Water Ballet Exercise

Water Ballet ExerciserWater Ballet Exercise!

We are filming for several hours a day starting at the crack of dawn. The weather is cooler but not for long. My only relief has been to strip off my workout clothes, which are almost pasted to my body, jump into a swimsuit and plunge into the pool. After about 45 minutes of laps back and forth I get an idea. What if I try some exercises in the water, holding on to the side of the pool? Doing some Water Ballet Exercise in the water, while cooling off is not such a bad idea I’m thinking. So I try one of my on land favorites for my legs and butt. I like it! I can really feel it working. It may be even more effective with the water for added resistance. This Aqua Ballet Workout not only tones your lower body but it also helps to elongate your muscles while you are doing it. And because you are in the water, you are adding resistance to strengthen your legs and butt while at the same time using your core muscles to help keep your body upright and balanced.

Try this Water Ballet Exercise to Tone Up Your Legs and Butt

Stand facing front, heels together, feet turned out. Hold on to the edge of the pool with your right hand. Slowly bend left knee, bringing foot up to right knee forming a triangle. Slowly stretch leg in front of body. Then bring foot back to the knee of the standing leg and return to the starting position. Repeat 4 times to the Front, Side, and Back.

Water Ballet ExerciseWater Ballet ExerciseWater Ballet ExerciseWater Ballet ExerciseWater Ballet Exercise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn around and repeat exercise on the other leg holding on with your left hand. Enjoy this Water Ballet Exercise.

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In these times of social distancing and sheltering in place is a perfect time to focus on your health and well-being. It can make a big difference to keep your immune system strong. If you need some help, I have your back! Here’s a short video about my Health Coaching Technique how I have helped my clients achieve a balanced and Healthy Life. https://www.mirabaiholland.com/health-coaching-one-session/

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Aqua Exercise: A Splash of Fabulous!

Aqua ExerciseAqua Exercise: A Splash of Fabulous!

Water babies, that’s us. We’re at home in liquid from pre-birth and we seem to naturally gravitate to it. We love the ocean, the lake the pool, the hot tub, and the bathtub.

What is it about water that means so much to us? It surrounds us, it cradles us, and it supports us. We’re nearly weightless in water. The largest of us can glide with ease and grace, feeling minimal resistance. And, I think it’s those endearing properties of water that make aqua exercise pleasant and effective.

Fitness
Swimming is the most common form of Aqua Exercise. It’s good for all ages. It uses all your major muscle groups, strengthens, tones, and helps build aerobic capacity. There’s almost no impact, so it’s kind to your joints while it gets you in shape.

I swim laps for 30 to 40 minutes four or five times per week. I find it relaxing and stimulating at the same time. Some days it melts my stress and puts me in a meditative state. Other days I do some of my best thinking during my swim workout. In any case, I always get out of the water with that energized good-tired feeling. Mornings are my favorite time to swim. But I’ll take a swim any time I can fit it in. I mostly swim outside so, as pretty as dusk is; I’m usually done before that, because mosquitoes love me.

If you’re a beginner, start slowly with a few minutes a day. Stay in your comfort zone and build up. I can swim for an hour or so now, when my body’s in the mood. But it took me over a year to get that conditioned, and I had a head start as a fitness professional. Take your time and keep it fun.

Aqua Exercise

Can’t swim? No worries. There are classes at the local rec. centers everywhere. There’s aqua cardio, aqua strength, aqua stretch, just about aqua everything. It’s done in about four feet of water so there’s no need to swim. You can get a great workout. It’s no-to-low impact, so it’s easy on your joints. And, if you have access to a pool or calm water, now you can stream a workout on to your tablet, prop it on a chair and exercise your brains out.

There’s some cool equipment to use in the water, too; aqua dumbbells, paddle gloves, jogging vests. Obviously if you’re going deep water running you’ll need one of those deep water jogging vests. But otherwise, you don’t need that stuff to get started. Many aqua cardio classes don’t use any equipment.

Here is an Aqua exercise you might try for cardio:

And, you can do Aqua Strength exercises using aqua dumbbells or a couple of empty plastic water bottles filled with air for resistance. Here’s a video with a few Aqua Strength exercises:

PT and Rehab
Immersion in water was used for healing by ancient civilizations more than 3,000 years ago.

