Here we go with the 11th day of The Fitolution. Note: If you don’t schedule the workouts, they won’t happen. Just the same as this email won’t send itself. Oops, there I go again.
Wednesdays are strength days. Make sure it’s at least 30 minutes of strength training. Always make sure to warm-up properly.
This is a great move to target all the muscles of your torso, and, depending on your position, also your shoulders. Start with your feet in a TRX or on valslides (or even with your feet over a foam roller!), and progress to a stability ball for more of a challenge.
How to do it: With feet in TRX straps or on valslides, get into a forearm plank, elbows beneath shoulders. Engage core and, keeping forearms perfectly still, begin to move hips backward. Shoulders are moving away from wrists and elbows are in front of body, all while maintaining a straight line from ears to ankles. Don’t go so far back as to feel your low back kick in. Saw back to starting position.
- Try loading a few celery sticks with 1 tablespoon of any nut butter (almond, cashew, walnut).
- Edamame makes a great high-protein snack (one cup of beans yields 17g of protein!). Buy them fresh and steam for about 6 minutes, or use the pre-cooked frozen variety and briefly microwave to defrost (about 2 minutes) before chowing down.
- 1 medium apple, sliced, with 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
- Hummus Dippers: Put 2 tablespoons of your favorite hummus in the bottom of the container, stick a handful of vegetable sticks (carrots, celery, and snow peas are a great mix) vertically in the hummus, screw on the top, and throw in a purse or gym bag for an easy, on-the-go, super-healthy snack.
- Hard-Boiled Eggs: Inexpensive and loaded with nutrients, eggs are one of the best ways to get a healthy dose of protein. Try hard boiling and pre-peeling a dozen at the start of the week and throw one in a small Tupperware container each day for an easy on-the-go snack.
- On the go? Grab a handful of almonds (10 or so) and enjoy alongside 1 cup of grapes.
- Top ½ cup low-fat or nonfat cottage cheese with ½ cup of your favorite fresh fruit.7.
- Mix 1 can of low-sodium tuna with 2 tablespoons of salsa. Serve by itself or use it as a dip with celery!
- Top ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt with a handful of fruit (fresh or frozen) and a small drizzle of honey. Add 2 tablespoons of toasted oats for a protein-packed crunch!
- Craving something sweet? Try a baked apple! Core a tennis-ball sized apple, dust with cinnamon, and bake at 350 for 20 minutes (or until tender but not mushy).
- 1 cup of cubed cantaloupe and 1 low-fat string cheese
- Top ¼ cup nonfat yogurt with ½ cup old-fashioned oats and ½ cup fresh strawberries.
- Chow down on 10 baby carrots with 2 tablespoons of hummus.
- Craving something crunchy? Give Kale Chips a try! Preheat oven to 375. Rinse and dry 1 large bunch of kale, then remove the stems and tough center ribs. Rip the kale into large pieces, toss with a little olive oil, then sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a large parchment lined baking sheet (careful not to overlap). Bake until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes, checking frequently (they can burn easily!).
- Slice up a cucumber & some cherry tomatoes – drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and top with fresh cracked pepper
This year, make the following “power habit” part of your life to unleash your potential, maximize happiness and live extraordinarily.
Sleep is a time to recover from the mental, physical and emotional demands of the day. A common recommendation is to get a minimum of seven to nine hours of quality sleep every night for optimal performance, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one out of every three people don’t achieve this goal. It appears that with less sleep, people experience a decrease in performance and an increase in morbidity and mortality.
From a day-to-day standpoint, lack of sleep can impair coordination and short-term memory while increasing the negative impact of stress. Building habits around getting a better quantity and quality of sleep can pay dividends in multiple aspects of life.
Below is a list of both good and bad sleep-related habits. Adopt one or more of the good habits, while focusing on eliminating one or more of the bad habits.
Good Sleep Habits:
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each night.
- Exercise daily.
- Make the room as dark as possible.
- Avoid alcohol or nicotine consumption immediately before bed.
- Take a 20-minute power nap during the day.
- Keep electronic devices out of the bedroom.
- Meditate prior to going to bed.
Poor Sleep Habits:
- Checking phones and other devices from bed (both the blue light emitted and the arousing emotional reaction resulting from this practice may interfere with sleep).
- Eating immediately prior to sleep.
- Watching television or other screens before bed (screen time often competes with sleep time).
- Consuming caffeine late in the day.
- Having undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea (snoring).
While there is no magic pill for quality and quantity of sleep, adopting a “good” habits and minimizing the “bad” increases the likelihood that sleep will be a help, not a hinderance to changing your life for the better.
Challenge Day #12 tomorrow. In the meantime, questions . . . I’m only one click away.