Life Lesson…Be a Natural

Feeling down on your thighs? Step off the stairclimber and get out for a power walk, a hike or a tree climbing session at a nearby park instead. One study found that spending time in nature improves your body image. What’s so therapeutic about the great outdoors? The absence of mirrors, movie stars and other things that make you obsess over your appearance may silence your inner critic.
Source: Ecopsychology

Fitness Magazine July/August 2012

TAKE A HIKE

Need a pick-me-up?  Getting active in the great outdoors is doubly good for your mental health.  “Nature protects us from stress and helps us think more clearly”  says Jo Barton Ph.D. a senior researcher at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom.  Her recent study found that 88% of people were in a better mood after walking on a nature trail, while 45% who walked in a mall felt worse.  Too busy for a hike?  Even five minutes of what researchers call green exercise will do you good.

Fitness Magazine October 2011

Favorite Workouts Part One

This is part one of a five part series to give you some workouts to partner up to get the most out of what you’re doing.

If you like to hike or power walk…
Focus on sculpting your abs, glutes, hips and thighs, the payoff  will be that you walk father and faster and burn more calories while sidestepping injuries-especially if you’re hiking down a steep slope.

All you need is yourself, no equipment required, to do these moves:

  1. Single leg bridge: targets abs, lower back, hip flexors, glutes and hamstrings
    • Lie face up on the floor, knees bent and thighs touching
    • Extend arms over head, palms up
    • Left right leg 45 degrees, keeping thighs together
    • Press through left foot while lifting hips until body forms a straight line from shoulders to right foot.
    • Hold for 3 counts, slowly lower hips, barely touching floor, keep leg lifted
    • Do 10-20 reps, switch sides and repeat
  2. Windmill: targets abs, obliques, mid to lower back
    • Stand with feet hip width apart, arms extended out to sides at chest height
    • Bend forward 90 degrees from the waist, with knees slightly bent
    • Keeping hips square, slowly twist upper body to the right, reaching left hand to right toes and extending right arm toward ceiling
    • Hold for 5 counts, then return to center and repeat on opposite side
    • Do 10-20 reps, alternating sides
  3. Spin Squat: targets core, glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves
    • Stand with feet a little more than shoulder width apart, elbows bent, hands parallel to shoulders
    • Sink into a low squat, bending knees 90 degrees, hold for 3 seconds
    • Pivoting on right foot, spin 180 degrees so you’re now facing the opposite direction
    • Land immediatly in a squat
    • Repeat, spinning 180 degrees back to start on right leg
    • Do 10 reps, switch legs and repeat

Fitness Magazine July 2007