.

  1. It’s All About the Big Picture

All actions in your life should contribute to your one goal in life – the big picture. With running, it’s no different. You have to find that reason inside you to wake up in the morning and partake in this activity.

Maybe you want to get a cute guy’s attention at the park. Or you want to get in shape for your wedding dress. Or, perhaps, the morning run is an effective way for you to jumpstart your day. Whatever reason it is, it should be the last thing you think about when you go to sleep at night and the first thing when you wake up in the morning. Revolve your entire life around it.

  1. Psych Yourself Out of Bed

We all know what it’s like. Waking up early on a cold morning, cozily wrapped up in a warm fluffy blanket. Getting out of bed in such conditions is a task that could shake the willpower of the most dedicated of running souls. This is because willpower is like a charged battery and it tends to run low when you wake up in the morning. This explains why the first thing you did this morning was probably pushing that snooze button. Needless to say, willpower cannot help you out here.

This, however, is where the 5-second rule comes in handy. All you need to do is to trick your brain into forgetting all those things holding you back. At the same time, it will help you focus on that big picture. This will remind you why you need to spring out of bed.

How do you do it? Just count backward from 5 to 1 and like a rocket taking off from its pad, launch yourself out of bed. Don’t overthink it, don’t second guess it, just do it. The more you think about it, the higher your chances of going back to bed again.

  1. Consistency is an Ingenious Policy

Yes, it takes discipline to get out of bed early for every morning of the rest of your life. However, discipline gets old and boring at some point. You will, eventually, grow tired of it and rebel from your own routine. So, though it is a good idea to rely on your discipline, keep this temporary. At least until, for you, waking up for that early run becomes a habit.

According to the experts, this will take approximately 66 days. This is exactly what you need to do to break that destructive, snooze-button-pushing, loop of a behavior.

  1. Watch Your Night Time Adornment

The intimidating, cool morning temperature beyond the blanket is one of the main reasons why most of us find it difficult to get out of bed. This is especially true for those of us who wear nothing more than a pair of undies to bed. The thought of revealing warm skin to the dreadful cold is just unthinkable.

So what’s the solution? Yes, you guessed it right: put some clothes on. It doesn’t have to be heavy clothing. Anything to keep your skin from being bare in the morning will suffice. At least this way, you can keep your favorite blanky while you’re at it.

  1. Get Someone Else to Push You

The dynamics are pretty different when you share a bed with a better half, though. Some nights get a bit more physical than others (if you know what I mean) and reaching for your clothes afterward is just not an option.

However, having a partner beside you can actually be a good thing. He/she can act as your coach and help you get out of bed for that morning workout. This can even apply if you sleep alone. Just get a friend to call in the morning to have you get out of bed.

Well, there you go. A quick five step guide to getting out of your bed for an early morning run, every morning. We do highly recommend wearing ankle support for running to prevent injuries though. Just in case you haven’t had a run in a while.

Regardless, you can apply these tools to absolutely anything in your life. From improving your career to overcoming addictions to eating healthy – the uses are countless. You owe it to yourself to try this out. Remember, there is greatness within every one of us. Even at our lowest points when we feel beaten down with nothing more to give.

5 Food Panaceas For Diabetes That Amaze You

The most decisive measure to be safe and secure from all kind of diseases is the intake of healthy foods. A healthy diet not only provides you with the essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber but also it keeps you protected against various diseases and conditions such as diabetes, stroke, heart diseases, and cancer. The diabetic patients usually search for meal plans that consist of food that has balanced insulin levels. The perfect meal plans help diabetic patients to maintain their blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

There are various foods that contain a high amount of nutrients and low-glycemic load that is flawless for the diabetic patients. Intake of healthy food can help patients to improve their conditions without medications.

The healthy lifestyle changes and certain healthy foods help in managing blood glucose levels of the people diagnosed with diabetes. Foods that contain healthy fats, low glycemic levels, the protein of high quality, natural sweeteners, and low glycemic fruits are extremely helpful for the diabetic patients because it protects them by reducing the risk of complications related to diabetes.

Here are some food ideas enlisted below that can help the diabetic patients to reduce their complications.

