Fitolution – Exercise #6 and Habit #6

Welcome to Exercise #6 of the Ab Challenge and to Habit #6. 

Exercise: 
Kneeling Hay Baler a/k/a Woodchopper

  • One leg up on the foot and the other back on the knee. 
  • Hold a medicine ball in both hands near the hip of the rear leg. 
  • Twist through the trunk and shoulders to bring the ball across the body and over the opposite shoulder. 
  • Keep both arms straight during the whole movement. 
  • When finished with one side, switch to the other side.

Challenge – Did you know the human body is designed to be most efficient when standing?  So for a challenge, try the Standing Hay Baler. 

  • Standing with legs about hip-width apart.
  • Step one foot forward flat on the ground and the other leg back behind the body on the ball of the foot. 
  • Hold the medicine ball in both hands near the hip of the leg that is behind. 
  • Twist through the chest and shoulders to bring the ball across the body and over the opposite shoulder.  
  • Keep both arms straight for the whole movement. 
  • When finished with one side, switch to the other side.

Tips – 

  • To add more resistance, use a heavier medicine ball or dumbbell.
  • Keep your abs tense at all times for a good mind-muscle connection.
  • Begin with rotation initiating in your torso.
  • Do not round your back at any point of the exercise.

The Day #6 core exercise mimics your body’s natural function, andtargets the abdominal muscles: 

  1. Oblique.
  2. Transverse Abdominals, which is the deepest layer of muscle tissue.
    To get the total benefit, flatten stomach at the beginning of the exercise 
    to make the TA contract. 
  3. Rectus Abdominals, which is located between your ribs and your pelvic 
    bone.  RA contracts when distance between ribs and hips is shortened 
    i.e. lowering the ball toward your hip.

Habit:

Keep doing your first–fifth habit.  Why?  Habits are cumulative — they build on each other, one by one.  So a new habit doesn’t mean ditch the old ones.  A new habit means you simply add one more tool to your tool belt.  
In other words, keep doing the older habits – 

  1. Taking a 5-Minute Action 
  2. Eat Slowly
  3. Habit #3 – Stop When 80% Full
  4. Habit #4 – Eat Lean Protein at Every Meal
  5. Habit #5 – Eat at least 5 servings of colorful fruit/vegetables

Habit 6: Make Smart Carb Choices

  1. Most people benefit from having some carbohydrates in their diet.  “Smart carbs” are slower-digesting, higher-fiber, and nutrient-rich. These include such foods as:
    • whole grains (e.g. brown or wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat, etc.)
    • beans and legumes
    • fruits and starchy vegetables (e.g. potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas and plantains, etc.)
    • This is a “difficult” habit for some.  That’s why it comes purposely after two “easier” habits.
  2. Understand that:
    • Low-carb” is not ideal; most people look, feel, and perform better with some carbs in their diet, even if they’re trying to lose weight / fat.
    • Not all carbs are created equal: slow-digesting, high-fiber, nutrient-rich “smart carbs” are a great nutritional choice and not the same thing as processed sugars.
  3. Make a shopping list of the “smart carbs” you have discovered and like and will eat.
  4. Do you avoid wheat and/or other grains (e.g. sweet potatoes)?  Need suggestions to replace those?
  5. For now, it doesn’t really matter what specific foods you choose as long as you get into the habit of choosing smart carbs.
  6. Ensure that you are able to buy, prepare, and have smart carbs on hand, easily available.
  7. Discuss how to add smart carbs to your regular menu. 
  8. You have already learned what an approximate serving size is.
    1. 1 cupped handful per meal.
    2. Adjust portion sizing to your needs and activity levels.

Strength or Cardio:

Is it a strength or cardio day? If you don’t have a solid strength exercise plan, refer to the plan given on Day #1.  Cardio day?  Ex: walk, run, jog, dance, elliptical, Arc, row, bike, whatever you prefer.

Nutrition:

Red Potato is a Smart Carb andis particularly healthy. The skin is loaded with fiber, B vitamins, iron and potassium.  Getting more potassium in your diet reduces the effects of sodium and may help lower blood pressure, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. 

Quick & Easy Recipe – 

  • Boil in salted water until very tender.  
  • Drain.  
  • Toss with herbs, salt, cracked pepper, and lemon juice or vinegar.