All Posts by FitishMoms

Baked Salmon & Asparagus

We all know that salmon is good for the brain but did you know that salmon is great after you workout? Research suggests that the omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon may help reduce post-exercise muscle inflammation. It lowers the amount of prostaglandin, a naturally produced compound in the body that can trigger inflammation. Additionally, salmon is packed with lean protein, which is essential in cell generation and promotes muscle repair.

At just 4 calories a spear, asparagus is the perfect side dish to go with your salmon. It is very low in fat and half of its calories are from protein.

Baked Salmon & Asparagus

Salmon is very easy to make. A lot of people get scared to cook it but the truth is, there isn’t much faster food, that tastes delicious around. The trick is getting the right Salmon. You want wild salmon bought from a good market. You can buy fillets or steaks. It should not smell fishy at all.

Asparagus Ingredients and Instructions

1 LB Fresh Asparagus Spears
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 TSP Himalayan Sea Salt
1/4 TSP Fresh Ground Black Pepper
2 TBS Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Butter (or you can skip if you are cutting fat)

Trim asparagus spears by breaking off the hard end and carefully peeling the hard layer off the stems with a vegetable peeler. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat, turn up to medium high stir in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic but don’t allow to brown. Add in the asparagus and cook for 10 minutes turning often to ensure that asparagus is evenly cooked and coated with seasonings.

Baked Salmon Ingredients and Instructions

4 3 ounce Salmon Fillets
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Olive Oil to Drizzle

On a non stick baking sheet place seasoned fillets skin side down. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 450 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until fish flakes easily. Serve with asparagus on the side.

30 Day Squat Challenge

This is the perfect squat challenge for beginners! Squats work your glutes, quads, hamstrings, hips, and even your abs. A full-body workout! By the end of the challenge you will have a stronger core.

New to squats?
You can use a chair to stabilize yourself until you are comfortable and can deepen the squat.

Need a challenge?
If you are already comfortable using your body weight add some dumb bells for added weight.

Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise.





Are you Drinking Enough Water?

Are you getting enough water? Hydrating, like diet, is extremely important in fitness and in sport in general. If the body does not get enough calories during physical effort, it can take them from its own ‘deposits’ of adipose tissue, or even from the muscular proteins; but when water is insufficient, things are much more complicated and there are bigger risks for the body.

Water is involved in all the metabolic processes, so not providing the body with enough liquid can have as a consequence perturbation of the bio-chemical reactions, which directly influences the effectiveness of the training and even the practitioner’s state of health.

Physical effort, especially the aerobic one, leads to dehydration through perspiration (which regulates the temperature of the body, preventing over-heating). There is a very strict rule which imposes drinking water (liquid) before, during and after physical effort. Besides regulating the body temperature, correct hydrating helps eliminating the toxic substances resulted during and after the training (urea, sodium, etc.) easier; hydration acts like a ‘means of transport’ through perspiration and urine. Thus, the metabolism of blood sugar, lipids and proteins is developed in good conditions, ensuring contraction force for short time and especially for resistance efforts.




There is also the opposite of dehydration – over hydration, due to excessive consume of water. In this situation, besides the inconvenient of very frequent urination, the blood vessels are overloaded and this leads to making the work of the heart, which must provide a much too big volume of pumping, more difficult. As a consequence, the effectiveness of the training is hindered and the sport performance does not get to the expected level. The sensation of ‘heavy body’ can also appear for the practitioner of common fitness.

As for the type of liquids, the sportsman must supervise the level of effort which produces dehydration and melting of the glycogen reserves. Besides water, the practitioner can use isotonic drinks, (which have an electrolytic composition similar to the one of the body) or liquids containing sugar easy and quick to absorb by the body (fructose, glucose, dextrose, etc.). All of these can contribute to fast restore of the glycogen reserves of the body. It is advisable to drink the liquids in small and frequent doses, so that the body assimilates them better and they do not briskly overload the body during effort.




