Week two of Fitness, Nutrition, and Relaxation. I hope you had a chance to 'push up', undress your salad and most important, found time to relax. This week we will add to what we did last week with a lower body exercise, breakfast idea, and another R&R tip.
Squats: These are what you do when you want to sit but you don't; when you hover, so to speak. So grab a chair or a stool or a swiss ball to use as your guide or shall we say, as the guide to your gluteus maximus because that's what you'll be working, along with with your quads (thigh muscles), hamstrings, and calve muscles.
Place your feet about hip width apart, toes and knees pointed forward or slightly outward, keep your abdominals tucked in, back is straight, arms can be either at your side or just hold them out in front for balance.
Now squat down or guide your buttocks down towards the chair or stability ball, as if you were going to sit, hold that position for a second, then come back up pushing through the heels. While you're down you will feel that most of the weight is on your heels, you could almost feel your toes lifting a bit.
Things to remember: Control your abdominals by pushing your belly button back (suck it in!) Exhale on the way down, inhale on the way up. Keep your knees from going over your toes. If you can't see your toes you need to adjust your position so that your knees are always behind your toes.
How many? Well, start with 8, 2-count, squats--that means that you go down for two counts and come back up for two counts. Take a break, shake out your legs a bit and repeat. Try going down on four counts and up four counts. The slower you do them the harder they are. Don't over do it or you'll be so sore you'll never do them again.
Muscles involved: glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves---tight! tight! tight! That's the way we like them right?
Photo by framboise
This week I'm focusing on the most important meal of the day; breakfast. The name says it all--to break the fast. So why are so many people skipping breakfast? I know of at least two reasons, lack of time and to loose weight.
For some odd reason we seem to find time to give to everyone else but ourselves. Aside from a fire or medical emergency, what can possibly keep you from eating something before leaving your house in the morning? If you're running late consider a portable breakfast such as a fruit, protein bar, etc. If time is an issue I recommend getting up a wee bit earlier and making time to eat.
As for those of you who think that starving your body equals weight loss, think again. You are starving your body which in turn slows your metabolism and in the end you gain weight, yes, you gain. Your body will know when starvation mode kicks in and it will hold on to every ounce of water, fat and calories you put into it. It's called self preservation!
Tom at Free Fitness Tips has a series on boosting metabolism in which he shares this: "Just as eating large meals can hurt your metabolism, eating too few meals can have the same effect. To keep your metabolism high you need to feed it." I agree with Tom and all other fitness and nutrition experts out there. Does your car run better with less fuel? Do you think eventually it will stop running? Your body needs fuel and the fuel comes from nutritious foods.
An article at Ripped Corner has 7 great tips for a better breakfast. Simply stated, balance your breakfast so that your early morning fuel is the best it can be to take you through the rest of the morning without feeling like you could eat a horse or your babie's PB&J.
Photo by Olivander
Last week I talked about finding time to relax. That can be difficult when there are kids running in and out of the house or kids that never leave the house, work, chores and other responsibilities. Most of us try to run our lives minute by minute trying to remember everything we need to do and even the things we don't need to do, but want to.
Now that you've figured out a way to fit in a few minutes for yourself, my next tip is to write things down. I know, writing while driving is not a great idea so you may have to just turn the radio up and sing out loud therefore avoiding the possibility to retreat into any stressful thoughts.
But when you're not busy driving, have a small notepad or a planner with a monthly calendar and notes section. Keep it in your purse, bag, diaper bag, gym bag, the kitchen counter, your night stand..etc., you get the idea, keep it handy. This is your mini journal where you'll write things you need to remember throughout the day when you're not ready to do them. If you have some thoughts on any event from your day, write it down, you never know it may turn into a great novel some day. It's OK to dream a little :-)
I keep a notebook in my kitchen which I use to write my to-do list, grocery list, books I'd like to read, etc. Sometimes I remember a recipe or see a recipe on TV, I write it in my notebook so I don't forget to go back and look it up.
Your family calendar is another great tool to have handy, either on the wall or on a desk. Keep it up to date then you'll never have to try to remember when you have an appointment. Set some reminders using the computer calendar, your cell phone or home phone. Many phones have that feature--so why not use it.
I find that keeping a schedule of sorts will help to set the standard for the whole family. Marilyn Etzel from HubPages writes the following:
"With a schedule, you and your kids can appreciate that there is a time for everything, a time for going to school and work, a time to do school assignments and chores. Best of all, you can also have a definite a time to relax."
The idea is to keep your mind clear of cluttered so that you CAN relax. So what are you waiting for, get to work!!