6 Exercises For Hip Flexors, Better Mobility And All Around Fitness!

If you have ever experienced lower back pain, and I am sure you have at one time or another, one reason could be because of tight hip flexors.  (Sitting too much for starters) Here are 6 exercises that will keep your hip mobility in great shape. These exercise go far beyond helping your hips out too.  They will make you sweat, give you a great workout, increase strength in your core, glutes and legs!  In addition to that, these exercises will improve your posture, and strengthen your back.

My main focus today is about hip mobility.  The more mobility we have, the better our bodies function for us on a daily basis, therefore improving athletic performance and protecting us from injury.  Too much sitting, something most people have to fight against really messes with our hip mobility which can lead to all kinds of postural and gait problems.  If you sit a lot throughout the day, then you need to do these and even if you don’t you’ll still function better with these exercises in your routine. They can be modified, done anywhere and don’t need a lick of equipment.  Gives these a try and let me know how you’re doing!

 

 

Satisfy your sweet tooth with these healthy choices!

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Want to satisfy your sweet tooth but not blow your efforts to stay fit and healthy?  Try eating frozen fruit next time you are craving something sweet.  I  have a sweet tooth and love a sweet treat but want to feel energized and light and stick to eating whole foods.

Frozen fruit works really well.  I always keep frozen fruit in my freezer for smoothies and snacking.  Pineapple, berries, melon, grapes and bananas make for a delicious sweet treat that leave you feeling satisfied without the inflammation or bloat that processed sugar and additives can leave.  Because the fruit is frozen, you are forced to slow down and enjoy the flavors and textures and not rush through your dessert.  Bonus- slow down and live in the moment!

If you are craving a little chocolate, try this combo-

Slice up a banana and dip one side of slices in melted dark chocolate and let set on a paper plate in the freezer.  Medjool dates also work well sliced in half and dipped in dark chocolate, rolled in slivered almonds and frozen.  Just a couple of these deliver a rich and decadent dessert.

These treats are easy to make, can satisfy a sweet tooth and keep you in line with your health and fitness goals.

I hope you give them a try and see just how good a sweet treat can feel!

Keep it simple and healthy!

 

Know the dirty dozen and how to avoid pesticides in your food.

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When it comes to fruits and vegetables, do you really know what’s in your food?  We all want to aim high when it comes to eating whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables.  This is how we cultivate and maintain good health.  Knowing the amount of pesticides that  are used on our food is something not to be ignored.  If you are not aware of the “dirty dozen”, you’ll want to pay attention.  According to the Environmental Working Group, which actually tracks what’s in our food, they says this.-

  • A single grape sample contained 15 pesticides.
  • The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other food.
  • Single samples of celery, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and strawberries showed 13 different pesticides apiece.

For the full report go here-  http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php

You can take steps to clean your produce of pesticides, dirt and germs.  All you have to do is wash them in a bath of 3 parts water to one part vinegar.   Soak your produce in the sink for 15 minutes and rinse.

This list is comprised the of the most sprayed fruits and vegetables, otherwise known as The Dirty Dozen!

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach, Kale and Greens
  7. Sweet bell peppers
  8. Nectarines (imported)
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry tomatoes
  11. Snap peas (imported)
  12. Potatoes

The Clean Fifteen have the least pesticides.

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Sweet peas (frozen)
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangos
  9. Papayas
  10. Kiwi
  11. Eggplant
  12. Grapefruit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Sweet potatoes

Knowing what’s in your food is important to keep you and your family as safe and healthy as possible.   I recommend eating 5-9 cups of veggies and fruits a day.   It may sound like a lot but if you are eating smoothies, salads and soups for meals and snacks, it easy.  Buy organic as much as you can and wash your produce of harmful pesticides!

Stay healthy my friends!

De-stress with breathing exercises!

Chronic stress can lead to all kinds of health problems, both physically and mentally if we don’t learn how to recognize it.  It can definitely get in the way of reaching fitness goals too.  It affects sleep, messes with digestion, tightens muscles causing pain and compromises the immune system, just to name a few.  Net time you find yourself stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, try using these breathing exercises to regain balance and composure.  Not only will you lower your blood pressure, you’ll lower your cortisol levels and feel the tension leave your body.  It only takes a few minutes and it’s easy to do.  You can do these anywhere and anytime!