  1. Leafy Green Vegetables
Image source: http://www.livestrong.com

Higher consumption of leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, and other green vegetables are the essential foods for the prevention of diabetes. The leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collard consist of lower levels of calories and carbohydrates, therefore, it is an optimum choice for reducing the risks related to diabetes.

Also, broccoli is considered as an anti-diabetic food. Broccoli consists of a compound called sulforaphane that improves the blood sugar levels. Green vegetables are usually associated with lower levels of HbA1c. Therefore, incorporating a handful of leafy green vegetables into your dishes such as in falafel can be very helpful. You can have this healthy falafel at Falafel Operation Dubai.

2. Nuts

Image source: https://www.drfuhrman.com

Nuts are considered for efficiently preventing the development of insulin resistance because they consist of lower levels of glycemic load. Nuts including almonds, walnuts, cashews, and pistachios are a great source for preventing high cholesterol, diabetes, and glucose intolerance.

Also, the walnuts consist of alpha-linolenic acid, L-arginine, vitamin E, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids that have anti-diabetic, anti-cholesterol, and anti-inflammatory properties. Almonds, pecans, and walnuts also consist of healthy fat and help to lower the levels of bad cholesterol because they consist of unsaturated fats.

Nuts consist of all the essential vitamins and minerals that are required for the healthy body including, manganese, phosphorus, iron, chromium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Therefore, it is important to incorporate nuts into your healthy diet in order to prevent diabetes.

3. Sweet Potatoes

Image source: http://lcmhealthnews.org

Sweet potatoes are a great option for the diabetic patients because it is packed with all the essential nutrients. Sweet potatoes consist of the protein of high quality similar to the eggs. It also consists of low carbohydrate content that is perfect for the diabetic patients. It consists of high level of carotenoids and is filled with vitamin E, fiber, vitamin C, and copper.

Also, it is much lower on the glycemic index scale, therefore, it is great for the diabetic patients because it helps in maintaining the blood sugar levels of the body. Moreover, it consists of sufficient amount of dietary fiber that further helps in balancing the blood sugar levels.

Therefore, sweet potatoes are considered a superfood for the diabetic patients because it helps in stabilizing the blood sugar levels by reducing the insulin resistance and also, it reduces the levels of bad cholesterol present in the body.

4. Fish

Image source: https://www.sportsandspinalphysio.com.au

Fish is considered to maintain the blood sugar levels of the body because it does not contain any carbohydrates. Fish consists of the protein of high quality. Also, it consists of adequate amounts of healthy unsaturated fats.

Fish is considered best for the diabetic patients because there is an absence of unhealthy unsaturated fats, cholesterol, and trans fat. Fish falafel from street food Dubai is the greatest source of omega-3 fatty acids that is considered healthy for the heart and also helps in reducing the complications related to diabetes.

The fishes that consist of high levels of omega-3 fatty acids includes salmon, mackerel, trout, Albacore tuna, and herring. Also, fishes help in elevating the levels of good cholesterol in the body.

5. Blueberries

Image source: http://diabetes-mellitus-info.com

Blueberries are considered to lower the risk of diabetes because they are rich in flavonoids. The intake of blueberries results in reducing the insulin resistance and improves the sensitivity of insulin.

Blueberries manage the blood sugar levels by increasing the production of energy through the processing of glucose which helps in fighting against Type -2 diabetes (Reference: http://www.livestrong.com). It reduces the incidence of diabetes efficiently because the blueberries are low on the glycemic index scale. Blueberries consist of all the healthy components such as phytochemicals, fiber, and antioxidants, therefore, it is considered a great option for the diabetic patients.

3 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Training at Home

Home workout routines are easy and beneficial in many ways. Without an expensive instructor, it’s also easy to make mistakes. Fitness is about developing good habits to improve your health and life in many ways. Get the most out of your routine by avoiding these common mistakes.

Imbalanced Routine

Unless you’re training for a marathon or sports, 30 minutes of light to moderate cardio in a day is enough. Save the extra calories for strength training. Cardio and strength training are both important to a routine. Aerobic exercises like running or walking burn readily available calories and improves blood flow. Strength training builds and tones muscle, which burns fat to maintain.

Too much cardio can cause muscle loss, while too much strength training can increase appetite. Include a focus of bone strengthening exercises to round out your workout. Yoga, jumping jacks, or even weight training on a Body Solid Home Gym can double for both bone strength and either cardio or strength training. Expensive trainers often provide a balanced routine for you, but you can create your own plan using a few simple guidelines.

