5 Steps to Faster
Triathlon Transitions By Sarah Wassner Flynn | For Active.com
Fact: You can shave plenty of precious seconds (even minutes) off your overall time just by tweaking your transitions. And while you may not be ready for a flying mount and dismount just yet, taking time to think through your transitions can result in faster finishes. Here are five simple steps you can take for speedier transitions.
Avoid Clutter The last thing you want during a race is to get stalled searching for something while your competition is passing you by. That's why it's best to keep your transition area neat and clutterfree. "I really try to simplify what I put in my transition area," says elite age-grouper Emily Richard of Washington D.C. "I noticed that the pros keep the minimum out: Their helmet, shoes, race number, sunglasses, and a visor. So I followed suit and put out what I really need."
Popular Activities Near You Put your helmet in your handlebars, and keep unnecessary items out of the way. As for other essentials, like gels, sunglasses, and other small items, you can tape or attach them to your bike for easy access once you're on the road.
Mark Your Spot You've spent enough time on your bike to memorize every inch of it. But in the early-morning light of a triathlon (addled by bleary eyes post-swim), it may be hard to pick out your ride from the sea of other bicycles. And it can be just as difficult to find your spot when you're bringing your bike back into T2. To make sure you head straight for your transition area each time, take careful note of your exact location among the racks. "I do a walk-through of the whole transition area pre-race, visualizing my process and counting the racks," says Calah Schlabach, an elite age-grouper in Arlington, Virginia. "That way, I know exactly where the entrances are and the best lines to my area, as well as where the mount/dismount line is."
Getting out of a wetsuit while standing still is hard enough. Then try doing it when you're running and you're cold, wet, and tired. Avoid stumbling out of your suit by practice taking it off after your open water swims, suggests Richard. "Above all, I found that getting comfortable with that helped eliminate one of my stresses in transition," she says. And, if you tend to get foot or calf cramps from standing up while you remove your wetsuit, bring a bucket to sit on, suggests Cami Stock, head coach for Wild Blue Racing in Colorado Springs, Colorado. "It's less effort than getting off the ground and may be easier for you than standing completely up," she says.
Nice and Smooth Another trick to getting out of your wetsuit in a snap? Use your anti-chafe spray or stick on the outside of the wrists and ankles of the suit, says Stock. "Most of us put it on the inside, but this little trick makes it slide right off. And while you're at it, swipe or spray the stuff in your bike shoes and running shoes, too. "It makes it easier to slip into with wet feet," says Jennelle Glover, an age-grouper in Corning, New York.
Rehearse Right Above all, allow time for a dress rehearsal or two before the big race. Set up your stuff on your front lawn and start your stopwatch to see if you can whittle down your time as you work on stepping out of your wetsuit or swapping your bike shoes and helmet for your racing flats and visor. "Before I did a draft-legal race, my coach made me practice stripping my wetsuit for a half hour on a field. I also do brick repeats where transitions are built right into the workout, when I'm tired," Schlabach says. "Simple movements get more difficult when you are tired and don't have a lot of oxygen to the brain, so you have to practice them that way. And when you practice, you can try different things to see what makes you faster."
Triathlon Transition Secrets You May Not Know â€˘
By Ryan Wood | Active.com
With all the time spent working on your swimming, refining your cycling and speeding up your running, the transitions can be overlooked. Understandable; it's only a small sliver of your total time from start to finish. But what if you could make it even smaller? Or, at the very least, what if you could assure that your transition time doesn't get any longer (either by accident or by a lack of preparation)? Triathletes have tried a lot of things to keep the transition area from being a time suck. Here are three ideas to make sure your time in transition is as minimal as possible.
Popular Activities Near You Make Your Area Hard to Miss Row after row of bikes can make it hard to find your stuff in a typical triathlon. If your transition area is at the end of a row, it's probably fine. But what if it's right smack in the middle of the lot, surrounded by rows and rows of bikes? The last thing you want to do coming out of the water is spend any amount of time figuring out where your bike is. At the 2013 Encinitas Triathlon in California, the transition area was highlighted by a giant helium Angry Birds balloon tied to the rack, floating about 5 feet above the mass of bikes and other gear. It elicited a chuckle from several spectators walking by, but it wasn't meant to be funny. It was a way for that racer to get out of the water and head straight to the right spot. Just follow the angry bird. If a balloon isn't your thing (or isn't allowed), drape a hot pink towel over your bike seat. Or something else that will be hard to miss. It could end up preventing a disastrous (and deflating) delay in the middle of your race.
