Exercises

Straight-Armed Side Plank

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Starting Position

Begin by sitting on your right hip with your legs stacked to your left, your right arm straight, and your right hand on a balance board, placed directly underneath your right shoulder (not pictured). With legs and feet stacked, slowly lift your right hip away from the floor, keeping the right arm straight and extending both legs to balance in a side plank position (pictured).

Action

Breathe steadily as you hold the side plank position for 15-30 seconds, keeping your abs engaged and the right side of your waist pulled away from the floor at all times. For added intensity, extend your left arm up toward the ceiling (pictured). Gradually work your way up to holding the plank for 1-3 minutes for an isometric core challenge. Repeat on opposite side.

Special Instructions

Hold your body as still as possible and try to keep the balance board steady, too. Remember to breathe. Try to square your chest and shoulders with the front of the room, keeping your body in one plane. To decrease intensity, place left hand on the hip instead of extending it (not pictured).

Make it easier: Instead of stacking your legs and feet, stagger one leg in front of the other.

Muscles Worked: Abs, Obliques

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/exercises.asp?exercise=343

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10 Ways to Find Time for Exercise

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What’s the No. 1 excuse for not working out? Lack of time. Sure, we’re all busy handling multiple priorities and rushing around from here and there every day. However, I promise that no matter how busy you are, someone even busier than you are is working out right now.

 If you look closer, you’ll discover that you do have the time to work out—and you deserve to use that time for yourself. Squeezing in just a few minutes of physical exercise a day has huge benefits on your health, gives you energy and perks up your mood. In fact, a new study published by The Lancet found that if inactive people increased their physical activity by just 15 minutes per day, they could reduce their risk of death by 14% and increase their life expectancy by three years. Also, remember that “working out” doesn’t have to happen in the gym or last for an hour! Short 10-minute bursts of exercise, accumulated over the course of the day, can add up to big fitness and health gains, too. Still not convinced that you have the time to exercise? Here’s how to start fitting fitness into your busy life today!

10 Practical Tips to Fit Fitness into Your Busy Life

1. Wake up earlier. Sleep is definitely important for overall health and weight-loss, but could you hit the sheets just 30 minutes earlier, so that you could get up and work out before your day starts? Working out in the morning has numerous benefits including regulating appetite, boosting energy and—perhaps the biggest benefit of all—an A.M. sweat session ensures that your workout is checked off first thing each day! Because really, how many times have you had the best intentions to exercise in the evening, only to have to work late, help your kids with a project or generally just feel too exhausted to get off the couch? With morning workouts, the time problem is solved!

2. Cut down on media. For just a few days, record how much time you spend surfing the Internet, checking personal email, watching TV and playing video games whether it’s on your computer or your phone. You just might be surprised at how much time you spend on Facebook or playing Angry Birds. Just a few minutes here and there can add up to an hour or more each day. Cut out just some of that screen time and, voila, you suddenly have time to squeeze in at least 10 or 15 minutes of exercise into even the busiest day.

3. Be an active TV watcher. It’s unrealistic to never watch TV or to shun the Internet forever. So when you do, try to incorporate some physical activity. When watching TV, make it a point to do some jumping jacks or push-ups during commercials. Doing a little exercise during the commercial breaks can add up to almost 20 minutes of fitness for every hour of TV you watch. And instead of sitting in a chair when on the computer, try sitting on a stability ball or stack your computer up on some books so that you have a standing desk to surf from. No matter how you do it, try not to sit for more than 20 minutes at a time!

4. Try an active commute. One of the best ways to fit exercise into your life is by incorporating it into your school or work transportation routine. If you live close enough, consider biking to work. If you take the bus, walk to a bus stop that’s an extra block or two away, or get off the bus a stop sooner than usual and get a few more steps in. And if you drive to work, park as far away as you can—even a few blocks away, if possible.