Both in over hydrating and in dehydrating, there is the risk of ‘putting to work’ too much the renal excretory function. Over hydrating can have as a consequence significant elimination of electrolytes, which are precious for the body (potassium, sodium, iron, zinc, etc), and they need to be replaced from sources as natural as possible (fruit, vegetables, mineral water, etc.). In case of dehydrating, the volume of urine will be severely diminished because the body will try to retain mineral salts and vitamins. Besides unwanted deposits, renal lithiasis, gout, etc., a very severe consequence of this effort of the body to retain liquid is renal blocking.

Correct hydrating involves a certain discipline, which means that liquids must be consumed repeatedly during the day, not only during physical effort. A person must not get to feel thirst. This is only a very late alarm, signaling that the right quantity of water has been missing from the body for a couple of hours. Except while eating and immediately after, in order not to perturb digestion by excessive diluting, a real prophylaxis of dehydrating and over hydrating can be made through correct, constant and preventive consume of liquids.

Calf Cramps – 5 Ways to Avoid the Pain

If you are a runner, then I am sure that you will know about calf cramps.

Imagine this scenario if you will. Let’s say that you are 7.5k into a 10k run and the road starts to incline. Ever so slightly, but enough to put that extra strain on your legs as you try to maintain contact with the leaders. And the temperature? Well, it’s the morning, but it’s hot and liable to get hotter before the end. And to make matters worse, you were so desperate to maintain contact with the leading group, that you forgot to take on liquid at the last feeding station. And did you use tight fitting calf length socks? I know they are all the rage, but why did you do it?

So what do we have here?

* Extra strain on muscles?
* Dehydration?
* Loss of essentials salts?
* Restriction of blood flow?

All in all, I think that we are describing running calf cramps, waiting to happen.

I am not sure that anyone has definitive answer to the cause of cramps, but there are certainly several steps that you can take which could help save you from disaster during competition, in any sport.




1. A Proper Warm Up

Ok, I know you know, but did you do it? If not, then those cramps could be coming. Seriously, if you have been involved in any sport to any level, then you will be aware of the importance of a proper warm up. And I don’t just mean a brisk walk up the stairs to the changing room either! A proper warm up should include a routine that gently stretches your muscles to get them ready for the increased exertion, and gets your blood flowing around your body. Not only will a warm help prevent calf cramps, they will also help prevent some of the injuries that might occur when you put sudden strain on cold muscles.

And whilst we are talking of warm ups, don’t forget warm downs as well. Warming down after exercise can also help prevent cramping and reduce the risk of injury.

2. Train Hard, Run Easy

Have you heard this before? No? Well you should give it some thought, because it’s true. When you train for a sport, not only do you practice the necessary skills required to execute which ever event you are competing in, but you are also training your body for the rigours of the event. To given an exaggerated example, if you train for a sprint, and then try and run a marathon, your body won’t be ready. If you try it, I think you could be in for some serious cramps.

Remember, train hard, run easy.

20 Minute Home Work Out

3. Water is Sport’s Life Blood

Whenever you start to exercise, you start to sweat (or you should). Sweat is nature’s way of cooling you down when you get hot, so, it’s a good thing. And since your body is mainly made of water, then you should have plenty, shouldn’t you? Well, considering that you lose moisture from your body when you breathe, sweating does take a lot of fluid out of your system.

And your body will demand that it be replaced!

If you start feeling dizzy, or experience a rapid heart beat, then these could be signs that you are starting to dehydrate. I will take it as read that if your mouth and lips feel dry, then you should be taking water on board. It is not always possible to take on fluid during sport, but always have some available as soon as you are able to drink.

4. Sport A’int No Catwalk.

It’s true! Sport is not a fashion parade. If you think it is, then you are hanging out in the wrong place! There’s nothing wrong with looking cool whilst you compete, but be practical. Don’t risk injury (or cramps) by wearing clothing that is too tight, and that restricts your body’s movement, either externally or via blood flow. Believe me, I know. When I was younger, I used tie up’s on my socks whilst playing soccer (not as a fashion statement you’ll understand), just to keep my socks up and my shin guards inside my socks. Three quarters of the way through a game, my calves would tighten up, and I would roll on the floor in agony. Once it was understood, that I ‘only had cramp’, I was the object of much derision, but believe me, cramp is far from funny if you are the one suffering.

