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January 28, 2014 | 0 Comments

Static Yoga Stretches For After You Workout: Open ...

Studies show that the best time to do lower body static stretches is after the completion of fitness and training sessions. Whether you just love to workout or are an athlete, recent research explains that static stretching before workouts weakens the very muscles needed for power. Running, cycling, plyometrics, tennis, basketball, rowing, … read more

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 6:00am
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Studies show that the best time to do lower body static stretches is after the completion of fitness and training sessions. Whether you just love to workout or are an athlete, recent research explains that static stretching before workouts weakens the very muscles needed for power. Running, cycling, plyometrics, tennis, basketball, rowing, the elliptical, surfing, trekking, soccer and football for instance, all require strong and/or fast leg work to generate the force necessary for peak performance.

Power originates at the core, which then passes the energy to the limbs for explosive results. The heavy work occurs when our leg muscles kick in by contracting to activate the force needed to move. Static stretches tire muscles and make them less able to store energy so that they may snap to action. Prior to workouts, static stretching can also make muscles more prone to injury. According to Kieran O’Sullivan, an exercise expert at the University of Limerick in Ireland, “When you stretch before exercising, your body may think it’s at risk of being overstretched. It compensates by contracting and becoming more tense. That means you aren’t able to move as fast or as freely, making you more likely to get hurt.” Additionally, static stretches may impair balance and joint stability, both of which are critical for high-level performance. The general consensus today is to stretch after training unless we do light dynamic stretching, which warms the muscles up.

It is however, extremely important to stretch the lower body after a workout or sport. A post athletic tune-up that opens the hamstrings, knees, calves, and Achilles increases flexibility, which can enhance performance and prevent injury.

Below are a few simple yoga postures you can do after workouts and training.

For complete progressive online 10-30 minute yoga classes and individual pose instruction on video with me as your teacher, join the JWM now here!

2 Twisting Fan

3 Malasana Miami

4 Pyramid Prep

5 Full Pyramid

6 Gomuk

6.5 Pada Hasta Extension

8 Pada Hasta

9 Janu Miami

10 Torasana Miami

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January 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

Healthy Low-Fat Snack: 4 Ways To Perfect Popcorn A...

If hunger pangs beg you for a healthy afternoon boost at work, while traveling or at a movie, homemade popcorn is a great low-fat snack to quell the nagging aches. A little bit of corn goes a long way–an eighth of a cup  of kernels makes the perfect size snack … read more

This entry was posted on Friday, January 17th, 2014 1:10pm
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If hunger pangs beg you for a healthy afternoon boost at work, while traveling or at a movie, homemade popcorn is a great low-fat snack to quell the nagging aches. A little bit of corn goes a long way–an eighth of a cup  of kernels makes the perfect size snack for one person. When popped, it expands to about 2 cups.

According to WHfoods, one cup of air popped popcorn contains 30 calories. With just a sprinkle of sea salt, melted Earth Balance and extra virgin olive oil, you can avoid busting your daily calorie intake. Another fun alternative to regular popcorn is blue popcorn, which has a nuttier flavor than yellow corn. Want to get fancy? Press a garlic clove and toss it with your popcorn and olive oil or shave some black truffles over it for the truly gourmet version.

It is worth the few minutes to make your own popcorn and also fun, especially with kids who love to see the corn kernels jump and transform. If you pack your popcorn in tupperware, it will travel well and last for hours. So, if you want to eat healthy at work or on a plane, prepare some homemade popcorn in advance and you are good to go!

Fact: Wondering how many calories movie popcorn has? According to USA Today, Bonnie Liebman, director of nutrition for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer group that has analyzed the calories in movie-theater popcorn, a small movie popcorn has 650 calories. A large has 1200 calories.

Health Benefits of popcorn include:

  • It’s high in fiber
  • It contains anti-oxident polyphenols that prevent damage to cells and may help fight diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s diabetes, cardiovascular disease and more due to the ferulic acid antioxidant

Try these JWM popcorn recipes! And for more JWM easy and delicious healthy recipes, become a member here!

 

Popcorn With Sea Salt, Earth Balance and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/8 cup popcorn

dash of sea salt

2tsp. Earth Balance

1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

  1. Heat the Earth Balance in a pot over low heat. 
  2. Add the corn kernels. Shuffle the kernels to coat them all with the Earth Balance.
  3. Place a lid on the pot. Let the kernels heat until they pop, about 4 minutes.
  4. Shuffle the corn kernels around every thirty seconds as they continue to pop to avoid burning the popped corn on the bottom.
  5. Once all kernels are popped, add the sea salt and olive oil. Toss with a spoon.
  6. Serve.

 

Popcorn With Sea Salt, Earth Balance, Galric and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For this delicious variation, follow steps 1-5 above. Then, press 1-2 garlic cloves and toss them into  the bowl. Mix until the toppings thoroughly coat the popcorn!