5. Make it part of your routine. One reason it’s so challenging to fit exercise into a busy schedule is because we’re not used to doing it. Heck, it takes time to brush your teeth in the morning, but you do it, don’t you? You brush your teeth every day because it’s important and because it’s almost second nature to get up and do it. Start making some form of exercise—whether it’s walking the dog, doing 10 minutes of yoga or going for a bike ride after dinner—a daily tradition, just like showering, brushing your teeth or hitting the coffee shop on the way to work. It’s easy to fit in exercise for a few days here or there, but by incorporating it into your daily routine like you would your hygiene, you take the process of working out away from willpower and into habit.

6. Mix socializing with exercising. Do you normally spend time with your family or friends by going to dinner, watching sports on TV or going to movies? Make your social time more active by planning events that get all of you moving. Go for a family hike on a beautiful Saturday morning, play a game of tag football with your buddies during halftime, or make a date with your significant other or best friend on the treadmill. There are so many options for squeezing more activity into your social calendar!

7. Turn chores into exercise. While cleaning might not be the most fun activity, it’s something we all have to do, and it can definitely be a workout if you want it to be. Set a kitchen timer for 20 minutes and see how much of the house you can clean. Try to be as efficient and quick-paced as possible, and I guarantee you’ll work up a sweat. If you’re doing lighter housework that is harder to get your heart rate up (like laundry or organizing), throw in some lunges or push-ups every few minutes to start feeling the burn!

8. Schedule an appointment. If you had scheduled a doctor’s appointment, you wouldn’t miss it would you? How about that important business meeting? Of course not. Working out is actually as important as going to the doctor or any other obligation that you prioritize, because it helps you perform better as a worker, parent, student or volunteer, and keeps you in tip-top shape. So whether it’s scheduling in an hour to go to that group exercise class, investing in personal training sessions or even making a date with yourself to do that workout DVD over your lunch break, write it in pen in your calendar and treat it like any other appointment you can’t miss!

9. Find an activity you love. Think of your favorite hobby or pastime. Do you have trouble finding time to do it? Most likely, you make time for it because you enjoy it so much. It’s the things we don’t enjoy that we put off and don’t feel bad about missing. That’s why it’s best to choose a physical activity that you actually enjoy and look forward to. Not only are you more likely to do it, but it also adds more fun into your life. And we all could use some more fun in our busy lives, right?

10. Say no. If you’ve gone through this entire list of tips and don’t think a single one will work in your life, then it’s time to look at your priorities and responsibilities. Do you really have to bake cookies for that fundraiser? Babysit for your sister? Take on that extra project at work? Attend that wedding shower of your second cousin? Remember that there’s nothing wrong in saying no. Yes, we all have obligations to others, but don’t forget about the obligation you have to yourself to take care of your body and your health! Remember, exercise gives you energy and keeps you healthy to keep going in that busy life of yours! So don’t think of exercise as another to-do to squeeze in on your already busy schedule. Instead, think of it as maintenance for your health and a way to de-stress and do something for you!

 http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=1675

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Work Your Core

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Whenever you walk or run, your core muscles are active, keeping you upright, balancing your body as your weight shifts, and absorbing the impact as your feet hit the ground. Your body’s core forms the foundation of all your movement. If your core is weak, you are susceptible to poor posture and injury. Lower back pain is also more likely to occur.

Your core muscles lie deep within your torso and pelvis. They are layered, overlapping and connected to each other.

Unlike weight lifting, a core-strengthening program exercises your whole system at once. You also don’t need any equipment. The strength you use in holding a position, as well as the gravitational pull of your own weight, work out the core muscles. You’ll be surprised at how great an effect a simple routine can have on your daily living activities.

The Core Benefits
The major core muscle is called the transversus abdominis. It is deep in your abdomen and circles your torso. To feel it contract, pull your belly button toward your spine. Hold the contraction for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat several times. You can do this exercise anytime, anywhere.