  • 20-40 minutes of cardio
  • 30-50 minutes strength training
  • Include bone strengthening exercises

For losing weight, your total daily routine should stay under 90 minutes. Once you’ve hit your target, the ideal is 60 minutes a day for long term health. For long term programs, try an every other day approach; 90 minute sessions three times a week and 60 minutes the other four. Alternatively, stagger your focus on either cardio or strength in the same way.

Improper Challenge

When just starting out, it’s tempting to push too hard during the routine. Strain and exhaustion counteract benefits of your workout. Instead, start with 15 minutes and work your way up. Even light exercise for 15 minutes a day can improve your health dramatically.

For the first month, increase the duration of your routine without adding new exercises. Make sure to balance cardio, strength and bone exercises as you do this. After a month or two, slowly add in more complex exercises one at a time. Give an alteration at least a week to monitor the effect it has on your workout.

Too little challenge is also a common mistake of home routines. Set the standard to push yourself regularly, but take care to set reasonable goals. Changing the routine too often increases the risk of overworking your body. Know your body’s limits and lightly nudge once in a while to avoid plateaus.

Recovery

One of the biggest mistakes of any routine is underestimating the importance of recovery times. Proper recovery time helps you get the full results from your hard work. There are three areas of recovery to keep in mind:

  • Between sets
  • Daily activities
  • Rest

Between Sets

Resting between sets is an overlooked aspect of a home routine. At home, you don’t have the benefit of an instructor to guide you through an appropriate time of recovery. This is easily solved by formulating a plan for adequate rest between sets. However long your set took, rest for twice that time. Doing so allows your muscles to catch back up so you can start fresh the next round.

Daily Activities

Your daily activities will use calories, too. Recovering from each day’s stress on the body improves performance and prevents strain. Activities outside the routine also affect recovery. Some activities in everyday life can count as part of your workout regimen as well. Unplanned activities can affect your fitness plan. If extra recovery time between sessions isn’t an option, dial down the next session to compensate.

Rest

To fully recover from each session, your body has specific needs. This includes getting enough sleep, when the body does most of the healing, and diet. Without the proper nutrition, exercise can decrease muscle and bone density. Even if your diet includes the necessary protein and calories, many other nutrients and vitamins may have taken a back seat. Look for recipes that meet all your nutritional needs.

In Conclusion

Committing to a workout is only the first step in a total fitness plan. Home routines don’t have the benefit of an instructor to guide you through each session. However, you can become your own coach to avoid the pitfalls along the way to a healthier body.

5 Healthy Green Vegetables to Speed Your Weight Loss Efforts

Are you looking for a quick and completely natural solution to shedding those unwanted pounds and keeping a healthy body weight?

Turns out there’s something you can eat in large quantities that makes you feel full, gives you energy, keeps you emotionally stable and, best of all, helps you to lose weight – green vegetables!

Not a huge fan of eating vegetables? No problem, just toss some vegetables along with a fruit (banana, mango and strawberry work best) into a blender, and enjoy a delicious weight loss friendly smoothie

Here are our favorite vegetable alternatives that work great in a smoothie:

  1. Watercress

Watercress is graded a solid 100% on the nutrition scale, by academic researchers together with the US Department of Agriculture.

Why? First of all, it has more calcium than milk, more vitamin C than oranges, more protein than most animal products, and contains all of the top 17 essential nutrients.

Watercress also contains alpha-lipoic acid. This is an antioxidant that researchers believe can fight off diabetes, which is closely connected with overweight issues.

In fact, Watercress in Germany is a prescribed medication to halt the progression of the nerve damage caused by diabetes.​

As it is relatively strong and bitter tasting, you may want to consume it in a smoothie while blending in some sweet fruit and vegetables like beets, cucumber, and peaches. Also add Stevia as a natural sweetener.

  1. Peas

Peas contain more protein than steak and eggs. ​Protein triggers the release of the fat burning hormone called glucagon, which scientists have demonstrated leads to fat loss, even in diabetics.

If you want your body to burn fat for energy quicker, or in other words to speed up your metabolism, protein-rich foods are the perfect solution.

