Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fitness Me In Workout Series #17

Destress for better health

Life can be stressful, but you don’t have to let it ruin your health. One guy who has been talking about heart health for a long while is best-selling author Joe Piscatella. His expertise comes from personal experience. He underwent coronary bypass surgery at age 32, and doctors predicted he would not live to be 40. He couldn't change the situation, but learned to control his response to it. Recently, Piscatella celebrated the 31st anniversary of that surgery.
Also recently, he began to focus on the impact stress can have on health.
“It’s staggering to me that there are 80.7 million Americans with heart disease,” he told me during a recent interview. According to the American Heart Association, that’s 1 in 3 people in the United States.
“For every one person who has heart disease because of bad genes, 499 have it because of knives and forks. An enormous amount of people have problems.”
Everyone knows that how they choose to live makes a big difference, he says, including diet, exercise and not smoking.
But many folks don’t do what’s in their best interest, and Piscatella has come to believe that chronic stress is often the reason.
People may not be able to get rid of that stress, but they can learn to respond to it in healthier ways. Read more in an article I wrote for The Olympian newspaper at http://www.theolympian.com/living/story/752990.html or on his Web site, http://www.joepiscatella.com/.

Cardio Cooking

How about working a workout in at the beginning of the day? Here’s a recipe for gluten-free pancakes that I like to use.

Linda’s Breakfast Cakes

2 c teff flour
1 c ground flaxseed
1 c sweet sorghum flour
2 omega 3 eggs
1 T canola oil, plus more for pan
2 t cinnamon
2 t ginger
2-plus cups water until you reach desired consistency for pancakes


1. Dance as you assemble your ingredients.
2. As you mix them together, do 20 side leg lifts on the right. Then hold your leg out to the side so it is ¾ of the way to the top, and pulse up to the top 10 times. Follow with 10 more full side leg lifts. Repeat on the left side.
3. Heat a little oil in your pan. As you wait, do jumping jacks.
4. Cook your pancakes. As you do so, do 20 rear leg lifts on the right, followed by 10 pulses at the top of the movement. Now do 10 more full rear leg lifts. Repeat on the left side.
5. Continue cooking and work 30 jumping jacks in as you monitor the pan. March on the floor or just use your legs if you need to pause to flip a flapjack.
6. Hold your right leg out to the side for 20-30 seconds. Repeat with the left.
7. March on the floor for 1 minute.
8. Hold your right leg at the top of a rear leg lift for 20-30 seconds. Repeat with the left.
9. Go back to dancing if you’ve got more to cook and have a great day!

Shape-Up Shopping (Grocery Day)

I’m looking out the window at snow right now, which means I’m taking that front spot in the grocery parking lot. Even if you’ve got to fight the chill for longer than you’d like outside, there’s a great way to warm up once you get in the store – a Fitness Me In workout! Here it is:
1. Walk for 3 minutes.
2. Squeeze your tush and keep it tight as you walk down 4 aisles.
3. Squeeze your abs (as if you were attaching your belly button to your spine) and keep them tight for 4 aisles.
4. Now tighten that tush again for half an aisle, releasing for the second half. Repeat on 3 more aisles for a total of 4.
5. Button your belly again for half an aisle, releasing for the second half. Repeat on 3 more aisles for a total of 4.
6. Once your cart is full, walk around the perimeter of the store 2 to 4 times before going to checkout.

Cleaning Day

With two young boys and husband, my floors get dirty more often than I’d like. That’s OK, cleaning them can be a great workout! Here’s how:
1. Shake that thing as you get your mop ready, then find a wall to start next to.
2. Do a wall sit (back against wall, thighs parallel to the floor) and clean all around you. Hold this position as long as possible.
3. Dance as you clean another area near the wall to get your legs moving again.
4. Do lunges across the floor, cleaning to one side.
5. Do that wall sit on the other side of the room.
6. Do lunges back across the floor, cleaning on the other side.
7. Dance around and mop the rest of the floor. Incorporate some quarter-squats into your booty maneuvers, tightening that tush each time you get to the top of the move.
8. Don’t forget to stretch a bit after you put your mop away.

Play Day

Since it’s still cold and dreary (at least where I live) it’s a good day to do an inside activity. Why not play a good, old fashioned game of charades? It’s a surprisingly active game, especially if the guesser keeps moving by jogging in place or just standing and fidgeting.

Groggy Day

Pilates and ab work always wake me up when I’m feeling sluggish. Here’s a video on YouTube that does a good job of talking you through a workout: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdMptxZv4hQ

Legal junk/Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice or care of medical professionals. Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, or exercise program, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.