Fitness Blog

Kari’s Gliding Disc Pike Push-ups

Another great total body exercise from Kari Hall!

Have you ever tried Kinesis?

Have you ever participated in a Kinesis session?  Let us know!
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Beef Lettuce Wraps

Cooking spray
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
4 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
8 Bibb lettuce leaves
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup torn fresh mint
1/2 cup matchstick-cut English cucumber
1/2 cup torn fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper. Place steak in pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from pan; let stand 10 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices.
2. Combine juice, fish sauce, sugar, and jalapeño in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Reserve 4 teaspoons juice mixture in a small serving bowl. Pour remaining juice mixture in a large bowl; add steak, tossing to coat. Place 1 1/2 ounces beef in center of each lettuce leaf; top each with 2 tablespoons onion, 2 tablespoons mint, 1 tablespoon cucumber, and 1 tablespoon cilantro. Sprinkle evenly with peanuts; roll up. Serve with reserved juice mixture.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 wraps and 1 teaspoon sauce)
CALORIES 224 ; FAT 8.1g (sat 2.7g,mono 3.4g,poly 1g); CHOLESTEROL 39mg; CALCIUM 61mg; CARBOHYDRATE 11.2g; SODIUM 755mg; PROTEIN 27g; FIBER 2g; IRON 2.6mg
Cooking Light, JUNE 2009
“I tried this recipe from the June 2009 issue of Cooking Light. It has great flavor and is fairly easy to prepare and is perfect on a hot night.”- Darcy

Strength, Bones and Balance

A growing number of men and women are informed of the effects of osteoporosis and bone loss. Many things can increase your risk for low bone density, this workshop will instruct you on how to decrease your risks for developing osteoporosis and how to maintain or increase bone density through physical activity.
Regular weight bearing activity has been shown to maintain and improve bone density.
There are certain exercises that are most effective in stimulating bones and targeting the most vulnerable areas such as the lumbar spine.
Strength training using resistance is the primary focus when trying to improve bone density. The muscles must be challenged to a point greater than what they are accustomed to, so that the bones are then challenged. Resistance training can be done every other day, while weight-bearing aerobic exercise can be done every day if desired.
Balance training is incorporated in this workshop to help prevent falls and to improve function in daily activities. Strength and balance go hand- in- hand in the prevention of osteoporosis and fractures associated with bone loss.
If you have already been diagnosed with osteopenia ( beginning bone loss ) or osteoporosis, you are still encouraged to participate in regular weight-bearing exercise and resistance training. There are certain precautions to take to protect fragile bone and joints. You should always progress at your own pace and conservatively. Please use the guidance of your physician along with this information to develop your individual program guidelines.
Weight – bearing exercise: any continuous activity that is supporting your own body weight. Walking, hiking, running, gardening, vigorous housework, and some cardiovascular machines like elliptical, stairs, and arc trainer are great choices for aerobic exercise. Swimming is not weight-bearing, and cycling is only partially weight-bearing. The rowing machine is seated but is recommended because it has been proven to improve lumbar spine bone density with the repetitive pulling motion.
All forms of resistance training are beneficial to bone density, however, there are certain exercises that have been incorporated into research to prove their benefits. If some of these are not appropriate for individual reasons ( e.g. knee pain ) then there are many other ways to work those same muscles and bones. Those with known bone loss should begin slowly and avoid twisting or bending at the spine ( I usually advise that to most people regardless of bone loss ) and don’t add jumping exercises without your doctor’s permission and several weeks of preparatory training.
Most recommended exercises:
Walking with added weight (such as weight vest, or dumbells)
Stepping / Jumping or rock-jumps
Lunging, walking lunges
Squats, front loaded squats
Pushing through arms, static (isometric hold while weight-bearing) or dynamic (wall push-up)
Sit-to-Stand chair squats
Single Leg Stance
Clock sway
Reaches ( double or single leg )
Heel – toe walk (fwd, bkwd)
Walk while looking side to side
High-knee obstacle walking
Heel raises
Turns each way in complete circle ( vestibular system stimulus)
by Kari A. Hall, BS, ACSM HFS, CLM

Sliding Lunges with Kari Hall

Awesome exercise for your legs!

Favorite Body Part to Work out

What is your favorite part of the body to workout? Cast your vote and see what other’s think!
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Workout Circuit #1

Try this workout to strengthen your whole body – especially your upper body!

  • 10 Pull Ups/Assisted Pull Ups
  • 25 Bodyweight Squats
  • 12 Push Ups
  • 15 Dumbbell Shoulder Presses
  • 60 second Plank Hold

Repeat exercises a total of 3-4 times, resting 30-60 between exercises & 2 minutes between circuits.

Cara’s Healthtastic Pesto

A quick meal that is high in antioxidants and taste!  I usually cook some chicken or scallops with the sauce and pour it over the pasta.  This is a great dish for people who don’t usually like veggies.


  • Steam one head of Broccoli and one head of Calliflower
  • Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste
  • Blend in blender or cuisinart with fresh basil and fresh garlic until smooth


  • Bring water to boil in large pot.
  • Add salt and green tea bags (for antioxidants).
  • Take the tea bags out before adding pasta.
  • Cook whole wheat pasta.

