Archives for November 2014

Five Killer Butt Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

Sitting all day on your tush can take a toll on its shape. And, for most people, finding time to go to the gym can be problem. Below are five butt workouts that you can do at home.  The best part is they are all around 10 minutes in length so they are easy to fit in to even the busiest schedule:

1. Best Beginner Workout for Butt & Thighs from GymRa

The pace in this workout is slow, but the exercises are effective and include enough repetitions of each exercise to achieve results. The exercises also promote balance and incorporate core training. This 11-minute video is excellent for the person that’s too busy to workout.

2. The Butt-Lifting Workout That’s Better Than Spanx from FitSugar

FitSugar never disappoints and this workout is one of my favorites.  Celebrity Tracey Mallett leads this 10-minute workout that will get your butt and legs in shape. Can you say pulse, pulse, pulse? Ouch!

3. 5 Best Butt Exercises to Sculpt a Cute Booty from Blogilates

Blogilates is one of the most popular workout sites on the web. In this workout Casey Ho proves that it takes more than squats when it comes to getting a firm, cute booty. None of these exercises require any equipment.

 4. The Kim Kardashian Butt Workout

Fitness trainer Rebecca-Louise shows you how you can get a Kim Kardashian-style butt in just 11 minutes a day. Rebecca does use a set of light dumbbells in this video. You could start with a five pound set and work your way up. I love this workout because at 5:57 minutes Rebecca does my absolute favorite glute exercise. Grab your weights and get to work!

5. Butt Workout 1 Tone Up: 30 Day Butt Lift from Be Fit

Be Fit has a 30-day butt lift program and this workout is the first of the series. The workout starts out with squats and lunges that use a chair then moves on to more targeted glute exercises.  The 30 day butt lift program is good for all fitness levels.

These five workouts provide you with different options for five days of the week so you’ll never have the chance to get bored. I’ve done all of these workouts and I hope you’ll try them too.

Which one is your favorite?

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Five Tips To Help You Embrace A Return To Standard Time

Now that we’ve fallen back to Standard Time it’s dark at 5 p.m.  By this time next month it will be dark at 4:30.  After taking a non-scientific pole of the people around me, I can say with confidence that this change is not popular with most people.

Most of us don’t embrace the end of daylight saving time which brings with it dark evenings, and before too long, dark mornings too.  But, when we ‘fall back’ and return to standard time our body is more in sync with the circadian rhythms of our biological clock which impacts our sleep and our health.

clock

Standard Time Embraces Circadian Rhythms

Circadian rhythm is a built-in 24 hour cycle that all living beings – including plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria – possess.  “There are clear patterns of brain wave activity, hormone production, cell regeneration and other biological activities linked to this daily cycle.”  (Science Daily) There are a number of things that can disrupt our circadian rhythm such as travelling through time zones, working the night shift, indoor lighting, drug use, and springing forward into Daylight Savings Time.

A large study in Central Europe, followed sleep patterns of 55,000 people and found that natural sleep patterns are in sync with standard time.  What this translates to is good news for the 1.6 billion people that moved their clocks back and return to ST on Sunday.

Too Much Darkness

If it’s so good for us, why don’t we like it? The biggest reason is that we feel we are being cheated out of daylight.  If you are a day shift worker that gets off 5 or 6 p.m., you’ll be greeted by darkness when you leave work beginning next week.  That makes us feel like we don’t have as much time to be active or get things done.  Research shows that’s not true. We will, in fact, be back in cadence with nature which improves sleep quality and overall health.

Just knowing that you are physiologically in sync with the planet may not be enough to keep you positive about the time change. Here are five tips that will ensure a smooth transition to the season of shorter days and longer nights.

Five Tips To Help You Cope

1.  Workout Before Your Day Begins – Use your body’s natural inclination to want to rise earlier to get a workout in before you day begins.  A walk or bike ride outdoors is a good option since sunrise is earlier.  If that doesn’t work, a 20 or 30 minute walk on the treadmill, an on-line workout, or DVD will get you moving and give you something to feel good about the rest of the day.  For suggestions on free workouts that you can access from the comfort of your own home, check out Liongate’s Be Fit Channel.  For even more options, find a post I wrote about free on-line workouts here.