Know Where to Leave With swimmers coming in, cyclists going out, cyclists coming in and runners going out (and sometimes, runners finishing at the nearby finish line), you'd be surprised how easy it is to get discombobulated when leaving a transition area. While you're getting your area set up, make sure you make a mental note of where both the bike exit and run exit are located. Use mental imagery to envision yourself heading out of your transition area toward the right spot during both transitions. Sometimes, the exits are on opposite sides of the transition area, so going to the wrong one could add up to a minute to your total time. If all else fails, ask a volunteer; there should be one close by. Or, follow the other triathletes and hope they're right. More: The Art of Triathlon Transitions
Practice Running With Your Bike Typically, you won't be allowed to get on your bike until you're out of the transition area. To best get out of the area, you will need to run with your bike. The fundamental way to do this is to run alongside your bike with one hand on the seat or handlebars and the other hand free. Then, when you're allowed to mount, get on while you're still moving. The best way to get good at this is to go out and practice. Go to a school parking lot on a weekend and work on itâ€”both running with the bike and mounting on the run. Get comfortable
窶馬ot only will it boost your confidence come race day, but it will cut a few seconds off your final time.
Learn to Master the Bike-to-Run Transition 窶｢
By Rod Cedaro, M.Sc. | Triathlete magazine
Anyone who has ever competed in a triathlon or duathlon knows the horrendous feeling of heaviness in the quads as you leave the bike rack and enter the run. Your free-flowing running gait, which was the hallmark of your style when you ran fresh, is reduced to nothing more than a pathetic shuffle as you struggle to maintain contact with those with whom three minutes earlier you were riding shoulder-to-shoulder. Take heart: there is hope. By undertaking a couple of practices and incorporating them into your normal training regimen, you can improve your running off the bike. The Heavy-Leg Syndrome 窶｢
Let's consider why heavy-leg syndrome occurs in the first place. Basically, there are two physiological reasons why your legs are reduced to sides of beef as you exit the bike-to-run transition:
To begin, when you cycle, a vast majority of your blood is directed to your quads. You experience what physiologists term a vasodilatory effect to the blood vessels and tiny capillaries servicing these muscles. As a result, you get a "pooling" or welling-up of blood in this region that remains when you exit T2 and then attempt to run. Therefore, heavy quads persist until blood is redirected to the muscles more directly involved in running (e.g., the hamstrings and calves). The second reason has to do with neural innervation patterns. In plain-speak, when you ride hard for any significant period, your brain sends messages down your neural pathways telling your leg muscles to "pedal circles." Then, in a split second, you tell your legs they need to support your body weight and run. By asking them to perform a task completely unlike what you've been doing previously, you are not giving your body a proper chance to respond. Still, as evidenced by the Simon Lessing's and Greg Welch's of this world, it is possible to adapt the body to perform under this duress. The question, of course, is how? As you progress through a solid triathlon-training program for a few months, your body will naturally adapt to this demand, and running off the bike will become progressively easier. But there are methods you can incorporate into both your training and racing that will have you cruising out of the bike-to-run transition and regaining your land legs a lot sooner.