 

Sweet and savory Kale chips!

Next time you have a need to munch on a crunchy snack, give these recipes a try.  They’re healthy, super delicious and can be made to satisfy anyone’s taste.  Don’t be afraid to get creative with all the different flavors out there.  Kale chips surprisingly work with all kinds of flavors, including chocolate.  I even got the hubby to eat these and he was asking for more.  That is saying something people!

Start by cleaning and tearing apart kale into small pieces.

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Next drizzle olive oil on kale and rub it into the pieces so it’s well coated.

SAVORY KALE CHIPS

Now you can decide what kind of rub you want to flavor your kale.  I went to the bulk spice section at Whole Foods and bought a variety of spices and mixed them up myself into what I thought would be good.  The results were delicious!   I mixed cheddar cheese powder with yellow mustard powder as well as garlic powder and some vegetarian yeast.

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Sprinkle the powder mixture over the kale while gently turning the kale over so all of it gets coated.

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Next you want to place it over one or two sheet pans and put it in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

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Let chips cool and they’re ready to eat!

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SWEET KALE CHIPS

For this recipe I mixed a 1T of cinnamon, 1 T of coco powder and 1 T of coconut sugar.  After the olive oil, sprinkle the chocolate mixture over the kale and mix and bake.

IMG_0440These were surprisingly good.  I really hope you try these chips and get creative with whatever flavors you enjoy!

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Have you tried these, and do you have your own special mix you would love to share with me?  I would love to hear from you!  Please share and like this!

 

 

 

Do these exercises at your desk!

If you work at a computer all day long, you are at major risk for back pain, joint pain and all around body stiffness.  Avoid these problems by setting a timer hourly and getting up from your desk and going for a walk and or doing these exercises.  It’s a small thing to do that pays big dividends on your health and your posture will thank you!

 

 

10 Tips for getting 10,000 step in a day!

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We all know we need to be moving more.  Even if we manage to get an hour of exercise in a day, the rest of the day we are most likely sitting, which still poses a health risk.   Using a pedometer is a fun and easy way to track how many steps you’re actually getting in a given day.  The Mayo Clinic recommends that people using pedometers first set short-term goals, such as taking an extra 1,000 steps daily for one week, and then build up to a long-term goal such as 10,000 steps. Riding a bike can count as steps if you wear the pedometer on your shoe.  Keep your feet moving and you’ll be moving towards the goal of 10,000 steps before you know it.  Here are some tips to help you get your steps in every day.

Set a timer and walk for 5 minutes every hour.

Try and beat your record for how many steps you take in an hour.

If you have a dog, walk your dog twice a day, 2.5 miles in the morning and 2.5 miles after work.

Wear a fitness tracker that keeps reminding you throughout the day to move more. It will prompt you to take longer routes and take the stairs.

Organize a walking group at work during lunch or with friends before or after work.

Be more inefficient with chores at home or work.  Take the laundry up and down the stairs in 3 trip rather than one.

Walk in place while watching TV

Take business meetings outside and walk.

Move with your kids at the playground or in the back yard.

Listen to podcast or books on tape while walking.

Try some of these and see how fast you get to 10,000 step a day and maybe even surpass that!  Your health will thank you for it and see if you don’t gain some energy and lose some weight!

What creative ways do you get more steps in during the day?

Three Metabolic Boosters You Can Easily Include In Your Day!

healthy choices

We are always looking for more strategies to keep our metabolism running on high rpm, so we can stay fit and trim.  As we age this becomes more challenging for many reasons.  Our busy lifestyles take a toll on our bodies. Take stress for example, we all experience it and it can cause hormone imbalances. We start to lose muscle as we age, and we don’t get as much activity as we did when we were younger. Our jobs require us to sit at computers or commute distances which adds to more sitting.  Then there is the issue of adequate sleep which often times leaves us short changed leading to more hormone imbalances.  There is a lot working against us so it’s no wonder staying fit and trim is a challenge as we age.

Luckily there are things we can incorporate into our daily lives to fight back.

Exercise, more specifically, strength and interval training are the very best way to increase metabolism by increasing muscle mass, but they are not the entire picture.

A healthy lifestyle is made up of many healthy habits.  Today I want to leave you with three super easy tips to include in your daily habits.

