Friday Five

Let’s try something new! I want to share articles & products that I think are interesting, helpful, inspiring, funny, just plain good. I’m interested to see what you think! So take a look below for a quick description of each of the items and let me know how it goes! Which is your favorite?

Stuff You Should Know

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This podcast was introduced to me by my Fiancee over thanksgiving last year. I have listed to two podcasts a day since. I can’t get enough of it! They make my commute on the NYC subway system 1000x better.

Download it on iTunes – it’s free and I promise you’ll learn something. (Happy Mind)

HUM Nutrition

hum-nutrition

Their mission is simple: to become the best beauty nutrition business in the world. Depending on your needs, their nutritionists suggest micro nutrients that help support your health & beauty goals (my vitamins were Red Carpet, OMG! Omega The Great and Flatter Me). All this happens online and to make your life easier, they ship personalized vitamins, minerals and botanicals right to your doorstep. AMAZNG RIGHT!

Available online and at Sephora. (Happy Body)

Skinny Garlic Shrimp Recipe

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“I am from the Louisiana coast, so I MUST have seafood in my diet,” says Shelly Marie Redmond, MS, RD, LDN, founder of Skinny Louisiana. “I love making this for a date night or a quick weeknight meal.”

THE RECIPE: Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup chopped onions, 1 teaspoon chopped garlic, and 1 lemon, unpeeled and cut into small pieces. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add 1 pound of uncooked shrimp (look in freezer section of supermarket). Cover and cook 3 minutes, until shrimp turns pink. Reduce heat to medium and cook 12-12 minutes. Remove from heat. Let set 5-10 minutes.

(Serves 4) Per Serving: 170 calories, 8g fat, 1g sat fat, 3g carb, 1g fiber, 23g protein. (Happy Tummy)

Find more healthy recipes here.

The Equalizer

Not really the mood that this blog typically has but I loved it, so you’re hearing about it. If you’re into Action/Crime/Thriller movies, this is one you NEED to see. Denzel Washington plays a mysterious average man who brings the hammer down on some seriously messed up people. It was awesome!

IMDB Description: A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by – he has to help her. (Rated R)

Tuja Wellness 30 Day Meditation Chalenge

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This is currently in the middle of the30 days, but their 16th day Chakra Balancing meditation was so wonderful and I want you to try it out.

If you like it and want to sign up for the 30-Day Challenge Click here to sign up! (Happy Soul)

 

See you next week for the next Friday Five!

ROC RACE

Just think – rope swings, cargo nets and uphill climbs. Now think about the worlds largest water slide, foam pits and inflatable wrecking balls above a pool… Sounds like the most ridiculous 5k EVER right?! Right. Well, that’s what the ROC race 5k has to offer.

I HIGHLY recommend doing this 5k. There were walkers and runner the whole way, it is not a competitive run by any means but it sure was fun. I will do this run every year!

Pros: The best (and most ridiculous) obstacles I have ever completed. Foam. Water. 5k. More foam. More water. Even MORE foam at the step & repeat at the end for photos. There was a staircase to run up that had Eye of The Tiger playing with a life size Rocky cut out at the top. The run course went through a stadium, which was fun! The obstacles were very evenly The pros seriously outweigh the cons but here they are…

Cons: Not all obstacles that advertised water, had water. Monkey bars are hard.
There weren’t showers post run and although it’s just foam, it’s still nice to rinse off before changing. There weren’t any photographers (that I saw) other than at two obstacles.

Check it out here!

 

ROC Race 2013
ROC Race 2013

Upward Bow

This past weekend I was in Seattle with my sisters  who are pretty into yoga as well and while we were there, my younger sister was fixating on back bends because she felt like they really open up her chest to breathe better and feel better. So here it is! A post about how wonderful back bends are.

I suggest trying to do it every morning or evening, or both! Don’t worry about your level of flexibility or ability to hold the pose for a long period of time, because everyone starts at the same level. You may feel pressure in your head from being upside down, if so, just slowly come out of the pose and rock back and forth on your back.