Breathing is important while you do core exercises. Practice breathing deeply from your diaphragm before starting core exercises. Sit or stand with your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Exhale through your mouth for 6 seconds, expelling as much air from your lungs as you can. Then inhale for 6 counts, feeling your belly and chest expand as your lungs fill with air. Repeat 3 times, then breathe at a more normal pace throughout your exercises.

The following core exercises are simple enough to do on your own. To be safe, you should always check with your doctor before trying any new exercises.

Leg Press
Lie on the floor with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor. Raise your right leg off the floor with the knee still bent until your leg forms a 90-degree angle. Rest your right hand on the kneecap. Push against your knee with your right hand while pulling your knee toward your hand with your abdominal muscles. Hold for 3-4 deep breaths. Repeat with the left leg and hand.

Abdominal Crunch
Lie on your back and place your feet on the wall, so that your knees form a 90-degree angle. Cross your arms on your chest. Keep your gaze fixed forward. Using your abdominal muscles—not your neck—lift your chest as far as you can off the floor, even if it is only an inch or two. Hold for 2-3 seconds if you can, then release. Repeat 8 times. Remember to breathe deeply throughout this exercise.

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=428&page=2

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Find Inspiration within your Temptations

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Getting motivated–and staying motivated–can be difficult, and when temptations abound, it seems like the world is conspiring to keep you indoors, on the couch and stuck in your unhealthy life.

Instead of viewing temptations as roadblocks, think of them as motivators–the devil on your shoulder, if you will. Their presence in your life should be just what you need to keep you from losing momentum, standing still or taking a break from your healthy journey. If you stop, they’ll get you; if you stay one step ahead, you’ll always come out on top. Temptations are like misunderstood Muses. They give you the chance to be creative while reaching your goals.

Temptation No. 1: Sleeping in or hitting the snooze alarm.

Inspiration: Taking care of your body.

Get your eight hours a night. If you’re consistently sleeping through your alarm or hitting the snooze bar more than twice, consider changing your sleep schedule. Try to head to bed earlier–even just 15 or 30 minutes can make a difference.

To help you stay healthy and manage your weight, you need adequate sleep. Sleep loss affects the levels of certain hormones, which can in turn affect your metabolic processes and adversely affect your health.

Sleep experts say most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for optimum performance, health and safety. When we don’t get adequate sleep, we accumulate a sleep debt that can be difficult to “pay back” if it becomes too big. The resulting sleep deprivation has been linked to health problems such as obesity and high blood pressure, negative mood and behavior, decreased productivity, and safety issues in the home, on the job, and on the road.

Sleep loss also can cause a lack of desire to achieve goals because you feel fatigued and “run down.” Sleep is also important in developing lean muscle tissue. When you work out, you are actually tearing your muscles – sleep and proper nutrients help rebuild the muscle so that you get stronger.

Temptation No. 2: Grabbing takeout or stopping at a drive-thru.

Inspiration: Making smart choices.

Ideally, you should drive by the drive-thru and cook healthful meals at home every night. However, not all takeout is created equal, and you can find some healthful options at chain restaurants and even your neighborhood deli. See this temptation as a challenge to be creative and bring home a healthful meal when you’re in a hurry.

Plan ahead if you can, build a meal around vegetables and choose small portions to keep your takeout from taking away your self-control. (Find hundreds of tips and strategies to help you make smart, healthy choices when you’re away from home here.)

Follow the same rules at a restaurant that you would at home: Choose whole grains when possible, fill half your plate with vegetables and fruit, and opt for lean cuts of meat and low-calorie preparations.

Baked potatoes, side salads, fruit cups and milk are ubiquitous at fast food restaurants these days. See this as an opportunity to stare French fries in the face–and win!

Temptation No. 3: Grazing on junk food all night long.

Inspiration: Getting to the root of a problem.