They were on to something, though they probably didn’t know quite what. Immersion in water provides a supportive, low impact, low resistance environment for modern, medically based, physical therapy and injury rehab. A doctor usually prescribes this type of exercise.

Aging Fit
Someone really smart, and probably pretty old, once said: “Aging is not for the faint of heart.” Can I say I can relate to that without giving away my age? Guess not.

Luckily water is also a great medium for vintage bodies that simply can’t take the impact of other types of exercise, at least not every day.

Even if you’re pretty active getting older can make it hard to do land-based exercise on a regular basis. And water is fun. You don’t know you’re exercising until you get out and your body tells you “Oh, that was a workout.”

As our health-conscious population lives longer and longer, I think aqua, with it’s ability to surround and support our aging bodies while we keep them operational, is the wave of the future. Get those creaky bodies in the water. Try it, you’ll like it.

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Exercising With Asthma

Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways. Bronchial passages become inflamed and narrowed in response to triggers like cold air, exercise, smoke, pet dander, dust mites and stress. Breathing becomes labored and difficult and in extreme cases, asthma attacks can be fatal. Asthma affects about 25 million people in the US according to the National Institutes of health, and 300 million worldwide.

Check out this video on Exercising With Asthma!

In these times of social distancing and sheltering in place is a perfect time to focus on your health and well-being. It can make a big difference to keep your immune system strong. If you need some help, I have your back! Here’s a short video about my Health Coaching Technique how I have helped my clients achieve a balanced and Healthy Life. Get 50% OFF Your First Session: Put COACH AT CHECKOUT: https://www.mirabaiholland.com/health-coaching-one-session/

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Health Coaching: What You Should Know!

Health CoachingHealth Coaching: What You Should Know!

So you go to your annual check-up and your doc says “whoops your blood pressure is up and you’re 15 pounds heavier than last year. I’ll give you some meds, but you’ll have to lose weight and get into shape, OK?

 You say OK, you walk out and then what?

Join a gym, hire a personal trainer, go on a diet, take a walk? You might do one or several of these because, after all, it’s a new year and a new you.

Right? Right, and you try something. But how long is it till you throw up your hands and say, “ugh, I got started and now I’m off the track just like last year.”

What went wrong? Maybe nothing, except you might not have been psychologically ready to take those steps.

For any change there is a process. One of the models that are used in health coaching is the transtheoretical model of behavior change (TTM) developed by James O. Prochaska , Ph.D

 There are 5 stages:

 Precontemplation – going along not aware of a need for, or not wanting a change.

 Contemplation – recognizing a need to do something to improve your situation and considering making some sort of change.

Preparation – doing some research, making small changes, or at least thinking about what you’re going to do to help yourself.

Action – Actively making lifestyle changes,

Maintenance – Having made changes, keeping the healthy lifestyle going.

All too often we jump from contemplation to action without being ready for the change. It can feel like getting off a plane in Antarctica wearing shorts and a T-shirt. You wanted to be there but you weren’t ready for what that change would be like, and what you’d need to do to stay there comfortably.

But there is help, a new kind of help.

The health and fitness industry is rising to the challenge of our increased involvement with our own health care.

Many of us still think of fitness professionals as muscle heads with great bodies and not much else. Those types will always exist, but more educational opportunities including degrees and certifications are spawning a new breed of health & fitness professional, one that’s part of the health as well as the fitness industry.

Health Coaching: What You Should Know!

Enter the Health & Wellness Coach.

Not to be confused with a personal trainer, the Health & Wellness Coach is a consultant who helps you go, through, preparation, to action and on to maintenance. Health coaching helps you determine your health and wellness goals and needs. Once you have a path to your goals the coach continues to work with you to help you find the behavior modifications, activities, facilities and allied health professionals (MDs Ph.Ds, Nurse Practitioners RDs, PTs, Personal Trainers, Exercise Instructors, etc.) to support your healthy lifestyle. You can do this on your own, but having someone with health industry knowledge to help you focus is a big plus. So now may be the time to try some health coaching!