Wear appropriate clothing.

5. Eat Properly.

When you are sweating and working hard, not only do you lose water, you also lose nutrients. There is speculation that that athletes who get calf cramps could suffer from low levels of potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. I am not suggesting that you do low level analysis of your breakfast cereal, but the message is clear. Look after your body, and your body will look after you.

Eat sensibly, and eat the right foods.

5 Exercise Tips to Avoid Failure

Every year we decide that we are going to get fit with the new year and we’re going to exercise and eat right. Most people fail and don’t get very far. Falling ‘off the wagon’ is easy but we’ve got 5 Exercise Tips to Avoid Failure.

Tip #1 – Do Something You Enjoy

Exercise doesn’t have to mean spending hours at the gym peddling away on a stationary bike. It doesn’t mean you have to spend money on exercise gadgets you will likely never use, either. Anything you do to get your body moving is going to be better than doing nothing. Walking is an easy exercise that you can do just about anywhere, in any climate. Bike riding, dancing, gardening, weight lifting, swimming, playing a favorite sport, house cleaning and even playing in the yard with your children are just some of the ways you can add exercise into your daily routine.

Tip #2 – Schedule Time for Exercise

As you would a meeting or a doctor appointment, sometimes the only way to make time to exercise is to put it on your daily schedule. We’ve all got busy lives and we’re often so busy taking care of others that we never seem to make time for ourselves. Once exercise becomes part of your daily To-Do list, you’re more likely to do it. Some people have only a certain time during the day available for exercise while others will have to vary the time each day. Some people need a nudge and for them, exercising with a friend is a good solution. Choose whichever way works best for you. Just remember to actually go and do it!

Tip #3 – Remember that Exercise Can Energize

Even though you might feel too tired to exercise, give it a try anyway. You might be surprised to find how energized you feel while you’re at it and afterwards, when you’re finished. Exercise is a great stress-reliever too and if you know anything about stress, you know that it is one of the body’s biggest energy-sappers.




Tip #4 – Don’t be Afraid to Mix it up

Like anything that is done over and over again, exercise can become mundane. When you get bored with exercising, you’re less likely to keep at it. To keep from getting bored with your workout routine, change it. If you’re tired of walking, try cycling. If you’re into weight lifting, try alternating this with cardiovascular exercises throughout the week. Go bowling or play a game of tennis once in a while, and if you find you enjoy these types of activities, join up with a team.

Tip #5 – Always Begin by Warming up

Regardless of the type of exercise you choose, it is very important that you begin each session by warming up your muscles. Stretching helps prevent damage to muscle tissue and it gets your blood flowing. It gets your heart pumping, too. Just five minutes is all it takes to get your exercise session off to a good start.

10 Things You Should Know About Stretching

20 Minute Home Work Out

Sure, you’re busy.. we get it but don’t you owe yourself a little bit of time? I always recommend an hour a day but some days between running kids to activities and making dinner there isn’t much time left. I don’t care HOW busy you are, you can squeeze 20 minutes in. You deserve it. Following this 20 minute home work out to stay healthy and fit can make a world of difference in your life.

1) Jog : in one place for 3 minutes

2) Jumping jacks: 25 repeats
When landing, bend your knees slightly to reduce the impact on knee joints.

6 EASY WAYS TO  BURN 100 CALORIES (WITH THE KIDS!)

3) Crunches : 15 repeats
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Place your hands behind your head with elbows pointing outwards. Support your neck with your hands. Keep your neck in a straight line with your spine. Flex your waist to raise the upper torso from the mat. Lower yourself until the back of your shoulders touches the mat.
Muscle worked: rectus abdominis

4) Hip Bridges : 10 repeats
Lie on your back. With your hands at a 90 degree angle to the floor, lift your body off the floor to form a straight line, a sort of a bridge, from the shoulders to the knee. The position should resemble a table … your hands and legs as the legs of the table and your upper body to your knees as the surface. Hold this position for two seconds. Squeeze your gluteus (butt muscles) and then lower yourself.
Muscle worked: Lower back, hamstrings and gluteus.