Before you start chastising yourself for blowing your calorie budget after a good day of healthy, mindful eating, think about why you are snacking. Mindless munching is usually anything but.

Are you thirsty? Many hunger pangs are actually just thirst in disguise. Drink a glass of water and wait 20 minutes. If your hunger subsides, you weren’t really hungry after all.

What did you eat for dinner? If you tried to save calories or reduce your carb intake by having a green salad or just a plate of veggies, it’s no wonder you’re hungry. Your body needs a bit of variety to stay happy. Protein takes longer to digest and helps keep you fuller longer. Toss some grilled chicken chunks, a small can of tuna or a half-cup of beans on your salad tomorrow night to give it some staying power. In the meantime, reach for a small servings of whole-grain crackers with a tablespoon of nut butter. The combo of fat, protein and carbs will tide you over until morning.

Are you stressed or upset about something? Instead of reaching for the chocolate bar or the chips, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Eating your feelings leaves you feeling worse than when you started. Go for a walk, get out of the kitchen, remove trigger foods from the house–whatever it takes.

To get a handle on emotional eating, you first need to understand it. Learn more about this common food problem, which is the cause of 75% of overeating, according to experts. Once you know your food weaknesses, you’ll be prepared to confront those evening cravings instead of surrendering to them.

Temptation No. 4: Vegging out on the couch.

Inspiration: Taking time for you.

You get home from work and gaze longingly at the sofa. You had a long day, and a bit of rest sounds much better than socializing or spending time with others. You just want to be alone with your feet up, mind empty and the TV on.

Devote a chunk of time each week or each day to yourself. Maybe it’s 15 minutes, or maybe it’s two hours. Put yourself first as often as you need to.

Instead of punishing yourself for being lazy, use this “me” time in a productive way. Do a crossword puzzle, read a book, watch a movie, call a friend, pick up knitting, or cuddle with your child or partner.

Anticipate this respite from the hustle and bustle of your life and plan for it. Watch your favorite TV show, paint your nails, ask your partner to give you a foot rub. Reward yourself for being motivated, sticking with your healthy lifestyle plan and working out regularly. A bit of time spent doing nothing can help carry you through the rest of your hectic and action-packed life. (Read our Rest & Relaxation articles for more tips.)

Temptation No. 5: Skipping your workout.

Inspiration: Changing up your workout.

You know how great you feel when you finish a workout: refreshed, revived and rejuvenated. You feel strong, confident and happy. So why would you want to skip exercise? Quite often, the reason is boredom.

Does your workout schedule run on repeat? Do you do the same thing at the same time and in the same place every day?

Now that you’ve made fitness a part of your life, try shaking up your routine from time to time. Instead of walking laps around the park in your neighborhood, try taking a new route. If you belong to a gym, trade the Stairmaster for the elliptical or the treadmill for the stationary bike.

Tired of your DVDs? Trade with a friend or head to the library. Take a new class: Zumba, cardio dance, Pilates, yoga or Spinning are fun ones to try. Ask a trainer at your gym or a fit friend for suggestions. Speaking of which, one of the best ways to shake up your workout is to enlist a friend to blast calories with you. You can catch up on each other’s lives while you firm up.

When temptations step in your path, don’t cower. Confront them and enlist them as your allies. Soon you’ll be stronger and more determined and will have traveled a little farther in your healthy living journey.

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/motivation_articles.asp?id=1356&page=6

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Bicycle Crunch

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Bicycle Crunch – A great exercise for your abs!

  1. Lie on the floor and lace your fingers behind your head.
  2. Bring the knees in towards the chest and lift the shoulder blades off the floor without pulling on the neck.
  3. Straighten the left leg out while simultaneously turning the upper body to the right, taking the left elbow towards the right knee.
  4. Switch sides, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee.
  5. Continue alternating sides in a ‘pedaling’ motion for 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps.
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New Workout!!