During the base phase of your training, incorporate at least one "brick" session into your weekly training. By definition, a brick session means a moderately long ride followed immediately with a moderately long runâ€”preferably mid-week. This will force your legs to get used to firing the appropriate neural pathways and shunting blood from previously active to previously inactive muscles a lot quicker, without the pressure of competition. As you start to get closer to competition, your brick session can be replaced by a "transition" session. Normally this session would combine all three triathlon disciplines in sequence, or in a mixed format, and you would work at the threshold of race-pace in all three disciplines for short periods (i.e., three to five minutes). Treat the transitions as you would in a race, recover, and repeat the entire process another two to three times. Once again, you're getting your body used to the rigors of competition and teaching it to shunt blood and to fire appropriate neural pathways even quicker than was required during the earlier brick sessions. Additionally, as competition looms closer, each time you get off your bike, go for a short run, even if it is only 800 meters, and treat it as you would a transitionâ€”go out hard until you find your rhythm and then turn around and jog home. Finally, many observers of multisport have rightly labeled triathletes as "strength" runners who tend to muscle their way through the run as opposed to purist track runners who are termed "rhythm" runners and appear to float along on the track with a metronome's precision. Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule, and anyone who has ever seen the likes Heather Fuhr or Luc Van Lierde in full flight off the bike will probably argue the point. But on the whole, these are exceptions rather than the rule. Consequently, because triathlon-style running is generally strength-orientated, you've got to become a strong runner, and that means hitting the hills. Hill running requires you to use your quads more than running on flat surfaces, and the lifting motion of running uphill uses your quads and gluteals in a manner which is much more akin to cycling than running along the flat. This will result in a cross-training effect on your leg muscles and will benefit your cycling and running as well as your transition from one discipline to the other. In Competition
In a smartly executed triathlon, your run starts well before you hit the bike-to-run transition. With about five to eight minutes of the bike portion remaining, start thinking "run" and prepare for it appropriately. First, get out of the saddle in a slightly bigger gear and ride a couple of hundred meters standing up. This will alter your muscle firing patterns to make them more akin to running; it will also stretch your running muscles and start redirecting blood to the appropriate muscles. Next, sit back down and put your bike into a smaller gear and spin your legs over, rather than cranking big gears all the way into the transition. Finally, start stretching your "running muscles" (i.e., hamstrings, calves and lower back) on the bike as you head to the transition. This will help to ensure that they are looser, more supple and ready for the change of disciplines. In the final analysis, there's simply no alternative to training, practice and competition. In other words, the longer you're involved in multisport, the easier running off the bike will become. But
you can compress the learning curve if you incorporate some of the training and tactics discussed above into your preparation. 5 High-Carb Super Grains and Recipes for Athletes
Carbohydrates are the body's first go-to energy source for powering activities. While the body will convert any carb-packed food you consume into muscle glycogen to fuel your training and daily activities, you know that a candy bar doesn't pack much nutritional value. But, fueling up for your next workout or big race doesn't have to mean eating the same old pasta dish or a boring toasted bagel with peanut butter. Spice up your repertoire with the following five super grains. You'll not only reap the nutritional benefits of the extra fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals these amazing grains contain, but you'll also learn how to use these ancient, exotic carbs to create new, yet familiar recipes.
Super Grain #1: Black Rice Anywhere in the World, GA Black rice, also known as forbidden rice because in ancient China only the emperor was permitted to eat it, adds striking drama to any dish. It offers a wealth of nutrition, including fiber, vitamin E and more anthocyanin antioxidants than blueberries, according to research conducted at the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center. A team of researchers at Cornell University found that antioxidant levels in black rice were six times higher than those found in brown and white rice.
Coconut Macadamia Black Rice Recipe Ingredients • • • • • • • •
2 cups uncooked black rice 2 1/2 cups water 1 14-ounce can coconut milk 1 pinch salt 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon coconut oil 1 small shallot, diced 1/3 cup toasted macadamia nuts 3 tablespoons toasted coconut Combine water, coconut milk, salt and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat; stir until sugar dissolves. Stir in rice. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer on low until all liquid is dissolved and rice is tender, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
In a small pan over medium-high heat, heat coconut oil. Add diced shallots and saut? for 3 to 4 minutes or until translucent. Fluff rice with a fork, and stir in shallots, macadamia nuts and toasted coconut.
Super Grain #2: Farro Farro, the Italian name for emmer wheat, has a pleasantly chewy texture and nutty flavor, making it ideal as a stand-in for oats in granola bars, white Arborio rice in risotto, slow-cooking oats in oatmeal, and as the starch in room-temperature pasta salads. A one-cup serving of contains both 8 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein as well as vitamins E and B.
Start with a 3:1 ratio of liquid to grain when cooking farro, but keep in mind that semi-pearled and whole farro may require a little more cooking liquid than pearled farro. Similarly, cook times can vary from 25 minutes for pearled farro to 40 minutes for semi-pearled.
