Fit Ball Core and Strength Workout
Using a fit-ball is an easy way to get a full-body workout. The advantage of using a fit-ball as opposed to a workout on the floor is that it engages multiple muscle groups. It’s great to use when you are sitting at a desk for a long time, as it engages your core and improves your posture as you are sitting. Here are some great core exercises using a fit ball.
Place elbows on the fit ball and hold for 1 minute.
With the ball on the floor, place your shins on top of the ball and hands on the floor, and push up. This can be modified by keeping the ball closer to your torso. For more of a challenge, place the ball closer to your feet.
In pushup position with your feet on the ball and hands on the floor, place the ball on your shins.. roll the ball forward and pull your knees up towards your chest and back out.
Same movement as the tuck, but push your hips up. This will be a little bit more challenging
Do a chest press or fly with some free weights while your upper back is on the ball, feet on the floor. This will help you get that full upper body workout, and a workout for your legs and thighs as well.
Hold the ball between your feet/ankles and lower the ball to the floor. Lift the ball back up and pass to your hands, moving the ball towards the floor with your arms. Then, move the ball back up again and repeat. This is an excellent ab workout. It engages the lower and top part of your core.
8 lb. whole seedless watermelon, chilled (about 12 cups of cubed fruit)
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1 cup balsamic reduction (sauces and sides)
Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl and serve in half cup portions. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Serves 20
Calories: 137 Fat: 5g Sodium: 378mg Sugar: 13g Carbs: 18g
These 100 calorie protein balls are always a go-to handy snack to keep in the fridge for quick energy on busy days!
- 2 cups gluten-free oats
- ¼ cup canned pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 Tb flax seeds
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
- Wet your hands with water, take a handful of the mixture and roll it into 1 inch balls. Set on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes (or the freezer for 10 minutes), then transfer the energy balls to an airtight container.
- Store in the fridge.
If you’re looking for a workout that will target belly rolls, love handles & muffin tops, this is a good one to incorporate into your exercise routine! Complete this ab workout after your regular cardio workout 3-4 times a week and (along with a healthy balanced diet,) you’ll be on your way to a six pack!
Carbs. A word that elicits fear in any dieter. But you aren’t a dieter and low-carb diets are a thing of the past! instead, let’s focus on balance and quality. Americans DO in fact over-consume low-quality carbohydrates. However, carbohydrates themselves shouldn’t be feared. There are many ways to incorporate complex carbohydrates or a variety of grains, and still meet your weight loss or healthy lifestyle goals.
Typically carbohydrates are associated with deep-dish pizzas, large plates of pasta, loaves of bread, bags of chips and sugar-laden beverages. Even when trying to eat whole grains, most people get stuck in the rut of whole wheat breads, cereals and pastas. But just like we want variety in the other food groups, we want a variety of whole grains.
Regardless of quality, any grain or complex carbohydrate can easily be over consumed. Aim for 1/2 – 1 cup serving per meal. This is equivalent to two golf balls or a baseball. In order to watch your serving size:
- Load your plate with non-starchy vegetables (ex: broccoli, kale, asparagus, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, leafy greens, etc.) to add volume to your meal and leave less room for grains.
- Only cook the amount you will need OR once a large batch is finished cooking, pre-portion out single servings before sitting down to your meal.
- Keep your fist as a guide. If the serving is longer than a loose fist, you’re probably consuming too much.
In addition, grains can be swapped for starchy vegetables as well. Some examples of these include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Spaghetti, butternut or acorn squash
A great substitution is using spaghetti squash instead of pasta. Just cut the squash in half, place face down on a baking sheet covered with tin foil and bake for 30-45 minutes. Once cooled a bit, use a fork to scrape the flesh to resemble spaghetti noodles. Top with your favorite meat marinara or pesto sauce.
Last but not least, carbohydrates must always be paired with a protein and/or fat. (This also includes simple carbohydrates such as fruit). Not only will you feel better and more satisfied, it will also ensure proper and balanced nutrition to fuel your weight loss. Here are a few ideas:
- Veggie omelet with sweet potato or fruit
- Quinoa lettuce wraps with ground turkey
- Taco salad with chicken and beans
- Lean beef and brown rice stir fry with vegetables
- 2% Greek yogurt with fruit
- Hummus with olive oil and veggies
- Apple with peanut or almond butter
A balanced and nutritionally sound meal can include complex carbohydrates. Just think outside the box! Adding starchy vegetables or new grains to a meal complete with protein and veggies is always a good approach to health. Happy eating!
Adapted from a blog post by Emily Fonnesbeck, Registered Dietician