Clutter

Okay, I have finally had enough and I am ready to make a move to clean out the Clutter! But where do I start?

I was thinking there might be a Clutter Fairy that would show up and show me the way to clean out this mess. Apparently she is at another address if its yours - PLEASE send her my way.

I have been reading articles on cleaning out trying to figure out what will be the best method and believe me there are a lot of ideas. It still feels over whelming so I took the advice of one clutter queen and I am narrowing things down. Starting small seems like the best approach for me.

I am beginning my war one drawer, closet or counter at a time. The sock drawer was the first thing to tackle and I can’t tell you how much joy I get now that I only have pairs of socks. It is the simple things that can make getting dressed in the morning so much easier. When you are ready to start choose something that nags you daily. After that clutter is gone, you are ready to move on to the next spot.

Clutter does not just happen overnight so it must be fought the same way. Slow and steady wins the race. I have a girlfriend who has taught me a closet trick. She keeps a shopping bag on the floor of her closet so when she decides an article of clothing is just not her or doesn’t fit correct, in to the bag it goes never to clutter again. As soon as the bag is full it’s delivered to the Charitable Union so others can benefit. It’s a great win- win.

Clutter is proof of many things: too much stuff, poor habits and housekeeping or often it is a sentimental attachment. We have to make decisions on all the stuff and move forward one step at a time. I am looking forward to a lot less clutter in 2017 and I wish the same for you

Happy New Year

It's TIME to Strength Train

I have said it before and I will say it again: I am a big believer that everyone should be strength training with the time change. As daylight gets shorter and we change to daylight savings time, and we spend more time indoors, now is the time to start lifting. It works out great if you follow the principles of “progression “ and “adaptation” to lift until the day light gets longer, when we change the time back, and we are outside more.

As you begin your program, start out slow. Make sure your program involves both sides of the joint. This is done by remembering that if you push, then you have to pull. If you do a chest press (push) do a seated row (pull) to balance the joint.

Progression and adaptation is about using more resistance while allowing the muscles adapt and become stronger. Increase the resistance every two to three weeks the smallest amount possible and allow the muscles to adapt. You can find more information about this on the Strength Training page of the PPW website (www.properwell.com). If you do this, then just about the time you reach the maintenance level of your program it will be time to go back outside and enjoy your newly developed strength!

Lettuce Eat

I remember when I was young eating salads at dinner, the only lettuce I knew of was iceberg and I loved it. That crunchy white, green colored heads of goodness, or so I thought.

Then came the rise of all the other greens, red leaf, romaine, kale and spinach and more and poor iceberg was pushed aside like a naughty cousin. It seemed like it was the slacker of all lettuces and eating it had no nutritional value at all and should be avoided because it was just like eating air.

I am here to tell you that iceberg has gotten a bad rap- it does have nutritional value- maybe not a lot but it can have value in our diets.

First and for most it is very high in water content- 96% so it is a great way to stay hydrated especially if you don’t like drinking water. It is cool and refreshing and in my opinion has a wonderful crisp texture when you compare it to other greens.

Iceberg is a low calorie food; a cup of shredded lettuce has just 10 calories and 0 fat grams, no sodium or cholesterol and 45 grams of fiber. It can add bulk to your diet and keep you full, without a lot of calories.

Iceberg is cheaper than most other greens so that is why most restaurants use it in salads. I agree it does not have the nutrients of other greens but don’t let it stop you from adding it to your other greens and enjoy the benefits that iceberg can provide, it really is not bad for you!

Everyday Core Exercises

Here are simple and sane exercises to tone and strengthen your core using your own body weight. This exercise can be done just about anyway and anytime- Even during commercial breaks from your favorite TV shows- So get up and get strong!

 

Straight Arm Plank

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1. Kneel on all fours with hands directly under shoulders.

2. Come onto toes, contract abs, and straighten legs; keep body in line from head to heels.

Forearm Plank
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1. This is what most people consider to be a standard plank. Lie facedown with legs extended and elbows bent and directly under shoulders; Feet should be hip-width apart, and elbows should be shoulder-width apart.

2. Contract your abs, then tuck your toes to lift your body (forearms remain on the ground); you should be in a straight line from head to heels. 