Farro Almond Blueberry Granola Bar Recipe • • • • • • • • • • • •
1 1/2 cups cooked farro 1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal 1/4 cup ground flaxseed 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ 3 tablespoons canola oil or coconut oil 2/3 cup honey 1/4 cup maple syrup 1 teaspoon almond extract 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup chopped almonds 1 cup dried blueberries
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spray an 8x12-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Toss the oatmeal and almonds together on a baking sheet, and toast in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, tossing every once in a while, until lightly browned. Transfer oats and almonds to a large mixing bowl, and stir in the farro, flaxseed and wheat germ. Place the oil, honey, maple syrup, almond extract, cinnamon and salt in a saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for one minute, then remove from heat. Pour mixture over oats, almonds, farro, flaxseed and wheat germ, and stir to combine. Stir in the dried blueberries. Pour the mixture into the baking pan, and lightly press the mixture into the pan with a baking spatula. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until light brown. Cool in the pan for at least two hours before cutting into bars.
Super Grain #3: Amaranth A seed native to Central America, amaranth has a toasty, nutty flavor and is sold as seeds, flour or puffed cereal. One cup of gluten-free amaranth contains a whopping 13 grams of fiber, 980 grams of potassium, an important electrolyte that regulates heartbeat and muscle function, as well as 30 percent of the USDA recommended daily amount of calcium, 81 percent of the recommended amount for iron and 55 percent of the recommended daily amount for vitamin B6. Unlike most grains, amaranth contains lysine, an amino acid similar to the protein found in milk.
Amaranth Porridge With Spiced Apples and Pears Recipe Porridge Ingredients • • • • • •
1/2 cup amaranth 1 cup water 1/4 cup dairy, almond, soy, hemp or rice milk 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of salt 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey, optional 2 teaspoons chia seeds, optional 1 tablespoon chopped almonds, cashews or walnuts, optional Spiced Apples and Pears Ingredients • • • • • • • • • • •
1 bosc pear, chopped 1 gala or granny smith apple, chopped 1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 2 slices fresh ginger zest and juice of half an orange 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium-sized pot, bring amaranth, water, spices and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to mediumlow, cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until most of the water has absorbed. Remove from heat, pour milk on top, and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat, bring all of the spiced apple and pear ingredients to a simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until fruit is soft. Stir porridge and spoon into serving bowl. Top porridge with spiced fruit and optional syrup or honey, chia seeds and nuts.
Super Grain #4: Teff This tiny, high-protein whole grain, a staple in Ethiopian cooking, is an ancient North African grass. The major ingredient in injera, the spongy, sour, crepe-like bread that is a staple in the Ethiopian diet, teff is gluten-free and an excellent source of vitamin C. Teff takes the crown for the most calcium of all grains; it offers 123 milligrams of calcium in a one-cup serving, which is the equivalent to a half-cup of cooked spinach.
Teff Chocolate Chip Pancakes Recipe Ingredients • • • • • • • •
1 egg 3/4 cup low-fat dairy, almond, soy, hemp or rice milk 2 tablespoons canola oil or melted butter 1 cup teff flour* 1 tablespoon agave nectar 3 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl, beat egg until fluffy. Add milk, oil or butter, agave and the dry ingredients, and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Heat a griddle pan or large frying pan with a little bit of butter or oil and ladle batter in 1/4-cup servings onto pan, leaving enough space between each pancake so you can easily flip them. When bubbles start to form on the surface of each pancake, flip pancake over gently with a spatula, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on the other side.
*You can grind up teff grain in a spice mill if you can't find the flour.
Super Grain #5: Millet Another gluten-free grain, millet is loaded with antioxidants and high in magnesium, a mineral that maintains muscle and nerve function. There are four types of millet: pearl, foxtail, proso and finger. In India, finger millet is most commonly used to make roti, a flatbread staple. In Africa, millet is typically eaten as a porridge. Millet can be ground into flour and, because of its mild taste, can be combined easily with other flours in baking applications; it can be toasted and boiled for use in pilafs, casseroles, soups and stews; whisked with plenty of water, broth or milk to create a creamy substitute for oatmeal or polenta; and can be popped for a snack (like popcorn) or puffed for cereal.
