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How to Do a Proper Squat

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Somebody asked me the other day, what day was it in the gym?  If you know me at all, you know that at least three days a week I start my day at the gym with my trainer Leigh.  So what the question really was, was “ what muscle group were you working today?”

 Generally each day at the gym is dedicated to a certain muscle group; back and chest, arms and shoulders, bicep/ triceps, a whole body day, or leg day.  But my trainer has the attitude that everyday in some regard is leg day, ugh.  

Actually there is a really good reason for that.  Although focusing on a certain muscle group is really good for you for a few reasons, everyday leg day has a good reason too.  When you focus on a particular muscle group you can do just that, focus on that particular body part.  When focusing on a specific group, you really get the most out of each movement.  You feel that muscle move and you really know when you are working it rather than using other muscles to compensate for weakness.  It also allows your muscles to rest and recover which allows for a lesser chance of doing damage and injury.  This also applies to legs.  We do have dedicated leg days.

Each and every day has legs involved because it is your largest muscle group.  If you are looking to get your metabolism charged up for a workout, start with legs.  I am not talking complicated leg exercises, but get those major muscle groups working.  The easiest way to do that is squats.

Squats are a basic in our gym.  We do them in some form or another each and every workout.  It gets my body warmed up fast, starts the heart pumping, and gets me ready for whatever is coming.  They don’t have to be complicated, as a matter of fact they are not supposed to be.  If you find yourself watching videos on workouts, squats should be pretty basic with only a few variables.

Ok, what is a squat.  It is what babies do thousands of times a day and the older we get, the less we do.  If you were to stand in front of a chair and start to sit and change your mind halfway down, you just did a squat.  Now do that again, and again, and again.

There are a few things to keep in mind.  Form is really important.  It is not complicated, but it is important.

  • Stand with your feet planted firmly with your weight on the heels and balls of your feet.  Not on your toes.  You should be able to wiggle your toes.
  • Find a spot ahead of you to focus on.  As you begin to squat, you should focus on that spot, don’t be looking down at your knees.
  • Start by bending at the hip.  Think hip, not knees. 
  • Push your bum back as if you were going to sit on the potty and then come up as you realize the toilet seat has been left up.
  • Do your best to lower yourself to a full squat which means your hips are parallel with your knees.

If you are new to squats, use a chair, bench, box, stool to use as a measure of how low to go.  You can go lower if you want, but if you don’t go low enough, you don’t get the full value from them.

Once you have mastered the squat, try doing them each day.  At our gym we have had squat challenges.  Doing them every day, with or without weight for a month.  They should be part of your go-to exercises.

They can be done anywhere and you can even add weights to your hands to make them more difficult.  Doing a squat with your back on the wall also adds a bit of a challenge because the point here is to hold that squat for as long as you can and believe me it is tough to do.

The more you can add body weight movements to your day, the fewer reasons you will have to not get them done in a day. This is one of those that we should all do, especially considering the fact that as we age, we all use the public washrooms more and more.  If our legs are not up to it, one day we may feel that cold splash when we least expect it.

So do your squats.

 

My mom passed away at 41 from diabetes. And I'm 42, thank you. I didn't want to do that to my son. So any time I was at the gym, that thing that helped me do that last squat was my son calling some other woman mommy. And that would just give me that extra oomph to do that last squat. I want to be around for him. – Sherri Shepherd

 

Can Grocery Delivery Services Help You Eat Better?

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In our area, grocery delivery service is expanding.  I found out about it several years ago and used it.  

I was preparing for some minor surgery and part of my recovery was that I could not lift anything heavier than a jug of milk.  Yuck.  So when I found this service from my local supermarket, I tried it out and loved it.

I have gone back to shopping in person, but part of that is because I am reading a lot of labels now and I actually enjoy doing it and I have the time privilege.  

The use of these delivery services I think is great.  I completely agree with all of the points in this article and when I thought about writing an article based on the same thing I thought, why, its all pretty clear here.  Anything to help the hardest part of the process is a good thing.  If having the junk food in the house is an issue for you, try delivery.  

http://blog.myfitnesspal.com/can-grocery-delivery-services-help-eat-better/

10 Ways to Enjoy What You Eat

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When you are talking about diet, what does that mean to you?

Does that mean, the food you eat?  As in your diet.  Or does it mean a restrictive way of eating?  As in you are ‘on a diet’.  It all depends on your perspective.

There are the people out there that will always see the word ‘diet’ as a dirty word.  It just implies all sorts of negative feelings and it doesn’t matter how you talk about it, it is just an awful word.  If you use the word diet as a way of describing the food you eat, it won't have nearly the same effects emotionally.

