Build flexibility and strength through yoga or gymnastics poses that are new and fun, but also challenging! Bring your joy into your movement and feel strong. These exercises will increase your flexibility and freedom of movement. Every week, choose a strength pose and a stretch pose to practice daily. Hold the power position for as long as you can- time yourself! Or start with one minute. Push yourself by adding 15-30 seconds each day.
Use the suggestions below, or come up with your own.
Here are some descriptions of each pose and tips to help you get the most out of it:
Strength pose: Plank Position
Line up your heels, hips, and shoulders. Position elbows underneath your shoulders and push shoulder blades away from neck. Get your shoulder blades to slide down the back of your ribs. Engage glutes and lift the back of the shoulders towards the ceiling Modified version would be to put your knees on floor and line knees, hips, and shoulders. Hold for your maximum amount, then rest that amount.
Stretch pose: Child’s Pose
This is where you relax. Let go and gravity stretch out your back, quads and hips. The goal is to get your butt between the heels and rest your head onto the floor.
Strength pose: Reverse Table Top
Sit down and bring your hands as close as you can towards each other, point your finger tips to the sides. Pop your chest out as much as you can to stretch. Keep arms straight- don't use the tricep muscles. Tuck your chin and place your heels under your knees and keep your weight on your heels as you lift your glutes as much as you can. The goal is to engage glutes, stretch chest out, open up the front of your body, and engage the back- even in between shoulder blades and mid-back.
Stretch pose: Plow Pose
Bring legs over torso. Use a block under your hips if needed. Placing your feet on the wall will let you relax your back and hamstrings. The goal is to stretch out the arch in your lower back and your hamstrings. Also stretches out lower traps.
Strength pose: Dolphin Pose
Lay on the floor, belly down, and position elbows under shoulders, biceps should be next to ears. Push hips up as you walk your feet towards your elbows, pushing the heels towards floor and opening up the back of your legs. The goal is to open your lats and relax your upper trapezius and neck by using your elbows to push into floor as you push your torso towards thighs. It's almost like a downward dog on elbows.
Stretch pose: Reverse Straddle
The goals are to stretch and open up adductors, hamstrings, calves, and lower back by letting gravity take over. Position butt against wall and open your legs away from each other as much as you can. Relax shoulder blades and head into floor. In fact, melt into the floor. You can bring your arms straight over head or to sides, open chest. Be open to just letting go.
Strength pose: Crescent Lunge
Starting from a forward lunge, bring the right knee forward over right heel, keeping the left leg back and straight so the left heel is off floor. Keeping square to the wall in front of you, bring your arms straight up over head, stretching the shoulders. Be sure to engage core so you don't work the lower back. The goal is to stretch left hip flexor and drive right heel into floor so you can work right glute and back of the leg.
Stretch pose: Downward Dog
From an extended arm plank, bring your torso towards thighs as you raise your hips. Use your arms and lats to stretch by pushing them into floor. The goal is to stretch out back of legs hamstring, thighs and lower back. Bend one knee and straighten the other, and keep switching until you can drop heels to floor.
When you decide you want to make healthy improvements to your diet and/or fitness, it can be daunting to get started. This is especially true if you would like to drastically change your current situation. You are more likely to reach your goals by making small, incremental changes, rather than by shooting for the stars.
In Atomic Habits, James Clear lays out practical steps for creating new habits and systems that will lead to long-lasting progress and change. He helps you understand how small wins compound to bring about the results you seek, and his advice is grounded in biology and psychology.
Packed with tips and success stories, this book is a helpful handbook that is easily applied to any situation. What habits will you create to reach your health and fitness goals?
The incredible chickpea- full of protein and fiber, low in calories, chickpeas are a smart snacking choice. I tried this easy air fryer recipe and discovered that it satisfied my craving for a crunchy, salty treat. Of course, the seasoning possibilities are endless, for example, you could go for cinnamon and sugar if you're after something sweet. Another, not insignificant, plus is that chickpeas are inexpensive. It took under 20 minutes from start to finish, with almost zero effort. So, yeah, I'm sold!
I followed the recipe as closely as possible (my air fryer has multiple settings- I chose the french fry setting). Basically, you rinse the beans and put them in the air fryer at 390 F for a total of 17 minutes. At 5 minutes, remove and spray with oil, return them to the air fryer for 10 minutes, add your spices, then let it go for 2 more minutes. That's it. I will experiment with the cooking time and possibly the settings, as I thought they may have been slightly overdone. I may also adjust the timing of adding the oil and seasonings.
Important to note- it passed the kid test; the two in my kitchen gobbled them up. The one negative comment I have is they were a bit dry. This may be remedied by simply taking them out sooner. I will comment below to let you know how it goes next time. I invite you to do the same.
Personal favorite is the chili lime!
Got 15 minutes?
Did you know that 15 minutes of exercise each day brings a variety of health benefits? As reported by the BBC and Time magazine, 15 minutes makes a difference on your lifespan and overall health. Brisk walking is enough, especially for those who are not exercising much currently.
If you spend 15 minutes on a high-intensity workout (HIIT), the benefits are magnified. Scientific studies show that they include:
The bottom line is- get moving! Shoot to give yourself at least 15 minutes day (but remember- make it a flexible preference, not a demand). I've been dropping short stretch and fitness videos on my YouTube channel to help you reach this goal. Let me know what you think!
Brought to You by Adriana
Living the good, fit life in Seattle, WA. Stay tuned for more bilingual fitness tips and nutritious recipes.