Your body works much harder and requires much more energy to break down the proteins than it does to process fats and carbs. This hard word is the fat burning we’re after.

In addition, protein also helps you to build muscles, whose maintenance also requires energy and, thus, fat to be burned.

​Protein also makes you feel full for longer, so you can avoid snacking unnecessary calories.

In smoothies, peas lend a great thickness and creaminess to the smoothie when cooked first. They work well with watery vegetables like lettuce and spinach.

  1. Spinach

In a recent study, Swedish researchers gave women spinach extract to eat in the mornings, and they lost 30% more weight than their peers! They said that they did not feel hungry or tempted by the mouthwatering foods that they usually ate.

Scientists believe that arginine, found in spinach, can increase your muscle mass. Because muscles are so big and heavy, your body must burn a lot of fat just to maintain them. This fat burning happens even when you are asleep.​

Given its mild taste, it works beautifully with any vegetables and fruits. Apparently David Beckham loves his spinach because it is rich in fiber.​

  1. Stevia

You can get it in the shops as powder or drops, but it is actually a plant with green leaves you can cultivate in your backyard. The leaves are sweeter than sugar and is the perfect solution to sweeten a smoothie without adding calories.

A recent study demonstrated that people who used Stevia ate 300 calories less per day than those who ate sugar while feeling equally full.

Add half a leaf to any smoothie you think needs sugar, especially to the bitter ones. It will neutralize the bitterness, much as sugar neutralizes the bitterness of coffee.

  1. Green Tea

You may think of it as a beverage rather than a green vegetable, but with its green leaves, a vegetable is precisely what it is.

The main ingredient in Green Tea, called EGCG, has the most research behind it of all the fat burners.

It promotes the breakdown of fat into energy and it blocks the creation of new fat cells. Moreover, it tackles other weight gain mechanisms by improving good cholesterol and combatting diabetes.​

As a result, this is one of the best liquids you can use as a liquid base for your smoothies, and it goes along great with stevia for an extra sweet smoothie.​


Based on: 29 Healthy Green Vegetables that Actually Speed Fat Loss

For more recipes and smoothie ideas follow Dan’s Pinterest.

Six Mistakes You Need to Avoid for a Productive Treadmill Workout

<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>Treadmill running may seem like a simple workout but did you know that it is still possible to do it wrong? Yes, there are actually some treadmill mistakes that most people commit which prevent them from having a productive and effective workout.</span></p>
If you love doing treadmill workouts, there is a chance that you have unknowingly committed these mistakes at some point too. To help you out, we have highlighted some of these common treadmill running mistakes below.
<h2><span lang=”EN-PH”>1.)</span> <span lang=”EN-PH”>You are running too close to the front of the treadmill.</span></h2>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>Oftentimes, you will see people at the gym running too close to the front of the treadmill and gripping the front bar too hard as if their lives depend on them. I know it can be scary to let go of the bar as you may come close to the edge and fly off if you do so. However, running too close to the bar will not give your legs enough room, and it can prevent you from practicing proper stride and posture.</span></p>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>Another consequence is that you may accidentally push the controls and cause the equipment to stop which may cause you injuries.</span></p>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt;”> </span></p>

<h2><span lang=”EN-PH”>2.) You throw your arms all over the place.</span></h2>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>Admit it; you have done this at some point. When you swing your arms out to the sides, you tend to use up energy, and it may prevent you from working out for longer. If that is the case, where should you put your arms?</span></p>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>According to experts, keep your arms to the side of your body when you are at a slow pace. Once you are already jogging, try to keep the arms bent at a parallel position to one another, creating a 90-degree angle.</span></p>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt;”> </span></p>

<h2><span lang=”EN-PH”>3.)</span> <span lang=”EN-PH”>You take too long strides.</span></h2>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>Yes, doing so can help you to cover more ground. However, it will cause you to lose form and efficiency. There are many reasons why you should avoid this. For one, you are using up lots of extra energy which prevents you from enjoying a long workout. In addition to that, it will increase your chances of hitting the front part of the treadmill which may cause you to fall. Experts claim that your target should be to run three steps per second instead of aiming for longer strides.</span></p>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt;”> </span></p>