P90X Review

I’m sure you have all seen the relentless infomercials for the P90X workout! It seems like they are on at least one channel all hours of the day. As it turns out, Beach Body Inc is as aggressive at exercise as they are at marketing.
Not only do these guys promote and market like crazy but they really put together a great workout package. I say package because when you do make the $120 purchase not only do you receive the workout DVDs, you receive a very comprehensive manual on the exercises you perform but also some very helpful nutrition advice.
I watched the infomercials numerous times not really knowing what to think. I have been in the fitness industry for 14 years now and I have seen a lot of flashes in the pan. The fitness industry is full of one hit wonders and products that never even make it that far. Knowing that producing infomercials is not cheap let alone buying HUGE amounts for TV time, I thought there has to be something to this.
Next thing I knew I had friends giving it raving reviews. So I watched the infomercial few more times. I looked Tony Horton, the instructor, up on the internet. I found out he is legitimate. I asked more and more people about P90X and I didn’t hear anything negative other than Tony can be a bit over the top as a instructor! Let’s put it this way Tony is full of energy. In this business you have to be.
So I pulled out the plastic and made my purchase. Now I’m sure you are asking why would a fitness professional buy workout videos? Bottom line is sometimes trainers need trainers. We like to be able to shut our brains off and be trained once in awhile as well. Besides, I’m all about training on my feet, using my body weight with pushups and pull-ups, doing plyometrics and heck they even incorporate martial arts and yoga. It’s my preferred style of working out. My only hang up was the yoga. I’m not the most flexible individual so yoga is very tough for me. Yes, I need more yoga!
The production of the info is really top notch. You have the option of shutting off the instruction which helps if Tony’s guidance starts to bug you and you can do the same with the background music.
In my opinion Tony does a great job explaining and demonstrating the exercises. There are usually two or three other people on the set doing the workout showing varying levels of fitness and ways of doing the exercises. This enables just about any level of fitness to do these exercises.
There is even a timer at the bottom of the screen showing the duration of exercise you are currently doing and also for the entire workout. For me this was great. I love knowing where I’m headed.
There is so much variety in the exercises and types of exercises you could easily perform this routines over and over without getting bored. The only down side is that a lot of the exercises require good form and technique that I know the average home user will not have. If you work out with a partner it would benefit you to critique each other’s form. Their premise of muscle confusion is dead on and there is so much variety your body will not know what hit, in a good way. They also do a good job of cycling the routine to ensure you have some rest over the duration of the 3 month program so you don’t end up over training. On the downside, if you are a very de-conditioned person you may find the workouts to be a little too tough to complete but that’s ok because you can just stop when you need to.
Now I don’t usually give home workout routines or equipment glowing reviews but P90X has really earned it. They did their homework and have the right people involved. It’s a bit pricey but I know that if you will truly do the workouts you will see results. The typical problem is if you are like most of the general public in the United States, you will try and most likely like P90X but will have issues with accountability and stop doing the program somewhere along the way. That’s where people like myself come into play. But as a standalone product P90X is top notch. Kudos to Tony and the rest of Beach Body Inc!
Let us know if you have tried P90X and what you liked and disliked!

A Return to Common Sense

I hardly need to quote statistics to convince you that we live in a perpetually dieting society. As a dietitian, I have seen it all. The grapefruit diet. The cabbage soup diet. The Atkins diet. The list goes on and on. And what do all of these diets have in common? Calorie restriction, elimination of foods (or entire food groups!), hunger, boredom, cravings… Though such diets all promise quick weight loss, the eventual punch line is almost always regain.
But why? Diets are designed to be a temporary means to an end. Most folks who “go on” a diet hope to at some point “get off” the diet. Unfortunately, this kind of temporary lifestyle change can only guarantee temporary results, causing many dieters to lose and regain the same 10, 20, 30 or more pounds over and over again. Dieting becomes a lifestyle in and of itself, leaving many individuals wondering what “normal” eating is like.
Good nutrition boils down to three main principles: balance, variety, and moderation. This is just good common sense. When you envision a healthy diet, what comes to mind? Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, healthy fats—a balanced diet incorporates all of these foods, forbidding none. This sort of variety will not only ensure that your body is fueled with every essential nutrient you need for health and wellness, but will also look and taste great! The final principle, moderation, is what brings it all together. Anything in excess spells trouble. The key is to load up on nutrient-dense foods that are low in calories and limit your indulgence of energy-dense foods, which are high in calories but provide few nutrients. Pay attention to serving sizes—ever measure yourself ½ cup of ice cream? By following these very basic principles of good nutrition, you can get off the dieting rollercoaster and make changes that will last a lifetime—improving both the quality and length of your years. So take inventory! Take a minute to assess your current eating habits and look for areas of improvement. Create a list of changes you would like to make and get started on your own nutrition makeover. As Adelle Davis once said, “We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.” Enjoy!
“Food is an important part of a balanced diet.”
-Fran Lebowitz
Maureen Boswell, RD, CSO, CD, CDE, ASCM HFS