In these times of social distancing and sheltering in place is a perfect time to focus on your health and well-being. It can make a big difference to keep your immune system strong. If you need some help, I have your back! Here’s a short video about my Health Coaching Technique how I have helped my clients achieve a balanced and Healthy Life. Get 50% OFF Your First Session: Put COACH AT CHECKOUT: https://www.mirabaiholland.com/health-coaching-one-session/

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Getting Fit: Find Fabulousity!

Getting Fit: Find Fabulousity!

I was back in my home town recently, where I taught for over 20 years. I missed my ladies so I decided to take some of my former students out for tea and dessert.

I thought for a minute the dessert part was a bad idea when a couple of them wouldn’t eat a piece of cake in front of me. But when I dug in, moderately of course, the party got started in earnest.  Ever the moderator, I asked them each to share things that were important in their lives over the past year.

As we went around the circle, they spoke of getting pregnant, daughter’s weddings, losing your job, becoming a gym rat, outliving heart disease, surviving menopause, the joy of grandchildren, and a trip to China.

Maybe because I was their host, the conversation drifted toward how getting fit had changed their lives.

They shared stories about feeling invisible, not sexy, not pretty, having no energy and feeling like a lump. One remembered showing up in my office, tearing her hair out saying my doctor told me I need to do something, I’ve got serious health issues, but I hate to exercise. What do I do?

She said, I told her “I’m going to give you exercise you can look forward to instead of dread.”

Getting Fit: Find Fabulousity!

Most of my work is done with women who haven’t been active in a while. My coaching style is to start people wherever they may be physically and emotionally and get them moving, gently, and pleasantly. If the first experience is pleasant, you’ll want a second and the third and so on. Sustainability is the key to getting fit and staying fit successfully. And that’s what happened with these ladies. But something else remarkable happened too.

They told me getting fit had given them the self confidence to pursue things they would never have dared to try; that the change in their bodies had kindled a change in the way they saw themselves. Instead of feeling invisible they felt fabulous and that Fabulosity had spilled over into the rest of their lives. As much as I would love to take all the credit for this transformation, I think that it boils down to healthy body, healthy mind;

Getting fit was the key that unlocked the door to their potential.
Pretty cool huh?

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LOSE WEIGHT NOW!

LOSE WEIGHTDo you want to lose weight?

You might be asking should  I  weigh or not to weigh, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of knowing one’s outrageous weight, or to take arms against a sea of bulges by simply ignoring the scale and trying to eat less and exercise more. For some of us, the scale is a tool. For others, it’s the enemy.

LOSE WEIGHT

So let’s say your plan is to Lose 1lb a Week

Some health and fitness professionals have made a compelling case for ignoring the scale, saying that measuring one’s percentage of body fat is the most accurate way to track one’s fitness level.

It indicates a healthy body composition, regardless of height and weight. I agree that you should know your body fat as a baseline for fitness and fatness.

Here are some body fat guidelines according to the American Council on Exercise:

Body Fat Percentage for Women:

  • Athlete: 14-20 percent
  • Fit: 21-24 percent
  • Average: 25-31 percent
  • Obese: > 32 percent

Body Fat Percentage for Men:

  • Athlete: 6-13 percent
  • Fit: 14-17 percent
  • Average: 18-24 percent
  • Obese: > 25 percent

So why bother weighing yourself at all? When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to use any indication you can get that your efforts are paying off. It can take a couple of weeks before you see any difference in body fat. Your weight will change more quickly. Besides, there are relatively inexpensive scales that give you both your actual weight and your percentage of body fat.

My personal prejudice is to weigh yourself at least once or twice a week. I do, and I find that facing my weight on a regular basis helps me stay motivated. Believe me, there have been times when I’ve dreaded getting on that scale. But I do it anyway because no matter what it says, I feel relief. I find it liberating. Why? Because now I know where I am and what I need to do next. It helps me maintain a healthy weight. And I have one of those scales that also measures fitness to fatness, so I am able to keep track of that at the same time. I check my body fat every week or two.

In my practice I have helped hundreds of people lose weight. And many of them initially fight me about getting on the scale; and I understand this because I know that terror. Part of the process of losing weight is to prepare oneself to do it. If you are not psychologically ready to lose, stepping on the scale can be a real turnoff and actually deter you from losing weight. But once you’re ready, facing that number can jump-start your weight-loss program and keep you going.