<h2><span lang=”EN-PH”>4.)</span> <span lang=”EN-PH”>You look down.</span></h2>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>When you look down instead of looking up, there’s a chance that you will lose your balance. In addition to this, it can also put a strain on the back of your neck and may cause your hips to pole out which may place stress on your knees, hips, and spine. When running, make sure that you keep your gaze ahead. You should also keep chest open and shoulders level. The rest of your body will follow.</span></p>

<h2><span lang=”EN-PH”>5.)</span> <span lang=”EN-PH”>You prioritize style over function (with your shoes!).</span></h2>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>With so many cute styles out there, how can you resist, right? Well, keep in mind that you are working out and not walking down the runway so your priority should be the comfort and function of your shoes above all else.</span></p>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>When choosing shoes for the treadmill, it is recommended that you opt for ones that have extra padding in the soles. This simple feature will help to protect the bones in your feet and heels from the impact created by each stride that you take. If you plan to run uphill and put the treadmill on an incline, look for shoes that have outer soles with moderate height.</span></p>

<h2><span lang=”EN-PH”>6.)</span> <span lang=”EN-PH”>You land on your heels.</span></h2>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>Don’t get me wrong. Landing flat-footed is okay if you are just walking or jogging but it is not advised if you are running at high speeds. For the latter, it is recommended that you land on your forefoot so you can lessen the impact of each stride and the stress that back and hips will receive.</span></p>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>Even if you are just running on <a href=”http://bodyshape101.com/best-treadmill-under-1000/”>a treadmill</a>, it is a must that practice proper form, wear the right gear, use the right equipment and avoid the mistakes that we have mentioned above. In this way, you can be able to make the most out of your running sessions. </span></p>

Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed With Cauliflower Couscous

This vegetarian dish is perfect for lunch ?

Ingredients:

  • 2 Portobello mushrooms
  • Half cauliflower
  • Bunch of fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon milled golden flax seed
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon sweet red pepper
  • 1 cup cashew nuts
  • Half a cup dried cranberry
  • Half a cup raisins
  • Salt for taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit). Wash and cut the cauliflower into smaller pieces. Put it into oven for 15 minutes (keep checking if it isn’t burning and flip it after every 5 minutes). Don’t turn off the oven – you will need it for later.
  2. Meanwhile chop the whole parsley and cashew nuts.
  3. Take the roasted cauliflower out of the oven and let it cool down.
  4. Grate the cauliflower into the bowl. Add parsley, oil, cardamon, sweet red pepper, cashew nuts, dried cranberry and raisins. Add salt for taste. Mix everything finely.
  5. Wash mushrooms, cut the mushroom legs off, smear mushroom hats with oil and add a little salt on both sides.
  6. Put the couscous into the mushroom hats and sprinkle with flax seed on the top. Put it into heat resistant dish (without cover).
  7. Bake it for around 15 minutes.

Enjoy your meal!


Follow Weronika on her blog, Blue Sugar Cube!

If You Want A Stronger Core, Fix Your Shoulders & Hips!

Everyone wants a “stronger core”. In fact, I want a stronger core! But the core is a contentious topic. So I will try to keep it simple. The core is not just your abdominal muscles. Your core is a dynamic complex of all muscles that work to stabilize your body during movement. So when you think about it this way, your shoulders, your back muscles, your hip flexors, and your glutes are all a part of your core. Even your feet!

In fact, when I tell someone during a session that they should “feel it in their core”, what I really am saying is, “You should feel all your muscles working together as one unit right now to stabilize you, beginning from your center and radiating outward”. I don’t mean that they should be “squeezing their abs in”.

You can flex & squeeze your abs all you want, but there are other more effective ways to ensure that you are actually strengthening your “core”. Plus, this excessive tensing can actually be counterproductive and trick your body into thinking you are in danger, which actually results in the creation of pain, particularly when dealing with back pain.

A strong core is a powerful asset because it keeps us balanced, enables us to produce force & control it, it prevents injury, and so on. I’d like to think the core is really just a concise way of referring to the entirety of your body, working as one efficient machine. If you have a strong core, you have a well-rounded, balanced body. And this is what gets rid of and prevents back pain!

It has nothing to do with abs or six-packs. In fact, when i had my most well-defined abs, my body was actually beginning to fall apart on me – because I wasn’t taking care of my hips or shoulders!