Marshmallow Millet Treats Recipe Ingredients • 1/4 cup butter, canola oil or coconut oil* • 4 cups sugar-free marshmallows (see recipe below) • 5 cups puffed millet cereal Heat oil or melt butter in a large sauce pan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melted. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Add cereal, and stir until well coated. Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Cover bottom and sides with parchment or wax paper. Dump mixture into pan and spread out mixture evenly with a spatula. Allow mixture to cool in pan. When completely cool, cut into 2x2-inch squares. *Can substitute peanut, almond or cashew butter for the oil/butter in this recipe to increase the protein and hearthealthy fat content of this recipe. Sugar-Free Marshmallows Recipe Ingredients 1 1/2 cups water 3 tablespoons gelatin 1/3 cup maple syrup or agave nectar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Mix 1/2 cup water and gelatin together in a large bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 1 cup of water to boiling, then remove from heat. With a hand mixer or standing mixer, begin mixing the water and gelatin mixture on low speed. Slowly stream in all of the hot water. Mix in maple syrup or agave and vanilla, then turn mixer speed to medium-high. Beat for 1 to 2 minutes, then increase speed to high; continue for 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Spray a bread loaf pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper. Pour marshmallow mixture into loaf pan, spreading mixture out with a spatula until even. Let sit at room temperature for 4 to 5 hours to set. When set, grip the parchment paper and lift marshmallows out of pan. Cut into small wedges, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Note: You can find black rice in Asian markets, specialty grocery stores, and on Amazon.com. Buy farro, amaranth, teff and millet at health-food stores, in the specialty health foods aisles in some large grocery stores, and online from Bob's Red Mill.
5 Dorm Room Workouts Some days, you just can't get to the gym. Maybe you're eyeball-deep in schoolwork or, if you attend a university located smack dab in the middle of the South, like I do, maybe you can't bear
the march across that sun-blasted campus to the student rec center. Heck, maybe you just need a lazy day. Whatever your reason, there are going to be days you can't make it to the gym, which is inconvenient, considering that's where all the weights and equipment are. If you don't want to miss your workout, you'll need exercises that can be performed with minimal equipment - but still give you that burn. Here are five great options that, if done in sequence, make a great fullbody workout: Pushups: Ah, the pushup. This tried and true exercise is a great measure of upper-body strength and, because it works multiple muscle groups at once, you'll burn a good amount of calories if you do enough of them. Still, it's important to note for this exercise - and all the exercises outlined below, for that matter - that form is absolutely key. Keep your head level, your elbows close to your body, your back straight and your feet firmly on the ground. For the best effect, lower yourself slowly until your elbows make an angle slightly smaller than 90 degrees. Hold yourself there briefly and then push yourself up. Try to do three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions if you're just starting out. Planks: Nothing says "no equipment" quite like a full-body plank. Planks are a great way to work your core and abdominal muscles and, if you're just starting out, you'll probably get a burn like you've never felt before. To perform a plank, assume a good pushup stance, lower yourself onto your elbows and hold yourself there. Correct plank form consists of a 90-degree angle in your elbows, a slightly raised head and a straight back. Make sure your butt isn't too high in the air - or too low - as either error could lead to back issues. Try three one-minute sets to start out. If that's too easy, put an exercise ball under your feet to add some difficulty. Note: You'll notice that the words "situp" and "crunch" don't appear on this list, and for good reason. Most trainers will discourage you from doing these "forward flexion" exercises because they put undue strain on your neck and upper back, and they're relatively ineffective. If you're stuck in your dorm room, stick with planks. No pun intended. Body weight squats: Even without a barbell on your back, squats should be a big part of your workout. Because they work the biggest muscle in your body - your butt - they burn more calories per repetition than any other exercise. Plus, because you're not focusing on the large amount of weight on your back, you can make your form absolutely perfect and avoid back injury. To perform a perfect squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes facing forward. Hold your arms out in front of you to help you balance. As you squat, make sure your head stays up, your back stays straight and your heels stay firmly on the ground. You should go low enough that your knees form an angle around 90 degrees. Use a chair to help you with form. Chair dips: Dips are the bane of my existence. I'm a tall guy, and with height usually comes long, dangly, lanky arms, at least in my case. Because of that, normal dips are really hard for me, so I compromise with chair dips. Chair dips give you a great tricep workout, and they're a little easier than regular dips. Plus, all you need is a chair, bench or low table to do them. A proper dip starts with your hands gripping a chair behind you, your arms straight and your legs out in front of you. Lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle and then push yourself up. For added difficulty, put your feet on a raised surface in front of you.