I give my clients a baseline of their body fat percentage and get them to use the scale. Then we set up a diet and exercise plan. You can lose weight by diet alone. But dieting can reduce muscle mass along with fat. This becomes ever more important as we age. We can lose as much as 6 pounds of muscle tissue per decade as we age. And metabolism can slow down as much as 3 percent per decade. You can see that if left unchecked, you’re on a slow boat to obesity. Adding an exercise program may be all you need to turn this process around. Cardio exercise burns calories, and strength training raises your metabolism and builds lean muscle mass while you are losing. Losing about 1 percent body fat a month and one to two pounds a week is considered safe and realistic. Here’s the winning combination. Reduce calorie intake with diet, do cardio most days to burn calories, and strength train at least a couple of days a week to build muscle mass and increase metabolism.

So, I’ve made my case for using the scale as a tool, and I hope you’ll try it when you are ready. Regardless, to be or not to be at a healthy weight should not be in question.

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Walking Exercise

WALKING EXERCISE

Scientists are still debating exactly when, where, how, and why the species that became us stopped scampering around on all fours, and began to walk erect.
But, with gradual anatomical changes over six or so million years,
we’ve gotten used to it, and at this point it, it feels quite natural. We can walk erect all day now and get from place to place, as people in many regions of the world do daily.

Although our current anatomy made it harder for us to climb trees, walking erect has spawned other things we’ve come to enjoy, like baseball, basketball, tennis, stand-up paddle-boarding, track and field, soccer, ice hockey, roller derby, walks in the park, hiking mountain trails, carrying a colicky baby around the room for hours. Okay, scratch that last one. How about dancing?

For better and worse, nowadays, most of us only have to walk from the car to the elevator, and walking has been relegated to recreation, or simply, exercise.
This brings me to the fact that walking is good for you. We all know that. But, just as a reminder, here’s a partial list of the health benefits of walking from Mayo Clinic

Some people think walking is so good for you they almost never sit. People work at standing desks and wear pedometers to count their steps. 10,000 is a common daily goal.

Others can’t stand to just stand. They’ve built desks onto treadmills and take meetings, type emails, and do their office work while walking. I’ve heard numbers like 10 miles a day in a treadmill while at work. Some believe treadmill desks boost productivity.

I’m a walking advocate and a walking enthusiast. However, as you may know, I believe in the ease in, start with a little, stay in your comfort zone, set attainable short term goals, build up to your ultimate goal over time, method of exercise.

Studies show that vigorous exercise has the most positive effect on the list of health benefits. The same studies also show that moderate exercise shows measurable benefits.

And, I know from personal experience that it’s more sustainable when it’s fun.

This, as you may have guessed, brings me to my pleasure principal. If I like something I do it because I like it. If it’s good for my health, so much the better.

It’s easy to like walking if it’s easy. Start with a pleasant gentle stroll, and if you build up at your own pace over time, it stays easy, even when you eventually build up to vigorous.

I think pedometers and heart rate monitor watches are good tools if you keep them fun. The prices have come down and they give you some valuable information.
But some of the fittest people I can think of, the people who walk everywhere every day because walking is their only mode of transportation, don’t use them. So you don’t absolutely need them.

Shoes are good, walking, running, cross training, or hiking shoes, if you can afford them. But I’ve been to countries where some of the fittest people can’t afford them. Some of the people I’m thinking of don’t have shoes at all. But, I do suggest activity appropriate shoes if you can afford them. Otherwise, just shoes will have to do. You can get plenty fit in just plain shoes if they’re comfortable to walk in.

Good posture is essential for walking. Stand and walk with your head over your shoulders, your shoulders over your hips, and the whole body line-up centered over the base of the feet. Don’t slouch forward or lean back. Try to keep your abs pulled in when you think of it. If you’re used to less the good posture, it may feel awkward at first. But, once you get used to it, I don’t think you’ll want to stand or walk any other way.

Music is the plane that flies you to your destination. So if you like music, plug in your ear buds and walk to your favorites. Try to pick music that helps you walk at a comfortable pace, not too fast or too slow. Stay in your comfort zone.