So, in order to strengthen this innocuous complex of our body, we have to fix the primary issues we tend to see in our bodies today. We tend to see similar issues, because most people tend to live a similar, sedentary lifestyle, lacking certain, critical movements. fortunately, there are some really simple ways to resolve these issues!

Let’s first examine what’s going on in our bodies, and then introduce 4 fundamental exercises which will help to restore balance in your body. [Please note – there are of course deviations from this, but these are the most commonly seen issues]

THE ISSUES:

Tight hips, underactive glutes, shifted pelvis, excessive arching in low back, rounded shoulders.

Let’s break it down further.

Most of us have extremely tight hip flexor muscles, as a result of sitting. These muscles become stuck in a shortened position, which makes them tight.

Then, this shortened position of the hip flexors causes an anterior pelvic shift (think of sticking your butt out – that’s what this looks like).

This shortened position of the hip flexors also makes it difficult for us to activate our glutes (this is because the primary function of the major glute muscle is hip extension, which is the opposite of hip flexion. so too much hip flexion = too little hip extension = sleepy, underactive glutes). I know, that was a mouthful.

The anterior pelvic shift then typically correlates with an excessively arched low back.

And on top of all of this, our shoulders become stuck in a forward, rounded position due to all this sitting.

This may not always be the sequence of events, but once you have acquired one of these issues, the others will naturally occur. This is because the body is one kinetic chain, so if one thing is out of place, something else will naturally shift out of place as well. When this happens, our “core” is definitely not working optimally to keep us stable, balanced & powerful! Everything is out of alignment and out of whack, which makes any movement much more difficult.

The good news is, there are really simple, really powerful exercises you can do for about 3-5 minutes a day that will enable you to maintain a strong core, and a balanced body for the rest of your life!

The exercises are below – they are links to YouTube videos and under the video in the “Description” there are specific instructions on how to perform each exercise.

EXERCISES TO FIX HIPS & SHOULDERS FOR A STRONGER CORE:

THE MORAL OF THE STORY:

The moment I stopped excessively doing sit-ups and other “core exercises”, and started actually taking a look at what was going on in the entirety of my body, at the joint level, my “core” began to regain it’s strength. I felt so much more enabled to do any movement I wanted with ease. We must take care of every part of our body. Again, because everything is connected, we must take care of everything in order to have a truly strong, functioning core. The good news is, all it takes are a couple of well-executed, simple movements to begin to restore your strength!

Give these a try and let me know if you start feeling more balanced, more powerful & more capable of doing any crazy movement/exercise/activity you want! I would love to hear from you!


To learn more about Melanie Daly and her personal training, please visit her website: http://www.backpainpersonaltrainer.com/

Vegetarian Tacos (Two Ways)

With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, these vegetarian tacos are the perfect recipe to help keep you fueled as you dance the night away! As farmers, markets and CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) are kicking back into full swing it is the perfect time to start incorporating all of the gorgeous vegetables coming from the farm to our table.

If you want it even healthier, try serving the filling in wrapped collard greens; it is still delicious and just perfect for a healthy dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (184 g) tri-color, white, or red quinoa
  • Pico de Gallo mix
    • 2 avocados
    • 2 on the vine tomatoes
    • ½ white onion
    • 1 jalapeno
    • ½ cup fresh cut cilantro
    • 1 juice of a lime
    • Pinch of salt and pepper for taste
  • Cilantro Lime Crema:
    • 1 cup of Siggis plain yogurt
    • 1 juice of a lime
    • ½ cup of fresh cut cilantro
    • Pinch of salt and pepper for taste
  • Wrap
    • Corn tortilla
    • Collard greens

Directions:

Quinoa:

  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add rinsed quinoa and toast for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Remove quinoa from the stove, place in a bowl and set to the side 

Pico de Gallo Mix:

  1. Dice avocado, onion, tomato and jalapeno (I used a dicer to create even size throughout) and add to bowl once each item has been diced
  2. Squeeze lime juice over the mixture
  3. Add cilantro and a pinch of salt and pepper for taste
  4. Toss mixture
  5. Place in fridge for a half hour

Cilantro Lime Crema:

  1. In a blender add yogurt, lime juice and cilantro – blend until a smooth consistency is smooth
  2. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, blend for 30 seconds
  3. Pour into a jar or sealable container that easy to pour or drizzle