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Ciruit 1:

10 Jump Squats

10 Sumo Jumps

20 Pushups

REPEAT 3 TIMES

Circuit 2:

10 Iso bicep curls each arm separate 10-15 lb dumbbells

10 Bench pec fly 10 -15 lb dumbbells

REPEAT 3 TIMES

Ab Circuit:

40 Crunch Pulse

20 Side Crunch on each side

REPEAT 3 TIMES

DO ABOVE 3 DAYS THIS WEEK!

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Bemidji’s Outdoor Obstacle Course

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Tired of the same old workout? Are you unmotivated to workout indoors during the summer?

We have an outdoor obstacle course that is challenging, fun and will give you a great workout. Bring your friends, coworkers, or family members and have a competition.

The InCharge Fitness outdoor obstacle course features plyometric boxes, figure 8 run, rope climbing, hurdles, tire run and hopscotch ladder. The MedSave staff did the obstacle course on Friday morning 6 times along with some additional exercises and all agreed that it was fun and the best workout they have had in a long time.

Call InCharge Fitness at 444-8138 to find out when the Outdoor Obstacle is set up and available for us. It is FREE to use for members and $5 for non-members.

Hope everyone has a fantastic day!

To Happy, Healthy Living!
InCharge Wellness Team

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Workout of the Week

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Tricep/Back/Shoulder Workout for the
week of 5-23-11

Some of the exercises in this circuit are set up for the equipment that we have at InCharge Fitness. Please leave us a comment if you have any questions.

Circuit 1:

3 sets 10 lunge jumps

3 sets 20 double kickbacks 5-15lb dumbells

3 sets 10 shoulder press twists 10-20 lb dumbbells

3 sets 10 lat pulldown 20-100lbs

 

Circuit 2:

3 sets 10 leg extension 45-100 lbs

3 sets 15 bench dips

3 sets 10 row machine with 20-80 lbs

 

Ab Circuit:

3 sets 20 Upper Ab Machine 10-50 lbs

3 sets 10 lower Ab Machine 0-10 lbs

Bicep/Chest Workout 5-23-11

 

Circuit 1:

3 sets 10 hall jumps

3 sets 10 bench push-up

3 sets 10 3-way bicep curl 10-15lb dumbbells

 

Circuit 2:

3 sets 10 squats on smith machine bar only-50lbs

3 sets 10 reverse lat pulldown 20-100lbs

3 sets 10 suicide 7′s bicep curl 10-20lbs

 

Ab Circuit:

3 sets 40 basic crunch

3 sets 20 leg roll

3 set 15 side crunch on each side


To Happy, Healthy Living!

Amy Dubray

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Perseverance

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There is a quote on a poster that hangs at InCharge Fitness that states “Perseverance…what lies behind us and what lies before us is small compared to what lies within us (Ralph Waldo Emerson).”  As I was running on the treadmill I thought about how exercise helps us realize what we have inside of us.  When we do that extra repetition of a bicep curl or do cardio for that extra five minutes we push past a mental threshold that reminds us of the “stuff” we are made of.  This is easy to forget when we are bombarded by everyday life stress.  Exercise is one area of your life that you can control.  It is up to you to decide to put your health and personal fitness above all else.  If you put wellness first, everything you do will feel easier.   I know that often, the last thing you feel you have time for is exercise.  Make time for yourself, even if you only have 15 minutes, do something that gets your heart pumping.  As always, HAPPY EXERCISING AND STAY CONSISTENT!   

To Happy, Healthy Living,
Amy Dubray, CPT, CWC

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It takes 3 weeks to make or break a habit!

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It takes 3 weeks to make a break a habit. After you start an exercise program, consistency is key to making it a part of your daily habitual routine! Don’t fall back on excuses. Schedule workouts as you would any other important activity. Make it part of your daily schedule and you will be amazed how quickly it’s no longer a barrier and it becomes part of your daily routine.

To Happy, Healthy Living!
Amy Dubray

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