Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rainy Days

Melissa's tip of the week is designed to help you and your family live happier, healthier lives.
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Rainy days are a great time

to try out a new workout regime.

You can do that right in your living room, or your basement (provided it's not flooding), or if it's just a gentle rain, try taking a jog outside in the mist.  I figure it this way:  I'll need a shower anyway, so if I get wet, it's not really a big deal.  Below, you'll find a rainy day workout to keep you working out, even when the weather has you staying in.

Let's try this workout--each activity will be 1 minute, and no equipment is necessary, so get out your timer, and let's go!

1 minute, Walking lunges, body weight
1 minute, squats, body weight
1 minute, plank, body weight
1 minute, mountain climbers
1 minute, curtsy squats
1 minute, side plank
1 minute, push ups
1 minute, side plank (other side)

Repeat 2x through for a 20 minute workout, or 3x for a 30 minute workout.  Stretch!
Or how about you go jump in the puddles?!  Tap in to your inner child.  Have fun.  Today is your day.  Live.  Love.  Laugh.  And jump in the puddles!
Broccoli Cheese soup for a rainy day!
4 servingsBroccoli Cheddar Soup
4 Tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
4 Tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 pound chopped broccoli*
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar, plus more for garnish
Saute onion in butter until translucent. Stir in flour until a thick paste forms. Add stock and simmer until thickened. Add broccoli.
*If only making soup, use raw, fresh broccoli and simmer for at least 10 minutes until tender. If making baby food, it’s best to steam all of the broccoli together and then add cooked broccoli to soup just to warm through.
Add milk and cook just a minute or two to warm through. Puree soup with an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender. Stir in cheese. Garnish with additional cheese and any extra broccoli.
Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose


A great pose for loosening hamstrings, and lengthening the spine, Standing Separate Leg Stretching pose is challenging.  You can begin with the feet 3-4 feet apart (wider is better if you struggle with the hamstring flexibility).  Try to keep the legs straight, and only go as far as you can.  The ultimate goal is to have your hands under your heels, so that you can pull.  Actively pulling in this pose helps to activate a contract-relax technique which essentially fools the muscle into stretching just that little bit extra, so that over time, you are improving.  As you pull, you are trying to bring your forehead to the floor.  This may not happen the first or even the 500th time, but it's the goal.  Yoga is a practice, not an exercise in perfection.  We are all a work in progress, so just keep working toward the goal, and you will get there.

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