Wrap: (if opting for corn tortilla)

  1. Set your stove top to medium heat and drizzle olive oil in your pan
  2. Place tortilla’s one at a time based on pan size for 30 seconds on each side to create a warm and crispy tortilla

Assembly:

  1. Using a spoon scoop one spoonful of quinoa onto each shell
  2. Add one two scoops of Pico de Gallo mix
  3. Drizzle or pour the desired cilantro lime crema mix inside or over your tacos
  4. If desired squeeze fresh lime and top with extra cilantro

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 20 – 25 mins

Corn Tortilla
Serving Size: 4 people (3 tacos per person)
Calories: 350 per serving

Collard Greens
Serving Size: 4 people (3 tacos per person)
Calories: 200

 

5 Fundamental Kettlebell Exercises

If you’re as much of a kettlebell enthusiast as I am, then you’ll love what I’ll share with you today.

Here are 5 of the most fundamental kettlebell exercises that will work out your full body. Best of all, these exercises are so effective (since they work out the full body and not just smaller, isolated muscle groups) that you don’t need to do many repetitions to achieve a great workout.

In other words, you can fit a quick workout based on these kettlebell exercises right into a busy day.

Are you excited? If yes, then let’s get started!

 

Read more: if you’d like to see a list of over 100 of the best kettlebell exercises, check out this post.

 

1. Kettlebell Deadlift

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0yspkANWVY

The kettlebell deadlift is probably the most popular kettlebell exercise and for good reason. It’s a full body exercise, which means it will help you work out your entire body and burn a ton of calories at the same time.

Here’s how you can do it:

Stand in a stance that is slightly wider than your hips, and hold the kettlebell in both hands. Bend down until you can place the kettlebell in between your ankles. Take a small breath at the bottom position, then flex your abs and stand up to your starting position.

 

2. Kettlebell Swing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSxHifyI6s8

The swing is a beginner-intermediate level exercise that will work you’re your lower body and your core.

Here’s how to do it:

Stand in a stance wider than your hips, let your feet stand outwards a bit and hold the kettlebell in both hands in front of you. While bending slightly at the knee, let the kettlebell fall down and through between your knees, and then stand back up into the starting position, once again holding the bell in front of you.

 

3. Turkish Get Up

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SK-L2P56zjU

The Turkish get up is an intermediate level compound exercise that will target mainly your legs, shoulders and core.

It’s a quite complex exercise, so I won’t even try to describe how to do it, you’ll end up watching this tutorial video either way:

 

4. Kettlebell Clean

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPYfiwpUeSE

The point of the kettlebell clean is to take the bell from a low hanging position close to the floor up to your chest. It’s an important basic exercise to master, because from this position you’ll be able to do a host of other exercise variations like press, lunge or squat.

Instructions:

The kettlebell clean is a very simple looking exercise: all you have to do is take the kettlebell from a lying position on the floor up to a racked position onto your chest. However, the devil is in the details, so I suggest you watch this training video to learn what you need to pay closer attention to when performing this exercise.

 

5. Kettlebell Two Handed Squat and Press

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li4g5p6s2eM

This is personally one of my favorite kettlebell exercises. Despite its simplicity, it’s one of the best exercises for working out all major muscles of your lower and upper body at the same time.

Here’s how easy it is to do it:

Squat in a hip width stance and hold the kettlebell close to your chest. While keeping your back straight, stand up and when you reach the top position raise the kettlebell up over your head (while still keeping it in both hands). Then go back to your squatting position and start another repetition.

 

Conclusion

So there you have it: five simple but very effective kettlebell exercises that will help you work out your entire body and burn a ton of calories at the same time. If you’d like to see how you can fit these exercises (and many others) into a full-blown workout, I suggest you check out this comprehensive workout guide by KettlebellsWorkouts.com

 

How to Form Healthy Habits after a Diabetes Diagnosis

When someone gets a diagnosis of diabetes, the first question often is, “What can I do?” Patients want to know what changes they can make to better manage their diabetes. Often, the answer is that you can make lifestyle changes, like exercising more and improving your diet. These changes, however, can often be easier said than done.

Breaking the Habits of a Lifetime

To make lifestyle changes, you have to change your habits. This can be challenging, because you may have built up some of these habits over a lifetime, but it’s not impossible.

