Everything is in fives these days: 5 top ways to burn calories, 5 best exercises, 5 healthy desserts … I’m not sure if it’s because of our short attention spans, or writers are getting lazy. Maybe the same marketer that said Power Point slides should only have three bullet points said fitness information is best in groups of five. I will play along with that new rule, and give five of my favorite health tips.
1. Pushup Holds
Some trainers refer to planks as holding yourself up in the pushup position; I think of planks as something you do on your forearms. Anyway, I love this simple exercise. If you have trouble doing pushups this is a great way to get stronger. This exercise helps your shoulders, chest, back, hips and core. With no equipment, you can hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute and really feel it. If you have any wrist pain, you may want to skip this exercise and do it on your forearms instead. The perfect form is head straight, hands underneath your shoulders (many people go to wide) and feet straight back. Don’t let your hips drop.
2. Cottage Cheese
I know some people think it’s gross, but I am a huge fan of cottage cheese. I buy the 4-percent fat, which tastes the best and usually has the lowest amount of sodium and sugar. This is a great post-workout food to eat because of the high protein content and the fat also keeps you full longer.
3. Goblet squats
I love this exercise! This is a great way to hit quads, butt, and stomach without a lot of pressure on your spine. Of course if you have any pain with this or any other exercise I’ve listed, do not do it. I recommend doing three sets of this during your leg workouts, 10-15 reps with a weight that’s challenging but still allows you to complete 10 reps. Check out this video for a simple demonstration.
I hear this all the time, “I do cardio, don’t have to exercise my legs.” Yes, you do. I’m not suggesting squatting heavy weights or joining a bar class where you squat a million times, but you need to work on your legs. Weight training with your legs releases the greatest amount of growth hormone compared to any other part of your body. Often times, a stronger butt can help with back, knee, or hip pain. It’s important to have great form when exercising any muscle group but especially the legs. Email me or work with a trainer to make sure your form is right.
If you follow me on twitter @fitwithkrit or other social media outlets, you see that I cook a lot. I do this for two reasons: I love to cook and it allows me to control what goes in my food. I can go easy on the salt, sugar, pick leaner cuts of meat, add extra veggies, and season with my favorite flavors. Additionally, it saves some money.
What are your health favorite tricks and tips? Send them my way at firstname.lastname@example.org or post below for others to see.