5) Step – up’s : 1 minute
You will need a stepper for this.
Muscle worked: hamstrings, gluteus, quards.

6) Reverse crunches: 15 repeats
Lie on your back with your hands on your sides. Keep you knees bent. Bring your knees towards your head, till your hips come slightly off the floor. Hold this position for a second, and then lower your knees.
Muscle worked: lower abs and obliques.

7) Mountain climbers : 1 minute
Get your hands and knees and raise your knees like a starting block sprinter. Run in that position, supporting your upper body with the palms of your hands. Keep your back straight.
Muscle worked: triceps, deltoid muscle, gluteus, quards, hamstrings, calves.

8) Push – ups : 15 repeats
Muscle worked: triceps, deltoids, pectorals.

9) Squat thrusts: 1 minute
Stand straight. Now, drop to a crouch position. Immediately thrust your legs out straight behind on your toes, in push up position, now jump to pull legs back to the chest, in crouching position , then stand up straight,
Muscle worked: arms, legs, chest, and lower back.

Cool down by walking around, till your heart rate starts getting back to normal, stretch.

A minutes rest is needed in between exercise. Proper form is important. Do not hold your breath and make sure to sip water during the workout. This workout targets your entire body, improves cardiovascular efficiency and tones and strengthens the body.

10 Things You Should Know About Stretching

Before fitness training, one must give importance to doing warm-up or stretching exercises to prevent accidents or to enhance the output during the training. There are also a number of precautionary measures and tips to serve as guidelines when doing fitness exercises. Here are some of them.

1. To increase your flexibility and to avoid injuries, stretch before and after workout. Almost everyone knows that stretching before workout prevents injuries during the exercises, but only few people know that stretching after workout, when muscles are still warm, can increase flexibility.

2. Hold your stretching position for more than 60 seconds to increase flexibility. While holding your position for 20 seconds is enough for warm ups, holding each position for at least 60 seconds will develop the body’s flexibility.




3. Do not go into a stretching position then immediately return to the relaxed position, and do it repeatedly. This is more appropriately termed as bouncing while in a position. When stretching, hold that position for several seconds, and then slowly relax. You may do this exercise repeatedly this way. Bouncing or forcing yourself into a position during stretching can strain or damage some joints or muscles.

4. Work slowly in increments instead of immediately proceeding to doing the hardest exercise or position.

5. Make sure that you have stretched or warmed up all muscle groups. For some people, even if they have strong bodies, they tend to neglect the neck when working out of stretching. Stretching the neck muscles can be as simple as placing the palm of one’s hand against the front of the head and pushing it. Then, do the same to the sides and the back of the head.

6. Stretch regularly to continually increase your range of movements and your level of flexibility and strength.

6 EASY WAYS TO  BURN 100 CALORIES (WITH THE KIDS!)

7. Workout considering only your capabilities and not of others. Do not force yourself to do exercises that you are not yet capable of just because there are people who can do it. Increase your limits slowly. Listen to your body. There are days when your body may be too tired that you may have to consider reducing your range of motion.

8. Learn to rest. Rest in between sets and stations to make sure that the body has enough time to recover its energy. Also, it is advisable that you don’t work the same muscle groups consecutively for two days. The muscles grow during the period when you rest and not when you are working out.

9. Do aerobic exercises to strengthen your heart. Aerobic exercises are those physical activities that much oxygen for fuel. This includes cardiovascular exercises such as skipping rope, running or swimming.

10. Music may help you when you want to train for longer periods or to increase your intensity. You can use mp3 players, CD players or lightweight am radio receivers for this. Just make sure that you brought your headset with you so you wouldn’t disturb people who don’t prefer music while exercising.

Apart from preventing injuries and increasing one’s limit, it is also said that stretching is good for a tired body and also for a stressed mind and spirit.