Step by Step

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  • Lie on the floor with your knees bent and directly over heels and palms facing your shoulders, elbows bent.
  • Place arms at your sides, with palms facing down. Exhale, and press your feet into the floor as you lift hips.

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    For a more easy variation

  • Clasp hands under lower back and press arms down, lifting hips until thighs are parallel to floor, bringing chest toward chin. Hold for 1 minute.
  • Make it easier: Place a stack of pillows underneath your tailbone.

When you come out of the pose be sure to curl your body and rock out your back.

While in this pose focus on how your body feels, do not push your self too hard or make yourself feel uncomfortable.

Stay in the pose anywhere from 5 to 10 seconds or more, breathing easily. Repeat anywhere from 3 to 10 times.

A great thing to focus on while practicing the Upward Bow is the quote below. You will become better as you practice, just don’t rush it. The same with life, you will get where you are meant to be when it is right and not a moment too soon.

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Benefits to Upward Bow
Expands your chest and shoulders making your upper body and chest cavity feel open and light.
Stretches you hip flexors and core musculature. A majority of stress is held in your shoulders and hips.
Stretches your wrist flexor muscles, this is great because they are often not stretched enough.
Strengthens the muscles that control your shoulder blades, helping posture.
Relieves some forms of low back pain from stretching.

Image & Information from My Yoga Online and Fitness Magazine

6 Tips for Beginning Runners

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Get a Good Pair of Shoes
When I first started running I bought a “cute” pair of Sketchers with NO support what-so-ever. Man was that a mistake. Go to a local store and have them look at your stride, arch and weight distribution. They will be able to recommend a great pair of shoes. It is so important.

Do Not Train on a Treadmill
I am so against training for a run on Treadmills. They are for warm-ups in my opinion. It is like running on a trampoline. They give you false hope and once you step foot on the cement or track all of your progress just disappears.

Don’t be Afraid to Break
I personally take a 30 second break every mile I run, well, jog. When I started running I got discouraged when I couldn’t run 2-3 miles straight without wanting to die. So the 30 second break was implemented by my coach and it has seriously helped! e029de539162812b311808472d55653bDon’t be Afraid to be a Jogger
Yes I am a jogger. I jog a 12 minute mile at long distances, and I’m not ashamed. Lace up and hit the street, who cares how fast you are going as long as you are going.

Map My RunUse an App
MapMyRun, Nike Run and RunTracker are all great apps to track your trails, miles and pace. This is important to stay accountable and always be improving. I also use 8Tracks for my music app.

Water
Please don’t underestimate how much water you need.  Take more than you think and then some.

And remember! JUST KEEP GOING.

Jabz Boxing, You Kicked My Butt

Tuesday after work I went to try a new fitness class (and I’m going back today). Jabz Boxing for Women.  What it is, is a (certified Jabz) Trainer designs specific workouts for each day of the week so that clients will be challenged with new, dynamic exercises. Sometimes specific exercises are more challenging than others; Jabz Trainers are there to modify any exercise, making it possible to make all exercises attainable yet challenging for our wide range of clientele.

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Pre-workout Tips

  1. Plan in ADVANCE – these classes fill up QUICK! I had to plan two weeks in advance to even be able to sign up for my first class.
  2. You have to sign up online. Go to their site, choose the class you would like to take and schedule it!
  3. Once you get to the gym, Purchase MMA gloves ($30)
  4. Bring water and a towel
  5. Upon arrival, check in at front desk

New members will always be given an orientation on their first class by one of our Certified Jabz Trainers. It seemed overwhelming to me but once you get started it is fun.

The Class

  1. Arrive early. Warm up -10 minutes (they have bike training and jump rope)
  2. Daily Workout Demonstration – 5 minutes (performed by one of our Certified Jabz Trainers)
  3. Jabz Circuit Begins – 30-35 minutes – there are two. Around/inside the ring & weight training
  4. Stretch – 5 minutes (led by Certified Jabz Trainer)

There are stations set up throughout the entire building, around the ring, in the ring and in the back. You rotate the ring twice (the first time working your right side, the second working your left) then switch to the weight training. In between each set you do push-ups or curls, depending on what circuit you’re doing.  The whole time, there are trainers walking around helping you remember what exercise you’re supposed to be doing and showing you where to go.