I ask this question because when we talk about losing a few pounds, or even talk about losing a lot of weight, the subject comes around to the food you eat.  As it should, but in most people, it has the same feeling as ‘Monday Morning' ugh.

This is where it comes down to perspective.  If you really hate Monday mornings, is it really that day you hate or is it your job you hate?  Once you are retired, the days of the week are completely irrelevant.  So, if eventually, Mondays will no longer be so toxic, will the word diet get that same disregard?  Probably not, because we will still be eating.

If we continue to eat, should we not figure out a way to do it in a way that we enjoy it without it causing us to regret everything we consume?

So, people talk about food as if it had emotions tied to it.  The food does not have emotions tied to us, so why do we eat when dealing with emotions?

I am not an expert in eating disorders.  Let me make that really clear.  What I do know is that nearly everyone I know has a ‘go-to’ food when they are sad and whenever we celebrate we eat.  For whatever reason, we eat in a direct relation to our emotions.  So if this is true, and I really believe it is, shouldn’t we learn to enjoy our food?

We are, believe it or not, wired to receive and experience pleasure.  It is how we are made.  We do our best to make babies laugh.  Not because we are just nice people, but because a baby laugh is one of the most contagious things out there.  Ok, I have to admit, thinking about baby laughs, I just went to youtube and looked up baby laughs and it is now playing in the background.  And then went to my own phone to listen to my own grandson laugh, because after all, it is the best in my world.

I think we love this laugh because it is so real.  They don’t control it. It is not fake.  It is not restricted.  It is so real.  It is also what most of us wish we did more often.  I have talked about this before, Smile.  And it is still the same.  We are wired for pleasure, so we need to make sure we have some, even in our food.

I recently heard a doctor talking about our diet and our diets.  When we choose to restrict our diet and put ourselves on a diet, we stop enjoying the food we are eating.  We look at what we are restricting ourselves from and we no longer get any pleasure from what we are eating.  This causes our brains to want what we have decided to do without.  So by not eating carbs, that is the thing that our brains focus on and it becomes a vicious cycle.  

  • “ I want a bowl of chips.  
  • You can’t have a bowl of chips.
  • Yes , but I want one.
  • Don’t you want that summer body?
  • Right now all I want is a bowl of chips.
  • Fine just have a small bowl.
  • Yum!
  • Why did I do that?
  • I must get back on track.”
  • “I want a bowl of chips.”

Sound familiar?

All of us who have restricted ourselves have felt this.  It is only natural.  The key to overcoming that is by doing everything you can to enjoy what you actually are eating.  If you really are enjoying what you are eating, the pull toward the “forbidden” is not as strong.  And then when you do reward yourself with some ‘not on the program’ food, you don’t need as much to feel fulfilled. And won’t feel the new way of eating as a punishment but rather as a way of fueling your body and comprising on the way to eat vs the cravings of junk.

So, do what you can to enjoy the food you are eating:

  1. Drink from a crystal glass
  2. Use your china
  3. Light a candle
  4. Sit in the dining room
  5. Remember to ‘plate’ your food
  6. Slow down and taste each bite
  7. Use spice to stop boredom
  8. Change it up, try new things
  9. Try not to eat alone, the company is a good thing.
  10. Use colorful food, beige is boring.

It’s your body, your choice.  Choose to enjoy your food.

Looking good and feeling good go hand in hand. If you have a healthy lifestyle, your diet and nutrition are set, and you're working out, you're going to feel good. – Jason Statham

Chia Seed Pudding

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Ok, so this is going to be a little different for most of you.  I got introduced to chia a couple of years ago and it has taken a little getting used to.  It is really good for you.  

It completely changes its texture as it soaks in liquid and makes for a really cool thing to add to puddings to get that jelly type texture.

Chia is full of a surprising amount of nutrients for its size.

  • Chia Seeds Deliver a Massive Amount of Nutrients With Very Few Calories
  • Almost All The Carbs in Them Are Fiber
  • Chia Seeds Are Loaded With Antioxidants
  • Chia Seeds Are High in Quality Protein
  • Due to The High Fiber and Protein Content, Chia Seeds Should be Able to Help You Lose Weight
  • Chia Seeds Are High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Chia Seeds May Improve Certain Blood Markers, Which Should Lower The Risk of Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes
  • They Are High in Many Important Bone Nutrients
  • Chia Seeds Can Cause Major Improvements in Type 2 Diabetics
  • Chia Seeds Can Improve Exercise Performance as Much as a Sports Drink
  • Chia Seeds Are Easy to Incorporate Into Your Diet

So, if you are going to incorporate something new into your diet, try Chia Seeds.
http://www.alive.com/recipe/chia-seed-pudding/