Pullups and chinups: If the U.S. Marines use it to test upper-body strength, it's a good bet that it's an exercise worth doing. This is especially true for pullups. This is another compound-muscle exercise that's great for working your back and arms. You will, however, need to purchase a pull-bar of some kind, but they usually come pretty cheap ($20 to $30 at most sports and athletic stores), and most can be set up in any door frame. To perform a correct pullup, reach up and grab your pull-up bar in an overhand grip and hang. This is how you should start every repetition. From the hang, pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Then slowly let yourself down. For a chinup, simply Steven Holbrook is a senior majoring in journalism at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. In addition to finishing up his degree, he is currently working on attaining his personal trainer certification. He wants to use his fitness journey to help others attain their own fitness and nutrition goals. He loves a good omelet, aggravating his dog allergies and superhero t-shirts.
No Gym Necessary: 4 Anywhere-Exercises Quit the gym. Or rather, if the 40 or 50 bucks you shell out each month for a membership is shrinking your wallet, remember that folks have been exercising since long before the days of ellipticals and spin classes. Many exercises can be done just about anywhere, any time. Squats in the office; push-ups as the pasta cooks; lunges during "Game of Thrones"—there's no need to pay cash for these moves, just cold, hard calories. Below, five fitness experts with a collective six-pack of 30 abs (don't think about the math too hard) dole out their favorite exercises that require no gym, no trainer and barely any equipment. Fill out those skinny jeans (in a good way) with this move from Bobby and Alicia Strom of Strom Fitness & Massage in Hollywood, Calif. Treat yourself to a Google image search of this power couple, and it's no surprise that, between the two of them, they've helped sculpt the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Blake Lively, Britney Spears and plenty of other stars. To get glutes, quads and hamstrings fit to walk the red carpet, Team Strom suggests this move, called "Squat into Stiff Leg Dead Lift:" • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands folded in front of you, and squat until your elbows touch your quads. Keep your head down as you raise your butt and straighten your legs, feeling a nice stretch in your hamstrings. Slowly lift your head back up. How'd that feel? Good; now do it 19 more times. And if want to really Hulk out, hold a medicine ball throughout the exercise. Here's another move to achieve a lower half that may or may not remind us of a certain Sir Mix-A-Lot song. This one comes from Jen Comas Keck, a personal trainer certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine who splits her time between Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. She's a big fan of the "Triple Lunge:" • We'll take it one lunge at a time. Stand up straight with feet shoulder-width apart, and then step your left foot forward to create 90 degree-angles with each knee. Be sure that your left knee doesn't lean past your left ankle and that your right knee doesn't touch the floor. Bring your left foot back into your starting position, and this time, lunge it to your left side. Your right leg should be stretched straight. Now bring your left foot back to the starting position once more. Time for the reverse lunge, in which you lunge your left leg backward, again, to create two 90 degree angles. Repeat this three-part move five to eight times, and then get going on your right-leg lunges. And what about that belly you'd like to show off at the beach this summer? The following move works your core, shoulders and triceps (aka the parts of your arm you don't want to jiggle during the Funky Chicken at summer weddings). Here's what Angeles Burke, a group fitness instructor with the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, dubs "Desk dips:" • Stand facing away from a desk or table. With palms on the edge of the desk behind you, walk your feet forward about two feet. Drop your body down toward the floor, and then push back up into starting position. Try this first with legs bent, but if you'd like more of a challenge, walk your feet out