The first step is to understand how habits form. There are three steps. Step one is a cue that tells your brain to do something. The second step is the behavior itself. The third step is the reward you get from performing the behavior.

If you want to form a healthy habit, you’ll need to determine what your cue will be. You know what the behavior is – that’s the healthy habit you’re trying to instill. Then, you’ll need a reward.

Putting Your Plan Into Action

Here’s an example. One of the key habits you want to develop if you’ve recently gotten a diabetes diagnosis is to get more exercise. Let’s decide you’ll walk for half an hour to start. You’ll need a cue to lace up those sneakers and get on the treadmill.

If you are used to watching the local news for half an hour every day at 6:00, set up your treadmill so you can see the TV from it, and take your walk while you’re watching the news. Your cue to start walking is the beginning of the news.

Just as the news begins, get on your treadmill and start walking. Keep going until the news is over. Time spent on a treadmill can get a little boring, so watching the news at the same time can be a nice distraction.

Developing an Appropriate Reward System

Now you need to reward yourself for taking your walk. This part can get a little tricky because, for many people, the idea of a reward is synonymous with food. But you’re also trying to watch what you eat, so you’ll have to come up with another reward. Perhaps you can keep track of the number of days you accomplished your new habit, and when you’ve reached a certain number of days, treat yourself to a shopping trip or a movie.

After a month or two, you will have gotten into the habit of walking for half an hour a day. Next, you can develop healthier eating habits, another change you’ll want to make if you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes. Use the same three steps – cue, behavior, reward.

To increase your chances of succeeding at making this new behavior a habit, here are some tips.

Focus on one habit at a time. You may be trying to get more exercise and eat healthier at the same time, but focus on one goal first to make it a habit. Once it’s second nature, move to the other goal.

Be positive. Your new habits will make you a stronger, healthier person, so focus on that. Don’t think of it as depriving yourself of your favorite foods or forcing yourself to exercise.

Forming new habits like daily exercise and healthy eating will help you better manage your diabetes or another chronic disease.

How To Properly Plank

Planks are a great yoga pose. There are two types of planks- a high plank and an elbow plank. Do you know the difference? Check out the why and the how for each plank below:

High plank

Why?
Strengthens wrists, arms, back, and abdominal muscles

How?

  1. Start in table top.
  2. Keep shoulders and hands as they are.
  3. Step feet back so you’re up on the balls of your feet.
  4. Balance your weight evenly between both hands and feet. Imagine you are in mountain pose. Suck belly button in and up to elongate and straighten your spine.
  5. Feel as if your lower back is pressing up.
  6. Make sure shoulders don’t pass wrists.
  7. Breathe here.

Check your position in a mirror if possible, or ask a buddy to watch. If your low back is swaying, you have several options:

  1. Pike your hips to decrease the curve in your spine.
  2. Bring knees down if necessary, but be sure to keep your abdominal muscles engaged.

Or, if you’re not ready for a high plank, start with your knees on the floor, so there is a straight line from the crown of the head to the knees.

If you’re unable to exercise with a mirror or a buddy, or can’t tell where your body is in space, time your planks (from your feet or knees) in 10-second increments, then return back to a table top position.

Note: A plank is about trying to equally distribute body weight. Our bodies feel and work differently daily, so doing a plank might feel differently day to day.


Forearm plank

Why?
Strengthens wrists, arms, back, and abdominal muscles

How?

  1. Start in table top position.
  2. Bring your forearms to the ground.
  3. Align your shoulders over elbows. Your hips will naturally shift backwards.

    You have 3 options – place palm face down on the ground, bring each hand into a fist, or bring both hands together and interlace your fingers.

  4. Press your hands down into the ground.Step your feet straight back so the balls of your feet on the ground.
  5. Balance your weight evenly between both forearms and feet. Imagine you are in mountain pose. Suck belly button in and up to elongate and straighten your spine.
  6. Feel as if your lower back is pressing up.
  7. Make sure shoulders don’t pass elbows.
  8. Distribute weight in forearms and hands/fists and not on your elbows.
  9. Breathe here.

Once again, if you’re unable to exercise with a mirror or a buddy to see if your low back is swaying, time your planks in 10-second increments, then return back to a table top position.

 

 

 

 

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