Sideline Fitness

In anticipation of my children’s fall sport schedule, long practices, and even the travel time to get to get them to practice, I am getting my exercise gear ready and scoping out the practice field for a little me time. Being there for your child(ren) is not just about sitting and watching their activity but leading by example…Exercise while they are exercising (at least part of the time).

Creating the exercise program. Objects you can use are picnic tables, benches, steps, hills, loops (out and back), track/trail, railings, playground, and/or clear area.

Exercise List. Squat, Lunge, Push-Up, Plank variations, Burpee, Sun Salutations, Abdominal Crunch, Step Ups, Jog, Walk.

Exercise Script:

  1. Warm-up with quick walk, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Squat 15X
  3. Walk/Jog, 5 minutes
  4. Push-ups 15X
  5. Walk/Jog, 5 minutes
  6. Sun Salutations 10. There are many variations, keep it simple and dynamic; Hinge forward to Plank-Downward Facing Dog-Plank-Low Push-up-Downward Facing Dog
  7. Walk/Jog to nearest bench or steps
  8. Step ups on bench 25X on each leg
  9. Walk/Jog 5 minutes
  10. Abdominal Crunch 20X Perform on bench or grassy clear area
  11. Complete in reverse back to where you began.

Challenge Exercise Script: Need more of a challenge, try this.

  1. Warm-up with Traveling Plank Walkouts 20X. Add a push-up on the last 10
  2. Walk/Jog 2 minutes
  3. Walking Lunges Body Twist 24 total
  4. Walk/Jog 2 minutes
  5. Sun Salutation Burpee 10X – Jump back to Plank  – 3 push-ups-Downward Facing Dog-Jump feet to hands and jump to stand and repeat.
  6. Walk/Jog 2 minutes
  7. Side Plank Walking 10X to the right
  8. Side Plank Walking 10X to the left
  9. Walk/Jog 2 minutes
  10. Squat jumps 12X
  11. Walk/Jog 2 minutes and Complete in reverse back to where you began.

Remember to cool down and stretch after you exercise. Find a tree to lean against and stretch upper and lower body!

Exercise demonstrations can be found on YouTube.com

 

 

 

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Greek Tofu Scramble

Greek Tofu Scramble

Serves: 4

Go plant-based for breakfast with this tasty tofu recipe! If you’ve never had tofu before, this is a great recipe to experiment with.

Ingredients:

½ pound fingerling potatoes, cut into ¼ inch rounds

1 cup green beans, cut into 1” pieces

2Tbsp olive oil, divided

14 oz. package of firm tofu, drained

1 large onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced

1 cup cabbage, shredded

7 black olives, sliced

3 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp garlic salt

¼ cup feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Steam potato rounds for 3 minutes. Then add cut green beans and continue steaming together for another 4-5 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
  2. While vegetables are steaming, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Crumble tofu into the skillet, breaking into pieces. Cook until browned, about 9-10 minutes. Break up any big chunks with your spoon or spatula. Remove from skillet.
  3. Return skillet to the stove. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil & add onions. Cook for 3 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add green pepper and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and browned tofu and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until heated through

Nutrition Information per serving: 250 calories, 13g fat, 3g sat fat, 10mg cholesterol, 24g carbohydrate, 11g protein, 320mg sodium

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Back Discomfort? Try this exercise!

Back pain/discomfort is one of the most common musculoskeletal complaints among Americans. Some people will resort to avoiding all movements in general (not a good idea) or some will ignore the pain until it becomes unbearable. Lets try to take a different approach and do something to help!

The cause of lower back pain will vary from person to person. Chronic pain could be caused by weak hamstrings, glutes, or even just a weak lower back. Strengthening the posterior chain  (muscle groups just mentioned) need to be a major priority when combating back pain. All of these areas can be targeted by one great exercise. The Reverse Hyper-Extension  (RHE)!

There are many variations of the exercise depending on your physical abilities and available equipment. This is an exercise that should be done in high volumes such as starting with 3 sets of 15 repetitions. Increase to 20 repetitions. Increase to 4 sets. Once you can add some form of resistance (depends on your variation of the exercise) start back from the beginning, 3 sets of 15 and so on. Below are videos of great variations of the exercise! Watch each video as they all take different points of view of the exercise.

With a Bench : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3d9_W–eUcI

With a Ball: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk7bQVw4ggY

With a RHE Machine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MthYct8yxQ

 

Please, feel free to reach out with any questions!

 

 

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What should your weekly workout routine look like?

Between aerobic (cardio) and resistance (strength/weight) training, it seems impossible to create the perfect exercise routine. There are benefits to all forms of exercise whether it is moderate intensity cardio, high intensity interval training, or muscle group specific weight training. Each serves its purpose, especially if you have specific goals such as being as strong/fast as humanly possible or creating the perfect physique. For those that want to maintain optimal health and strength, all exercises components should be scheduled into one week! How? Let me start by saying there is no difference between programming for women and men but, there has been too much emphasis on creating grueling exhausting workouts. Taking it down a notch can still yield great results (maybe even better than before), fit in all the components of fitness, and improve motivation to exercise!

Everyone’s schedule is different so you first have to take a look at the time you can realistically dedicate to focusing on yourself. It may be a few 20 minute sessions, two 1 hour sessions, or three-four 45 minute sessions. Whatever it may be, it is important to exercise our full body and also recover fully (which is way overlooked by many people).

