Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Strength to Run

Really, this title could be "Strength to do Anything" because I'm about to give you some exercises to strengthen the muscles of your legs - feet, hamstrings, hips, etc - that will help prepare your body to exercise with more intensity and not get injured. So let's get to it! 
(these ideas come from Runners World)

Single-Leg Directional Hops
Standing on your left leg, with the right knee raised to hip height, hop forward, landing softly. Hop back to start, then hop diagonally (to the left) and back to center, hop to the left and return to start. Do 12 reps; switch legs.

Forward Lunge
Stand with shoulders relaxed and back. Step forward onto one heel, then your whole foot. Do not lean sideways. End with the knee above the midfoot and the thigh parallel to the ground. Return to start; repeat 10 times on both legs.

Squat Jacks
Standing in the bottom of a squat position with feet hip-width apart and shoulders stacked over hips, shoot your legs out to the sides and your arms out to shoulder height (like a regular jumping jack) without moving your upper body. Do 16 to 24 reps.

Single-Leg Bridge
Lie on your back with knees bent. Squeeze your glutes while lifting your hips. Once you have your balance, rest one ankle on top of the other knee. Hold for five or more seconds; repeat five times on both legs.

Reverse Step-Up
Stand, facing forward, in front of an eight-inch step. Step backward onto the step, setting only one foot down. Don't let the knee turn in. Balance, then return to start. Repeat 10 times on both legs.

Reverse Hip Raise
Lie face-down on a Swiss ball with your hands flat on the floor. Keeping your legs straight, lift them until your thighs are in line with your torso. Squeeze your glutes as you lift your hips. Pause, then lower to the floor. Do 10 reps, rest, and repeat.

Far too often injury occurs because of tight hips and weak muscles in our legs. And once one muscle is too weak, our body then compensates and puts too much pressure on another. So be sure to take time to build strength in those legs that carry you throughout the day!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Motivation

Here's a little Monday Motivation for you...sorry it's a little late!

Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.

Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.

Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them life is meaningless.

Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by
living in the the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.

Don’t give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over…until the moment you stop trying.

Don’t be afraid to admit you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us to each other.

Don’t be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find. The quickest way to receive love is to give love. The fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly, and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.

Don’t dismiss dreams. To be without dreams is to be without hope. To be without hope is to be without purpose.

Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been but also where you’re going.

Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

Nancye Sims

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Thanksgiving Break, I think I'm ready for you now. Only 4 weeks, right? 4 weeks. Dear Halloween House, I couldn't believe the number of pumpkins in front of your house. Or the giant spider and ghosts. Or the purpleness of your house. But happy Halloween! Dear First Snow, You bring cold fingers, big coats, and fresh homemade cinnamon rolls. You are welcome this time, but please don't stay a while. Dear Vibrams, I apologize in advance for the amount of treadmill time you'll be getting the next few months. I'm just can't be hard core all the time.

Happy weekend!

Weekend Inspiration...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

By the end of this week, the high temp is going to be in the low 40s. You know what that means? We need some I'm-really-cold-and-need-something-to-warm-me-up meals. And it's a bonus when the meal makes itself in the crock-pot...right? Try this one out!
*original recipe found here
**another bonus...this could be used for a Meatless Monday meal!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
2 sweet potatoes
1 onion
1 red bell pepper
1 can black beans
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1.5 cups vegetable broth
3 cloves of garlic
1 t cumin
1 t paproka
1/2 t salt
juice of 1 lime

Chop up the sweet potatoes, onion and red bell pepper. Add all ingredients into the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5. You can top it with a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt or some cheese. Enjoy!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Tommy (the truck), You've made it through 4 kids in high school, a couple different colleges and lots of dance parties. I'm sad to see you dying, but you've had a good life. Dear Spinach Manicotti, You look yummy. And pretty simple. Sounds good to me! Dear Utah Jazz, It's game time! Can't wait to you ball so hard. Dear Rocky Balboa, We could all use a little tough love some times. We ain't cowards!