10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Health Club Membership

10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Health Club Membership

In your quest to be fit, you’ve decided to join a health club, but you’ve heard too many stories about people who sign up, go one or two times, and never go back. You’re not really sure which type of club to join: a low-cost chain, a more expensive, exclusive fitness center, or a club that caters to only women.

Buying and maintaining a health club membership can be pretty complicated, but if you follow these 10 tips, you’ll save money and be on your way to greater fitness.

1. Make a list of your specific fitness needs and wants. Will you be comfortable working out in a large club with both men and women? Will you need access to more than one club? Are you looking for one-on-one personal training services? How often do you think you’ll work out each month? Do you think you’ll be able to keep up your fitness regimen? How much can you afford to pay for a membership each month?

2. Once you’ve identified your requirements, visit health clubs that meet your needs. Get a free pass for each club (at least a one-week’s pass) and workout at each club as often as possible during the free periods.

3. Don’t sign up for a membership at any of the health clubs while you’re using free passes. You’ll be under a lot of pressure from salespeople and managers, and they will tell you that you need to sign up today in order to get discount pricing. Don’t. Health clubs offer discount pricing all the time.

4. When you’ve decided a health club, go back and speak with a salesperson about membership choices. Don’t feel pressured to sign a long-term contract at any health club. Remember that long-term contracts are really installment loans with high interest payments. If you don’t think that you’re going to keep up your workouts, don’t even think about signing one of these contracts. Gather all of the written information about each type of membership, then go home and review it at your leisure. Don’t feel pressured to sign up for any membership at the club.

5. When you’re speaking with the salesperson, ask all of the questions you want. Don’t feel rushed or pressured. Never forget that any contract you sign supersedes any promises a salesperson gives you. Even if the salesperson writes it into the contract, it probably isn’t legally enforceable. The contract is king. Read it carefully before signing.

6. Compare the costs of each membership type, and remember that you should make the ultimate decision based on your own needs, not on short-term discounts that may sound like you’re saving money, but will end up costing you more money in the end.

7. Make sure you fully understand the cancellation requirements of each membership type. Many long-term health club contracts are almost impossible to cancel. A month-to-month contract may be a better solution.

8. Don’t sign up for automatic payments via credit card. If you no longer want a membership, and you’re able to cancel, you may find it difficult to get payments stopped.

9. Keep track of all your payments in case there are any disputes with your health club.

10. If you do cancel you membership, make sure you get the cancellation in writing from your health club.

By following these 10 tips, you will certainly set yourself up for fitness success.

Benefits of Fish Oil for Fitness and Health

When the words oils and fats are mentioned, health-conscious individuals tend to run for cover. What they fail to realize is that there are good fats and bad fats. Complete avoidance of intake of oils and fats would actually be detrimental – rather than beneficial – to their health.

The Truth about Fish Oil
Essential fatty acids must always be part of our daily diet – without them, we take one step closer to our deaths. Essential fatty acids are divided into two families: omega-6 EFAs and omega-3 EFAS.

Although there are only very slight differences to distinguish the two groups of essential fatty acids from each other, studies have revealed that too much intake of omega-6 EFAs can lead to inflammation, blood clotting and tumor growth. The good news, however, is that the opposite is true for omega-3 EFAs. Omega-6 EFAs can be found in vegetable oils while omega-3 EFAs can be found in fish oils among other foods.

Omega-6 vs. Omega-3
Physicians and scientists are of the same opinion that the cause behind increasing cases of heart disease, hypertension or high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, premature aging and certain kinds of cancer is none other than an imbalanced intake of omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs.

As mentioned earlier on, omega-6 EFAs can be found in vegetable oils. This includes but is not limited to corn oil and soy oil, both of which contains high amounts of linoleic acid. Omega-3 EFAs on the other hand can be found also in marine plankton and walnut and flaxseed oils. It should be significant to take note that fatty fish and fish oils contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), fatty acids that have been observed to provide many benefits to the human body. In the early 1970’s, a study on Greenland Eskimos have revealed that one of the major reasons why they rarely suffer from heart diseases is because of their high-fat diet (mainly composed of fish).

