Fitolution Day #17 – Bulgarian Split Squats and Pumpkin

Fitolution Day #17.  We’re only challenging up to 21 days so after this, just 4 more days.  How about we finish strong?  I’m right here with you . . . stronger together.

EXERCISE:

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays are cardio days so stick to your cardio routine. Make sure it’s at least 30 minutes of walking, running, elliptical, biking, rowing, dancing, etc.  Make sure to warm-up properly.

BONUS EXERCISE:
Bulgarian Split Squat
Body Parts Targeted:  Hips, Glutes, Hamstring

Repeatedly performing the same exercises with every workout causes the body, specifically the nervous system responsible for activating the muscles, to adapt to applied stimulus, which eventually leads to diminished results. The technical term for this effect is accommodation, which is often referred to getting stuck on a plateau.

Whichever term you choose, the outcome is the same: No matter how creative or intense the workout, your muscles will stop responding to the exercises, much like your brain adapts to watching the same movie over and over again.

If you find you’ve been doing the same exercises for a while and are stuck on the proverbial plateau, here are five exercise swaps you can use to enhance your workouts. To add an extra boost, focuses on just one limb at a time, which allows you to focus all of the nervous system activity into those specific muscles. This is an effective strength-training strategy than can help you bust through any plateau.

Try the Bulgarian Split Squat instead of a Lunge.

The Bulgarian Split-squat emphasizes the glutes, hamstrings and adductors to create hip and knee extension during the upward phase of movement in the front leg. The key is to sink back into the hip during the lowering phase and push your foot into the floor as you return to standing.

Hold a single dumbbell (or kettlebell) in front of your chest. Perform eight to 10 reps on each leg, resting for 30 seconds after completing reps on both legs. Perform three to four sets.

NUTRITION:

Pumpkin-powered Overnight Oatmeal

Prepping overnight oats is a great way to save time and effort in the morning, and adding pumpkin helps boost the nutrition benefits of this morning staple.

Ingredients –

  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup steel cut or rolled oats
  • 1 cup milk or milk alternative
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts

Instructions –

  1. Add oatmeal to the bottom of a mason jar, coffee mug or cereal bowl.
  2. Top with pumpkin, milk and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
  3. Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight. Garnish with walnuts before eating.

TIPS for Shopping:

1. Shop the perimeter of the store.Typically, the perimeter of the store is where you’ll find the best food for your challenge – fresh vegetables, fruits, and lean meats. Along the aisles in the center of the store is where you’ll find the more processed and packaged foods. Stock up your cart with fresh, healthy options to help you stay on track.

2. Plan before you go.Make sure to have your grocery guide with you and think about shopping for enough food to last a few days. Think of creative ways of combining different ingredients and using leftovers so you’ll be prepared at all times.

3. Vegetables and fruits.Choose fresh over canned. Many canned vegetables and fruits are loaded with salt or sugar – choose fresh whenever possible or frozen (but be sure to check for any additives like butter or sauces).

These are simply suggestions, not the only foods you’re “allowed”.

Get creative and explore new fresh, healthy, and colorful foods!

Until tomorrow, I’m just one click away. [email]