Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fitness Me In Workout Series #21

Cardio Cooking

We’ve all heard about the Mediterranean-style diet and heart health. A recent study is again touting its health benefits – but this time for the brain.
The study finds that following Mediterranean diet habits is associated with reduced risk for getting mild cognitive impairment -- a transitional stage between normal cognition and dementia/Alzheimer's disease, according to study author Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas of Columbia University Medical Center. His study for the Archives of Neurology was supported by the National Institutes of Health
So what’s that mean for you? The Mediterranean-style diet is high in vegetables, fruits and nuts, legumes, fish and cereals. It’s low in dairy products, meat, and fat, and allows moderate alcohol consumption.
The Mediterranean diet, the researchers explain, may improve cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels and blood vessel health, or reduce inflammation, all of which have been associated with mild cognitive impairment.
Individual food components of the diet also may impact brain function. "For example, potentially beneficial effects for mild cognitive impairment or mild cognitive impairment conversion to Alzheimer's disease have been reported for alcohol, fish, polyunsaturated fatty acids (also for age-related cognitive decline) and lower levels of saturated fatty acids," they write.
That all sounds great to me, so I’m featuring a Mediterranean recipe this week from The Web site has many more recipes in this category at:

Mustard Crusted Salmon

1 1/4 pounds center-cut salmon fillets, cut into 4 portions
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Lemon wedges

1.Do the “80s Dance” (step side to side) as you preheat the broiler. Line a broiler pan or baking sheet with foil, and then coat it with cooking spray.
2. Place salmon pieces, skin-side down, on the prepared pan. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, do 20 soccer kicks on each leg. HOW TO DO THEM: Flex your foot so sole it is parallel to the floor. Turn your toe out. Move leg forward as if kicking a soccer ball. Hold 3 seconds. Repeat. You’ll feel this on the inner thigh.
3. Combine sour cream, mustard and lemon juice in a small bowl as you do 20 side leg lifts on each leg. HOW TO DO THEM: Lift your leg straight out to the side until your foot is 6 to 12 inches off the floor. Slightly bend leg you are standing on and keep abs tight. At the top of the movement pause and count to 3.
4. Spread evenly over the salmon while doing 20 rear leg lifts. HOW TO DO THEM: extend your leg straight back behind you, keeping your knee straight and your toes pointed down to the floor. Squeeze your buttocks as you lift. Pause at the top for count of 3 before returning leg to the floor.
5. Broil the salmon 5 inches from the heat source until it is opaque in the center, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges. Return to the 80s with that side to side dance, then do side knee lifts
6. Dance as you prep any side dishes.
7. Do lunges as you set the table and deliver the food.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 290 calories; 18 g fat (4 g sat, 6 g mono); 89 mg cholesterol; 2 g carbohydrate; 29 g protein; 0 g fiber; 389 mg sodium; 550 mg potassium.

Shape-Up Shopping (Grocery Day)

I don’t know about you, but we’ve been having some bizarre weather out here. It snowed yesterday! That’s why I’m still not excited to park far away when I grocery shop. Here’s a workout you can do in the comfort of your home as you unload your purchases.

1. As you unload your first bag continuously jog around or in place.
2. For the second, place it on the floor and do a squat each time you need to pick something up, making sure to squeeze that tush at the top and keep those abs in to support your back.
3. Hop or jump everywhere you go as you unload the third bag. Try to go high if you can, but most importantly don’t stop the continuous jumping motion till that bag is unloaded.
4. Now place bag 4 on the ground and do curtsy squats as you unload it. HOW TO DO THEM: Stand on right leg. Place left leg behind and to the right with toe on ground. Curtsy down and stand up with weight on the heel portion of your foot. Repeat on the left.
5. Jog as you unload bag 5, and if you are up for it do so with high knees (knees up to waist level with each step).
6. Place bag 6 on a counter. Each time you remove an item do 3-5 side leg lifts before you put it away. Alternate legs.
7. If you have more bags, go back to item one and repeat as many steps as you’d like! Don’t forget a nice stretch when you’re finished, along with a pat on the back for working in your workout.

Cleaning Day

Remember that duster dance? Let’s get crazy with it this week.
1. Put on a fast song and shake that groove thing in the first area you dust.
2. On the next song find some shelves. Keep dancing, but each time you dust an item do mini-squats (squat about half way down and quickly pulse up) as you get it clean, and then jump so that your back is facing the item you just cleaned. Quickly jump back so you are facing forward. Try for at least 15 jumps.
3. For the third song, drop down and do a push-up each time you finish dusting 3 things.
4. On the final song, find a long shelf. Jump to the right and dust, then jump to the left and dust. Keep going back and forth. Try for at least 15 before you return to dancing.
5. Enjoy your post workout glow and your dust free house!

Play Day

I have boys, so they really like things that are either gross or spooky.
Don’t worry –this one falls into the spooky category. It’s a game called “Ghost in the Graveyard.” Here’s how to play:
One person is the ghost.
The rest of the group stays on "base" and counts " one o'clock, two o'clock, three o'clock, rock...'till you got to midnight (after every 3rd number say "rock"). Then go search for the ghost. Whoever finds the ghost yells, "Ghost in the graveyard" and all the seekers out make a mad dash back to base. Whoever is tagged is the next ghost. This can be played inside or out.
Find more game suggestions on

Groggy Day

Here’s some breakfast yoga on YouTube that will help you get into a good mind frame:

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