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#FitnessFriday: Tips To Get You Moving!

Photo courtesy of the USDA
We know it can be hard to get energized right out of bed. But your daily commute doesn’t have to be a drag and you definitely don’t have to walk through the day like a zombie. To help you get moving, we’ve listed out some tips to help you through your day.
  1. Start your day with breakfast.
    Breakfast fills your “empty tank” to get you going after a long night without food. And it can help you do better in school. Easy-to-prepare breakfasts include cold cereal with fruit and low-fat milk, whole-wheat toast with peanut butter, yogurt with fruit, whole-grain waffles or even last night’s pizza!
  2. Get Moving!
    It’s easy to fit physical activities into your daily routine. Walk, bike or jog to see friends. Take a 10-minute activity break every hour while you read, do homework or watch TV. Climb stairs instead of taking an escalator or elevator. Try to do these things for a total of 30 minutes every day.
  3. Snack smart.
    Snacks are a great way to refuel. Choose snacks from different food groups – a glass of low-fat milk and a few graham crackers, an apple or celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins, or some dry cereal. If you eat smart at other meals, cookies, chips and candy are OK for occasional snacking.
  4. Balance your food choices – don’t eat too much of any one thing.
    You don’t have to give up foods like hamburgers, french fries and ice cream to eat healthy. You just have to be smart about how often and how much of them you eat. Your body needs nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, fat and many different vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C and A, iron and calcium from a variety of foods. Balancing food choices from the Food Guide Pyramid and checking out the Nutrition Facts Panel on food labels will help you get all these nutrients.
  5. Eat more grains, fruits and vegetables.
    These foods give you carbohydrates for energy, plus vitamins, minerals and fiber. Besides, they taste good! Try breads such as whole-wheat, bagels and pita. Spaghetti and oatmeal are also in the grain group.
    Bananas, strawberries and melons are some great tasting fruits. Try vegetables raw, on a sandwich or salad.
  6. Foods aren’t good or bad.
    A healthy eating style is like a puzzle with many parts. Each part — or food — is different. Some foods may have more fat, sugar or salt while others may have more vitamins or fiber. There is a place for all these foods. What makes a diet good or bad is how foods fit together. Balancing your choices is important. Fit in a higher-fat food, like pepperoni pizza, at dinner by choosing lower-fat foods at other meals. And don’t forget about moderation. If two pieces of pizza fill you up, you don’t need a third.

Be Healthy! Be Happy!

-TK

Fitness Friday: Head for the Hills

Photo courtesy of the City of Louisville, Colorado

We’re now several weeks into the 2012 Biggest Loser Challenge and many of us have seen some incredible weight loss and an adoption of healthier diets.

Along with making the right food choices, exercise is also a necessary component for speeding up your metabolism, keeping that weight off, and also to improve overall health.

Running is typically the first type of exercise one thinks of when contemplating weight loss and physical fitness. There are several types of running – some stationary, some on woody trails, and some on concrete. These types of running all have their own difficulties associated with them. To get the best out of your exercise, we recommend you head for the hills.

Roads with long, gradual inclines are a great way to keep your workout consistently intense. Rolling roads are ideal for intervals if you push your pace going up each hill and recovering on the way down. Too chilly outside? Then play with your treadmill and bump up the incline. Make sure to keep your spine straight, gaze straight and abs in and up to ensure ideal alignment for maximum results. Walk on a 5 incline for a minute then back down to 3 for a minute. Play with your intervals and boost your health and your butt. Try it. Have Fun. Bring on the hills. Your heart and lungs will be thanking you.

If this is a little tame for you, carry a resistant band (get one with handles) and every 10 minutes, stop to do one of these multi-muscle moves:

Overhead press and squat:

Stand on one resistant band in the center with your feet hip width apart knees slightly bent.

Holding the handles of the band at your shoulders, squat down, when you come back to stand, press your arms above your head. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

FORM: Make sure to engage your abs and sit the weight in your heels as you squat. Start slow and feel the movement pattern then pick up the flow for quicker, but precise reps.

Balancing triceps press:

Stand on the band with your right foot in the middle, balancing with your left foot bent at 90 degrees, foot behind you (knees should touch). Hold each handle of the band behind your head, keeping your elbows bent and close to your head, biceps alongside of ears. Extend your hands to the sky as you do a modified one-legged squat.

Advanced- bend your right knee until left toe touches the ground. Repeat 12 times and switch sides.

FORM: Keep abs engaged. Try the balance part first. Stand on both feet and just focus on the triceps press.

Whatever your fitness level, remember to Be Happy! Be Healthy!

-TK