father, with legs straight. If you're feeling particularly ambitions, lift one leg off the ground as you dip, alternating between legs. Whichever you chose, shoot for four sets of 15. Finally, grab some cardio and have fun in the process. (No, the two concepts are not mutually exclusive.) How? By doing something you may not have attempted since grade school: jumping rope. This suggestion comes from New York-based fitness and lifestyle coach Liz DiAlto, who points out that a jump rope is easy to pack as you travel or keep in your car. Sneak in a couple intervals when you can, and feel like a kid again in the process. When Chuck Norris kicks a hornetsâ€™ nest, the insects sting themselves,
out of fear.) Build a Healthier Back-to-School Sandwich
It's that time of year again: it's time to say goodbye to summer and switch to back-to-school mode. The beginning of a school year is a great time to start thinking about healthy lunches, and not just for your kids. Packing your lunch for school or work will save you time and money, and help you be more healthful, if done right. According to the National Restaurant Association, the average American age 8 and older eats out at least four times a week. Half of those meals are eaten at lunch. Including coffees, teas and snacks, young adults under the age of 27 eat out as many as 30 times a week. In 2009, one study looked at the factors influencing lunchtime food choices among working Americans. About one half of the study participants purchased lunch greater than or equal to two times/week. The typical source for purchasing lunch was a fast-food restaurant, followed by an on-site cafeteria/snack shop, full-service restaurant, supermarket, vending machine and convenience store. When making your lunch, you have more control over what you're eating. It gives you a better opportunity to eat more nutritious food and monitor portion sizes. Lunch choices affect overall daily consumption of calories, fat, saturated fat, fiber, sugar and sodium. When packing your lunch, aim to include a serving from the five food groups: fruits and vegetables, grains, protein and low-fat or non-fat dairy. There are many delicious options you can prepare at home to take to school or work. Keep it simple with leftovers from the night before, a salad or a sandwich. For the latter, use these tips to build a more nutritious version of this midday-meal favorite: 1. Choose your bread/wrap: Any whole-wheat option will do: bread, wrap, English muffin or tortilla. The key is to choose one with whole wheat as the first ingredient. 2. Choose your spread: Be creative here! Try hummus (there are various flavors to choose from), avocado, pesto, nut butters (peanut, almond and cashew), mustard or non-fat, plain yogurt. 3. Choose your protein: Any lean protein will do: mashed beans or lentils, turkey, chicken, tofu, eggs (scrambled or hard boiled), tuna or salmon (fresh or canned), veggie burgers and nut butters. 4. Add lots of vegetables: Go crazy here; you want a rainbow of color. Fill your sandwich with raw or roasted vegetables. Add leafy greens like spinach, kale or arugula. Try carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumber or zucchini. Any favorite vegetable of yours will work.
Turkey-Avocado-Veggie Sandwich Here's how to build this delicious and nutritious sandwich: 1. Bread/wrap: Whole wheat bread Adults need 5-to-8 ounce equivalents of whole grains per day and having a whole grain at lunch,
like whole wheat bread, will help meet that goal. Whole grains will also provide fiber, B vitamins and trace minerals like iron, zinc, cooper and magnesium. 2. Spread: Avocado Heart-healthy avocado is high in mono-unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat. Avocados are a good source of fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamins C, K and B6. 3. Protein: Fresh Turkey Breast This high-protein choice is a good source of B vitamins with less saturated fat than other meat choices. Just make sure you stick with a 2-to-3 ounce portion size. Also, be aware that some turkey breasts can be high in sodium. 4. Vegetables: Arugula + Cucumber + Red Bell Pepper + Tomato Arugula is a good source of folate and calcium, and an excellent source of vitamins A and C. Cucumber is naturally low-calorie and a good source of vitamin C. Red bell peppers are rich in vitamins A, C and B6, and a good source of vitamin K. They also contain beta carotene and lycopene. Lastly, tomatoes are high in vitamins A and C, and they're a good source of potassium and lycopene. Pair this delicious sandwich with a small container of non-fat plain Greek yogurt with your favorite berries added in to round out.
2 leaves lettuce 2 slices tomato 3 oz low-salt turkey breast 2 slices Swiss cheese 1 tsp mustard Whole wheat Calories: 230; Protein: 20 g; Sugar: 2 g; Fiber 1 g; Fat: 11 g; Sodium: 680 mg