2012-10-04 cooking 61762

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cardio Killer

Try this cardio killer sequence before or after your next lift session. It's a good way to get the heart rate up and burn some fat without stepping on to any exercise machine. Let me know if you try it!

*click on the exercise for a demo

Cardio Killer
1 minute jumping jacks
1 minute single leg hops (30 seconds each leg)
30 seconds squat jumps
30 seconds recover
30 seconds burpee (with or without pushup)
30 seconds russian twist
1 minute bunny hops (with or without medicine ball)
30 seconds jog in place

repeat 2 or 3 times

Fitness motivational quotes


Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Birthday Apple, This is what happens when you have lots of food allergies. And you know what? I don't mind one bit. Hand over the apples! Dear Halloween, I don't like you. One bit, really. But I'm glad my mom decorates in the cute Halloween way, and not that creepy way. Dear Fall Break, There is nothing like waking up early to get a run in and then being able to take a long shower and put on sweats again instead of getting ready for school. I love it! Dear Parking Job, My dad has raised me to believe the only place to park is when there is only one car on your side. And I feel guilty every time I can't find that spot at school.

Here is some weekend inspiration...have a great one!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Feed the Real Need

I like a lot of things. I like school and eating broccoli and running and the mountains. I like laughing and eating crisp apples and drinking lots of water. But what I like even more than those things? Seeing a family make a healthy change...a change that not only helps their health but also helps those in need.

Check out this Utah family that decided to take the money they were using to eat out and instead use it to give away to charities. Here is a little background on how it came about:

One day we went out for lunch. On the way home I was explaining to the kids why we don't eat out for every meal, that we had essentially paid an extra $15 or $20 for our lunch so that we didn't have to shop, prepare or clean it up -- and it hit me: I said, "That's enough money to buy a child in Africa a mosquito net." The kids took that and ran with it. They wanted to know if it was enough to buy a pair of shoes (yes), a book (yes), a uniform (yes), water (yes), shampoo (yes), a soccer ball (starting to drift slightly but yes). We decided as a family that we would not eat out again until Christmas and that we would take all of the money we saved and give it to charity (At this point I needed to explain that charity was the word we use when we are talking about organizations that help people in need and not just a girl in Milo's grade with that name). As a family we only really eat out a few times a month, but my husband and I usually eat out on dates and the kids and I will grab lunch every once in a while, so this is not going to end with piles of money but it will teach the kids a little about sacrifice and a lot about others' needs...

Cool, right? On their blog they give ideas for charities to donate to, as well as some great stories from the kids on how they viewed the challenge. Hopefully this family's story helps you make some healthy changes in your life as the holiday season approaches!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pumpkin Pandemonium

Yes. I realize that title was a stretch. But just work with me here.

Since fall is in full swing (at least with this 65 degree weather it feels like it is!) I thought I'd do a quick pumpkin recipe round-up for all who are itching to get that pumpkin smell through their house!

Here we go...

Pumpkin & Dark Chocolate Muffins
pumpkin nut dark chocolate muffin side view
Pumpkin Graham Smoothie
Pumpkin Pancakes
homemade pancakes recipe

October 20, 2011 016 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Outstanding October

Happy October, everyone! Here's a list of ways to make October Outstanding!

1. Go to an apple orchard and pick some juicy ones!
2. Sign up for a Thanksgiving 5k...they are everywhere and it's even better when they go for a good cause. (so start training!)
3. Make a hearty vegetable soup - it's warm and comforting and full of veggies!
4. Lend some service in your community
5. Try a new type of exercise: yoga, hiking, spin class, name it! Don't let yourself get in an exercise rut this time of year.
6. Eat some pumpkin seeds. Better yet, carve a pumpkin and make your own!
7. Go for a walk and collect some fall leaves
8. Plan a relaxing evening for you - whether that's a night in wearing sweats watching a movie or going to dinner with friends - do something for you!
9. Make some healthy goals for the holiday season
10. Take pictures of those things that make you smile

~What will you do to make October a great month?
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