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Quick 20 minute workout to Tone and Strengthen the Core

Quick 20 minute workout to Tone and Strengthen the Core

During the holidays or even when travelling for work, there will be times I find it almost impossible to squeeze a workout in. But, let me tell you - those are the times that I find I need to push myself to do a workout.  Always, I feel better that I did something rather than nothing.  So, I have devised a quick 20 minute workout you can do while you are travelling or pretty much anywhere!  All you need is a mat, a towel and 2 weights (which can be subbed with soup cans).

If you want a longer workout, just repeat and do more than one set.  Always remember to listen to your body and modify when necessary.  For instance, due to my long hours running every day, it is extremely hard for me to straighten my legs.  Thus, depending how my body feels that day, I will allow for bent knees.

 

1.       Start with 5-8 cat cows – inhale in through your nose as you arch your spine, head up, gaze towards the ceiling and exhale out of your mouth, hollowing out your abdominals, drawing your navel into your spine.  See picture below

2. Lie on your back.  Stretch your legs long, stretch your arms long over your head, reaching your arms and legs in opposite directions, as if you were being pulled.  Point through your toes and reach through your fingertips.  Find length

 

3.    Interlace your hands behind your head as you reach your left and right leg into table top.  Point through the toes.  Inhale to prepare.  On the exhale, curl up head neck and shoulders. Gaze should be at your thighs or your abdominals.  Use the exhale to flatten out the belly.  Relax through the shoulders as you curl up and avoid tugging at the neck. Do 8-10 reps

4.     This time, curl up head neck and shoulders, with legs bent in table top. Adding on to the previous exercise, reach your right elbow to left knee, twisting the obliques.  Switch, allowing for the twist to come from the upper torso.  Keep the elbows wide to maintain integrity of form.  Do 8-10 reps

5.    Straighten your legs towards the ceiling.  Point through your toes.  Interlace your hands behind your head. Inhale to prepare and on the exhale, curl up head neck and shoulders.  Gaze is straight at your thighs.  Inhale as you begin to lower your legs to your high diagonal. On theexhale, bring the legs back towards the starting position.  Make sure to zip the legs together and flatten out the abdominals on each exhale.  Lower and lift for 8-10

6. Begin with legs in table top,  curl up head neck and shoulders as you exhale, reach palm of the hands towards your knees.  As you inhale, reach arms straight over your head and reach legs out to your high diagonal.  Imagine as if you are being pulled in two different directions as you lengthen.  Do 8-10

7.     Start in your supine position, arms and legs long.  Using a theraband or a towel (or even leggings!), wrap your hands and pull the band/towel apart.  As you do so, engage your abdominals by exhaling out of your mouth.  In hale to prepare and as you exhale, roll all the way up to your spine stretch forward.  Make sure to continue pulling the band apart throughout the entire exercise.  Do 8-10

8.Find your tall sits bones, flex through your feet. Pulling the theraband apart, begin to twist to the right, then to the left. Do 8-10 on each side.

9.    Come to a sitting position, bend your knees and dig the back of your heels into your mat.  Inhale and as you exhale out of your mouth, draw your abdominals in as you curl back.  Using weights (here I am using 5 pounds) or soup cans, bend and extend your arms for 8-10.

10. Find your tall spine, dig your sits bones into the mat.  Hold your arms out in front of you to start. As you exhale, draw the right elbow back as far as you can, twisting your upper torso. Rotate in the opposite direction. Go for 8-10 on each side.  Exhale on the twist

11. Finish off in your child’s pose.  Knees apart, toes touching, reaching your arms out straight in front.  Press your palms into your mat to come into a deeper stretch, relaxing through your head neck and shoulders.

Feel great and accomplished that you set this time aside (despite your busy schedule) to focus on your health and fitness. Know that you owe it to yourself to always cherish your body and give it the exercise it needs to stay healthy and strong.

 

A Slice of Paris in Rumson

A Slice of Paris in Rumson

Saturday in pictures

Saturday in pictures

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