Popcorn With Shaved Truffles

1/8 cup popcorn

dash of sea salt

2 tsps. extra virgin olive oil

Truffle shavings

  1. Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a pot over low heat.
  2. Add the corn kernels. Shuffle the kernels to coat them all with the Earth Balance.
  3. Place a lid on the pot. Let the kernels heat until they pop, about 4 minutes.
  4. Shuffle the corn kernels around every thirty seconds as they continue to pop to avoid burning the popped corn on the bottom.
  5. Once all kernels are popped, add the sea salt and drizzle the rest of the olive oil over it. Toss with a spoon.
  6. Shave the truffles on top of the popcorn and toss.
  7. Serve.
Popcorn With Truffles Little Inn

Get fancy with popcorn with shaved black truffles!

 

Blue Popcorn

Follow the same steps from the “Popcorn With Sea Salt, Earth Balance and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.” The difference in flavor is inherent to the corn variety.

Blue Popcorn

You can mix it up with blue popcorn!

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January 8, 2014 | 0 Comments

Yoga For Tight Hips: A Simple Yoga Sequence To Str...

Are you already back in the grind at work spending hours sitting at your desk? Do you feel hip pain during or after sports and workouts? Are your hips tight? If the answer to any of the questions is yes, it is time to stretch your hips. “Strong, limber muscles … read more

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 2:16pm
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Are you already back in the grind at work spending hours sitting at your desk? Do you feel hip pain during or after sports and workouts? Are your hips tight? If the answer to any of the questions is yes, it is time to stretch your hips. “Strong, limber muscles are the key to pain-free hips and knees,” says William Levine, MD, director of sports medicine at Columbia University Medical Center.

Extended sitting aggravates the muscles that surround and support the pelvic bowl–the hip flexors, external/internal hip rotators, adductors, abductors, psoas, piriformis, gluteus muscles and hamstrings. Our pelvic bowl joins our lower and upper bodies, which means that when our hips suffer, so does everything below and above them. Tight hips can be the cause of sciatica, knee discomfort, and osteoarthritis, as well as pain in the lower/upper back, shoulders and neck.

If your hips are tight or achy, consider stretching them regularly to improve the joint mobility (check with your doctor if you have pain or are experiencing any worrying symptoms). Even those of us born with flexibility work consistently to maintain hip health. Open hips not only help to be more comfortable at work and during every day life activities but also enhance performance and safety during sports from tennis to basket ball, rock climbing to surfing.

In the photographs below, I demonstrate a few yoga poses for tight hips. I do these poses a few times a week and recommend that you do too. Hold each pose for approximately 1-2 minutes. Practice safely and without pain. Hips can be extremely vulnerable when pushed too far. The New York Times Science reporter and author, William Broad, wisely asserts, “Better to do yoga in moderation and listen carefully to your body. That temple, after all, is your best teacher.”

For complete progressive online 10-30 minute yoga classes and individual pose instruction on video with me as your teacher, join the JWM now here! There is something for everyone, beginner to advanced yogis as well as if you need to do yoga at work, during travel, if you are injured or ill.

 

Modified Saddle Pose I (Yin Yoga Variation Of Supta Virasana)

Kneel on your heels with your knees separated mat-width apart and big toes touching behind you. If you experience pain or discomfort in your knees or quads, roll a blanket into a log shape and lay it horizontally in the creases of your knees (the bigger the roll, the less pressure). Then, lean back using your hands to support your torso a few inches away from your buttocks, fingers facing your body.

Modified Saddle Pose II

If it is available to you, from Modified Saddle Pose I, bend your elbows and lower your forearms onto blocks. If you can go deeper, get rid of the blocks and place your forearms on the mat.

Modified Saddle 2 Austin

Saddle Pose (Yin Yoga Variation Of Supta Virasana)

Finally, lie all the way on the ground with your arms beside your hips or resting on your belly to assume the full manifestation of Saddle Pose.

photo 1

Modified Lizard Pose (Modified  Utthan Pristhasana)

Come onto your hands and knees. Step your right foot forward about an inch toward the right edge of your mat to assume a knee lunge position. Let your hips sink forward and place your forearms on the ground to support your torso (use blocks for extra elevation if needed). Let your back soften towards the floor. After holding for 1-2minutes, repeat on the left side.

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Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)

From modified Lizard Pose, curl your back toes under. Elevate your back inner thigh off the ground so that you are balancing on your forearms and left toes only. Hug your right knee in towards your midline. Gaze below your face or slightly ahead. Let your upper back melt towards the ground (try not to round).

photo 4

Straddle Split (Upavista Konasana)

Open your legs into a V position. If your pelvis scoops backwards under your torso (a posterior tilt), fold a blanket and sit on it. Over time, work to increase the angle of your V by sliding your hips forward while keeping your legs planted in the same place.

Upavista Austin

Bound Angle (Baddho Konasana)

Come into a seated position with the soles of your feet together. Elevate onto a blanket if needed and use blocks for support under your thighs if they are high off the ground. Hold your feet with your hands and open them upward. Simultaneously, use your inner thigh muscles and elbows to press your upper legs towards the floor. If you can do so with a long spine, begin to hinge at your hips to assume a forward bend towards your feet (if your spine begins to round, skip the forward bend and work upright).