The two essential fatty acids, EPA and DHA, are also helpful in preventing atherosclerosis, heart attacks, depression and various forms of cancer. Fish oil supplemented food have also proven to be useful in treating illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, Raynaud’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Other Benefits of Fish Oil
There are a lot more illnesses and situations in which intake of fish oil has proven to be significantly beneficial.

Making the Heart Healthier
The heart is inarguably one of the most important parts of our body and having an unhealthy heart means having to suffer a rather limited lifespan. Naturally, it’s in our best interests to keep our hearts happy and healthy and one way of doing that is eating food that contains fish oil.

In Athens, Greece, for instance, a study was made to show if there was a direct relationship between high fish diet and inflammation of blood vessels. The results revealed that those who ate more fish than the others had a lower level of C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, factors that are commonly used to measure likelihood of blood vessel inflammation. These benefits remained even when the various risks associated with high fish diet were taken into account.

Fish to Become Thin
In Perth, Australia, a study had revealed that fish consumption can be used against hypertension and obesity. Researchers of the UWA (University of Western Australia) have discovered that a weight-loss diet which includes a regular amount of fish consumption can be quite effective in reducing blood pressure and improving glucose tolerance.

Fish Oil to Combat Asthma
People suffering from respiratory problems like asthma tend to be perceived as unfit and unhealthy. They should now be pleased to learn that certain studies have revealed the benefits of fish oil for asthma-burdened-individuals. Statistics show that approximately 20 to 25% of children today suffer one form of asthma or another at a certain point in their lives. And certain evidence reveals a regular diet of food with high linoleic acid content as the reason behind it.

Researchers of UW (University of Wyoming) conducted a study by subjecting a number of children to a high-fish diet while others continued with their regular diet. Results revealed that the participants who ate more fish were less prone to asthma attacks and were able to breathe more easily as well.

Our favorite fish oil is Carlson Labs. It is an actual oil. If you are looking for a pill form Nature Made is good too.

Low Carb Cabbage Rolls

Are you looking for something low carb? We highly suggest cabbage rolls and even though there are a lot of different versions these are low carb, delicious and easy to make.

Enjoy them with some sour cream. They’re really an entire meal, but if you want to fix a side dish we suggest a salad. You can also mix this up by serving the cooked filling (just sauté it all in pan) with raw cabbage leaves to wrap the fillings right at the table, or you can cook it and serve hot like we’ve made them.

** Many times we go through the refrigerator and use whatever vegetables we have on hand**

Ingredients:

Filling

2 lbs Ground Meat (pork, turkey, chicken, beef, or tofu)
1/2 Cup Onion, chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
3 TBS, Sugar Free Chili Sauce
1/2 TSP Sea Salt
1/4 TSP Black Cracked Pepper
1/4 Cup Oats
handful of mushrooms

Sauce

2 TBS Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup Red Onion, Chopped
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1 28 oz Box Pomi Peeled Tomatoes
1 Cup Pomi Tomato Sauce
2 Carrots Shredded

Directions:

Cook the sauce first, sauté the onion, carrots and garlic in the coconut oil. Cook until the onions are caramelized adding more oil if the pan gets dry. Add in the Pomi tomatoes and tomato sauce, stir and cover pot. Simmer gently for about 45 minutes on low.

Once sauce is simmering, in a large skillet prepare the filling. Put all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well. It’s like making meatloaf, so you’ll need to put your hand in there and get dirty. Set aside the filling.

Prepare the cabbage. Remove the cabbage core and place entire head of cabbage into a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Plunge into ice water. Remove the leaves that are softened carefully setting aside, repeated boiling process until all the leaves are captured. Cut out the large stiff veins of the cabbage. Set prepared leaves in a strainer while waiting to prepare wraps.

Now, with the cabbage leaves separated simply put some filling in each and roll up. Forming wraps or rolls as you go, placing seam side down in a buttered glass baking dish. Pour sauce over all, cover pan with foil, bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.

You can also make a cold version with deli meat and coleslaw.