Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Tip #1

Like I said in my last blog post, I will be offering two holiday-themed tips per day during this joyous season. One will be a fitness tip and the other will be a tip for a healthy indulgence. So here it goes, folks.

Instead of doing your bicep curls while standing or seated on a bench, try doing them on a stability ball, like this:

In this position, you will be challenging your stabilizing muscles which will give you more bang for your bicep-exercise buck. This works more muscles than if you had the help of a bench or the floor to steady you. You have to recruit muscles from your core, glutes (butt), legs and shoulders when using the stability ball. Cool, right? It's likely that you'll have to lift less weight than if you weren't on the stability ball, so test what works best for you: use a weight that gets difficult to lift in the last two repetitions of your set. Do two to three sets of this exercise, 10-15 reps total in each set.

I'm a Starbucks fan, but I feel bad about it because where I live in the East Village, there are so many amazing coffee shops to choose from, and I know I'm supporting "The Man" by helping build the Starbucks empire with each coffee I buy.  But what can I say: they carry yummy low-calorie/sugar-free syrups and toppings, and when I'm looking for a warm, delicious, health-conscious drink with a holiday kick, I know I can find it at Starbucks. That being said, feel free to substitute your coffee shop of choice for the drinks I'm discussing. 

To make a Cup o' Joe more festive and creamy without the heavy syrup and sugar, try a Tall Soy Latte (Starbucks uses Vanilla soy which means no sugar or sugar substitute necessary and also means yummy deliciousness in a cup) and add your own topping supplied by the coffee shop. I like using cinnamon and nutmeg for instant Christmas-in-a-cup. Starbucks also has cinnamon dolce and pumpkin spice toppings you can use for something extra festive but calorie free. To lessen the calories even more, substitute skim milk. Your drink won't be as creamy, but if soy isn't your thing, it's a good substitute.

Rock out, enjoy, and Be Well!

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