So how was my experience? Slightly confusing – I feel like it might be best to give you a pros & cons list because that’s how I felt leaving the class.

It is all women
I felt like I was at a trendier version of Curves BUT there were no men to be self-conscious around, so that’s good.

It is a large-ish group workout
I felt like I was getting lost because it was so fast and there were so many women BUT everyone is very nice and eager to help.

You need to purchase gloves
If I decide at the end of the Groupon I don’t like it, I’m stuck with gloves BUT I do feel pretty cool owning boxing gloves, not going to lie.

The level of difficulty
I felt like I was at a warm up level the whole time BUT I used new muscles and there is NO SUCH THING as a waste of time if it involves your health/fitness.

So, do I recommend it? Of course! You should always try something at least once and it was fun!
Information from Jabz website.

Check them out here:
http://www.jabzboxing.com/
http://www.jabzboxing.com/the-jabz-workout.html

Benefits of Exercise

Lets make it quick – here are some quotes and an info-graphic on the benefits of working out!

“We found that people who are more physically active have more pleasant-activated feelings than people who are less active, and we also found that people have more pleasant-activated feelings on days when they are more physically active than usual,” study researcher Amanda Hyde, a kinesiology graduate student at Penn State, said.

“Exercise raises your heart rate and triggers a surge of hormonal changes. Expose yourself to this ‘stress’ enough and your body builds up immunity to it. Eventually, it will get better at handling the rest of life’s stressors,” says clinical psychologist Jasper Smits, Ph.D., coauthor of Exercise for Mood and Anxiety.

“When researchers blocked endorphins from runners’ brains, some still said their mood improved after their workout,” says John Ratey, M.D., author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

Dr. Ratey says, “is like Miracle-Gro for your brain.”

“Our results suggest that not only are there chronic benefits of physical activity, but there are discrete benefits as well,” Hyde said in the statement. “Doing more exercise than you typically do can give you a burst of pleasant-activated feelings. So today, if you want a boost, go do some moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise.”

Bell Rock Warrior – Virabhadra’s Pose

Practicing Warrior on Bell Rock

Practicing Warrior on Bell Rock

Hello hello!

Last weekend we went up to Sedona for some yoga/hiking. It is always interesting doing yoga during a hike, especially when your at a higher altitude than you are used to. It really makes you focus your breath. I love the background in this image, I just love Sedona in general though.

Virabhadra’s is the name of a warrior incarnation of Shiva. Described wearing a tiger’s skin with 1000 heads, eyes & feet. Also wielding a thousand clubs. Warrior improves legs muscles, hips strength & placement, back muscles, and shoulders.

“Learning to do the Warrior pose series safely and correctly is a major stepping-stone in your yoga practice”, says Seane Corn, a YogaLife advisor who teaches at Sacred Movement in Santa Monica, California, “because you’ll notice similar movements showing up in thousands of other yoga poses.”

To start this pose, begin in the traditional Downward Facing Dog.

Image from http://yoga.prevention.com

Now inhale while you bring your right foot forward (next to your right hand) as you come into a lunge. Ensure that your toes are in-line with your fingertips (as Alicia’s are below). Pivot on the ball of your left foot and drop your left heel down to touch the earth. Finally exhale while opening both arms and pulling the left hip back.

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Bring your hands to hearts center, exhale and reach arms up & back, lifting your rib-cage away from pelvic bones. Keep your palms together and head tilted back slightly.

Hold for about 30 seconds and release. Take a breath and flow through the other side.

Practicing Warrior on Bell Rock
Practicing Warrior on Bell Rock

Once you have completed bend forward to stretch your back.

Image from http://yoga.prevention.com

Where do you do yoga? I’d love to see some images of you practicing yoga in interesting/beautiful places!