2.  Take Sunshine Breaks – Find an opportunity to get outside for at least 10 to 15 minutes every day with some skin exposed so that your levels of Vitamin D don’t dip this winter.  For people that live in areas of the world that experience four seasons, the period from September to April can wreak  havoc on our body’s ability to generate adequate amounts of Vitamin D through sunlight exposure alone.

A deficiency in the sunshine vitamin can result in Seasonal Affective Disorder which brings about symptoms of fatigue, depression, and a feeling of malaise.  If you think you would benefit from Vitamin D supplements your doctor can assess your levels with a simple blood test.  Vitamin D in liquid form can be purchased at the local pharmacy.  It’s inexpensive to buy and easy to digest.

3. Stay Active In The Evenings – When it’s dark at 5 p.m., resisting the temptation to put on sweats and slippers for a night in front of the T.V. can be a challenge.  Find ways to keep active in the evenings either inside or out of the home.

Check the listings for your local library, park district, Y and community college for classes and family activities.  Volunteering to help at the local Goodwill center, offering your expertise to a focus group, or joining a recreational volleyball league are all ways to combat the hum-drum of long winter evenings. If you love to read, joining a virtual book club will connect you to people that share the same interests as you, and you won’t have to leave home to participate.  Check out the resources for joining – or starting – an virtual book club.

4.  Become A Healthy Comfort Food Chef – It seems like the first week after we turn the clocks back to standard time, I find I’m craving chili, pumpkin pie, cranberry bread, and a whole bunch of other comfort foods that undermine my goal of not putting the pounds on this winter.  There are a number of web sites that have recipes for comfort food makeovers:  Cooking Light, Eating Well, Taste of Home and Good Housekeeping all have healthy comfort food sections online.

Check out the recipes at these sites and make them for your family.  Take it a step further and create your own dishes and launch a web site or blog where you share your own fabulous creations.  

Lightpiccollage

5.  Embrace Scent and Light – A living space that has candles flickering or scented pots exuding warm scents is welcoming and comforting.  The wax chips that melt in the pots with the heat of a light bulb can be turned on in the morning when you leave the house.  The scent and light is waiting for you when you get home.  Some of my favorite fall scents are vanilla cinnamon, pumpkin spice and crème burlee.  These aromas elicit feelings of holidays, family, and togetherness.  Scent Sationals has a good selection to choose from.

Over To You

If you live in a part of the world where you’ve turned your clock back an hour, are you looking forward to the change or dreading it?  What tips do you have for surviving the short days and inescapable darkness?  Please give us your thoughts in the comment box below.

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(Pictures credits for the collage go to artists at Flickr.com:  Candles – ETIco68; Scent pot – honeybunched; and Chair in sunshine – crsan)

Creamy Cauliflower Salad with Kale

You can add kale to almost anything to give it a nutritional boost. I added kale to this creamy cauliflower salad and it adds crunch and color. I do use a little real mayo for the dressing, but cut down the calories and fat with a dab of Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and a tablespoon of olive oil.

Cucumber Salad

This creamy cauliflower salad is delicious. It’s a good side dish and is always a hit as a carry-in at a bar-b-que or picnic.

Baby Kale

Ingredients:

1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped
1/2 red onion, sliced into bite size pieces
1 small can of black olives, sliced
2 cups of baby kale, chopped
2/3 cup real mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt or sour cream
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of vinegar
1 teaspoon of sugar
Garlic salt
Fresh black pepper

Directions:

Mix cauliflower, red onion, olives, and kale in a large bowl.
In a small bowl mix mayo, Greek yogurt, olive oil, garlic salt and pepper.
Stir dressing mayo mixture into cauliflower.
Chill until ready to eat.

A one cup serving has about 80 calories.

Cucmber Salad 2

You can reduce calories in recipes by replacing some of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt of sour cream. Add a dash of olive oil for texture and flavor.

Kale can be added to soups, salad, sandwiches and casseroles for a nutritional boost. Adding kale to main and side dishes is a good way to increase your daily intake of vegetables.

You might also like this Superfood Salad with Kale and Cherry Tomato recipe: Superfood Salad.

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