Do walk. Please make time in your day for it. Whether it’s outside, in a mall, on a treadmill, or in place. It’s in your nature. And, I think you’ll thank yourself for the effort.

Last but not least walking is an adventure. Here’s a video of something that actually happened to me while out walking. The camera just happened to be there.

Andiamo!

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Cardio Dance Routines Online May Improve Memory

Cardio DanceCardio Dance Routines May Improve Memory
I became interested in cardio dance, and memory several years ago when my older students began to tell me that their memories seemed to improve after they took my class.
I was teaching mostly cardio dance in those days. I started with simple steps and built up to a pretty complex routine.
There has to be a connection I thought, between the physical movement, making your brain learn this routine, and improved memory.
I’m no scientist but I was curious. So I started to break it down.
What I was having people do is learn short phrases of movement and then link them together. The cardio dance routine required them to move forward and back, side to side, remember specific steps; and stay in rhythm.
This was a real challenge for many of my students who had never done anything like this before. As they got more proficient, the class became a social gathering; because of this shared experience.
Cardio DanceMy students felt energized afterwards, not exhausted. They told me that besides getting a good body workout they were getting a memory workout as well. They said they could actually remember things better.
I wondered if there was science to support our anecdotal experience.
I contacted a couple of local Alzheimer’s specialists (there was no internet back then) and they told me – you’re probably right but there weren’t any specific studies on this more than 20 years ago.
Even now the research is not conclusive. But, technology in the last 15 years has allowed science to discover a lot more about the brain.
Vascular memory loss has been linked to heart disease and cardio fitness is a major factor in preventing and managing that issue. Aerobic exercise increases the amount of oxygen supplied to the brain improving mental function. Cardio fitness has been shown to reduce loss of brain cells in older adults.
A study of 1,449 older adults shows those who in middle age exercised vigorously enough to perspire and breathe hard for 20 to 30 minutes at least twice a week reduced their risk of later developing Alzheimer’s disease by about 60 percent.*
But cardio is just part of the equation.
Cardio Dance

Research published in the  New England Journal of Medicine suggests that certain types of dance, particularly with routines to learn and remember, may help prevent age-onset memory loss and diseases like Alzheimer’s. “…. cognitive activity may stave off dementia by increasing a person’s “cognitive reserve.” **
And a study conducted at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, says activities that combined mental and social as well as physical stimulation offered the greatest protection against dementia
Activity is the active word. Be physically active, mentally active and socially active, preferably all at once. In these times of Gym Closures and Social Distancing, it can be pretty tough to get and stay fit.  But take a look at my New Online Workout Club. We have 32 workouts  and more coming.“It’s time to workout our hearts and minds!”

Here is a easy cardio dance video:

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Spring Into Action

SPRING INTO ACTIONSPRING INTO ACTION!

WHAT CAN KEEP YOU FROM FULFILLING YOUR FITNESS PROMISE.

Here are a few general email questions that I have received and answers that might help you on your become more fit!

SPRING INTO ACTION: Q’s & A’s

Q: I’ve recently hurt my right shoulder. My doctor said it was a rotator cuff injury. I went through physical therapy but my shoulder still hurts sometimes. My doctor wants me to do some post-rehab exercise to continue to rebuild the muscles. What exercises can I do at home? And are there any exercises I should avoid?

A: Rotator cuff injuries can take a long time to heal.  While your shoulder still hurts don’t do any movements higher than shoulder level. Check with your doctor first. But  here’s a classic exercise to help strengthen that area. Its called external rotation.

Get a resistance band and sit in a chair with arms. Tie one end of the band to the left arm of the chair.  Sit up straight feet shoulder width apart. Hold your right arm in front of you, bent at 90 a degree angle, palm up. Grab the band in about the middle. Keep your elbow close to your side but not touching. Pull the band laterally away from your body while exhaling. Hold for 5 seconds and gently release. Start with 1 or 2 and build up to 6-8 repetitions over a couple of weeks.

If you don’t have a resistance band, use a towel or scarf.

Q: I’ve never had a great sense of balance and it seems to be getting worse as I get older. What exercises can I do to improve my balance.