Below are the above mentioned components of fitness and general suggestions for both MEN & WOMEN:

  • 2-4 Days Strength Training
    • 2 days = Full Body,
    • 3 days = Full Body or 2/1 Alt between week
      • i.e. week 1: 2 upper & 1 lower, week 2: 1 upper & 2 lower
    • 4 days = 2  upper & 2 lower
  • 1-2 Days Moderate Intensity Cardio
    • Heart Rate 120-140 bpm
    • 6-7 out of 10 on Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale
    • 30-40 Minutes
    • Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, etc.
  • 1-2 Days High Intensity Interval (running, rowing, cycling, etc.)
    • Work Interval: 8-10 out of 10 on RPE scale, 10-30 seconds
    • Rest Interval: 4-6 out of 10 on RPE scale, 1-3 minutes
    • Short duration can/should be done after strength training
  • 1-2 Recovery Activity
    • Injury Prevention
      • i.e. yoga, casual walk/bike/swim, tai chi

 

So your week break down may look something like:

  • Monday: Weight training (upper) & 10-15 minute HIIT
  • Tuesday: Yoga
  • Wednesday: MIC
  • Thursday: Weight training (total body)
  • Friday: MIC
  • Saturday: Weight Training (lower )& 10-15 minute HIIT
  • Sunday: Long slow walk

 

 

Strength Training for Women

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Summer Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt – dash
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups loosely packed mixed torn greens such as romaine, red or green leaf lettuce, or radicchio, washed and dried
  • 2 cups assorted berries: blueberries, raspberries and blackberries
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese or feta cheese

*Makes 6 servings.

Directions:

In a bowl or jar with a tight fitting lid combine cider, vinegar, honey, cinnamon, oil, salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss lettuce, berries, apples, and blue cheese with enough dressing to coat. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

 

*Recipe adapted from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/robert-irvine/garden-salad-with-apple-cider-vinaigrette-recipe-1947103

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Refresh Your Exercise Routine

By combining a few exercises, you can create a fresh take on your exercise program and inspire your fitness enthusiasm. Add this quick workout to your day a few times a week for a refresh of new ideas.

Tabata is an interval style workout that involves 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest (as you get ready for the next exercise). Using a timer, there is no need to count repetitions allowing a greater focus on intensity and form. You can take this workout anywhere and the exercises can be performed with or without equipment. Workouts are 4-8 minutes (you could even make them longer).

What you Need:

  1. Tabata App: There are several. I use Interval Timer – Timing for HIIT Training and Workouts (from Deltaworks) FREE. There are several with many bells and whistles. This one is simple and quick to use. I can set it to music. The convenience of a timer makes a huge difference in my focus and intensity.
  2. Exercise list
  3. Equipment (if any)

Sample Tabata Workout 1: REPEAT #1 through #4 four times. (4 rounds = 8 minutes)

  1. Prisoner Squats – Squat with hands behind head
  2. Push-ups
  3. Burpee
  4. Dips

Sample Tabata Workout 2: REPEAT #1 through #4 four times. (4 rounds = 8 minutes)

  1. Alternating Reverse Lunges (Step Back Lunge)
  2. Mountain Climbers
  3. Abdominal – Bicycle Crunches
  4. Squat Jumps

Sample Tabata Workout 3: REPEAT #1 through #4 four times. (4 rounds = 8 minutes)

  1. Right Lateral Lunge with Knee Lift – Lunge right and upon returning to start position load weight in left leg and lift right knee, lunge right and repeat on other side.
  2. Left Lateral Lunge with Knee Lift
  3. Plank Tap/Jacks – While holding a plank, step feet or hop feet wide.
  4. Plank Walkout – From standing, hinge forward and walk arms out to plank or further.

 

 

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What’s all the Hype about Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar has gained a lot of recognition over the last few years as a “nutrition powerhouse” in the wellness industry. It has been linked to weight loss, as well improved lipid profiles and blood sugar control. However, when considering the potential health benefits of apple cider vinegar, it’s important to note which health claims are actually supported by scientific evidence before completely “buying in”.

Regarding weight loss, advocates of apple cider vinegar claim that it helps promote satiety, which makes consumers feel fuller quicker and therefore consume less calories. But skeptics argue that the glass of water advocates recommend you dilute it in is the actual cause of feeling full. Furthermore, in a 2009 study of overweight, otherwise healthy Japanese subjects, participants who consumed the maximum daily amount of apple cider vinegar  (30 mL) lost only 1/3 of a pound more per week more compared to the placebo ground.

Lastly, in a recent nutrition review about the effect of vinegar on glucose metabolism and lipid profile, it was determined that there is evidence that supports favorable effects of vinegar on:

  • Hyperglycemia
  • Hyperinsulinemia
  • Hyperlipidemia

However, of all 77 studies that were reviewed, all had major limitations. Most studies were conducted with animals and only some with humans with a low number of participants in each study. And when it comes to the anti-glycemic response that helps aid blood sugar control, critics argue that any sort of vinegar can be used, not just apple cider vinegar. The final conclusion from the Nutrition ReviewsVinegar is a safe product, it’s affordable and available, but before specific health claims can be made, further long-term studies need to be conducted with more participants that address the limitations that are in current evidence.  

Take Home Note: While vinegar is a cheap and easy way to add flavor to foods, the best way to consume it is in small amounts, such as in a salad dressing. In large, full strength volumes, there can be some serious downsides. For one, it can burn your esophagus, so if you’re predisposed to reflux, ulcers or stomach problems, large volumes of vinegar could exacerbate these. Additionally, it can wear out teeth enamel, the protective coating of teeth, which can cause cavities. So rather than down an apple cider vinegar shot, try using vinegar in a 4:1 ratio with olive oil. It is low in calories and does have some benefits. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be recommended as a weight loss food until further studies have been conducted to support such claims.

*Sources:

Apple Cider Vinegar: Real or Just a Fad?

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/18/health/gallery/apple-cider-vinegar-health-benefits/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/18/health/apple-cider-vinegar-uses/index.html

 

 

 

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