1. Start cooking with peppers. If you’re not cooking with peppers, try experimenting with cayenne pepper, wasabi, Indian and curry foods which are known to help increase your metabolism by heating up your body and increasing your heart rate so you burn a bit more calories.  Plus they add depth and flavor to your dishes!  Try adding these to soups, stews and marinades.

2. Drink tea daily. Teas in general but mostly green tea are loaded with potent chemicals called catechins which have been shown to boost metabolism. Over time these can make a difference, so drink up.  This is also good cold on ice, so fill up your water bottle!

3. Water is another great way to boost your metabolism. A German study found that when measuring metabolic rate after drinking 17oz. of water, there was an increase by 30% in MR for about 30-40 min max. By increasing your intake by 1.5 liters of water a day, at the end of a year you could potentially lose 5 lbs.  Lots of people tell me its hard for them to drink water all day.  My best tip for this is to add a splash of cranberry juice to your water or whatever juice you prefer.  It adds flavor and makes it less boring!  This makes such a difference, it’s worth the effort to make this a habit.  Don’t give up!

I hope you try these easy tips and help boost your metabolism.  If you have a tip that is working for you, I would love to hear from you! Please comment here or on my FB page. Keep on moving!

Is your purse causing you pain?

As a trainer, I see so many people who have neck and back issues and too many times they are walking around with heavy handbags hanging off their shoulder messing up their gate and posture.  The muscles compensate for the uneven load by putting pressure on the vertebrae, causing muscle tightness and possibly nerve damage.  This can cause serious neck and back pain as well as chronic headaches.  In the video below Chiropractic Care offers some great tips to use and save your self from this  chronic condition.

 

Do you carry a heavy bag on your shoulder?  What solutions will you take away from this video and start doing today?

Share this with anyone who carries a shoulder bag!

 

 

3 Habits To Starting or Improving A Healthy Lifestyle!

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Do ever find yourself with the best intentions to eat right and exercise only to find yourself falling short of actually DOING it?  Why is it so hard to stay the course every time temptation jumps in front of you?  (That cake someone brought into the office.) You’re committed to going to that fitness class or a run or walk after work but that comfy couch gets the best of you first.  Tomorrow will be different.  Sound familiar?  Well today I want to give you a few easy strategies that can help and anyone can do this.

According to the American Heart Association, if you implement these 3 habits successfully and more importantly consistently, you could potentially add 7 years to your life.  I may add that even more importantly, theses habits will significantly add to the quality of your life which in the end is what most people desire.

Habit # 1- Make SMART Goals and keep them super simple.  SMART stands for simple, measurable, attainable, and realistic.  You want to keep it simple so you know you can accomplish them.  I also recommend starting with one goal at a time and building from there.  For example if your goal is to incorporate exercise into your life, make a specific goals such as, walking 10 minutes every day.  Anyone can walk for 10 minutes everyday so it’s easy to be successful with that goal.  If you say I’m going to start exercising for an hour a day before it’s a solid habit, you are very likely to fall short and forget it all together. Once it becomes your “new normal”, build on it from there.  Lets say you want to improve your diet.  A specific easy goal would be to start off with adding 1 cup of veggies to your meals.  You get the idea, specific, attainable and realistic.

Habit #2.  Track Your Progress–  If you aren’t tracking your progress, how will you know how you’re doing?  Tracking progress is easy and works well at keeping you motivated.  A great way to do this is write down what you are doing.  If you are walking 10 minutes a day, mark it in your calendar.  If you are adding veggies to each meal, write it down so you can look at it later and see how far you’ve come.   In just a few quick weeks, you’ll notice changes in how you’re feeling and looking. Signs of progress can be improvements in your sleep, energy, cravings, and composition.

Habit # 3.  GET SUPPORT– Recruit a friend or co-worker to join you.  Sign up for a class or hire a coach if you need to.  Studies show that when you have support to keep you accountable and motivated, you are exponentially more likely to be successful.

All this leads to consistency which is the key to making this work. You are faced with a choice, stay where you are or make a change for the better.  You are wroth very bit of effort and if you keep with these 3 habits, you can’t fail.  You only have one chance at this life so live it to its fullest and be healthy and happy!

Now, I want to hear from you!  What are your goals and when are you going to get started?

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