A: Loss of balance is quite common as we age.

Stand with your heels touching, feet turned out. Slowly pick up one leg and place your foot against your opposite calf or knee. Holding on to a wall, or a chair slowly bring your other arm out and over your head. When you feel ready, let go and bring the other arm up. Hold for about 10 seconds (or as long as you can).

When it gets too easy, try doing it with your eyes closed.

Q: I wake up in the middle of the night and I have trouble getting back to sleep. I worry about everything, my finances, my kids careers, my golf game. I’ve tried the usual get back to sleep stuff and its not working. I don’t want to take drugs. Any ideas?

A. Stress kills. And it’s also one of the main contributors to aging. We’re getting old fast enough. Don’t accelerate the process.

Here’s an ancient exercise that can help you get back to sleep and slow down your aging clock at the same time.

Close your eyes, and focus on your breath. Watch the ebb and flow of your own breathing pattern. As thoughts come in, let them come in but don’t hold on to them, let them flow out. Continue to focus on your breathing, in and out.

As you become more relaxed, you will be able to take slower and deeper breaths. This will allow you to clear your mind of thoughts. You won’t even notice when you fall asleep.

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Osteoporosis Prevention Diet

Osteoporosis Prevention DietOsteoporosis Prevention Diet? EEK! One more thing to worry about? Sounds like more bad news but it’s not. True, our bodies can lose up to 40% of their bone mass in the 10 years following menopause. And true, if we don’t do something we could easily end up with osteoporosis. But also true, the fix for this is both easy and delicious.

It’s important to get enough calcium, Vitamin D in your bone healthy diet.  As we age  bodies become less efficient at absorbing these nutrients.

Here are some recommendations.

If you’re 50 or over you should make sure you’re getting a total calcium intake of at least

1200 milligrams daily and a Vitamin D intake of at least 800 to 1000 units daily.

Osteoporosis Prevention Diet

Here are some sources of dietary calcium:

  •  Dairy Products including milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Nuts such as almonds and various green vegetables such as broccoli
  •  Fish with bones such as sardines, and mackerel and calcium fortified juices and cereals.

So, yogurt with fruit, almonds and maybe even a little cereal sounds like lunch. So does a salad with sardines, and a little raw broccoli. How about a nice piece of fish with a smaller salad. You might try some cheese and fruit with a glass of fruit juice. OK, wine. You get the idea. Get your calcium from food and you don’t have to take supplements. But if you do, most people have a better time digesting calcium citrate than calcium carbonate, but they both work fine.

Sources of Vitamin D include:

  • Fatty fishes such as salmon and mackerel and Vitamin D enriched milk, juices and cereals.
  • Although your skin can make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, sun block prevents vitamin D production.

By now you’re making up your own healthy bones recipes so I don’t have to suggest a Salmon, mackerel, milk, fruit juice and cereal smoothie do I?

But if you’re like most people and wear sun block and don’t get enough D in your diet you’ll need to take a supplement to get your 800-1000 units of Vitamin D.

MORE Osteoporosis Prevention Diet  DO’s

Research suggests nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, Vitamins A, K & C found in certain veggies and fruits may help foster better bones. It is recommended to eat about 12 ounces of fruit and 16 ounces of veggies daily.

Here is a list for your concoctions:

  • Magnesium include: Raisins, potatoes, sweet potatoes, plaintains, squash, artichokes, beet and collard greens.
  • Potassium include: Oranges, orange juice, bananas, prunes, papaya, avocados and tomatoes.
  • Vitamin A: Mangoes, cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach
  • Vitamin K: Spinach, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, collard, turnip and mustard greens.
  • Vitamin C: Oranges, pineapples, payayas, grapefruits, lemons, strawberries, red rasberries

  • Osteoporosis Prevention Diet NO’S

One bit of bad news is too much alcohol or caffeine can add to bone loss; and soft drinks particularly colas that have both caffeine and phosphorous (bad for your bones) may be a double whammy.

So that’s my quickie eating for your bones report. Don’t try that smoothie; it’s nasty.

by Mirabai Holland MFA Certified Health Coach, Certified Exercise Physiologist.

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