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Move your plank from simple to exciting!!

plank
The plank. The exercise has such a simple name, but the exercise is anything but simple. It involves multiple muscle groups all working together to hold the body still in a horizontal position against gravity. Challenge yourself in the new year by taking this “simple” exercise to the next level.

1) Begin with a plank position. Hold for 30 seconds. To add an extra challenge, do 10 push-ups.
2) Lift your left hand off the floor and transition to a side plank. Do not collapse into your right shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds. To add an extra challenge, lower and lift your hips (about 6 inches) 10 times.
3) Change sides. Put your left hand on the floor and lift your right hand off to move into a side plank on the other side. Hold for 30 seconds. To add an extra challenge, lower and lift your hips (about 6 inches) 10 times.
4) Reverse plank. Take a seat on the floor with your hands behind you slightly wider than your shoulders. Lift your hips up away from the floor into a reverse plank position. Hold for 30 seconds. To add an extra challenge, add 5 leg kicks on each side.

There you have it! In less than 3 minutes, you can take the plank – and your workout – to a whole new exciting level this year!

Have fun!

Cathy

NEW YEAR’S EVE WORKOUT: Burn it to Earn it!


Recently on GoodDayCarolinas I demoed a pre-Thanksgiving group workout to get your metabolism revved and ready a feast! Well this workout is also the perfect prep for a night of celebrating. So get your tennis shoes on and grab some family members because you’ve got to BURN IT to EARN IT today!

This workout is a circuit style format that uses compound movements to burn max calories by challenging your strength and endurance. If you do the workout as written, then you’ll burn 600 calories or more! So get off the couch and get your workout in. You’ll thank me for it later when you feel more energized while socializing with your loved ones and if you don’t over do it with the turkey, you’ll feel great after your big meal too.

Directions
-Preform workout as a circuit, going from one station to the next in succession.
-Each station lasts 60sec so get as many reps as possible in.
-Allow 15sec between stations.
-Rest 2min after youve done one circuit.
-Then repeat circuit 2 more x’s!

Equipment
Kettlebell (KB)
Jump Rope
2, Heavy Weight, 15-25lbs Dumbbells (HW DB)
Stability Ball (SB)
2 sets, Dumbells, 5-10lbs (DB)
Something 8-18” off ground to jump over, Hurdle, yoga block, bench, cone.
Mat *optional

SATURDAY SNACK: Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dip


Think a super-simple, no-bake, 2 ingredient fall/autumn dip is impossible to come by? Think again! My friend – who is a lover of all things pumpkin- shared with me this quick and easy recipe that only calls for 2 ingredients and a spoon!

Ingredients:
– 1/2 cup organic pumpkin (you can roast and purée your own or use the canned variety)
– 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (feel free to use your favorite nut butter instead)

Mix the 2 ingredients together until well blended. It makes a great dip when served with whole wheat pitas or sliced apples.

When you are short on time or find you were volunteered to bring a dish for the family get-together – give this one a try!

Happy healthy eating!

Cathy

CHRISTMAS EVE TREAT: Peppermint Mocha


I am a coffee addict. Being a working mom of 2 kids, it is the staple of every morning. I will also sometimes use coffee an hour before a workout, as it is shown to improve endurance and reduce pain.
At holiday time, it’s nice to spice it up a bit, but I am always looking for ways to do so without the added sugar, calories and dairy products that most flavored lattes come along with. Did you know that a rather popular peppermint latte packs over 40 grams of sugar? That’s more than a can of soda.

So here is my simple Peppermint Mocha for chilly winter days that won’t sabotage your clean eating.

8 oz strong coffee
About 4oz coconut milk
1 tsp organic cocoa powder
1/2 tsp peppermint extract

I find it works best to mix in the blender or bullet. You can use a little honey for sweetener, and add some coconut whipped cream onto the top.
I hope you enjoy!

SUNDAY WISDOM: Beating Seasonal Stress

With the coming Holiday Season, we can inevitably expect those annual stressful pressures of entertaining, shopping, cooking, cleaning, wrapping, etc…sandwiched between parties and traditional family meals that offer perhaps one-too-many temptations to over-indulge. The irony here is that if you take any of those “obligations” outside the realms of the holidays, they alternatively provide moments of calm, self reflection, self care, valuable family time, and selfless thinking.

It might not help that the season for holidays piles one right on top of the other, but we’re aiming to take one day at a time anyways, aren’t we? Living in the present, which is a gift in and of itself.

So this year, I challenge you to change your perspective on any anticipated “Seasonal Stress”. Here are few ideas…

  1. Approach each of your goals and obligations with gratitude.
  2. Give thanks for a family to feed, a house to entertain in, a child to indulge.
  3. Remember how you used to shop in order to “de-stress.”
  4. Appreciate how cleaning up the last bits of dinner party/holiday remnants gives you back a bit of quiet time.
  5. Take a soft moment to reflect on the joys of sharing the love, light, and joy that so powerfully fill these few days of the year – these “Holy” days.

For me, this time of year brings 40+ performances of The Nutcracker! A lot of professional dancers dread this season because it is so taxing on the body…show after show after show… missing out on all of those holiday parties and the rush of Christmas shopping.. If I’m honest, it does seem a bit ominous, but on the bright side, it gives me 40+ chances to make magic for children! Every performance brings to life snow flakes and flowers and dancing dolls and Sugarplum fairies..I get to call this my job!

We have so much to be grateful for. Let us seek an enlightened perspective on the Season this time around!

Below, a picture by Liza Voll of the Snow Scene from Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker,
Boston Ballet, December 2013

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