3. Hold either type of plank for 10 seconds or as long as you can, building up to 60 seconds.

Side Plank

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1. Lie on one side with the legs stacked on top of one another then prop the body up on the hand or elbow while keeping the feet stacked.

2, Modify the position by raising the opposing arm or leg (or both!) in the air to make the plank more difficult, or make the move easier by crossing the upper leg in front of the body for additional support.

Supine Bridge

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1. Lying on your back, raise your hips so that only your head, shoulders, and feet are touching the floor.

2. The supine bridge focuses on the gluteal muscles. Stronger gluteals help maintain pelvic control.

Superman

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1. Lie face down on the floor with arms in front of your body, palms toward the ground.

2. Pull your navel in, tighten your glutes and squeeze your shoulder blades together.

3. Lift your legs off the floor and then your chest and arms. Hold a few seconds and then slowly return to the ground.

4. Repeat this move and as you get stronger you can lift your arms, chest and legs at the same time.

Russian Twists

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1. Sit on the floor, knees bent and feet flat and as close to your bottom as you feel comfortable.

2. Hold your arms in front of chest, palms down. Lean back to a 45 degree angle.

3. Twist to the right as far as you can, come back to center and twist to the left. 

4. Repeat this exercise until you fatigue and then increase as you feel stronger.

Bird Dog
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1. Kneel on the floor with hands firmly placed about shoulder width apart.

2. Brace the abdominals, and at first, practice lifting one hand and the opposite knee just clear of the floor while balancing on the other hand and knee. Half an inch will do until you get the idea of it.

3. When you're ready to do the complete exercise, point the arm out straight in front and extend the opposite leg to the rear,  keep shoulders and the hips parallel.

4. Hold for 10 seconds then return to hands and knees on.

5. Starting out, try 5 repeats on alternate hands and knees -- 10 repetitions in all. Add additional sets of 10 exercises up to 3 sets of 10.

V-Sits
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1. Begin in a seated position, contract your abdominal muscles and core and lift your legs up to a 45-degree angle.

2. Reach your arms straight forward or reach up toward your shins as you are able. Maintain good core posture and a strong spine.

3. Hold this "V" position for several seconds to begin. As you get stronger, hold the position longer .Return to your starting position slowly.

4. Just before you reach the floor, stop and hold the position for a few seconds. Repeat this entire movement several times.

Modified V-Sit
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1. Instead of the legs being straight throughout the movement, the knees bend at a 90-degree angle and are brought towards the chest as you lift.

2. When you release or lower the legs are straightened back to the starting position.

3. Throughout the modified V-sit, your back and head alignment remain straight.

Crunches
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1.Start in a ball ( knees to chest, head and shoulders off the ground)

2. Extend your body into an X, hovering your legs, arms head and shoulders, a few inches off the ground.

3. Return to the ball position

4. Repeat 10 times

 

Hydration

Hydration is important because our bodies are comprised of mostly water, and proper balance determines how our systems function, including our nerves and muscles. Drinking an adequate amount of fluids helps remove wastes and other toxins; control body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure; and maintain a healthy metabolism.

If you are drinking 8 8oz glasses of water a day, you are probably doing pretty well! But the exact amount of water an individual needs really depends on that person. The average person should be drinking enough water so you are going to the bathroom every two to four hours.

If drinking water is hard for you – there are other ways you can meet your intake needs. Think of foods that are mostly comprised of water. For example, my favorite, watermelon! Have you ever wondered why taking a bite of juicy watermelon on a hot summer day is so good? Your body is craving that water to help regulate your body temperature and stay hydrated. Oranges and salads also have high water content.

So how do you know if you are dehydrated? If you haven’t gone to the bathroom in several hours and your urine is darker in color, that is usually a sign you need to drink more! Also, one might experience  headaches and cramping if they are suffering from dehydration.  Remember water is best!! Coffee and soda pop won’t really help you stay hydrated just because they are a liquid. Your body needs water!!

If you exercise you also need to make sure you are replenishing the fluids you might be losing through sweat. Especially on a hot day – if you go out for a run or other exercise, take water with you and try and drink some every ten minutes or so.

Water is so important to our health, we wouldn’t survive without it. So next time you reach for that coke, swap it out for a water instead! You will save yourself unnecessary calories and sugar, the water will help aid in digestion and make you feel fuller longer, thus keeping you away from those unhealthy snacks throughout the day! You will be glad you did!