Baddho Konasana Austin

Half Hanumanasana (Half Monkey Pose)

Come onto your hands and knees. Extend your right foot in front of you balancing on your heel (If you are too high to support yourself with your hands on the ground place blocks beside your hips and rest your hands on them). Pull your toes back towards your body (dorsi flexion). If you can maintain a long spine, begin to hinge at your right hip to fold over your right leg, aiming your face to your shin. After holding for 1-2 minutes, repeat on the left side.

photo 5

Hanumanasana (Monkey Pose)

From the upright half hanumanasana position, slide your right foot forward and lower your hip structure towards the mat. You will likely need to place 1-2 blocks under your right sit bone for support. As you become more flexible, lower your props.

Hanuman

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January 8, 2014 | 0 Comments

The Health Benefits Of High Intensity Interval Tra...

Studies show that when done correctly, high intensity interval training (HIIT) and cross training have many health benefits. They build stamina, melt calories and fat more efficiently than do other forms of exercise, enhance motivation, prevent overuse injuries and boredom, and create muscular strength and balance across all areas of … read more

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Studies show that when done correctly, high intensity interval training (HIIT) and cross training have many health benefits. They build stamina, melt calories and fat more efficiently than do other forms of exercise, enhance motivation, prevent overuse injuries and boredom, and create muscular strength and balance across all areas of the body.

To become stronger and to perform at their best, our muscles need to be stimulated in various ways. Working and excelling at one form of exercise such as running or weight lifting does not mean that we are fit. All we need to do is get on a tennis court to figure this out—huff, puff, sweat, burn out in just a few minutes! Being in good shape means being able to do many types of exercise as well as everyday activities (i.e. picking up a child) without quickly fatiguing or risking injury.

According to WebMD, “Athletic trainers and personal coaches agree it’s cross training — essentially, alternating your workout routines in a way that will increase your performance and overall fitness without stressing your body to the max,” that makes a fit person.

I specifically designed JWM fitness workouts to include both HIIT routines–total body calisthenics plus plyometrics in rapid succession–and cross training sports cardio sessions–running, spinning, rowing, elliptical, swimming, hiking…etc. The workouts alternate day-to-day and also include weight training and stretching through yoga poses.

Watch and try to perform (if you are healthy and/or have consulted your doctor) a FREE JWM high intensity aerobic workout by clicking here. Then, click on the box appropriate for your level–Level 1, Level 2, or Specialty–and select one of the following videos:

Level 1 30-Minute Workout

Level 2 30-Minute Workout

Specialty 30-Minute Workout

Please note: If you are not use to doing HIIT, you might find the above routines difficult at first. Take short breaks if you need to catch your breath (30 seconds). If you are starting your fitness program from scratch, it is best to begin by building your sports cardio endurance before you move to HIIT and cross training. I provide sports cardio guidance in the JWM daily calendars available to subscribers.

The complete JWM fitness programs with over 150 exercises modules for toning and cardio are one click away. Get fit now here!

Click here to read more about the benefits of cross trainings in The New York Times.

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January 2, 2014 | 0 Comments

Yoga For Back Health: A Beginner Sequence To Stren...

Happy New Year! Start the New Year with a strong back and open chest! Holiday travel is over and we are back at work. Research shows that sitting for extended amounts of time, whether in a plane or at a desk, causes the buildup of stress in our backs by … read more

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 1:17pm
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Happy New Year!

Start the New Year with a strong back and open chest! Holiday travel is over and we are back at work. Research shows that sitting for extended amounts of time, whether in a plane or at a desk, causes the buildup of stress in our backs by forcing the body into a misaligned forward bend. The result? Back pain, tight chest/shoulders and overall poor posture. This year, I encourage you to use six of my favorite yoga poses to counteract the negative effects of sitting. These poses are appropriate for all levels (beginners, have no fear).

*Please note that this sequence is not for back pain. If you are experiencing back pain, please subscribe to the JWM Specialty Level, in which I guide you through yoga for back pain sequences in live video courses.

For complete progressive online 10-30 minute beginner yoga classes and individual pose instruction on video with me as your teacher, join the JWM now here!

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Flying Locust (Salabasana)

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Flying Locust With Hands Clasped

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Half Cross Bow

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Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

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Child’s Pose (Balasana)

If you are new to yoga, you can learn how to do these yoga poses with me through my live online video courses. In Level 1, I teach you basic through early intermediate poses. In Level 2, I teach you intermediate to intermediate/advanced poses (Click here for the intermediate version of this particular sequence). In Specialty, I teach you how to deal with aches and pains for all parts of the body as well as how to stay health and strong during travel and work.

Each level contains:

  • Six 30-40 minute yoga classes in which I teach you progressively step-by-step from the basics on up to strong postures and flow
  • Fifty 1-3 minute individual short videos in which I teach beginner to intermediate yoga poses
  • A glossary of yoga poses in still photograph form with English and Sanskrit names
  • All JWM videos and articles from the past including many morning sequences, evening sequences, yoga for sleep articles, breathing techniques, toning sequences, and more
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